About Barrio Star
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!
San Diego, CA 92103
Mexican, Contemporary Mexican, Latin American
Hours of Operation:
Open Daily: 11:00am - 9:30pm (Sunday and Monday close at 9:00pm)
Happy Hour Daily: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
(3:00pm - 5:00pm Happy hour menu only)
Brunch: 11:00am - 3:00pm Saturday and Sunday
(Regular menu also available at this time)
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Everything from classic rock to the good 'ole 90's! Whatever fits the mood we will play.
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.
Lots of street parking available as Barrio Star is centrally located one block away from Balboa Park.
Close to downtown and all major bus routes.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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Barrio Star Ratings and Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
I've been dining here for years - particularly because of the amazing food - best street tacos around, I have brought visiting company here for the happy hour specials, or the great bar.
This time, it was a birthday party, and I was provided the royal treatment! They individually set up the back room to cater to my needs, we had amazing white sangria which was a new item for me to try! and 15 people rotating thru with short visits and roaming neighbors, it truly is a neighborhood hot spot! The service was top-notch - Jenn and Danica were amazing throughout! I've had just about everything on the menu here - and found it friendly to my friends and clients with food allergies (Gluten) and limiting preferences, such as my Vegan gal-pal, who absolutely insists on this spot right off of just about any flight. (Also, its super conveniently located near the San Diego airport, if you know which way to go!)
Thanks for the many years of great service, and the amazing menu ... Much love to Barrio Star!!
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
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.
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.
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.
My wife and I went here for dinner. We had a reservation for 7:00 it was very busy but nice host got us seated in 10 minutes. very busy quite loud but very very very happy and fun. the decorations made it a comfortable place to be. My wife didn't like her first drink so they brought her another free of charge and brought over dessert for the dollar difference in drinks. The waitress was super super nice!!! The food was absolutely spectacular and not expensive. It was a great time we left very happy!
Took my mom, brother, & boyfriend here and was truly impressed by the food quality and presentation. The service was a little slow in between check-ins. Very friendly though. It was just busy for a Sunday Mother's Day brunch, expected. I'm a vegan/vegetarian & they had some awesome plates with only minor mods (no cheese), but awesome, awesome, awesome. I will definitely be coming back for taco tuesday and for other dinner/lunch outings. Great fun place with cool design.
I have been going to Barrio Star for close to 3 years or more now and as always it did not dissapointment. I ordered the tacos and rice with cilantro sauce, and while the tacos at first glance may appear small they are actually very filling and DELICIOUS! Can't wait to go back again.
Visited Barrio Star for taco Tuesday, and I have to say the tacos are really fantastic! I had a soy chorizo taco and a fish taco. Great flavor and a nice chunk of fish. Their chips, salsa and guacamole are really good too. Only downside was that the bar service was mega slow, as the drinks din't arrive until well after the food. Had to stop eating just to wait for the drinks. And the noise! Ultra loud. Service staff was very friendly. I'd go again, but not on a Tuesday.
Very cute place, nicely positioned not far from Laurel St, or the Park, with happy and enthusiatic server. Wonderful Happy Hour and we had their guacamole dip, and salad and carnitas tacos, with margaritas - all excellent. But oh, ah the noise levels!!! Forwarned we reserved 5 pm on the dot. As we walked in it was loud, loud, LOUD with only a small number there yet. They kindly put us in the pink room since I find it pointless to have to scream across the table to be heard at dinner, nor is it pleasant to eat in a din. The pink room - cute, and not as loud, but still loud. I truly hope they can help this place with a few woven items or Mexican blankets decorating the walls to sop up that noise. Consult an acoustics professional, please!
Four of us went to Barrio Star on Taco Tuesday. It was our first time to the restaurant, and we had a great experience overall. The tacos were great, and the guacamole tasted homemade. Our server Sergio was very accommodating. The only negative I have to share is that the restaurant was very loud and it was really hard for us to hear each other. Otherwise, great place!
We come to Barrio Star for most all of our company lunches. We love Barrio Star and appreciate their outstanding service, as well as their amazing food! There is always plenty to take home, and their coconut rice is to die for.
We had a group of 10, and the server was quite remarkable.
Thank you, Barrio Star for always making us feel welcome.
If you need a great place to bring the family, take your workmates to lunch, or just need to relax and grab a (one-of-a-kind) margarita, this is your place!
It was okay but nothing special The service was good until it came time to get our bill. It took a long time and 3 requests to the waitress to get our bill and there was no reason for the delay: it wasn't particularly crowded or busy. I probably will not go back.
We have been there many times. I think it's yummy but the 4 and $5 mini tacos is kind a bad deal even though they are awesome. This last time the normal excellent service was subpar at best. 20 mins for our first drink!? Seriously? I had to hunt down the waitress for this? Our food came before the first drink! Crazy! It's loud and energetic and usually we love the place. Great food and drinks but IMHO the tacos are wildly over priced for what they are. Totally YUMMY but for the size of the taco and the price. Hmmmm
Visited as a party of 7, with reservations ~6pm to catch the tail end of happy hour. Sergio was our server, and was attentive/funny/all-around awesome. We were going to order off the regular menu, but went crazy on the happy hour menu and were full after that. Tacos are small, but ingredients and cooking were great. I don't mind paying for quality. Potato tacos were surprisingly good, and people raved about the soy chorizo. Their hot sauce is legit. Drinks were very nice - the blood orange margarita being a table favorite. These aren't fancy craft cocktails - they're fun and easy to drink, though. Brought out a slice of flourless chocolate cake, which was appreciated. Noise level was boisterous and the decor fun. I will be back.
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