It doesn't get more 'SoCal' than a taco festival by the beach! Locals and tourists join forces in a huge celebration of good food, beer, lots of tequila and live music.
The SoCal Taco Fest is a 21 & up festival held in the heart of downtown San Diego at Waterfront park. As you stroll past the musical stages, tents and tents of food, and Lucha Libre Wrestling, you're surrounded by skyscrapers on one side and the San Diego harbor on the other. Not a bad place to spend an afternoon.
General tickets are $50 & VIP is $150 but general admission is the way to go. Since you now know about Taco Fest ahead of time, you can also snag the early-bird discounted tickets.
There are three main reasons to go to SoCal Taco Fest:
1. San Diego entertainment 2. Live music 3. TACOS!
The entertainment of Taco Fest includes LIVE Lucha Libre Wrestling, Chihuahua Races, a Chihuahua (and owner) Beauty Pageant, local vendor & craft tents and a Taco Fest mural being created throughout the event. The Lucha Libre Wrestling was hilarious and honestly very entertaining so long as you know it is a performance and not a real fight in any sense of the word. The chihuahua races and beauty pageant were not as organized as they could have been as there was just not enough seating. With bleachers that held maybe 80 people, and a crowd of easily a thousand at the event, there was really no way to watch. :(
There was live music throughout the venue, so there is bound to be something to your taste. There were tribute bands like The Cured tribute to The Cure and Duran Duran tribute: Arena as well as more local bands like The Flusters from Palm Desert, We The Commas and The B-Side Players both from San Diego. Headlining TacoFest was Flo Rida himself. I thought I'd know the classics: Low, Wild Ones and Right Round but not know many other songs. Well, well, well... turns out way more songs feature Flo Rida than I thought–so his concert ended up being a total blast! There was no seating at any of the stages so everyone was up & dancing! Some songs I forgot about: In the Ayer, Club Can't Handle Me Right Now, GDFR and My House.
Let's taco-bout the reason I bought tickets: the tacos! I was a bit shocked when TacoFest tickets only cover entry, and then the tacos were priced at $4 a piece! Ooof. If you're a San Diego local you know there are incredible tacos out there for half that... but once you enter the festival there is no re-entry so you can't run over a few blocks to your trusted taco joint. However, the tacos I did have were delicious and I ended up getting nachos as well which by that point in the night seemed like the best thing ever so no complaints from me!
Overall I give SoCal TacoFest 7.3/10 and if you've never been–give it a taste test and let us know what you think next year!