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Barrio Star
Barrio Star

Barrio Star Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.isabelscantina.com/
  • Email: barriomanager@isabelscantina.com
  • Phone: (619) 501-7827
  • Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday Brunch: 11:00am - 3:00pm

    Monday - Friday Dinner: 5:00pm - 9:30pm

    Saturday & Sunday: 9:00am - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Isabel Cruz
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
  • Catering: Barrio Star's fresh local food is available for any occasion! Just reach out to us with the details and we'll take if from there.
  • Entertainment: Everything from classic rock to the good 'ole 90's! Whatever fits the mood we will play.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Nutmeg
  • Public Transit: Close to downtown and all major bus routes.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Lots of street parking available as Barrio Star is centrally located one block away from Balboa Park.
A word from Barrio Star
Barrio Star is fresh and creative. We take on traditional mexican food, add our sense of style and create raving fans!

At Barrio Star you'll find generous portions, innovative cocktails and a friendly atmosphere where wholesome ingredients and delicious cocktails are the star.
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "I have been going to Barrio Star for close to 3 years or more now and as always it did not dissapointment. I ordered the tacos and rice with cilantro sauce, and while the tacos at first glance may appear small they are actually very filling and DELICIOUS! Can't wait to go back again."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Visited Barrio Star for taco Tuesday, and I have to say the tacos are really fantastic! I had a soy chorizo taco and a fish taco. Great flavor and a nice chunk of fish. Their chips, salsa and guacamole are really good too. Only downside was that the bar service was mega slow, as the drinks din't arrive until well after the food. Had to stop eating just to wait for the drinks. And the noise! Ultra loud. Service staff was very friendly. I'd go again, but not on a Tuesday."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Fun, quality mexican dishes creatively paired and presented. Great service. And they know how to make margaritas! Good for vegan/vegetarians."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "How do you take fresh, homemade Mexican food and make it even better, tastier, and even more flavorful? Try Barrio Star! They have the answers."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Food was really good, service was less than stellar."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "Very cute place, nicely positioned not far from Laurel St, or the Park, with happy and enthusiatic server. Wonderful Happy Hour and we had their guacamole dip, and salad and carnitas tacos, with margaritas - all excellent. But oh, ah the noise levels!!! Forwarned we reserved 5 pm on the dot. As we walked in it was loud, loud, LOUD with only a small number there yet. They kindly put us in the pink room since I find it pointless to have to scream across the table to be heard at dinner, nor is it pleasant to eat in a din. The pink room - cute, and not as loud, but still loud. I truly hope they can help this place with a few woven items or Mexican blankets decorating the walls to sop up that noise. Consult an acoustics professional, please!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "It was okay but nothing special The service was good until it came time to get our bill. It took a long time and 3 requests to the waitress to get our bill and there was no reason for the delay: it wasn't particularly crowded or busy. I probably will not go back."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Great Margaritas!! Tacos are excellent as well. Chile Rellano good but too much rice. Go for Happy Hour!"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "The seating process could be improved and we (5) visited on 3/23, the restaurant could have used 3 more servers. The staff did the best they could, but service was very poor and slow...a bi-product of being low on servers."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Four of us went to Barrio Star on Taco Tuesday. It was our first time to the restaurant, and we had a great experience overall. The tacos were great, and the guacamole tasted homemade. Our server Sergio was very accommodating. The only negative I have to share is that the restaurant was very loud and it was really hard for us to hear each other. Otherwise, great place!"
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "We come to Barrio Star for most all of our company lunches. We love Barrio Star and appreciate their outstanding service, as well as their amazing food! There is always plenty to take home, and their coconut rice is to die for. We had a group of 10, and the server was quite remarkable. Thank you, Barrio Star for always making us feel welcome. If you need a great place to bring the family, take your workmates to lunch, or just need to relax and grab a (one-of-a-kind) margarita, this is your place!"
