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Barrio Star
Barrio Star

Barrio Star Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.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
  • "Always fresh food and a unquique menu. The decor is a mix between pastels & Dia de Los Muertos"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "had a great time at Barrio Star the service was fun and we had great food."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "Been here 4 or five times, maybe more. Never disappointed."
    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."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Love this restaurant. Great food and atmosphere. Our family comes here often."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Barrio Star is tops for comfort food. I love their steak tacos and creative margarita choices!!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Had an awesome time here. Great happy hour deals and amazing food. Only complaint was my order was wrong, but it was still delish!"
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "Very good food, and the roasted jalapeno margarita was outstanding."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "The flavors were incredible especially the carnitas and chicken tacos"
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "Table was ready, no wait Service was fast and friendly Food was yummy! Will be returning"
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Stopped in for lunch before going to the Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park. Had the salmon tacos. They were a perfect size for a light lunch before the theater. The salmon was moist and the combination of spices were excellent. Also enjoyed the black bean side dish. Mexican mule was also a nice accompaniment - tasty with just a little bite from the chilis. We will definitely go again."
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "We had eaten here before on a previous trip to San Diego, but the atmosphere was totally different. In the 2 years since, it seems to have become popular with a happy hour crowd, and I didn't think about it being Friday night. The noise level was nearly intolerable for us older folks, as well as for our 10 year old. But this was her request because of their Carnitas Tacos - she really loves them. The salsa and guacamole were quite good, and I enjoyed the chicken tacos. Husband had the chili relleno and said it was "just okay". We didn't have any alcohol, just sodas. I did notice that the prices seemed much higher than when we were here before. I had read several reviews saying that the service wasn't very good, but we received good service."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Robert, our server, made suggestions regarding drink concoctions that were delicious and food suggestions. He checked back with us and seemed pleasant. I love the ambience! Always thrilled with their Happy Hour as I don't think it is the cheapest Mexican food. Of course I'm not expecting Roberto's prices but for Mexican food... My sister had a "bowl" of some type. Came with coconut rice, mango, black beans, kale, beef (or option of other protein, I believe), pico de gallo, cheese, etc for about $16...just to give you an idea. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "Went to use our LivingSocial voucher - 8 tacos and 4 margaritas. Loved it the first time and loved it again. Wait staff is friendlly and attentive. Blood orange margarita is my favorite, the spicy blackberry is my husband's choice. Our favorite tacos are the steak and panko fish. Gets loud in the restaurant on a busy night."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Was a pretty raucous scene when we were there... Good service, but the quality has gone down hill. Two thumbs down on both entrees. Still great margaritas though."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "I have started working my way through this menu, and I am surprised with everything I eat. It's all tasty!"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Favorite place for Taco Tuesdays. The steak tacos with cilantro lime ( I ask for extra) put me over the edge - equally so, the smoked jalapeno blackberry margaritas (I'm a slow drinker, so I take most of the ice cubes out to keep the flavor). The salmon tacos and barrio bowl are really tasty too. I haven't tried much else because I'm so stuck on these. It can get really busy, so reservations help a lot. You can always sit at the bar, when a seat opens up, which I don't mind. It's noisy, but the lively crowd is fun to watch. At peak times, the food can take a little longer to come out than I want it to, but there's chips and yummy salsa to keep you company. "
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "So, this place was recommended by a friend who likes the drinks. I took my mom and cousin here for Mother's Day. The food was outstanding. Really enjoyed the tacos. Good flavors, good spice. Great standard beans and rice to go with...and I devoured every bit! Cousin had breakfast dish - avocado scramble. Delicious! Good size portion, too. Mom had quesadilla. Great too. Only slight miss was the server. One the one hand, she was very nice and patient...on the other, her attention was spotty. After placing our order, it was a solid twelve mins before she delivered it...and it wasn't piping hot, so I'm guessing it had sat waiting for a while. Refills could take a while too. Nonetheless, I'd go back in a hot minute!"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "The food was very good, but we waited a full hour for it. The waitress was sympathetic and gave us free chips (as our kids were starving), but no one should wait an hour for lunch."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "First visit in a while. Seated right away, though it took awhile to get drinks and order food. Great farm-to-table menu of healthy mex brunch options. Loved the meal, loved the margaritas. They seemed a bit understaffed for a Mothers Day. Noise level is high (concrete floors). Decor is bright and festive."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Brought my family here for mother's day and felt terrible that I chose this place. Took quite awhile to meet our server after sitting down. We were already completely ready to order before he came to introduce himself. I can only speculate that he forgot to put our order in because several rounds of tables that came in after us had already eaten and most were leaving before we got our food. Took over an hour for our food and the restaurant wasn't even busy. My family would have been more patient if our server were to check on us or apologize or even assure us that our food was coming out soon! I saw him gesture quite rudely to another table he had as well. Food was pretty good but sad we got stuck with such a terrible server. "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "This was a night I was able to introduce 4 of my friends to Barrio Star! It did not disappoint!!! One is a vegetarian, another a pescetarian, the others will eat anything... All were satisfied and showed interest to return. Tacos are awesome. The Barrio Bowl is amazing. The margaritas are fantastic! Come check it out!"
