Barrio Star
Barrio Star

Barrio Star

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.isabelscantina.com/
  • Phone: 6195017827x
  • 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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMexican
Barrio Star reviews from OpenTable diners
106 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.4
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelEnergetic
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (73)fit for foodies (51)great for lunch (38)good for groups (36)hot spot (27)vibrant bar scene (26)great for brunch (16)kid-friendly (15)special occasion (8)late-night find (2)great for outdoor dining (2)scenic view (1)romantic (1)Show More
  • Love Barrio Star!
    Mexfoodluvr
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    I love Barrio Star and have been a guest there for many years now, but I have to say this last time was exceptionally loud, and I could barely hear the person across from me. It was a Friday night and so I shouldn't be surprised, knowing how busy it can get there. The food and service as always was delicious. I highly recommend the tacos. While they appear small when first put in front of you, they are very filling and just seem to hit the spot. It's a healthy Mexican food ( nothing as far as I know is fried) and I always go away with a smile on my face. I knocked off one star because it was so loud, but the food and service were as always outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • CasperVIP
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Went there for a birthday dinner with a group of 5 people. Food was pretty good. Some of us were wowed, others less so with specific dishes. Overall, it was a quality meal. For example, several people, including myself, raved about the cucumber app and the queso fundido. The potato tacos were amazing, but two of use thought our carnitas tacos were way too salty. Margies were great. The restaurant wasn't that busy, which we found odd for a Taco Tuesday, but the service was pretty poor. Our server was nice enough, but he just wasn't attentive at all. I'm hoping he was just having an off night. For example, we waited for 20+ minutes from when we were obviously done with our apps before the server came to take our dinner order.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    We ate brunch here on a holiday Monday. The food was decent and the coffee nice and strong.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • California style Mexican food
    onlyfreshwilldo
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We loved it all. The location was hip. The décor was interesting. The service was friendly and warm. The wait staff was hot. It was busy without feeling crazy. The coffee was strong and the Food was delicious. We will definitely be back to sample some of the other items on your very interesting menu. I didn't try it, but the Avo-rita sounded fabulous. Looking forward to returning and not being the driver!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So, so bad
    LucyVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Had a 7:45 reservation. Sat us at a booth in the back room with a party of 20. No other diners, no other tables in this room. The room was stuffy, it was used as a pass thru from kitchen to outside, and the large party was so loud we could not talk ourselves or could have joined their conversation as we could hear every word. Food passable. Large party left, relief, for a few minutes. No other patrons seated nor was the party table cleared. We leave. I realize I left sweater in the booth. Call back within 15 minutes. They say they can't find it. Call back the next morning and they still can't find it but will have manager return my call. BUT she never did! So no sweater! Quite annoying, unprofessional, and will not go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • really good tacos on the fly
    DinerGirl
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We love this place for lunch and apparently they finally fixed the A/C so you don't end up sweating into your food......as for dinner, the food is great as usual but the acoustics suck so it's very loud all the time! You practically have to scream to be heard as if you were out dancing in a bar late at night. The service is marginal and randomly good. The bartenders are always very friendly and a sure bet to a drink quick.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great experience at Barrio Star
    talulah2
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Service was superb (we had heard it wasn't very good, but that proved false) and the food was excellent especially the carnitas and steak tacos. The guacamole and chips are also amazing. I highly recommend the restaurant! We were there twice in one week after only recently discovering the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    I had never been to Barrio Star, but it was recommended by a good friend, who is Mexican, and I trusted her judgement about fine Mexican food! It was great. Service was a little less than attentive for a large group (six), and I had to make efforts to get his attention a few times. The noise level was not excessive, but it's not a place for initimacy in terms of easy communication in a crowded dining room.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Barrio Star....Bonita!
    Patt
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Exceptional old time Mexican cuisine. Service is efficient and delicious. Particularly when patron turns up water glasses shortly after delivery! Sincere apologies and will see you Wednesday😄
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stars Were Aligned
    Lovetoeat
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    I recently saw an episode of Mystery Diners about Barrio Star. I was meeting my cousin downtown and wanted to take her to lunch for her birthday. This was a good opportunity to try Barrio Star. Three of us had Taco plates - fish, chicken, carnitas. The fourth in our party had a salad. The tacos were delicious! The salad dressing was good, too. For dessert, my cousin was treated to a flourless, chipotle chocolate cake, which was unique in flavor and yummy. The portion sizes were just right. I'm looking forward to a return visit.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and margaritas
    PDQ619VIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Such good food it's hard to choose what to have. The friendly staff make it an even better experience.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mid week respite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Service is outstanding! Great food presentation. Delicious & healthy. Food! Ambiance good but can get a little loud. Overall a great night out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious food
    MaryB
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    I've been her several times and the food has always been delicious, especially the chicken diablo and the steak. The staff was very helpful and efficient when we told them we were going to a play and on a tight time frame.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • gotttryit
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Barrio Star was recommended by a friend and I recently dined there with a large group. We were all wowed by the cuisine. It was amazingly delicious and definitely a new twist on normal Mexican food. I highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrible Customer Service!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Food is outstanding, but the customer service has always been a nightmare at this place. I really like the food, but the service is so bad, we've had to find a new weekly place to go to. Improve the service and we will go back. Otherwise, not worth it since there are far too many other choices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Excellent food, atmosphere & more
    SanDiego
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Great brunch menu, with both sweet dishes and savory dishes to choose from. Cool decor, nice servers.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Colorful, very fun, tasty Mexican
    Opentable23VIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Love this attractive place. Delicious small plates, tacos, bowls, & assorted Barrio themed goodies very close to Balboa Park.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazingly bad.
