Here’s what most people pack when they travel to San Diego: their cutest bathing suits; their state-of-the-art triathlon gear (San Diego is the birthplace of the modern-day triathlon and one of the country’s top multisport cities); and their best X-Men costumes to march around in at Comic-Con (the entertainment-themed convention brings in around 130,000 people each summer). I put none of those things in my suitcase. Instead, I packed a couple pairs of yoga pants and some other stretchy clothing. I was headed to San Diego to go on a taco diet.
While the food scene around the country has gotten exponentially better in the last decade, San Diego didn’t seem to be paying attention. Other cities trumpeted the rediscovery of obscure Italian regional food traditions or a breakout modernist star chef. In San Diego, the talk was of tacos and beer. There’s a reason for that, I discovered: Several years ago, a bunch of ambitious restaurants opened there. And then many of them closed. Subsequently, lots of the area’s cooks decided to focus on what they knew best. Why not start making incredible tacos?
Related: Tacos al Pastor Recipe