I think at this point we have well established my love affair with tacos, but just in case it was unclear, I hit up The San Diego Reader’s Tacotopia at the Del Mar Racetrack this weekend and helped cast my vote for the best taco in San Diego.
Tacotopia at the Track
This event was executed extremely well, with 40 of San Diego and South Orange County’s best restaurants and food trucks pedaling out their best work to try to win the hearts and the votes of some hungry San Diegans.
I was impressed by the organization this event was handled, it didn’t appear that any of the vendors ever ran out of their goods, the lines stayed relatively short, and there were fun little extras like a taco themed photo booth, chips and salsas provided by Salud!, and lemonade stands for a bit of refreshment on this hot day.
Our first taco came from Bluewater Seafood, it was the day’s overall winner and it was definitely deserving of the title. I had one taco at Bluewater before, and I was impressed then, but this taco was even better and was seriously the perfect start to the day. Bluewater was serving up a spicy shrimp taco with a white sauce, homemade tomatillo, and a homemade mango slaw. This taco was a little too spicy for my guest, but had tons of the delicious white sauce and queso fresco to help balance it out.
Keeping with our fishy theme, we hit up Encinitas Fish Shop who was serving up some innovative smoked salmon tacos. Now, smoked salmon is not really my thing, but this taco was seriously delicious and really impressed me. It was a touch topping/tortilla heavy for the current taco marathon I was running, but the salmon was so flavorful and I enjoyed it.
One of my absolute favorite tacos of the day was this Abeulita’s Chicken Mole Taco from Common Theory Public House. I am mole obsessed and also have a weird love for pickled onions so in my eyes this taco was actual perfection, and it was devoured in about two and a half seconds.
My other favorite, which also snagged my vote for best traditional taco, was the baja fish taco from The Classic Taco. Unfortunately, this truck is based up in Orange County, but luckily I’m a frequent visitor up there! This fish taco was seriously about as good as they get, with a huge serving of perfectly crunchy fish and you could choose from so many salsas. They even hopped out of the truck to help me pick my perfect salsa, the pequin!
Next up for me was Lolita’s, where I got the pollo asado and while this was a pretty standard take on a taco, it was really tasty with a big scoop of guacamole on top, which you will never hear complain.
At this point I’m five tacos deep and only an hour in, and realizing that maybe I should have paced myself just a little bit, but I am not a quitter. Next up I hit up Ah-Jijo for their fish taco. I opted for the spicy chipotle sauce on top as opposed to the tomatillo. This taco was perfectly spicy, and had probably the crunchiest little piece of fish I’ve ever tasted, which was the perfect vessel for lots of toppings.
While my partner attempted to attack his ambitious plate of 3 tacos he’d collected, I decided to take a “break” and go find some chips and salsa, but on my way I was too tempted by Puesto to resist. Puesto is actually located right across from my work, I smell it all day long, and its torture. I’ve been once before and this taco was every bit as good as I remember. Puesto has figured out this genius idea of wrapping their delicious meats inside of a piece of fried cheese. Yes, you heard that right, and yes, it is basically the only way a taco should happen. Even though I knew this taco might come back to bite me later (all that cheese!) it was still more than worth it.
Finally on my way back from my Puesto pit stop, I was able to swing by the Salud! table for their chips and salsa. I was a little bummed they didn’t have a taco at the event, as I’ve heard some amazing things, but these chips were awesome and the salsa was nice and mild.
A while later, I caught my second wind and managed to scoop up one of these fish tacos from Henry’s Pub. Another giant serving of flaky, crispy fish, and more guac!
Lindsey, Courtney, and I trying to pull ourselves together after an all out taco binge.
A while later, after taking a break to place our bets and check out the races, we returned to cast our votes, grabs some sweets, and hit up the Tacotopia photo booth! You can tell how excited I am about this giant rainbow sprinkle cookie (from Sammy’s Mexican Bakery), which was the perfect ending to a perfect day!
This event was so fun for so many reasons, starting with the plethora of delicious taco options and ending with the 311/Matisyahu concert that took place after the races. I will definitely be at the next Tacotopia, shoving more delicious tacos into my mouth, on my never ending hunt for the best in San Diego.