After Four Decades In Business, Karina's Taco Shop Ending Run In San Diego's North County City Of Encinitas

October 10, 2023

After 40 years in business, Karina's Taco Shop is ending its run in San Diego's North County city of Encinitas, and the space is currently available for lease.

In 1981, Don Arnulfo Contreras and his wife María Inés Curiel opened the first Karina’s restaurant in San Diego's East County city of Spring Valley. Named in honor of their daughter, Karina's Taco Shop opened in the Leucadia area of Encinitas in 1983. 

Karina's Restaurant Group now has seven locations of its Karina's Mexican Seafood restaurants spread around San Diego, as well as longtime restaurant Savoie Italian Eatery in Chula Vista. In 2016, the company partnered with Saffron Thai founder Su-Mei Yu to provide operational support at her historic Mission Hills restaurant and expanded the concept with a new location in La Jolla for a short time before being rebranded into now shuttered Karina's Cantina. In fall 2019, Gaslamp Quarter's 23-year-old Taka Sushi was acquired by Karina's Group. Then in late 2020, the company took over the 6,000-square-foot, two-story Gaslamp Quarter space that previously housed the short-lived Tocaya Organica and opened the most ambitious Karina Cantina restaurant to date. Earlier this year, the company took over the space that last housed The Patricios Restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter for the opening of a new bar & restaurant concept called Santa Gula, which translates to "holy gluttony" in Spanish.

Due to a proposed rent hike, Karina's Taco Shop will end its four-decades run in Encinitas at some point in mid-November. The taco shop is known for its Mexican mariscos and expansive taqueria menu, including its popular Bomb Burrito will carne asada, fries, rolled tacos, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. The Karina's Taco Shop is currently listed for sale by local brokerage Next Wave Commercial

Karina's Taco Shop is located at 916 Coast Highway 101 in San Diego's North County community of Encinitas.