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "Visited as a party of 7, with reservations ~6pm to catch the tail end of happy hour. Sergio was our server, and was attentive/funny/all-around awesome. We were going to order off the regular menu, but went crazy on the happy hour menu and were full after that. Tacos are small, but ingredients and cooking were great. I don't mind paying for quality. Potato tacos were surprisingly good, and people raved about the soy chorizo. Their hot sauce is legit. Drinks were very nice - the blood orange margarita being a table favorite. These aren't fancy craft cocktails - they're fun and easy to drink, though. Brought out a slice of flourless chocolate cake, which was appreciated. Noise level was boisterous and the decor fun. I will be back."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We have been there many times. I think it's yummy but the 4 and $5 mini tacos is kind a bad deal even though they are awesome. This last time the normal excellent service was subpar at best. 20 mins for our first drink!? Seriously? I had to hunt down the waitress for this? Our food came before the first drink! Crazy! It's loud and energetic and usually we love the place. Great food and drinks but IMHO the tacos are wildly over priced for what they are. Totally YUMMY but for the size of the taco and the price. Hmmmm"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The margaritas and food are fantastic here. A little pricey compared to other Mexican options but absolutely worth it. Our server was a little mediocre on this visit but we've been many times and this is not typical. Restaurant can get noisy but there are a few quieter tables."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "I used to love Barrio Star, but the last 2 times the service was very slow and unapologetic. Won't be going back."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "Barrio Star has a unique atmosphere with great food and drinks"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "They were very accommodating for my family who eats plainly - usually. Lots of great vegetarian options! Loved it. Felt like the waitress was great - until another, larger party sat down next to us. Then, she appeared distracted. :("
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "This restaurant has the best drinks, they are delicious, classy and they have a bite. Their menu is just enough to satisfy any appetite. The service is great and the bartenders on Tuesday night are on it. They have great customer service and this venue is busy so make a reservation to be first seated and enjoy their drinks and delicious tacos and try their breakfast menu. It's groundbreaking !!!"
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "The food at Barrio Star is outstanding and unusual "Mexican". My favorite dish is their Steak Tacos, which can be ordered a la carte before 7pm and as a dinner with three tacos plus beans and rice anytime.The marianade used on the steak was very tasty and the tomatoes, guacamole and other tidbits served with the steak were delicious. My friend had the Salmon Tacos and loved them as well. During our 7 day visit to SD, we went back to Barrio Star twice. The atmosphere is unique, fairly dark during night hours with lots of sparkly lighting - very fanciful and fun to be in. It's a fairly small restaurant, so it seems intimate but lively at the same time. The wait staff was very cheerful, energetic and fun, as well as attentive."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "I made a reservation about 10 mins ahead last week, which the system seemed happy to confirm. But once we arrived, the host said they could not honor the reservation, even though there were empty tables. He said others had reserved before us, and nothing was available. If we wanted to wait 20 to 30 minutes something would probably come up. Or we could sit and eat at the bar, which my wife was ok with. We sat, got a drink, and then ordered some food. A few minutes later, the host came back and said they had a table--apparently other reservations failed to show. Oh, wait, he says, you ordered food? Sorry, we can't move you. Did they overbook intentionally or what?"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "This restaurant is amazingly wonderful. The food is fresh and delicious and it's my favorite Mexican restaurant in all of San Diego. The bartenders are exceptional... I love, love, love the margaritas!!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "We arrived an hour early before our reservation and they took us no problem! The server was very sweet and could explain everything on the menu for us. There were 5 of us including a a gluten-free vegan and a meat and dairy lover, and EVERYONE was so pleased with their meal. Will definitely come back."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "The food was ok. The fish tacos had the small pieces of fish but for me that was plenty with the chips, salsa and guacamole we had first. My salmon taco was delicious, as was the rice and black beans. The second taco was the fish special that day - sea bass and I didn't finish it. The Pozole was bland. It was my friend's birthday and they brought a piece of flour less chocolate cake that was tasty. It seemed to take an unusually long time for us to get our food and it wasn't very busy. The worst thing for me was the indigestion I had an hour later. I have been to Isabel's Cantina and the Coffee Cup and always been happy with my meal. It was a Monday at 12:30 in the afternoon, so maybe the chef was off."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "I had made reservations but had to stand and wait at the door for at least 10 minutes before anyone asked me if I had been helped yet. Finally got seated, again had to wait 10 minutes to just get water. The wait person was not very attentive and the food was far from bragging about. Everything was very mediocre..."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Nice neighborhood restaurant. A good alternative for Mexican food. Don't miss the carnitas on platanas apetizer."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "Been many times for pre-theatre dining and loved it. A really great lunch menu and vibe too!"
