If you thought this was just America's home for fish tacos, you're in for a real treat.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler
"Make Salsa Not War" reads a neon sign inside the Encinitas outpost of City Tacos, a wildly popular fast-casual taqueria chain in San Diego that blends street-style taste with hipster vibes. Though there are five locations across the city—with three more on the way—we love the size, patio, and ocean proximity of this particular location.
What’s the crowd like?
Given the family-friendly neighborhood, you'll see a lot of parents and their kids with some hipsters and surfers filling out the place.
What do they have to drink?
You'll find craft beer (including Mexican brands like Cerveceria Insurgente), wine by the glass, sangrias, micheladas, margaritas, and a rotating menu of horchatas and agua frescas.
Main event: the food.
Tacos form the core of the menu, and the interpretations here are mostly classic with some gourmet twists thrown in (think fried leeks and cilantro drizzled strawberries). We love the Borrego (pulled lamb with wild mushrooms), the Chile Relleno with gooey Oaxacan cheese, and the Birria de Res inspired by the traditional beef stew. Pair a couple tacos with vegetarian or pork-infused beans, and save room for the buñuelo, a fried flour tortilla coated with cinnamon and sugar, and filled with Greek yogurt, caramelized apples, caramel, and marzipan. And about that neon sign? They make good on the promise, with six varieties of salsa ranging form a mild aioli to the five-alarm salsa higo.
How did you find the service?
They're friendly, patient, and helpful in deciphering the menu.
What’s the real-real on why we’re coming here? For an easy, but elevated casual meal, especially after the beach.