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“Amazing street tacos, entrees, friendly service...my new standard in authentic Mexican.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fidel's

Fidel's
607 Valley Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075
(858) 755-5292
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Ranked #16 of 68 Restaurants in Solana Beach
Price range: $14 - $35
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Bellevue, WA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Amazing street tacos, entrees, friendly service...my new standard in authentic Mexican.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2010

I was in the Rancho Santa Fe /Solana Beach area visiting from out of town, and someone in another bar recommended the street tacos at Fidel's. So, being a connoisseur of good Mexican when I lived in Tucson for eight years, I couldn't resist the temptation.

I pulled into the cantina of Fidel's, which is the only place in the restaurant they'll serve you the street tacos during happy hour from Mon-Thu...and I was totally blown away. I tried four of the five varieties; diced beef, chicken, fish, and breaded chicken...and they were ALL excellent, although I'd have to give the nod to the fish tacos...and they were easy on the wallet, at $2.50 a taco...loaded with all the fixings; veggies, salsa, guacamole, hot peppers optional. The margaritas were also tasty as Jason, my bartender that night, put his mixologist expertise to practice. It was easy for one to imagine themselves south of the border in this place. Filled after 4 tacos (more than my share, but hey, I was tasting the variety) and 2 margaritas, my bill came to less than $25 with tip...definitely no complaints there!

I returned the following day for lunch, and ordered the beef fajitas platter...what set this apart from countless other platters I've had throughout the Southwest and Mexico were the wholesome fresh grilled vegetables; long whole scallions, pepper varieties, sliced tomatoes, avocado slices...with rice, black beans (on demand), and a little sour cream over steamed corn tortillas...and the beef cubes were tender, like they'd been in some sort of marinade. I had enough beef and vegetables to create 6-7 overflowing taco fajitas, and had to carry some home. My mouth waters just recalling it all as I write this. A pint of margaritas on the rocks topped it all off and kept my buddy and I amused.

What a find. I intend to definitely come back to Fidel's...especially for the happy hour street tacos in the cantina...if the secret wasn't out before, I guess the cat's out of the bad now! Fidel's now has me on a quest to find the best street taco in Seattle, which might come from some of the taco trucks we have around town up here. I'm not expecting it to be as good, as Fidel's is the standard I plan on using from now on.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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129 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“I've been going here for 30 years. Best salsa and combination plates in San Diego.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2010

I've been going here for 30 years. Best salsa and combination plates in San Diego.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, Kentucky
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Puts Old Town to shame!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2009

They make the best chicken burrito ever. Order it with their burrito sauce. It is chock full of tender white chicken meat very flavorful, unlike the garbage they serve in Old Town.
And only $7!
The chicken soup with rice and avocados is quite good. The nachos are great too.
I like this place (and the one in Carlsbad too). It's homegrown and where the locals go.
Not pretentious, just simple good stick-to-your-ribs old fashioned mexican, not the healthy-mex.

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Del Mar/Carmel Valley
1 review
“Choose for yourself, but I recommend "forget it."”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2009

The world of Mexican food afficionadoes in and around Solana Beach is divided (sharply!) between those who love Fidel's and those who love Tony's Jacal, right next door. I LOVE Tony's! Why would anyone go to a third class Mexican joint (albeit with atmosphere) when the best is 50 feet away? It's why people have been eating at Tony's for 50+ years and are so devoted to it. If you like your salsa right from the can, go to Fidel's.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Poway
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fidel's was bad!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2009

I went to Fidel's last night and was very disappointed. I went to the restaurant with a group of 12 for our friend's birthday. After we sat down, it took about 10 minutes to get our drinks and 25 minutes for our server to take our order. When he finally he came, he was actually saying things like "come on" to us so we would order faster. I ordered a virgin strawberry daiquiri that had almost no flavor in it. 10 minutes later I saw our server and complained about the daiquiri. He then tried to convince us that that is what a daiquiri is supposed to tast like. Apparently daiquiris are supposed to taste like watered down cool aid. When my plate of chips, cheese and guacamole came, it looked good. But when I tasted the food it was lukewarm. It was like they had made the food and then let it sit for 10 minutes till it wasn't hot anymore. During the meal our server just gave up giving us water refills and we didn't see him again till he brought the check. I know other people have had good experiences from this restaurant, but based on my experience I will never come back. The restaurant's building is pretty interesting. It'd be worth it to go in and look around. But I wouldn't spend money there.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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