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "Our party of 3 - first timers at Barrio Star - got to enjoy Taco Tuesday. The restaurant was very crowded but we were seated immediately since we had a reservation. Service was prompt, helpful and very friendly. We shared chips w/guacamole, carnitas, steak and chicken tacos and brown rice with beans. For dessert we shared coconut flan. Everything was very good, fresh and presented well. Will definitely return! Nice place!"
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "If you're looking for an improvement upon the most basic of Mexican food with a twist, Barrio Star Rocks for its ingenuity and flavorful enhancements of EVERYTHING. The guacamole is to die for; the chip seasoning is out of this world; everything is simply superb. And we love working with our waitress again too. Barrio Star, you're simply The Best!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The food is good, but overpriced. There are many Mexican Restaurants in San Diego that have great food and are less expensive."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "The food is really good, but the service is slow and somewhat inconsistent. It took over 15 minutes to get the server to our table and another 15 minutes To be served our margaritas. The tacos took another 15 minutes. Not sure if the place needs more staffing or if the servers need to step It up.... Otherwise, we enjoyed our meal."
    Dined on 2/10/2014
  • "Our food was amazing and Jessie our server did a terrific job. We could not ask for a better experience. :)"
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "Great selection of tacos, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free. We have some of each in our group, so finally a restaurant we can all enjoy together! Really good margaritas, too."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "This is a high energy, crowded, noisy place that has been decorated in a very fun and charming way. The food is simply delicious...all three of us had the salmon tacos this time and they were fabulous but have never had anything less than great here. The happy hour wine deals are excellent and the servers were friendly and knowledgeable. It was very busy so we waited for things a bit more than usual but all in all, it was wonderful."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Bar was packed, drink took a long time. got them half way into our meal."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Good meal. Great Feature cocktail (even the special request virgin one they were willing to make). Can't wait until Summer to try the outdoor dining."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "went there during restaurant week and a Friday night, so we should have known better, it was very crowded. we did make reservations which was really helpful, the table arrangement is VERY close to others, it is incredibly loud and could really use some acoustical help. we thought about leaving since we had a play to get to and we were cutting it close, but we decided to give it a try. we were using a living social deal. we ordered right away, she bought us all our drinks at once, awesome! tacos arrived shortly, we tried one of each; carnitas, carne asada, chicken and fish, ranked them in that order... carnitas and carne asada were delicious, chicken was OK and the fish was not so great. best thing about our experience was the waitress!"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Barrio Star is a fun eclectic neighborhood restaurant that delivers on vibrant atmosphere and great food. We love the paprika/ chili powder chips and salsa with a margarita. The pomogranite and jalepeno/ blackberry margaritas were our favorites. Our group ordered an assortment of tacos and all were awesome. Think authentic food with unusual sauces and toppings not your 'crunchy taco'. The service was relaxed for lack of a better word but no problems- we were there to enjoy a leisurely lunch. If I was on a tight schedule, I'd let them know and I assume they would accomodate. We'll be back!!!"
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "Great Food! Terrific drinks provided by an energetic and attentive staff! A modern flair to Mexican food that leaves you satisfied with crispy tacos, savory sides, and great chips and salsa, that leave you dying to come back again and again!!!"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "The food was really good, mild without being bland, and on the triple taco plate, you can mix your choices, which adds to the dining fun. The big salad with the avocado topping was also delicious and very satisfying. The atmosphere is appealing - relaxed, but energetic. The noise level is a little high if you have trouble hearing, but it's made up for by the feeling that everybody's having a good time. On my next trip to SD, it will definitely be included on my restaurant stops!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Too, too loud. Tacos were good but beans, rice and salsa were boring (no flavor)"
    Dined on 1/17/2014