10 Best Mexican Restaurants In Carlsbad, California

mexican restaurants in carlsbad

Carlsbad is a sunny, coastal city near San Diego and 51 mi (82 km) away from Tijuana, Mexico. It is home to major attractions such as LEGOLAND California, The Flower Fields, and Oceanside Fishing Pier. Apart from tourist spots, what makes this city a must-visit destination is its vibrant culinary scene. Since it’s adjacent to the Mexican border, one can expect a multitude of Mexican restaurants serving authentic recipes with a twist. So if you happen to be in California and looking for ways to level up your gastronomic adventure, you should check out the offerings of Carlsbad. Keep reading to see our list of the best Mexican restaurants in Carlsbad, California.

1. Las Olas Mexican Restaurant

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

With its iconic sign and facade, Las Olas Mexican Restaurant has been a staple in the community for over 30 years. Opening in 1981, the restaurant has been serving delicious Mexican food by the beach that is not too expensive or unhealthy. They have a long list of food options, including freshly caught fish tacos and healthy taco bowls. If you’re looking to indulge a little, wet your whistle with their long list of margarita specials.

Las Olas Mexican Restaurant

Address: 2939 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA 92008, United States

Website: Las Olas Mexican Restaurant

Opening hours: 11:30am - 8pm (daily)

2. Pollos Maria

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Pollos Maria is another Carlsbad restaurant that has been around forever. The story of Pollos Maria started in Carmen Gastelum’s living room, where she began cooking and selling her Mexican-style grilled chicken to customers. She decided to transform her simple living area into an indoor dining area. Eventually, her entire home became a place dedicated to selling amazing grilled chicken. Although Pollos Maria has changed a bit, customers can still expect the same, old recipe for this grilled chicken. It is still as juicy and flavorful as they were in the 80s. Also, their menu has expanded to include other delicious Mexican favorites.

Pollos Maria

Address: 3055 Harding St, Carlsbad, CA 92008, United States

Website: Pollos Maria

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 9pm; Sat - Sun: 8am - 9pm

3. Norte Mexican Food

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Which one is your Favorite? Get out of the Santa Ana winds & come grab a beer with us at Happy Hour!

Posted by Norte Mexican Food & Cocktail on Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Located just a block away from the beach, Norte Mexican Food is not only a perfect place to get some amazing Mexican food, but their long list of central and South American dishes is unmatched as well. Norte Mexican Food also offers customers a great selection of cocktails to choose from. They have daily specials, so there’s always a good deal to check out. Their restaurant dining space oozes a cozy and warm feel with rich, dark woods and Mexican-inspired decor.

Norte Mexican Food

Address: 3003 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA 92107, United States

Website: Norte Mexican Food

Opening hours: Mon - Tue: 11:30am - 9pm; Wed: 1am - 9pm; Thu: 11am - 9pm; Fri: 11:30am - 9:30pm; Sat: 11am - 10pm; Sun: 11am - 9pm

4. Casa De Bandini

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The Macho Grande combines a variety of delicious dishes to create the ultimate entrée. Grilled carne asada, a chicken...

Posted by Casa de Bandini on Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Casa De Bandini offers a little taste of Mexico in the heart of Carlsbad. Although the restaurant’s exterior is reminiscent of Mexican architecture, the real reason why people frequent this place is its food. Enjoy the fun night and cozy atmosphere that Casa De Bandini offers coupled with great dishes and live music. Enjoy freshly prepared handmade tortillas, margaritas, and live mariachi music.

Casa De Bandini

Address: 1901 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad, CA 92009, United States

Website: Casa De Bandini

Opening hours: 11:30am - 7:30pm (daily)

5. Cessy Taco Shop

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Cessy's Taco Shop on Monday, April 8, 2013

Cessy Taco Shop has been around for years, and they operate on the notion that simplicity is what’s important. The veteran taqueria is a casual dining place where you can get a taco before hitting the beach or a combo meal to gorge on while people-watching. Everything on their menu is under 10 USD, so you’re not breaking the bank here. The food is undeniably amazing - little wonder why locals keep raving about this little taco place on the beach.

