On September 16th honor Mexican Independence Day by paying homage to our neighboring country’s rich culture at some of San Diego’s most authentic Mexican eateries. Whether you choose to celebrate with traditional Mexican dishes that date back to the year of their independence in 1821, or prefer to try the modernized classics, be sure to take a moment to appreciate the nation’s major triumph of independence!
If your idea of celebrating involves authentic Tijuana taco stand vibes, The Taco Stand’s four locations in La Jolla,” Encinitas, Downtown and North Park, are all dedicated to slinging no-nonsense tacos and traditional recipes passed down through generations. Beloved for their scratch-made salsas prepared daily, and their made-to-order corn tortillas, this spot doesn’t skimp on the details. Try their coveted Al Pastor taco, prepared with rotisserie-marinated pork, cilantro, onions, cilantro sauce and pineapple. Cap off your meal with something sweet and historically significant by trying one of their Paletas, a scrumptious frozen treat that is said to have come about right after Mexico’s independence, when Spain’s sky-high taxes on ice cream were officially over.
Perched in South Park’s eclectic and bubbly neighborhood is Del Sur Mexican Cantina, and if you haven’t been to this local gem, you’re going to want to make it one of your top destinations this Mexican Independence Day. Decked in colorful artwork and Talavera tiles, and touting a vast array of tequilas, margaritas and dishes to please every palate, this authentic eatery is the idyllic place to celebrate such an occasion. Order a classic Mexican specialty such as Carnitas, a heaping plateful of slow-cooked golden brown pork served with pickled onions and avo-serrano sauce. A Mexican dish often prepared for celebrations, carnitas have a long history in Mexican culinary culture. Originating from Michoacán, Mexico, the tender serving of meat translates to “little meats” in English, a dish that lends itself to the cooking process, producing flavors that can only be attained through a labor of culinary love.
A newer Mexican addition to San Diego’s dining scene is Casa Rústica, nestled in the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch in Carmel Valley, and slinging flavorsome Mexican fare and a large selection of premium margaritas. If a quality margarita is what you’d like to sip during your Mexican Independence Day revelry, be sure to treat yourself to their popularSmoked Watermelon Margarita, infused with tequila blanco, mezcal, lime and watermelon, or keep it simple with their Classic Margarita, a proper tribute to the Mexican specialty complete with tequila reposado, triple sec and fresh lime juice. A murky history of the margarita makes its origins difficult to pinpoint, however there’s no getting around its most important ingredient, tequila, which is unquestionably one of Mexico’s largest exports, and that’s something we can all toast to on Mexican Independence Day!
Jalisco Cantina in Oceanside delivers exactly what its name implies, a dining destination reminiscent of the picturesque landscapes, rolling hillsides and sandy beaches of Jalisco, Mexico. Home to the finest tequilas in the world, the region’s abundance of blue agave plants makes it a valuable resource for the nation’s tequila industry. Needless to say, Jalisco Cantina brims with a multiplicity of tequila brands, which is why they offer Tequila Flights to pair with their traditional cuisine. Try your hand at their Cantina Classic this Mexican Independence Day, consisting of Taratula, Codigo Rosa and Clase Azul Plata. Curb your appetite with Jalisco’s take on “Elote” or street corn, a time-tested classic that’s become a most-beloved snack for many. Jalisco’s Street Corn “Elote” Salad is crafted from corn off the cob, romaine, pico de gallo, cotija, chile, cayenne, lime, mayo, crispy tortilla, red jalapeño, cilantro and a light vinaigrette.