Barrio Star

4.4
593 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Mexican
The sky’s the limit at Barrio Star--presenting San Diego with modern Mexican Soul Food woven with bold Latin flavors and clever Asian touches.

As one of several restaurants created by award-winning chef and restaurateur Isabel Cruz, Barrio Star’s bright and lively décor is a metaphor for what we proudly serve. Our vibrant flavors and healthier renditions of classic Mexican dishes reveal thoughtfully presented menu items that are sure to please every palate.

Pairing with our well-prepared food is a mouthwatering beer and cocktail menu. Besides serving standard Mexican beers, we also offer rotating drafts as well as an extensive tequila menu. Kickstart the evening with our roasted jalapeno blackberry margarita and let the fiesta begin!

Specials

Instantly increase your points with dining rewards

See availability for bonus point tables

Sun 11:00AM - 2:00PM 2:15PM - 2:45PM 5:00PM - 8:45PM
Mon 11:30AM - 11:45AM 12:00PM - 12:00PM 5:00PM - 8:45PM
Tue 11:30AM - 11:45AM 12:00PM - 12:00PM 5:00PM - 6:00PM 7:45PM - 9:15PM
Wed - Thu 11:30AM - 11:45AM 12:00PM - 12:00PM 5:00PM - 6:00PM 7:45PM - 8:45PM
Fri 11:30AM - 11:45AM 12:00PM - 12:00PM 5:00PM - 6:00PM 7:45PM - 9:15PM
Sat 11:00AM - 2:00PM 2:15PM - 2:45PM 5:00PM - 6:00PM 7:45PM - 9:15PM

What 593 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
JS
Cancun
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

there was only one server and they took forever to get to us, and the food also took a long while, although it looks like a trendy place i wouldn’t go back again, management needs to hire more servers !

Report
Helpful
OT
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Super busy on a holiday, but eventhough the staff was over whelmedd, I have to commend them on their friendliness and patience. We still had a phenomenal meal and pregamed. Great staff!

Report
Helpful
AK
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

Food was decent with a very poor experience. The manager told us 40 minutes after we placed our order that there was only one cook there that night. We understand things happen, but it would have been helpful to have told us earlier. We wouldn't have ordered an appetizer (which 40 minutes after ordering we still didn't have). It also would have gone a long way to explain to everyone that they were unexpectedly short on staff right away and offer a little something to each table. For example, chips and salsa are inexpensive and would have kept people satisfied while they were waiting over an hour for their food. The way the situation was handled just wasn't the best.

Report
Helpful
k
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Food was good. Very noisy! But we were able to sit in the (small) back room where it was easier to converse.

Report
Helpful
T
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The server was very friendly! I felt the food lacked flavor. Just using chili powder doesn’t provide enough variety in taste. The guacamole and chips were tasty. The cilantro sauce was interesting and there was so much of it. The chicken tamale was not tasty.The portions were certainly large. One of us enjoyed the “deconstructed chili relleno. The cucumber appetizer was crunchy and lightly spiced. The blood orange margarita was enjoyable.

Report
Helpful
MH
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Delicious!!

Report
Helpful
p
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was outstanding, attentive and sincerely friendly and accommodating. The food was delicious and hot which is sometimes not the case in restaurants. The prices seem to have gone up, but that is true everywhere. The rice, bean mixture was a tasty change from most Mexican restaurants.

Report
Helpful
S
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, fun atmosphere, great service! Excellent!

Report
Helpful
CK
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I found, to my delight, a great gathering place for casual dining! Barrio Star definitely is a great place to eat! Their food was very delicious and the service was great, also. There were a lot of young people there (I’m 66) mixed with whole families and everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time. I recommend it for those who just want to relax and have a great meal. P.S. They have very good margaritas!

Report
Helpful
GH
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

mimosa flight was excellent as were the brunch items. . . we will definitely be back and bring friends!

Report
Helpful
JS
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great atmosphere, the decor was super cute too, Mexican theme of course. The tacos were really good too, my favorites were the potato & spicy chicken taco. You can tell the tortillas were made from scratch. The only reason I gave 4 stars instead of 5 was because there was only 1 server for like a whole section which resulted in taking quite a while to get our drinks. But Kudos to our server who tried his best to hustle through all the chaos.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Service was lacking.

Report
Helpful
H
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

While the one waiter was nice, service was horrible. Maybe they were understaffed, too an explanation could've helped. Food was so-so. It was cold and the front door remained open every time someone came/went.

Report
Helpful
C
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing night out. Margaritas are the best!!!!

Report
Helpful
HF
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were excited to find a super creative special menu for Valentines Day. Great service, thank you Kyle! We had a blast! Margaritas and dinner were outstanding with some unique twists on flavors and ingredients. A very fun evening! We will definitely be back!

Report
Helpful
F
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always a pleasure to eat at Barrio Star! Great healthful food and cold beer. I love being able to get plain white jasmine rice with my mex food. 5 stars across the board, except for ambiance - get rid of the TV over the bar. I’m not a fan of TV at restaurants.

Report
Helpful
OT
Phoenix
9 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our server was upbeat and gave great recommendations, he was also the bartender. Food and drinks were good. We will definitely be returning!

Report
Helpful
D
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful date night. The shrimp appetizer was Amazing... we ended up skipping entrees and ordering more of them and a mixed taco plate. Will definitely be back again soon!

Report
Helpful
KH
San Diego
58 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We have eaten here several times. I wouldn't describe it as a Mexican restaurant, although the decor looks authentic. The food is varied and all quite tasty.