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "Excellent margaritas, eclectic choices of food, nice ambience. Quality of food seems to have gone down a bit from past experience. Waiter was competent and attentive but not at all friendly. We will return and enjoy the drinks and ambience."
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "Went here for a pre-theatre meal, happened to be during happy hour so took advantage of the cheaper tacos and margaritas. Great deal and good service! We were very satisfied with our meal."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "This was our second time at Barrio Star. The food and drinks are incredible and very creative. Service has always been great for us. My only complaint is the noise level. The room echos and you can't hear anything even when it's not full. I know it looks good to have an open layout but please get some acoustic treatments in this place!"
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "The food and drinks here have always been the draw Went for lunch the other day, couldn't get the lady who sat us to understand I had booked a table - she was so frazzled It was not busy at this time, lunch was just kicking in and the restaurant was only half full, but the staff was acting like it was 5 deep at the bar and an hour wait...? The waiter came right over with water, then disappeared Eventually we got in a drink and appetizer order A few minutes later we ordered lunch The appetizer came out with the lunch, drinks came after lunch after a couple questions about where the drinks were... The food here is really good, but the service is consistently like they just walked in off the street Wouldn't go if you only have an hour "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "Chicken was great as was the fish tacos. Nice selection of beers- wine choices could be expanded."
    Dined on 5/1/2014
  • "The thing about this place is it's super cute and hip. The servers are usually pretty great. The thing about the food is it's never more than just "OK." I keep coming because it's within walking distance to my home, but if not for that I would never bother. It's expensive for what it is, not considering the competition in this town for Mexican food, the food here is pretty subpar."
    Dined on 4/30/2014
  • "Although it's a bit pricey, Barrio Star provides healthy delicious meals with a variety of options for anyone! They even provided a gluten-free cake for my friend's birthday!"
    Dined on 4/30/2014
  • "Good tacos. Good drinks. Service can be quite slow but is always polite."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "I would come back here if I knew I could get some service. Our server took forever just to take out order and even longer to bring out our drinks. All the staff were completely unorganized. The only saving grace about this place are the strong and yummy margaritas. Tacos are good too."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "This place is a great deal for before an Old Globe show - a nice healthy light dinner, at great Happy Hour prices. I'm pleased to know about it!"
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "This is the third time that I have been to Barrio Star. When we arrived and I mentioned that we had a reservation, the host gave me a funny look. Maybe this was because they were pretty empty, or maybe it's because it was 6 PM...I had to push to ask them to check me in so that I would get my open table points. :-) The food and drinks were delicious, but the taco portions are very small. You have to order a LOT of them if you want a meal. This isn't a problem if you come in with a groupon or other deal. But it adds up quickly if you don't. Our server was friendly and attentive, and balanced out the fairly surly host and other person helping out. The tables are very close together. You had better like brushing elbows with your neighbors. "
    Dined on 4/25/2014