Dining

Two of San Diego’s Best Taco Shops you have to try: Santana’s and El Indio

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Beings that San Diego borders Mexico it’s no surprise that there is plenty south-of-the-border cuisine available throughout the county. But it’s important to remember that not all taco shops are created equal. While there are many delicious taco shops that deserve recognition, here are two of the best in San Diego that you should check out.

The California Burrito is a staple in San Diego, and the concoction features a plethora of ingredients including Carne Asada (or pollo asada), sour cream, french fries, avocado and lots of cheese.

I’ve traveled to other state’s taco shops that spotlight the California burrito on their menu and seen first hand how crazy people are about it. My brother has been eating California Burritos since the 90s and swears that Santana’s is the official creator of the California Burrito.

Santana’s, now referred to as Fresh MXN Food, dishes up a 1lb. California Burito with a description that is almost as tantalizing as the real thing; carne asada, carnitas, achiote or grilled chicken with potatoes, Mexican salsa and cheddar cheese.

With 11 locations throughout San Diego to serve you, open 24 hours a day, it’s the perfect pit stop after an evening on the town, or an afternoon with friends. Santana’s has a great salsa bar for patrons eating in, and even better; everything’s made fresh and they use absolutely no preservatives.

With the eateries new moniker being “Fresh MXN Food” there are many dishes on the menu that are less sinful than the famous 1lb. California Burrito. A veggie tostada comes in at only 430 calories, has 14g of fiber and 13g of protein.  Or try the seasoned grilled fish taco’s, wrapped in 2 corn tortilla’s with cabbage, Mexican salsa, and creamy tomatillo sauce and only 228 calories.

The second, equally tantalizing taco shop style eatery you have to try is the historic El Indio, located on India St., near Old Town. In operation for over 60 years, it is sometimes credited with the invention of the rolled taco. El Indio has its own parking lot across the street and an often out-the-door line.

As you stake out your position in line, you’re wrapped around the home-made goods El Indio sells on a daily basis, which include tortillas, chips, salsa, guacamole and desserts.

My personal favorite menu item is the tamale plate with beans, rice and a tamale covered in mouth watering chili topped with cheese and two of their original recipe chips. I can honestly say I am a tamale connoisseur and El Indio is at the top of my list.

The place is so legendary that is was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in the ‘Family Owned’ episode. El Indio has been family owned for three generations and currently operates one location of El Indio in addition to a catering division. El Indio is located at 3695 India St, San Diego, CA 92103.

Check out El Indio, on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri:

I am the project manager for Epsori Business Solutions, I assist in managing the San Diego Entertainer website. San Diego is my city, and I absolutely am enthused about The Entertainer being brought back to life in an easy to use digital format.

2 Comments

  1. Phil

    May 17, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    why isn’t Rubio’s mentioned here ? Best fish tacos in SD !!

  2. Francesca Pompeii

    May 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Rubio’s isn’t “home grown” enough these days, that’s why it was left out. We’ll definitely spot light it next time!

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