How to fulfill that Craving for Mexican Food Without Crossing the Border
We are lucky to live in San Diego, besides the beaches, great weather, award-winning craft beer, and exciting food options; we get to share a border with Mexico and all the culinary delights in which the Mexican culture inspires. Crossing over the border for authentic Mexican food and those delicious little street tacos can be fun and adventurous, but let's face it, crossing back into the USA can be a frustrating, long wait that brings back the hunger feeling real quick. Fortunately, we have an abundance of authentic Mexican dining joints all around the county. Get your Mexican food fix at these dining joints that specialize in keeping it real, real Mexican that is!
Lourdes Mexican Food - 605 S. Escondido, Escondido
While the menu is full of authentic Mexican favorites such as rolled taquitos and mouth-watering fish burritos, the homemade chicken soup is what places Lourdes at the top of the Mexican food dining joint go-to map in North County. The slurp-worthy broth has a tinge of spiciness that's the perfect complement to the generous amount of pulled tender chicken, rice, onions, avocado slices and cilantro.
Las Cuatro Milpas - 1857 Logan Ave, Barrio Logan
Homemade tortillas and authentic Mexican tacos, tamales and burritos made just the way abuela (grandma) used to make them, has made Las Cuatro Milpas the local's favorite since 1933. Don't believe me? Try going there for lunch and don't be surprised to find a line stretching around the block. Is any Mexican dining joint worth waiting an hour for? One bite into a pork, chicken or chorizo taco or tamale and you'll see why the answer is a firm, Si Señor!
El Nopalito - 528 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas
I'm a big chips and salsa fan. El Nopalito's homemade chips and fresh-made salsas is as good as it gets, my personal favorite is the verde with the smoky chipotle not too far behind. For over 30 years, this casual dining joint in Encinitas has been treating the locals and Mexican expats to authentic Mexican food flavors such as nopal (cactus), chicharrones (tasty, fried pork skin) and pollo en mole, an absolutely tasty chicken in mole sauce that transports you over the border with each bite. Party too much Friday night? Try the homemade Menudo and you'll be ready to take on the weekend.
Carnitas Las Michoacanas - 6513 University Ave, Rolando
I'm a huge fan of carnitas, and at Carnitas Las Michoacanas they do it right, leaving the fat, skin and all the goodness that makes the pork so moist and juicy that it drips all over your face with each bite. It may not be the prettiest place inside, but hey, it's the food that matters, plus, you get a free taco and other food samples while you're waiting for your order.