Cessy Taco Shop

Address: 3016 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA 92008, United States

Website: Cessy Taco Shop

Opening hours: 9am - 8pm (daily)

6. Los Primos Mexican Food

Los Primos Mexican Food. Surprisingly delicious. One of the best tacos I've had.
Source: Photo by Flickr user y6y6y6 used under CC BY 2.0

Sometimes all you need is a simple, over-the-counter restaurant that serves burritos to satisfy your Mexican food cravings. Luckily, there’s Los Primos Mexican Food where you can order not just burritos but also other Mexican meals such as adovada and chipotle. Another thing that you will love about this restaurant is that it provides a cozy place for when you want to bond with your family over platters that you can assemble yourself.

Los Primos Mexican Food

Address: 2708 Loker Ave W, Carlsbad, CA 92010, United States

Website: Los Primos Mexican Food

Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 8am - 9pm; Thu - Sat: 8am - 10pm

7. Miguel's Cocina

Miguel's Cocina, west of Interstate 5 (I5) at Palomar Airport Road.
Source: Photo by Flickr user Chris Hunkeler

Bringing tons of authenticity and flavor to their dishes, Miguel’s Cocina is a casual eatery perfect for gatherings with friends or family. Here, you can enjoy sharing a plate of nachos with your companions. Miguel’s Cocina is a cantina-style restaurant so there’s no need to worry about dress codes and the price of each meal.

Miguel's Cocina

Address: 5980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA 92008, United States

Website: Miguel’s Cocina

Opening hours: 11am - 9pm (daily)

8. Garcia's Mexican Restaurant & Creative Catering

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

It's Lunchtime folks!

Posted by Garcia's Mexican Restaurant & Creative Catering on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant & Creative Catering is owned by Ophelia and Abel Garcia. Two immigrants from Mexico who came to the United States in the 1930s and opened their restaurant in the late 1950s. For over four generations, the Garcias have been managing their restaurants the same way they did since their first opening 50 years ago. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant & Creative Catering serves simple and delicious Mexican plates as well as breakfast. There’s a reason why they’ve been open for so long, and it’s because they’re one of the best.

Garcia's Mexican Restaurant & Creative Catering

Address: 2968 State St, Carlsbad, CA 92008, United States

Website: Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant & Creative Catering

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 9pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 9:30pm

9. Barrio Eat Mexican

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The sun is shining. Indoor dining is back, & brunch is ready for you at the Barrio. Join us today. #huevosrancheros #brunch #carlsbadvillage

Posted by Barrio - Eat Mexican on Sunday, March 21, 2021

Barrio Eat Mexican oozes casual vibes and aims to set itself apart from other Mexican restaurants in Carlsbad. How do they do that? Well, Barrio Eat Mexican is going to be a tequila lover’s favorite. With over 100 different brands of tequila here, the options are almost limitless. Moreover, they also are a dog-friendly restaurant with even a menu for dogs. So don’t hesitate to bring your furry companion along for your evening out here. If you love tortilla chips, theirs are homemade. They even have a salsa flight so you can sample a selection of dips.

Barrio Eat Mexican

Address: 530 Grand Ave, Carlsbad, CA 92008, United States

Website: Barrio Eat Mexican

10. Señor Grubby's

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Located just a short distance from the beach, Señor Grubby’s is a simple and casual eatery that serves tasty Mexican dishes as well as some American favorites. Enjoy everything like fresh breakfast burritos in the morning or stop by for an afternoon fajita. Everything here is made fresh and they also offer take-out.

Señor Grubby's

Address: 377 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008, United States

Website: Señor Grubby’s

Opening hours: 8am - 11pm (daily)

Carlsbad's best Mexican restaurants

Best Mexican Restaurants In Carlsbad, California
Source: Pixabay

Carlsbad has the benefit of being close to the Mexican border and offers a ton of amazing places to get delicious and authentic Mexican food. While here, you can either hit the sun-kissed beach nearby or chill out on the patio with some tequila and a plate of nachos. Your food tour around Carlsbad will surely be exciting with all the Mexican restaurants here.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Alex is a Canadian university graduate with degrees in English literature and History. He was born in Montreal and when he's not traveling he enjoys movies, video games, playing the drums and...Read more

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