Report
Helpful
MR
San Diego
50 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The seasoning in the shrimp cocktail isn’t particularly hot but it can best be described as harsh. What did you use for chile?
Being able to see the huge mess behind the bar is a huge letdown.
It took a long time to get seated. Were they short a person?

Report
Helpful
MA
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place
Great food.
Great staff.
What more do you need?
I will be returning soon. Went on a date here, but will be going back with friends.
This is good spot to go for a date before 6pm, after that the folks that have a curfew, pregamers, late-night crowds come to eat, drink, talk, and talk. Nothing too loud at all. But it makes it hard to hear your date unless you don't wont to hear them talk ;)
#MBiddles

Report
Helpful
NN
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food! Great service!! We especially appreciate the attentiveness of our server!

Report
Helpful
KB
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The ambience, food, and drinks were all amazing. Definitely order the margarita flight- so fun to sample 4 margaritas. The presentation of the margaritas was gorgeous too! We are the guacamole and the shrimp tacos and both were excellent. Can’t wait to go back!

Report
Helpful
MT
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 5

Had the child rellano with carnitas as recommended it's just mucky. Date chicken tacos. They managed to mess up Mexican food. How?
Bartenders cool drinks delish chips n salsa that you pay for : ( but great flavor.
Next time sit at bar...BlackBerry marg and chips salsa

Report
Helpful
JM
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing service and delicious food. Overall it was a great experience.

Report
Helpful
MK
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food, great service, best margaritas

Report
Helpful
JS
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

After having a great experience with my wife on earlier visit, took the family with a groupon (25 $ for 40$) on my birthday. Same great welcome and service. Back was too loud so waited just a couple minutes (had reservation) for table on right side by wall in main room. Again-great (and big) blackberry -jalapeno margarita. One of the better margaritas Ive had at a bar. Food all great again: chips and guac (little too much lime); Chile rellenos with carnitas on top (one of the best never Mexican dishes Ive had anywhere); 2 carnitas /1 beef/1 fish taco for kids. The rice with Chile relleno is infused with smokey Chile flavor. The dish is massive and easily enough for my wife and I to split. Only food negative is the fish taco which tasted...fishy, unlike the salmon we previously had which was mild and yummy. With a mess up on the check(our fault), the server gave us my daughters dessert gratis. I already bought another groupon!
Value without groupon is middle of road, unless you split dishes as we did.

Report
Helpful
LD
Orange County
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 4

We made reservations for a party of 4 at 8:45 on New Years Eve. We showed up and either the owner or manager said the kitchen was closed. They accepted our 8:45 reservation and I had a confirmation but the guy said "sorry I must not have seen it". As a result we were forced to try and find another place to eat.

No offer to pay for our Uber or buy us a drink it was basically get out. The pace had a good vibe to it and decent menu but with the way we were treated I won't try again.

Also, I had to rate food & value but we din't eat.

Report
Helpful
AS
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Groupon helped. Without it, not sure I wouldn't consider this place overpriced. But all the food is yummy. And everything has a spicy kick, which I love.

Report
Helpful
R
Atlanta
9 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and the margaritas were outstanding. The next time I visit San Diego, I will definitely come back for lunch or dinner or both!

Report
Helpful
EA
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

I was not aware that the full menu was not available 3pm to 5pm. This is typical of the region for other high end restaurants but not what I expected for a mexican restaurant when shows start in Balboa park at 5pm. Bummer and likely won't go back.

Report
Helpful
I
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Always on que! Tasty margaritas, great service and fun times! Love the choice in tacos, bowls, and cool bartender chatter.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Low key business dinner with excellent food And margaritas! We also wanted something more ‘local’ and not in the gaslight-The Barrio Star has the best margaritas in San Diego because they use the freshest limes and juices-

Well Done!

Report
Helpful
JW
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

We made a reservation for 6 at 7:45 through open table. There was no table available for us when our group arrived a little before 7:45. We waited at the bar for 45 minutes, and finally asked 2 people sitting at a large table if we could join them. They let us join & left shortly thereafter. Service was not good.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love there quesadillas chips are cool

Report
Helpful
CN
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

On my last visit to Barrio Star, a favorite of our family for many years, I made a reservation to assure we could get a table and I had made note that it was my daughters Birthday celebration. We usually have a great experience her however the last couple visits have been pretty disappointing. So they never mentioned my daughters BD :( The chips and salsa were awesome as usual, but they were out of guacamole.... and failed to mention that avocado as well would be missing from our entrees! :(
Margharita was good. I had the chili relleno and it was great. My husband and son had tortas... not so great, very plain and the cheese was like a patty of rubber..... luckily my daughter enjoyed her dish, something vegan, cant remember what it was... The wait staff are always very nice but we were seated at the table near the kitchen entrance and there was alot of traffic and the seating has never been my favorite but this last time we really noticed how uncomfortable the hard cold chairs are and how worn out the bench cushions are. Made my 6 ft 5 son look 5ft 7! said he felt as if he had fallen in a hole!
Loved you for a long time Barrio Star but I am afraid we may have to see other restauraunts!

Report
Helpful
OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

A great place to meet up after work to enjoy food and drinks.

Report
Helpful
D
San Diego
44 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great neighborhood place that we frequent several times per month. This latest visit was less than a five since I had to stand in line at the “hostess” station for well over ten minutes to tell them I had a reservation. It seems seating folks is their lowest priority since once you get a seat they do a great job taking care of you and the service is very quick and food terrific as usual.

Report
Helpful
KP
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Salmon tacos were super good! They were a recommendation by our waiter.

Report
Helpful
JH
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Usually great but tonight the fish tacos or superficial and the shrimp cocktail could not be eaten. We left most of the food on her plate and this server never asked how our food was ... very disappointed .

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
15

Tweets by Barrio Star