What You Could Get in San Diego for $10 – Ten for Taco

Hi everyone! 😀

It's been a while since the last time we covered a city in the USA on the series. After we covered Washington D.C last year, now let's go to the west and see what California could offer. And this time, we're flying to San Diego with the help of Christina from Explore Now or Never who would cover the city for us.

So, how could you spend your $10 USD around the beach in San Diego?! Do you think you could survive within the budget? Let's check this out!

What You Could Get in San Diego for $10 - The BeauTraveler

Perfect Lunch in San Diego: Fish Taco!

The best way to spend $10 in San Diego is on fish tacos!

This makes the perfect lunch after a day spent surfing, paddle boarding or lounging on one of the dozens of soft sandy beaches on San Diego’s scenic Pacific coastline.

Spending a day on a San Diego beach is the best free activity there is!

What's The Best Fish Taco in San Diego?

Baja fish tacos are so named because they hail from Mexico, the 800-mile Baja California peninsula to be specific. And here in San Diego, you can find them at little Mexican taco shops up and down the coast and even inland.

They can be served grilled or battered. It's a personal choice… And everyone has a strong opinion!

Typically, a mild white-fleshed saltwater fish like snapper, mahi mahi, grouper or other wild, local fish are used. They're typically served with “curtido,” a lime-pickled cabbage slaw, a spicy cream chipotle sauce, and a spoonful of your favorite pico de gallo salsa in two corn tortillas each. You can add refried beans and rice and still be under $10!

Fish taco.

A Glimpse of Fish Taco's Popularity in San Diego

San Diego has gone crazy for fish tacos ever since Ralph Rubio, a local surfer, opened up his first restaurant Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill in Mission Beach after becoming completely smitten with them on surf trips south of the border in the eighties. He discovered them in San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez, back when he was a college student at San Diego State University.

In one interview, Rubio said that he initially urged a taco vendor named Carlos there to open up a restaurant in San Diego. But Carlos didn’t want to leave Mexico.

So in a flash of inspiration, Rubio decided to do it himself after hitting his dad up for some seed money. Since then, Rubio's has sold more than 50 million of them at franchises throughout the US Southwest… Even though lots of naysayers said Americans would never eat fish tacos.


Today, the most authentic and delicious fish tacos in San Diego are not to be had at Rubio's, however, but rather at independently run Mexican taco shops and restaurants everywhere. In Pacific Beach, try Oscar's Mexican Seafood. In La Jolla, try The Taco Stand. And further north, in Encinitas, my favorite fish tacos are at Kotija Taco Shop.

Contributor: Christina from Explore Now or Never

Christina Román is a San Diego-based writer and photographer. Her blog inspires mid-life professionals to see the world with fewer crowds and more magic moments. When she's not indulging her wanderlust, you can find her curled up with her two cats in her tropical garden.

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