San Diego Reader Tacotopia 2018 Highlights - San Diego, CA

I don't eat enough tacos these days so last weekend's Tacotopia gave me a chance to do a little catchup. San Diego Reader's Tacotopia event was on Saturday May 12 at Golden Hill Park of San Diego. As a local food enthusiast, I was invited to attend their media hour which gave me access to the vendors an hour earlier than VIP or GA tickets. There seemed to be more seafood tacos offered this year such as this bite from Ephen Tacos. The tortilla was stiff but the generous fish, tasty slaw and sweet mango bits kicked off my Tacotopia adventure. I also attended in 2017 racetrack and 2016 golden hill and 2016 racetrack.

This year I found a Taco Hat Guy! The usual sights would be themed shirts and occasionally socks, which he also wore. I grinned because they slightly clashed with his pizza shoes haha! =D

Blogger friend Mary (This Tasty Life) had a badass taco shirt with Deadpool on it! She politely obliged when I asked to take a picture with my current taco plate.

Here's a closer look at the shrimp and chorizo taco from Volcano Rabbit. Mary mentioned that this was one of her favorites this year, especially in its cute bite size!

Pillbox Tavern and Nautilus Tavern are sister companies that shared a booth at the event. I loved the unique crab cake filling with the option of lettuce wrapped to cut down the carbs. The other taco was very smoky, meaty pork with a nice slaw.

From Teriyaki Grill, I loved the sear of the ahi but couldn't get past the wasabi hidden underneath! I was also hoping to see moustache guy from last year's event but settled for showing his "instafamous" mug shot to the team.

I really enjoyed the addition of cucumber and mango to freshen up this calamari taco from Fish Pit.

The Smoking Gun had a tender brisket taco that was a bit fatty, which is exactly how I remembered their meat from our visit last year.

An old favorite was the al pastor taco from The Taco Stand (our visits to North Park and Encinitas). The bumper sticker perfectly summed up how I felt that day!

The Lucha Libre folks yelled TAKE MY PICTURE! There's also something irresistible about spinning colorful wheels at events. One spin got me a front of the line pass token whoo hoo! Their mole taco was earthy and savory.

The next booth was Curadero with another spinning wheel. I landed on the "mystery prize" space and was rewarded with a size small logo'ed v-neck tshirt. I felt like a winner with their delicious taco too, another one of my favorite items from the event. The meat was tender and juicy though my plus one hit a spicy pepper that knocked her out for a bit!

I was excited to Tamarindo because we have enjoyed their brunch earlier this year. Love the dehydrated citrus they use to decorate!

Besides tacos, there were several vendors with sweeter treats such as this Mexican bakery.

What a beautiful cheesecake dessert from Mascarpone Cheesecake by Chef Turok! Plus one picked this up but I totally forgot to try it. Oops.

I did NOT forget about the cold popsicles from Viva Pops next to them! I love their blood orange flavor!

There were several cider vendors this year which made me happy. At 101 Cider House, I was pleased with their two offerings: Cactus Red and India Pale Cider. Julian Hard Cider and 2 Towns Ciderhouse both had pineapple flavors which I also enjoyed.

Of course there were plenty of beer vendors around the park. I skipped IPAs everywhere but did opt for the cream ale beer from Quantum Brewing.

Non-alcoholic drinks were available such as these flavored milk shots! I like the churro-like flavor on the right. Thanks to my plus one for being an awesome hand model! We also had options like Zico coconut water.

As for entertainment, my favorite were the Lucha Libre Wrestlers! I love how they posed for me here but afterwards really go all out once in the ring!

Speaking of fights, what a fitting picture for Sandbar's TKO Taco, which ended up being the champ this year by vote of the people! Congratulations! The tortilla flavor and crunch plus the soft fish were a perfect balance.

Adios taco lovers! Hope you enjoyed a little snapshot into this year's Tacotopia! I ate and drank so much more than was posted here. Afterwards, I headed off to Paella Wine Fest for more eats!

Disclaimer: We were provided complimentary tickets for this event. We were not otherwise compensated and all opinions stated are our own.

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Faye's picture
Submitted by Faye (not verified) on Thu, 05/17/2018 - 11:07am

You and Mary are great companions at these things! I like how you put a card on the plate to remember the restaurant names . Were the lines long ?

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Thu, 05/17/2018 - 11:23am

during VIP, some spots required a few minutes depending on how complicated the tacos were or extra perks like spinning wheels. during GA, city tacos had a LONG line and i'm sure that happened with the really popular spots. i think it's always best to get in as early as possible!

Gwen Martin's picture
Submitted by Gwen Martin (not verified) on Sun, 05/20/2018 - 8:36pm

Excellent wrap up! It looks like you tried all of the things that we didn't, so it was nice to see what else was out there. Our bellies just couldn't take anymore, even with sharing a lot of the bites.

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Sun, 05/27/2018 - 8:48pm

i was saving a little room for the paella fest too so didn't eat as much as i typically would! glad to have a couple of really good tacos during this event though!

Mary's picture
Submitted by Mary (not verified) on Wed, 05/23/2018 - 1:48pm

Man I still need to do my write-up. I'm a slacker. Love your photos! I missed out on like half the things there since Jake and I had to leave early. Kinda wish I found the baked goods before we left. Oh well! See you at the next one!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Sun, 05/27/2018 - 8:49pm

i couldn't resist eating so didn't have much room at all for paella fest afterwards! looking forward to seeing you at the next thing!

Soo's picture
Submitted by Soo (not verified) on Sat, 05/26/2018 - 2:24pm

Looks like a fun event with lots of great tacos. How long were the lines during general admission?

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Sun, 05/27/2018 - 8:51pm

hmm they were longer for certain vendors (popular ones) but there are so many options that you can move around to try out others or split up to get tacos. we typically have one person per line when we go to these events.

Sharon 's picture
Submitted by Sharon (not verified) on Wed, 03/27/2019 - 2:06am

Wow this event looks so fun.

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Wed, 04/03/2019 - 4:06pm

definitely... unless you don't like tacos! haha

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