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 24, 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
  • The food was tasty and the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/22/2013
    The food was tasty and the presentation was pleasing. Not your usual Mexican fare. Classy, fun, hip. Didn't have any drinks but I've heard they do great margaritas.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, a bit expensive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/16/2013
    Good food, a bit expensive for the portion size, but very good quality. Margaritas were pricy ($9.00) for the size, mostly ice. Pleasant server, would go back, but not a preferred restaurant.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I wasn't impressed with the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/15/2013
    I wasn't impressed with the service or food. Our server was somewhat off; she lacked energy, described the diablo chicken by saying, "if you want to fight bones," which was off putting. She was slightly busy but she just didn't stand out. The food, well, it didn't have much taste. I had the special- some sort of sunflower crusted fish, it was lacking flavor or salt. The panko fish tacos were disappointing as well; the tortialls were bland and the I expected a flavor packed bite but it fell short. We did however enjoy the Tamal de Pollo, it was great. I love Mexican food and fusion food but I didn't think the two plates were worth what I paid. Maybe it was an off night. Overall two stars for ambiance.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I had eaten at Barrio Star
    David
    Dined on 2/15/2013
    I had eaten at Barrio Star once prior before bringing my wife. We both enjoyed our meals of the not typical Mexican food. My wife particularly enjoyed the ambiance of the cheerfully decorated dining room and bar. Her only complaint was that the center of the tamale she ordered was barely warm. Still, we will be back to enjoy the food, the cocktails, and the decor along with a great staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We have loved this spot since
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/14/2013
    We have loved this spot since we found it, a little pricy but worth it!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • They really need at least
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 2/6/2013
    They really need at least one more server at lunchtime. Everything is delicious but with only two people waiting tables, the service is very slow, especially for a lunch hour crowd.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I am a frequent visitor to
    QueensTomVIP
    Dined on 2/2/2013
    I am a frequent visitor to Barrio Star. Upscale Mexican food is consistently very good, and service is friendly and prompt. You will feel welcome and fully enjoy the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tasty dishes, convenient location
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/1/2013
    We chose this restaurant due to its proximity to St. Paul's church - right across the street. The place fills up pretty fast on a fri nite at happy hour, so I suggest you reconfirm your reservation by phone. The waitstaff were very friendly and helpful. The menu seemed very standard mexican fare, but in reality the dishes were very tasty. I had carnitas tacos.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tuesday is a Greqt Taco Night
    inksVIP
    Dined on 1/22/2013
    Barrio Star was highly recommended to us by folks who live in the neighborhood, but we happened in on a Tuesday which was Taco Night. There selection of unusual and delicious tacos was wonderful, and they were very reasonably priced. Two were a perfect amount for a supper, when paired with their Tuesday night Margarita special and delicious and creatively served coconut Flan!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food!!!! Nice place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 1/20/2013
    Great food!!!! Nice place to go have dinner with friends/family.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • This local restaurant has
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 1/20/2013
    This local restaurant has created a unique menu with a flair for combinations that are hard to find anywhere else. My favorite is the brazilian bowl, fried plantains with pork, and their chips/salsa are amongst the best.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Vibrant, young scene with a pleasin
    HSaulsbunny
    Dined on 1/18/2013
    Love this place when you want to throw on skinny jeans and rock an edgy look - the scene is very 25-40, good people watching and energetic. The food is always up to expectations and they have several wonderful soups! Think Frida Kahlo for the decor (dia de los muertos....). Definitely the fun casual night.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Small portions, amazing homemade
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 1/17/2013
    Small portions, amazing homemade tortillas, drinks are a bit pricey but unique. Decor is amazing, very hipster Chicano. Had the sea bass. It wad good, but probably wouldn't order again. They have Taco Tuesday deals so it might be worth it to go then!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Barrio Star is a Star!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 1/16/2013
    I enjoyed my San Diego Restaurant week outing to Barrio Star. I ordered the stuffed pepper with soy chorizo and it was amazing!! I absolutely loved my dish. The server was very kind and made recommendations to our table. I would definitely go back for happy hour or for lunch.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • New take on Mex
    ThomVIP
    Dined on 1/16/2013
    Great new twist on Mexican cuisine. Place was packed for restaurant week and very lively. The waitstaff had their hands full but were still very attentive and seemed to know just when to stop by our table. This is on our list for a repeat visit!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food was OK. It was my
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 1/16/2013
    The food was OK. It was my least favorite dinning experience during Restaurant Week. The dessert was terrible. The meal was not worth $20.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An unpleasant experience
    DbarVIP
    Dined on 1/15/2013
    Has definitely gone down hill quickly since they first opened. The food is so so and the service is completely unacceptable. I have been there on multiple occasions and they consistently get worse. Last time I was there I was seated immediately, but had to wait over an hour to receive my order, which arrived pretty cold. I am thinking that I am giving up on this place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Girls night out
    FriendsVIP
    Dined on 1/14/2013
    Outstanding food and service. Always consistant. Staff great at recommendations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was fantastic. Great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 1/14/2013
    The food was fantastic. Great neighborhood restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Don't be fuooled by the location
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 1/13/2013
    The service was horrible and so was the food. Even though we were the first patrons to come in, we ere not served first. They were clearly short staffed. The food plates were very small, expensive, and the worst Mexican food I've had.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A neighborhood place that
    QueensTomVIP
    Dined on 1/1/2013
    A neighborhood place that should be on tour list for regular visits. Upscale, interesting and delicious Mexican food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We always enjoy coming to
    Babs4316VIP
    Dined on 12/30/2012
    We always enjoy coming to Barrio Star. Service is great -- a tad too fast at times, but attentive and friendly. Food is terrific too with perfectly sized portions - not too much. It's a pleasant spot to take in some great, healthy mexican food.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great neighborhood foodie joint!
