Tacos El Panson brings authentic Mexico City flavor to San Diego


Michael Cline

Tacos El Panson is located in the diverse neighborhood of City Heights.

by Michael Cline, Assistant News Editor

For San Diego State foodies in search of the best taco joint north of the border, one restaurant in particular is deserving of their undivided attention.

Tacos El Panson is nestled in the heart of San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood — a 10-minute drive from SDSU. But their tacos are worth a commute 10 times as long. 

Founded in 2005, Tacos El Panson has been a staple in San Diego for 15 years. But in the diverse City Heights community, full of numerous dining options and cuisines from around the globe, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.

Luckily for Tacos El Panson, the restaurant is preceded by a reputation for delicious food and a friendly atmosphere.

The family-owned restaurant has a menu complete with mulitas, tortas, tamales and burritos, but it’s their tacos that steal the show.

Tacos El Panson has relied on freshly made corn tortillas and quality, tasty meats — from flavorful pollo asado to perfectly seasoned adobada — to establish themselves as the premier San Diego taco destination. Their carne asada and pollo asado tacos come decorated with a solid serving of guacamole, onions and fresh cilantro. 

When served on a hot, freshly prepared corn tortilla, the flavor speaks for itself. 

In addition to the classic carne asada, pollo asado and adobada, Tacos El Panson serves carnitas, chorizo and birria meats for the same low price of $1.99 per taco. 

The menu also features seafood options like pescado and camaron, and if none of those pique your interests, try the buche, tripa or cabeza tacos. 

Their daily special, three tacos served with rice, beans and a drink, is a go-to option for first-time patrons. With a low price of $7.95, SDSU students looking to dine on a college budget can rest easy. 

Tacos El Panson also maintains a salsa bar with spicy and chunky red salsas and salsa verde, along with fresh slices of lime and radish. 

Luis, the son-in-law of the restaurant’s owner, has worked at Tacos El Panson since 2009. He said the freshly prepared ingredients, particularly their tortillas, are inspired by the family’s roots.

“Our authentic tortillas intend to remind people of the culture from our hometown, Mexico City,” Luis said.

So for SDSU students in search of fresh ingredients, healthy portions and affordable prices, look no further than Tacos El Panson. 

The restaurant is located on the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and Highland Avenue in City Heights.