    legaleater
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    It used to offend me when a friend from San Francisco used to say there are few world class restaurants in San Diego because there are few people who know good food. But when I see a poor quality place like this develop a following, I wonder if he was right. I wouldn't go back here if there was a 100k bonus. Food was boring and overcooked. So noisy the only way I would eat here is alone.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • mediocre service
    Nrindani
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    The food is good but the noise level is TOO loud. That with poor, very slow service are a deterrent from frequenting the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very loud
    DineNotWine
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    I quite enjoyed my meal. Very fresh and delicious. Could use some salt which was not on the table. The noise level was very high. I could hardly hear my dinner partner speak.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great, but so noisy
    monmahon
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    I love the taco's and margaritas here, but the noise level is hard to deal with. There are certain nights where we've walked in and turned around because it's just too loud (and I'm only in my 30's :). Other nights it's just fine so I guess it's hit or miss. Wish they could get some windows or baffling or something going to help. Service is okay. Overall, we still love to come here, because the tacos and margaritas are worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun, delicious dinner post ComicCon
    PopcornMamma
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Food was delicious. Staff was very accommodating, especially requests on children's orders. Knowledgable about menu, exactly how everything is prepared, level of spicyness, etc. Good variety of vegetarian options, they also were great about vegan changes. The space got quite loud, but has a funky/fun decor, and we didn't mind the noise.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sheila
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Food and service were excellent. Noise level a little loud. Will definitely return, but at a different time of day.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great decor and food
    CaliforniaCuban
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Always fresh food and a unquique menu. The decor is a mix between pastels & Dia de Los Muertos
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ambience
    Tidge
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    First let me say that our service was wonderful. Amanda has all the requisites for being a great server. However, when I got there I was terrified by the noise level! Fortunately, we were a party of 8 & they sat us in a (almost) private room. Even there the noise level lapped over a little bit, but was bearable. As we are an older, retired couple, I doubt we would ever go there again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • dinner with friends
    dinnertime
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    had a great time at Barrio Star the service was fun and we had great food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Waiting and Waiting Game
    AkddeepdiverVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Our party of (4) 7:30 reservations, arrived promptly at 7:30 and were told we would have to wait for our table because the diners occuping the table came late and we would have to wait to they cleared out. Finally seated. Waited for our Server, waited for the order to be taken, waited & waited for our drinks (our appetizers came out before our drinks), waited & waited for our food, all the time our server telling us the bartender and kitchen are backed up. By no means Barrio Star is not a cheap restaurant and the waiting is unexceptable with excuse after excuse. Yes it was nice we were comped 2 items (chips & desert) but was not worth playing the waiting game and not worth a revist.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Taco Tuesday
    IslandGirl
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    Best tacos around. We live across the street from a similar dining place in the East Village and for tacos I would prefer to drive to Barrio Star than walk across the street. It's that good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Erik
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Been here 4 or five times, maybe more. Never disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favorite Mexican Restaurant
    Mexfoodluvr
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    As always Barrio Star did not disappoint. This is one of my favorite places to go for healthy Mexican food. My favorite are their tacos which are small but oh so delicious and surprisingly very filling. I also recommend ordering their guacamole and chips as an appetizer.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Love this restaurant. Great food and atmosphere. Our family comes here often.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great neigborhood gem!
    Tessa
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Barrio Star is tops for comfort food. I love their steak tacos and creative margarita choices!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, nice environment
    ieatfood
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    This was a great stop for us on our trip to San Diego. The food was really good and the restaurant had a nice ambiance. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and friendly.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun dining destination
    RobinR
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Enjoyed the hip atmosphere and the modern Mexican cuisine. Our server was available when we needed and friendly. Great jalapeño cocktails and good choices for vegetarians. Fresh Mexican food is a delight. We were there early for dinner so it was still quiet enough to enjoy conversation.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect for a business lunch
    OfficeManager
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    We had a group of 9 for a staff meeting and farewell lunch for one of our staff members. Everyone truly liked what they ordered and the ambiance worked well for our meeting. The service was great and everyone there is very friendly and helpful. We've gone before and will again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food!
    Rachela
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    Had an awesome time here. Great happy hour deals and amazing food. Only complaint was my order was wrong, but it was still delish!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious Happy Hour!
    Diner
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    Very good food, and the roasted jalapeno margarita was outstanding.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredible Tacos
    Marc
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    The flavors were incredible especially the carnitas and chicken tacos
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place
    arpm1985
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    Table was ready, no wait Service was fast and friendly Food was yummy! Will be returning
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!
    Boojum
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    What a great spot. The food is amazing, but the its the staff that make it special. Took some friends for the first time this past weekend. Molly was our server. She was fantastic, but then, every person who has served us at Barrio Star has been. Molly was super friendly, great recommendations, very attentive, and a great smile. So, for amazing food (the tacos are incredible) and great service, try this place. You won't be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.