Downtown San Diego's Tacos El Gordo Set To Nearly Double Footprint And Open By December 1

October 23, 2019

It's almost a running joke at this point. Will Tacos El Gordo ever open its downtown San Diego location? We have received word that the Tijuana-style taqueria has plans to open by December 1 and is also in the process of nearly doubling its footprint by taking over the ground floor space last occupied by the short-lived Queensborough bar.

After more than three years of taco-fueled anticipation, the 40+ year old Tacos El Gordo chain of Mexican restaurants is nearly ready to open its downtown San Diego location. Tacos El Gordo first launched in Tijuana in 1972. A fast-casual taco shop chain specializing in authentic Mexican street tacos, El Gordo currently operates three locations in Tijuana, four branches in the Las Vegas area of Nevada, and three more in San Diego's South County. We announced in May 2016 the company had taken over the space previously occupied by Starbuck's within the historic William Penn Building in the Gaslamp Quarter with an opening to come the following year, but the long-stalled progress on the central San Diego location led many to believe it would never happen. The delay was likely due to a myriad of issues spanning from a lack of workforce to a more than $40,000 fine from the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration over unsafe working conditions.

The new downtown San Diego branch of Tacos El Gordo will offer 2,200 square-feet of interior space with a 900 square-foot mezzanine seating area. We also recently received word that the company was taking over the nearly adjacent 1,800 square-foot ground floor space at 777 5th Avenue that last housed Queensborough for an overflow dining area, as the eatery expects to draw large crowds upon its soft opening, which should happen as early as Thanksgiving weekend. Like other locations, the menu will be centered around street tacos made with various cuts of grilled carne asada and marinated pork adobada shaved off a vertical "trompo" roaster, as well as quesadillas, sopes, tostadas, and smothered fries.

Tacos El Gordo's downtown San Diego location is expected to open at 511 F Street in the Gaslamp by December 1 (seriously this time). For more information, visit and check out the menu below.