San Diego

In This Corner: Lucha Libre Taco Shop Opens at The Shoppes at Carlsbad

The newest Lucha Libre Taco Shop is located at 2525 El Camino Real, Suite 218-C, at The Shoppes at Carlsbad

A quirky, cult favorite restaurant known for its Mexican food and colorful wrestling paraphernalia has opened a new location, this time in San Diego’s North County.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop – which began 10 years ago as a hole-in-the-wall on West Washington Street in Mission Hills – recently opened its third eatery at 2525 El Camino Real, Suite 218-C, at the retail and dining center, The Shoppes at Carlsbad. The eatery is located in an area known as “Restaurant Row.”

Like the Lucha Libre locations before it, the Carlsbad restaurant features bright, kitschy décor and artwork depicting Mexican wrestlers, or “luchadores,” masks and all.

The menu features California Burritos, including Lucha Libre’s signature "Surfin’ Cali": featuring grilled steak, shrimp, fries, pico de gallo, jack cheese, avocado slices and super-secret chipotle sauce.

Also on the appetizing agenda: tacos (so many tacos), quesadillas and specialties like the “TJ Dog,” an all-beef hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped with ketchup, mustard, mayo, and fajitas. Then there's “Knockout Fries,” fresh fries with your choice of chicken or steak, bacon and mushrooms, topped with melted jack cheese, avocado slices, queso and secret chipotle sauce.

The new location includes both indoor and patio seating and is open from 10 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Lucha Libre was created in January 2008 by San Diego-based brothers Jose Luis, Maurilio and Diego Rojano Garcia, along with their childhood friend, Joseph Stewart. All four founders went to high school together at Saint Augustine in North Park.

Over the past decade, the taco shop has been featured on food-centric TV shows like “Man vs. Food” and has gained a cult following by San Diegans who know good Mexican food.

The success of the flagship Mission Hills location led the founders to open up a second Lucha Libre Taco Shop in North Park in 2015, along with several kiosks at Petco Park in downtown San Diego.

Long lines are common at Lucha Libre but, for die-hard fans, there’s an option to reserve something known as the “Champion’s Booth” at all three locations. The booth – which must be booked 24 hours in advance – offers VIP seating – so patrons can feel like the top “luchador.”

The Shoppes at Carlsbad has undergone a major overhaul over the past year, including the addition of many retail stores and eateries such as The Yard House and Dave & Busters. This is the latest restaurant in the ring.

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