San Diego Street Food: The next big thing

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As the cupcake and yogurt crazes die down, street food seems to be the next big thing. First popping up on the streets of Los Angeles and New York City (like the infamous Kogi Korean BBQ truck in L.A.), buzz about street food has escalated. In February Los Angeles was home to the L.A. Street Food Fair , further proof of the growing trend. While it seems that the bigger metropolitan cities are refining ‘gourmet’ street food, San Diego is just getting started.

Taco truck? Many San Diegans are used to getting their fast food in an anchored structure, thank you very much.

So where can one get good street food in San Diego, and does it even exist? If your only dose of street food centers around SD ethnic festivals, all that is about to change. Here’s a quick (but not yet complete) guide for your food exploration.

Churros El Tigre- A little churro cart that used to set up shop on University Ave., the popularity of the made-on-the-spot churros started to attract lots of attention. The freshly made bag of 7 deliciously seasoned churros comes at $2 a bag, and the taste is said to rival those found south of the border. Give it a try, the little cart can now be found at the corner of Imperial Ave. and 25th St, directly across from the San Diego Police Department’s Central Division.

La Fachada- A few steps down from Churros El Tigre you’ll find another food stand that’s also light on the wallet and great on taste. If you thought convenience trumps variety, think again. This place offers grilled-on-the-spot meat packaged in the form of gorditas, carne asada, fish tacos, with all-you-can-eat sides (salsa, chips, grilled onions, beans) to boot. Even better, they accept credit cards.

410 Degrees Cookies- The term ‘street food’ can be used loosely, but these can only be found at the Hillcrest and La Jolla Farmer’s markets. These bakers boast creative flavors that are extremely popular, such as Rosemary Balsamic, Toasted Marshmallow, Pancake Bacon, and Lemon Basil. They also have a cookie of the month club, where they will send a box of cookies to your doorstep featuring the month’s special cookie. While these cookies don’t come cheap, they are definitely worth the adventure (and possible addiction). Found at La Jolla Farmer’s Market, located at 7335 Girard Ave.

Mateo’s Hot Spot- Mateo’s has long been popular with the Pacific Beach crowd. Just try one of his chili dogs, the Heart Attack Dog, or the El Grunge, a philadelphia cream cheese bacon dog, and you’ll see why. Choices also include veggie dogs and bratwurst, with all the traditional toppings available. Mateo’s can be found at 4479 Everts Street in Pacific Beach.

Have you found any other great San Diego street food spots? If so, feel free to share!

Image by ricardodiaz11 via Flickr


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