I kicked off my shoes and put them in the cool water of a fountain.
On one side of me I had a fine margarita with Corralejo Blana tequila and on the other a tasty taco. In front of me on a large stage, a band was rocking with 80s tunes from the Violent Femmes and Depeche Mode via FlashPants. Later, I was partying like it was 1999 – hey isn’t it!? – to Prince tribute band The Purple Madness.
Not far from me, a rockin’ party was taking place at the Corralejo Cantina with people dancing, hands in the air, to a DJ.
I was at SoCal Taco Fest, which organizers say is the biggest taco festival in Southern California. That’s hard to argue because I can’t even begin to tell you how many San Diego restaurants had booths selling tacos. Suffice to say it took up two different rows as far as the eye could see.
And where there are tacos, there are margaritas, right? The ones with Corralejo Blano tequila were quite good and kept me in a fine mood for the afternoon, beyond sunset and well into the evening.
The 2022 event took place on a sunny and warm Saturday, May 14. It was held in Waterfront Park, a huge space framed by the county administration building and the bay across from the San Diego Maritime Museum.
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Prior to Socal Taco Fest, I had not been to Waterfront Park for a festival or concert. And they happen on an almost weekly basis in San Diego.
It’s an incredible venue – large enough to easily accommodate two large stages on either end of the venue, plus smaller side stages and DJs. There is also water in the form of large splash fountains. I had never been to a festival where you can sit on the side of a fountain and put your feet in the water. It kind of reminded me of being at a Vegas pool party.
What was my favorite taco, you ask? That’ easy to answer. It was the grande Za Pina from Gringas, a giant chicken taco (excellent moist chicken, by the way) with pineapple squares served in a pineapple boat.
The GA entry fee is $60 and tacos are $5-10. Margaritas, beers and seltzers are $14 (it is important to note that they are large cans, including one of my favorites, Kona Big Wave).
You’re probably better off getting the VIP ticket, which includes five food and four drink tickets. You don’t have to wait in any lines for tacos and drinks. Sure, there’s only five or six taco stations but there’s a private area (yes, with the fountains!) adjacent to the main stage and nice, air conditioned restrooms. Those tickets are $160. Get those early because they do sell out well in advance.
I do highly recommend this event for the food, the margis and the music. Oh, there’s also Lucha Libra, Mexican wresting, and Chihuahua races with a beauty contest for those into those kind of things.
Me, I was just enjoying the music, the margaritas and the tacos. Oh, and having my bare feet in the fountain.