Taco Bell's New Boozy Modern Cantina Comes To San Diego In 2018

November 3, 2017

Taco Bell is bringing its hip urban restaurant concept to San Diego's South County in 2018. Heading into the Outlets at the Border in San Ysidro is Taco Bell Cantina, the company's new fast-casual restaurant concept that features a modernized design and an expanded menu with new tapas, beer and wine.

Taco Bell, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc which operates more than 7,000 restaurants in 23 countries, opened its first Cantina location in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago in late 2015. Since then, Taco Bell Cantina outposts have popped up in San Francisco, Cleveland, Austin, Atlanta, and a flagship store in Vegas where patrons can even arrange to be married. The company plans to open between 300 and 350 locations of its new concept in urban areas by 2022.

Aimed to reach the tech-driven Millenial Generation, the new Taco Bell Cantina restaurants offer a modern design, outfitted in exposed brick, brushed-steel pendant lights, art murals, and reclaimed barn wood. Additional upgrades include a Taco Bell mobile ordering app with easy payment and pick up, digital menu boards, large flat screen televisions, eclectic seating areas, and outlets equipped with USB ports. 

In addition to serving beer, wine, sangria and "Twisted Freezes" frozen specialty drinks, the menu offers all the Taco Bell favorites, as well as the additions of appetizers designed for sharing - including nachos, quesadillas, and chicken fingers - and twists on regular menu items. Most locations also offer an open kitchen so that diners can see the staff constructing dishes, as well as a retail merchandise shop selling everything from hot sauce t-shirts to taco branded underwear. There are no drive-thru windows at any of the new Taco Bell Cantinas, a risky move since that is where the majority of the company's sales come from. 

San Diego's first Taco Bell Cantina will be located at 4457 Camino De La Plaza, Suite 101 at the Outlets at the Border in San Diego's San Ysidro community. The eatery is owned by Oceanside-based SD Bell Inc. and is anticipated to unveil in early 2018. Once it unveils, the restaurant will be open from 7am to midnight daily. Based on the success of the San Ysidro store, more locations may be opening around the city in the near future.