(This is part of a series, Blogging from A to Z April 2014 Challenge.
My theme for the challenge is Quintessential San Diego from A to Z, focusing on those things that are typical, or perfect, or classic examples of San Diego life. Today is R.)

Rubio’s, Home of the Fish Taco

When it came to choosing Quintessential San Diego for the letter ‘R’, it had to be Rubio’s! Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill is the San Diego home of Baja California-style fish tacos. Ralph Rubio, the founder, first tasted fish tacos in San Felipe, Mexico, during his college spring breaks. Ralph hand-crafted his own fish taco recipe, and in 1983, Ralph and his father opened the first Rubio’s, and introduced America to the fish taco. 

Fish Taco Especial – Look! A real fork!

We love Rubio’s fish tacos. Like Ralph Rubio, I was first introduced to fish tacos in Baja California, Mexico. He had his in San Felipe, but I bought mine off a cart on the street in Ensenada.

The original restaurant Rubio’s in Mission Bay is still open, and always busy. For this blog post, Bill and I visited the Rubio’s in Solana Beach, a location that opened in 1986. It is the only site still featuring a salt-water aquarium in the restaurant.

Inside Rubio’s Solana Beach

The decor of Rubio’s restaurants is beachy. Every site has a surfboard on the wall. Fun, bright colors, Mexican tiles, lemons and limes, contribute to the cheery look.

Rubio’s now has 190 restaurants in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Nevada.


Two things I really like about Rubio’s, besides the fish tacos – 1) Unsweetened ice tea is available as a drink option, and 2) One year ago they ditched the plastic. Now diners are served with real metal forks and spoons. Reusable, washable plates are used to serve the combo meals.

Salsa Bar