The 4 Best Mariscos Spots in San Diego: The Official, Definitive, and Inarguable List
In San Diego, very few things are considered as sacred and dear to us as our Mexican food. While religion and politics may be ripe topics for friendship-ending debates, praising or deriding the wrong taco or mariscos joint could easily put you in the same hot seat around these parts.
With that said, we at The Travelers Club take our food just as seriously, which is why we asked our Mexican seafood expert Tonio Romero a.k.a Tone Camarón to finally put any and all debates to rest and give us his definitive list of the best mariscos spots in San Diego. If you know anything about Tone, you know he doesn’t play when it comes his street-side cuisine. Read through and take notes.
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4. Mariscos Nine Seas Seafood (South Park)
In theory, South Park seems like the absolute last place you’d think you’d find amazing Mexican seafood. Mariscos Nine Seas, a shining standout in the small, quaint neighborhood, however, has easily become one of the most popular food trucks in San Diego and for good reason. Along with a central location that borders Balboa Park and North Park, Nine Seas also has to be one of the few locations that offers incredibly generous portions for such a low price. Anytime I'm in the neighborhood, I definitely make sure to always stop by for a shrimp and fish taco, and let me tell you, Nine Seas probably has the best shrimp and fish taco in the whole city. Don't @ me! My personal favorite and holy grail on the menu, though, is a dish called the ‘Crazy Tostada.’ The Crazy Tostada is served on a small plate packed with shrimp, octopus, clams, fish, mussels topped with avocado, cilantro, and two oysters with the shell.
[Editor’s Note: Expect at least a 15 minute line when you come here. It’s the only solid fish taco truck in a neighborhood that doesn’t have liquor stores and tire shops on every block, so naturally all the sheltered locals gravitate here.]
THE MUST HAVE: Fish (or Shrimp) Taco / Crazy Tostada
ADDRESS: 3030 Grape Street, San Diego, CA 92102
HOURS: All week / 9am-7pm
3. Mariscos German (Southeast San Diego)
Mariscos German off of Federal Blvd. is actually one the first mariscos trucks I ever tried. I still remember when I was growing up my grandma would take me to this spot every Sunday––she’s actually the person who put me on to mariscos as a kid (shout out Nana P one time). Ever since, I've made it a point to visit this location throughout the years and they never seem to disappoint. As far as the food, if any of you are a fan of marlin tacos, German has the best in the city, without question. Another favorite from their menu that always really impresses me is their famous Tostada Loka. This tostada is a mixture of shrimp, clams, octopus, cucumber, purple onion, topped off with slices of avocado and Tajin.
THE MUST HAVE: Marlin Taco
ADDRESS: 4727 Federal Blvd, San Diego, CA 92102
HOURS: All week / 10am-7:30pm
2. Mariscos El Golosito (Sherman Heights)
Mariscos El Golosito is a hidden gem in San Diego that is completely family-owned and operated, and judging from it’s location, you can tell right off the bat as the restaurant is literally set up in the backyard of a neighborhood house. A popular staple within the Sherman Heights community, El Golosito is known for their delicious green aguachile, fresh oysters, and shrimp cocktails (Vuelve La Vida or ‘Return to Life’ in English), all delicious plates that you can enjoy with a special nostalgic feeling of being at home.
On top of that, Golosito is also one of the only spots in San Diego where yo can purchase your own beverages at the liquor store next and bring it over to enjoy with your food, a restaurant amenity that is pretty much priceless in my book.
THE MUST HAVE: Vuelve La Vida
ADDRESS: 2275 Imperial Ave San Diego, CA 92102
HOURS: All week / 11am-7pm
1. El Cacho Fish Taco Stand (West Chula Vista)
No exaggeration, El Cacho Fish Taco Stand off of Main St. in Chula Vista is the pinnacle of what all mariscos food trucks in San Diego should aspire to be. I hold this food truck to such a high standard because of how consistent they are with their plates and presentation––never have I came here and left disappointed (which is rare for most trucks). For those who've never visited this spot, I recommend quite a few things on their menu: for starters, like at any food truck, you have to ask for the consomé, which is particularly great here. When you finally see their menu, though, you’ll notice how big and varied their options are. With that said, my personal favorites are the Tostada Sinaloa, Tostada de Aguachile, and a shrimp taco called ‘El Culichi.’ Don't forget to wash this all down with their famous Agua de Pepino with Chia. Trust me, this spot will have you going there at least twice a week. Thank me later!
THE MUST HAVE: Tostada Sinaloa
ADDRESS: 2830 Main St Chula Vista, CA 91911
HOURS: All week / 8:30am-7pm