    LizN
    Dined on 12/23/2012
    This place focuses on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and the food was very good. It's not the typical Mexican food smothered in cheese and sauce. It was much lighter and fresher. The atmosphere is fun; we were there around the holidays, and they had festive lights up everywhere. The decor is "shabby chic." They easily and cheerfully accommodated our group of 8. The servers were friendly, but the service itself was a bit slow and disorganized. I would definitely go back, though!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrible service from beginning
    Debski
    Dined on 12/22/2012
    Terrible service from beginning to end. We had advance reservations and were seated quickly. But then left alone for quite some time before we were provided menu's are asked for our drink order. the order was taken haphazardly and was served equally so. Some received drinks while others contined to wait for some time. Waitress was "nice", but provided poor service, meal was not served timely, there were mistakes and once food was delivered, we were once again left alone for a long period of time. The restaurant was not overly busy. Waitress tried to place blame on the bartender for delays and mistakes in drink order. Not happy and very disappointing down turn.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Treat yourself to Barrio Star
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/22/2012
    I love this place for so many reasons. Barrio Star has unique entrees, a vibrant and distinct atmosphere, and great service. I've been here for brunch, lunch, and dinner; all three menus feature delicious meals. Make sure to try a margarita sometime, they are fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The reason for the poor review
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 12/18/2012
    The reason for the poor review is the customer service, or rather the lack thereof... We made a reservation for 4 through open table and when we arrived 20 minutes before our reservation we were told we couldnt make a reservation for less than 6 people. So we had to wait another hour. And in the meantime, several RESERVED tables of 2 were filled. Pretty sure the bussers could have pushed two of those tables together for our party. While waiting, we decided to head to the bar. It took about 15 minutes for one of the "too cool for school look at my vintage D.A.R.E. t-shirt" bartenders looked up from drying dishes! They reacted like we were bothering them... Their cups smelled musty. But the nachos and tacos were tasty.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We dined at Barrio Star on
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 12/18/2012
    We dined at Barrio Star on early Tuesday night, which may have been a bad choice given there was Taco Tuesday and Happy Hour going on, and due to the Holidays approaching, there was a party going on in the back room. Overall the food was good, the staff was friendly, but it was not a relaxing environment. I ordered Chile Rellano. It was tasty, and the plate looked pretty with shrimps on the top, but I felt that the food was slightly overpriced, given the chile was a bit on the smaller side (compared to other Mexican restaurant that I've been to). When it arrived it was buried under the rice, which was tasty, by the way. The restaurant is hip, and good place to be if you want to be in the scene.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed that the food
    RomaticVIP
    Dined on 12/9/2012
    Disappointed that the food was not tasty enough. Everything lacked the right amount of salt.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nothing special
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/30/2012
    Service was poor. Had to keep flagging down waiter.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • A fun change-up on Mexican
    PtLomaResident
    Dined on 11/16/2012
    A fun change-up on Mexican food...great variety of upscale street tacos. Large menu, lovely presentation. Delicious!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food was served In Small quantity
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/5/2012
    Food was served In Small quantity And was overpriced. My well done steak was burned. Service was slow And we had To remind servers To clear the table. Not ver many non-dairy options..no desserts that are dairy free, not even sorbet.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great cocktails and food is
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/3/2012
    Great cocktails and food is decent. It's a casual place and great for groups, not necessarily that romantic dinner for two!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A fast moving train...
    Babs4316VIP
    Dined on 11/3/2012
    We thought our drinks and food were great. Everything was very interesting and well prepared. Our server was great as well. Our only comment is this: service was too fast. Food came out like it was being shot out of a cannon... it makes you wonder a bit about preparation. Is it all just sitting on counters waiting for dispersal? The table next to us commented about it as well. It sounds crazy to "complain" about fast service but we went thru appetizers, soup and entrees in under 40 minutes. There weren't any crowds waiting but we got the feeling we were being rushed out the door. Even our bill was presented literally 2 minutes after they took away our plates. Is there any way to slow this train down a bit?
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great new Find in Hillcrest
    KevinVIP
    Dined on 10/27/2012
    This place is Awesome...discovered it with a local coupon, and would definitely go back!! Try the Chile Relleno!! it's to die for !! Awesomely delicious and original Margaritas...Yum!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dia De La Awesome
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/27/2012
    I am a regular, and this was for a theme party - the staff was very supportive, and participated! The owner even stopped in to take a look and thank us for our fun Day of the Dead party we planned at their spot! Great food, best drinks around!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic