When speaking about food, the mention of San Diego most likely conjors visions of fried fish and tacos. We recently ranked the country’s best meals on wheels for the fourth year running, and found two located in San Diego—one of which upholds the city’s reputation for excellent baja-style fish, while the other poo-poos that notion entirely.
In the past, our ranking was decided by combining factors like number of Twitter followers and positive Yelp reviews into a weighted algorithm, rounded out by an originality score that took into account menu innovation, overall concept, and geography. This year, we made it simple: We let you, our readers, decide, via a public poll. To compile our list of contenders, we expanded on our lists from 2012,2013, and 2014, asked readers for suggestions, took a look at the winners of the Vendy Awards, and tried to find rookie trucks. We received a whopping 2,662 responses, and we published the 101 that received the most votes.
So, now that you know how we found America’s best, let’s take a look at the two in San Diego that made the cut:
Mariscos GermanMariscos German
made our list of America’s Best Tacos
this year, so it is high time they earn their rightful spot in our best food trucks list. This is the quintessential San Diego fried fish taco: generous in size and filled with grated cabbage and fresh, battered pieces of fish fried to golden brown perfection, all topped with a creamy sauce. If you’re really hungry, order the Baha Trio — one fried fish taco, one marlin taco, and one shrimp taco — and wash it all down with a cheap can of beer or some coconut juice sipped right out of the coconut. It serves a perfect example of the local delicacy, and this exemplary execution got it to the impressive #20 on our list this year.
Two for the Road
This truck made quite the leap: it was #98 last year
, and made it all the way to #2 on this year’s ranking
. Specializing in American comfort food, this truck’s menu changes weekly, but count on there always being a burger and interesting variations on the hot dog, as well as regional dishes like New England lobster rolls or not-so-regional foods like spinach and artichoke grilled cheese. Their ingredients are fresh, never frozen, and hormone-free, which is a telltale sign that owners Lisa and Roberto know what they’re doing. Other signs? Roberto attended culinary school in Italy before immigrating to the U.S., and has been the chef in several top hotel kitchens in Las Vegas
and San Diego. Lisa’s background in the travel industry has allowed her to roam the world, so you know the regional specials are authentic — not to mention delicious. They’re so delicious, they are 2015’s top-ranking San Diego food truck, the highest-placing food truck from California on our list, and the second-best food truck in all of America.
Original reporting by Nikkitha Bakshani.