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Restaurants Serving Up Some of the Best Tacos in La Jolla

Sometimes the best Mexican food is served in the least fancy settings, such as taco stands or small takeout restaurants. With fast and friendly service and inexpensive prices, but without sacrificing taste or quality, these smaller Mexican restaurants in La Jolla have a loyal customer following.

Chipotle Mexican Grill on Torrey Pines Road near Girard is part of a chain of fast food Mexican takeout restaurants now owned by McDonald's. The idea in the beginning was to offer gourmet burritos, based on organic and local produce and the best sustainably raised food possible, with great taste, nutrition and value. The first Chipotle opened in 1993 in Denver, Colorado. Since then, the chain has grown to include 900 locations. Its success, however, has not compromised its dedication to serving the tastiest and healthiest food possible. The Chipotle menu includes burritos, burrito bowls, crispy and soft tacos, with a choice of carne asada, chicken or steak, salads and chips and guacamole.

Don Carlos Taco Shop on Pearl is very popular with the lunch and dinner crowd and with students on their way home from school. With indoor and outdoor seating, Don Carlos offers a large menu featuring some of the tastiest tacos in La Jolla. Don Carlos Taco Shop also offers many vegetarian options, including mushrooms, tofu, spicy potatoes and soyrizo (a tofu/chorizo substitute). Be sure to try one of their many breakfast burritos and their fresh tamales. With at least half a dozen choices of fresh tamales daily, such as red sauce pork, the jalapeno cheese, and pineapple tamales, you are sure to leave satisfied. All food is prepared with the freshest ingredients.

Ortega's Place, also on Pearl, also offers a full menu of fresh Mexican food, from tacos and burritos to enchiladas and quesadillas. Ortega's menu includes daily specials, including tacos with rice and beans and rolled tacos. Three popular burritos at Ortega's are the California burrito (steak, eggs, potato and cheese) and the carne asada and the chile relleno burrito.

Puesto Mexican Street Food on Wall Street is a must visit for tacos in La Jolla and is also known for its variety of freshly made and unusual items. Puesto (meaning stand or station in Spanish) has recreated the colorful streets of Mexico in its casual decor where patrons can sit at the windows looking out over the sidewalk. The fare is authentic Mexican street food made with natural ingredients, including hormone-free poultry and meats, sustainable seafood and freshly made tortillas and salsas. The menu includes tacos, bowls, salads, street sides (beans, rice, corn, chips and guacamole), desserts such as seasonal fruit or frozen horchata (made with rice, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon) and drinks (sodas, hibiscus tea, beer, wine or margaritas).

Porkyland on Torrey Pines Road has won several awards for its tasty offerings, including best chicken quesadilla and best burrito. At Porkyland you can choose from up to 20 burritos, or build your own burrito or burrito bowl. Porkyland also offers many other items all made with the freshest, natural ingredients, including fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, burgers, and several combination plates or meals for children. In addition to regular tacos made with meat, chicken, fish or shrimp, Porkyland serves rolled and mini tacos in La Jolla.

Rigobertos, with two locations on La Jolla Boulevard, serves a full Mexican menu of tacos, burritos (including breakfast and fish burritos), quesadillas, salads, and sides such as beans, rice and fries. All items are made with fresh ingredients, including the salsa, which is prepared daily. The drive-through location on the east side of La Jolla Boulevard near Marine Street is open 24 hours. The other location across the street near Westbourne has a walk-up window.

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