Barrio Star

4.5
583 reviews
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$30 and under
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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

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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 583 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JS
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
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.

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Service was lacking.

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H
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
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.

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C
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

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HF
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on February 15, 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!

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F
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on February 13, 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.

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OT
Phoenix
8 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!

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D
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 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!

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KH
San Diego
53 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.

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MR
San Diego
47 reviews
Dined on January 21, 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?

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MA
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on January 20, 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

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NN
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

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KB
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 20, 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!

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MT
1 review
Dined on January 19, 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

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

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

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MK
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food, great service, best margaritas

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JS
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on January 5, 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.

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LD
Orange County
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
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.

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AS
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 31, 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.

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R
Atlanta
9 reviews
Dined on December 29, 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!

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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.

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I
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on December 4, 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.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 2, 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!

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JW
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 28, 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.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love there quesadillas chips are cool

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CN
1 review
Dined on November 14, 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!

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

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

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D
San Diego
44 reviews
Dined on November 11, 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.

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KP
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

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JH
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on October 28, 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 .

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AJ
Orange County
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Margarita’s! Especially the blood orange. Food was great. Will definitely be going back!

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LN
Minneapolis
5 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Quaint and cozy atmosphere with fresh ingredients and delicious food. Bar tender/Mgr, Kyle was very knowledgeable and friendly and gave us great food suggestions. My favorite was the Chili Relleno with spicy chicken, which was the best meal I had all week while visiting San Diego! Blood orange margarita was also delicious and well worth a try. I highly recommend this place for authentic Mexican food.

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EL
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great neighborhood restaurant. Food is excellent. I highly recommend the fish tacos.

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KD
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Wife and I had a date and used a Groupon. No issues with the Groupon. Staff was very impersonal and lacking in people skills. Food was awesomely usual. This place used to be busy with s crazy wait, now you can walk right up and get a table. Most likely it’s the staff because the food was on point.

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TM
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

It would have made a positive difference if they had recognized our reservation.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great food and drinks! Love the decor.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious guacamole! Ordered the three taco plate— enjoyed the potatoe taco

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OT
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It started w our server Kyle. He knows the menu and gave us some suggestions. Suggested the special - chicken wings. I am a huge wing fan and these wings did not disappoint. I was surprised because the flavor was asian inspired. The dipping sauce was amazing. Next someone in our party had the Brazil Bowl with Salmon, which was recommended by Kyle. Loved it!!!
We had lots of tacos, corn, tortilla soup (very good). The Queso Dip received raves from every guest and it was agreed, we would come back just for the dip. Of course we said that before our entrees came out!! Service was great and Kyle was super!! Thank you to Kyle and the Chef. We will be back!

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OT
San Diego
12 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Dining out on the Monday of a three day weekend is always dicey. They seemed understaffed and were out of items and my appetizer came out with my lunch. This was my second time here and it was completely different, I think it was an off day. I would still dine here.

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A
San Diego
23 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Good food, slow service just one guy running around and a busboy... tried hard but seemed a little understaffed. Great food!

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