Let’s travel back 30 years, circa 1989: the Berlin Wall came down; the Nintendo Game Boy made its debut; Cher wanted to “Turn Back Time;” and all the other weekdays became jealous of Tuesday.
Sure, there’s Wine Wednesday and Meatless Monday, but they pale in comparison to their tortilla-wrapped neighbor, Taco Tuesday. Yep, that’s right, today we’re stuffing in the delights and not leaving out any toppings, for there’s nothing more important than making sure you find the best deals, eats, drinks, and treats on a beautiful Tuesday in Pacific Beach.
Local or visitor—who doesn’t love a culinary hidden gem? Though to be fair, it’s getting pretty hard to hide in San Diego. Crowds aside, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in sunny PB on a San Diego tour, then the stars have aligned for you! For your divine enjoyment, here are the five best not-so-hidden locations for Taco Tuesday in Pacific Beach by mood, budget, and taste.
#1 Pacific Beach Fish Shop: Your Tacos Your Way
Photo Credit – Pacific Beach Fish Shop
Not to stray into other food genres here, but don’t you just love the style of the poke bars popping up all over? If so, then you need to check out the as-you-like-it style of the Pacific Beach Fish Shop, where off-menu IS the menu and totally… off-the-hook. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
At PB Fish Shop, you’ll get exactly what you want, made exactly the way you want it. This local gem screams authenticity, with the choices of your taco complimented by their on-site fish market. Once inside, all you need to do is:
- Pick your fresh catch
- Pick your marinade
- Pick your style (grilled or fried)
- Pick your platter (taco, sandwich, salad, or straight-up)
What else is special about this spot? Well, ample parking for starters—somewhat of a white whale here in Pacific Beach. They also have a spacious, pet-friendly patio and anytime $4 oyster shooters with a beer chaser and a poached shrimp (you will not regret this choice).
#2 The PB Shore Club: Boardwalk Breeze and a Taco
Photo Credit – There San Diego
Let’s talk about the Pacific Beach staple that needs no introduction: The PB Shore Club. If you’re a local, then you’re probably already rolling your eyes. Thing is, there’s nothing more San Diego than eating tacos steps away from the beach—literally, steps—watching a gorgeous Southern California sunset and chowing down on some fresh, delicious tacos. If you’re visiting PB and want the authentic beachy experience, this is a community pillar.
Plus, this is without mentioning their amazing world-famous alcoholic slushies. Or their free panoramic views of the ocean. Or the endlessly entertaining people-watching on the boardwalk below. Ahh, you’re hooked now, huh?
With rooftop, beach-facing seats all along the railing, PB Shore Club serves unbeatable views and unbeatable Taco Tuesday specials:
- $2.50 Chicken, Veggie, Brisket, or Steak tacos
- $3.50 Shrimp, Lobster, or Mahi tacos
- $4.00 Mexican beer and tequila shots to embellish the sights, salty air, and serendipitous sunsets
#3 Pueblo: Ambiance Anyone?
Just one block from the beach, with strings of sparkly lights and an upscale, refined vibe—Pueblo is your magical destination for turning Ta-co Tuesday into Ta-da Tuesday. Bad jokes aside, Pueblo certainly makes for a special sort of Tuesday. You’ll know it immediately, whether you sit in the tranquil courtyard or take in the ocean air from the rooftop.
- Warning: You may find yourself gazing at your serene surroundings more that you gaze at your date. Don’t worry, they probably will be too.
As for the food? Perfectly-spiced seafood heaven. Pueblo strikes a culinary balance with their Baja surf and turf fusion that is always-fresh and always-surprising. Try one of their 60 tequila offerings or specialty cocktails (like their mango-ghost pepper “Ay, Dios Mio!” margarita) for a mood as hot as this destination. They pair well with $4 seafood tacos, featuring smoked yellowfin tuna, octopus, and salmon.
And do NOT forget to order the Lobster Queso. Unless you don’t happen to love sweet morsels of lobster paired with sharp parmesan and creamy cotija cheese, or living your best life.
#4 El Prez: Tacos with a Side of FUN
Photo Credit – El Prez Beach Bar & Cocina
Looking for some new friends, nightlife, rooftop games, and 13 killer taco combinations? Thought so. Don your Friday-night attitude this Tuesday, and head on down to El Prez! Their Taco Tuesday specials include:
- $3 Chicken, Carnitas, Al Pastor, Zucchini, Potato “Soyrizo,” Carne Asada tacos
- $4 Ahi tacos
- $5 Filet Mignon, Lobster, Pulpo (grilled octopus) tacos
If their Dia de los Muertos theme doesn’t grab you, their delicious watermelon margaritas definitely will. Hi there, luscious pink libation! Where have you been all my life? With three stories and ample seating, the wait will be minimal, and your socializing will be caliente!
- Local tip: if you’re looking to unwind first and eat later, head all the way up to the rooftop. There, you’ll find the cozy couch of your dreams to enjoy your tacos and sunset on. Oh yes, and your watermelon margarita, obviously.
#5 Tacos Mimi: Total Street Cred
Photo Credit – Tacos Mimi
When your endless 5-star ratings are plastered all over the internet with nary an objection, that my friends is street cred. What Tacos Mimi lacks in ambiance or even standing room, it amply makes up for in authentic, no-frills San Diego street tacos that are some of the best you’ll ever have in Southern California.
Locals say the best item on this taco shop’s menu is… Anything. As long as it comes on one of their fresh handmade tortillas (which is all of them). And San Diegans know—it’s really the tortilla that makes or breaks the taco.
You’ll be amazed at the prices (sizable tacos start at $2.25), astounded by the quality, and possibly a little intimated by the Seinfeldian “Soup Nazi” feel to the restaurant. But when you’re waiting in line and the authenticity smells as good as Tacos Mimi, all you want to hear is that soul-redeeming word: “NEXT!”
Taco Tuesday? More like Taco Toda
Anytime you’re visiting San Diego County, Pacific Beach in particular, tacos are a must eat. With so many amazing spots to enjoy, you will be forced to settle on a mood and a place, but you’ll never have to settle for a mediocre taco. Thanks to the abundance of Taco Tuesday deals San Diego will have you begging to change their motto to Taco Today!
Thrillist. The Crazy Contentious History of Taco Tuesday. https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/history-of-taco-tuesday-when-did-it-start
NPR. ’Tacopedia’: A Mouth-Watering Tour Of Mexico’s Taco Culture. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/01/444466693/tacopedia-a-mouth-watering-tour-of-mexicos-taco-culture