Consult with any local dining guide and you’re sure to find accolades for Puesto—an award-winning venue that’s quickly become a SoCal favorite. Puesto was described to me by a local as “Quintessential San Diego,” for its fresh take on Mexican street food classics. Celebrating five years at the San Diego Headquarters, Puesto is the perfect spot to make any meal feel like a celebration.
You’ll notice color plays an important role in Puesto’s approach. From the festive decor to the invigorating menu, this energy carries through to friendly service and a social vibe throughout the restaurant. During my lunch at Puesto, I neighbored families big and small, small celebratory tables, and weekend tourists. The atmosphere here is casual and comfortable, with a backyard party element that makes the place feel like home.
Puesto San Diego is housed in The Headquarters at Seaport Village, an open-air multi-purpose venue with unique shops and a market vibe full of food, beverage, and culture. Nestled on the waterfront, the San Diego landmark was built in 1939 and was once home to San Diego Police Headquarters. With a cornucopia of architectural influences—Spanish and Mediterranean revivals and more—the complex has welcoming arches and Art Deco accents, and is listed on The National Register of Historic Places.
At Puesto, diners are in for a treat with handmade maíz azul stone-ground tortillas and salsas from scratch. Mix and Match tacos offer a chance to sample many of Puesto’s all-stars. Consider the ‘Taco of the Month’ alongside local favorites. Go for the classic Surf & Turf, or try something uniquely Puesto with the Lamb Barbacoa taco with Guadalajara style braised lamb, whipped avocado, fresh onion and cilantro. Seafood lovers will want to sample the Maine lobster taco with black beans, crispy onions, avocado, crema de cilantro, and jalapeño pico. It’s worth noting the abundant selection of vegetarian and gluten free options, so the menu has a little something for everyone.
In addition to tacos, I loved the Puesto Perfect Guacamole, with a classic blend of avocado, cilantro, onion, fresh squeezed lime and orange, and chile habanero, then topped with parmigiano-reggiano. Pair that with Traditional Black Beans and Esquite, and you’ll be dipping your chips throughout lunch. For a light option that puts a spotlight on the season, consider the Spring Salad featuring whipped housemade Mexican ricotta, cucumber, pickled red onions, organic baby kale, watercress, green chile and herb oil.
There’s a decadent dessert menu—Piña Colada Carrot Cake, anyone?—and a kids menu for smaller appetites. Puesto’s menu is meant for sharing, so take a moment to review the entire menu and decide what you and your party can share. Portions are generous, so it’s easy to fill up fast. And, you’ll want just enough room to sample the bar menu for fresh margaritas and housemade aguas frescas.