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Mike Peterson

The Best Places to Get a Taco in Escondido, California

There are a lot of tacos in San Diego. I'll help you narrow down your options.Jeswin Thomas/Unsplash

There is no shortage of great Mexican food in San Diego. Ask any local about it, and you're likely to hear that we have the best Mexican food in the country.

Whether that's true or not, the plethora of options that both native San Diegans and visitors face can be a bit overwhelming. Sometimes, it can seem like there's a taco shop on every corner in the county. Because of that, I'm here to help you narrow down your options.

This is part one of an ongoing series detailing the best taco shops, burrito joints, and Mexican restaurants throughout the San Diego County area. With that in mind, here are some of my top picks for the best tacos in Escondido, California.

3. Four Tunas Fish and Bar

This humble restaurant in Escondido offers some of the best Baja-style seafood in the area. There are fish tacos, of course, but also fresh oysters and shrimp cocktails aplenty. Four Tunas doesn't have a full bar, but there's beer, wine, and a delicious selection of margaritas and micheladas (beer cocktails) available.

The restaurant features both outdoor and indoor seating. When you arrive at your table, you'll be presented with free chips and salsa -- and possibly a warm cup of seafood broth to start your meal.

You won't find a wide selection of terrestrial meats here -- seafood is the main event. But the standard fish tacos are excellent. Garlic shrimp and Gobernador (grilled shrimp tacos with cheese) are also highly recommended.

The prices are fairly reasonable for the quality of food that you get. All in all, an excellent fish taco shop.

2. Craft and Taco Lounge

All the vegetarians out there know the struggle of having a limited selection of options when eating out. That can seem especially true at most taco shops in the area, which place a consistent focus on carne asada, carnitas, and other meats. If you're tired of having to order only quesadillas or bean and cheese burritos, Craft and Taco Lounge is here to help.

This unique taco shop features a creative selection of vegetarian, vegan, and paleo taco options. That includes chile relleno tacos, cauliflower tacos, and buffalo zucchini tacos. I've tried all of them, and they are all delicious.

Vegetarians also need not leave their meat-eating friends at home at this taco shop. In addition to the meat-free cuisine, Craft and Taco Lounge also has various meat and seafood options, including carne asada and mahi-mahi tacos.

You can order a beer or wine here, too, and there are various other alcohol-free beverages. It's an excellent choice for vegetarians, as well as anyone wanting to reduce their meat consumption or try something new.

1. TJ Tacos

If you live near Escondido, you've probably heard of TJ Tacos. It's an institution in the area that is consistently packed with people. Be forewarned, the lines can be long. There's a reason for that: the tacos are delicious. True to their name, the tacos here are much more reminiscent of something you'd find in Mexico than some of the other taco shops in the area.

Eating at TJ Tacos even feels like stumbling upon a taco shop stand south of the border. The adobada is sliced fresh off the spit, and the carne asada is grilled over charcoal right in front of your eyes. All the while, the tortillas are being handmade near the front counter.

Food is such a subjective thing that it can be hard to quantify what "good" food is. However, I'd venture that TJ Tacos has some of the best tacos that I've ever had in the San Diego region. That's just my opinion, but I recommend you try them out yourself and form your own.

The carne asada is solid here, with plenty of smoky goodness. The adobada is also excellent and nicely spiced. Not in the mood for tacos? TJ Tacos also makes burritos and carne asada (or adobada) fries. Highly recommended.

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