Plenty of places in San Diego can claim their Mexican heritage. From the land itself to the taco stands on nearly every corner, Mexico infuses our experience here every day. Yet, despite the proximity of Mexico and the wealth of influences it has had on our city, it can be surprisingly difficult to find a Baja-style street taco or a good conchita blanca. Everybody has their favorite place, and some of the shops in more Spanish-speaking neighborhoods come close, but few would argue that it tastes just the same as it does in Mexico proper.
Panchita’s has been trying, since the 1980s, to change that.
If you’ve been to one of their shops in Barrio Logan or Golden Hill, then this may be old news. But, it’s still pretty fresh to North Park. The shop on 32nd Street, just off University and near the neighborhood library, has been open for one year as of this week. But, unless you read a lot of Yelp reviews or take the 805 South from the Boundary/North Park Way entrance, the odds are good that it may have escaped your notice. They don’t advertise heavily because they don’t need to do so. People find their way there.
They clearly make their mark by offering good Mexican pastries and one of the most legit tacos around (especially for the price). That said, they can also be relied upon to roll up a good burrito, especially of the breakfast variety. If you are feeling both wealthy and adventurous, they also do a dorado preparation that is worth trying (have it in tacos; you won’t be sorry). But, really, it’s a pretty simple and easy to follow menu. Be guided by the time of day, your wallet, and your hunger.
The things you need to know are few and simple:
- Walk in if you want to pick out some pastries. They have many, they are fresh, and they are excellent.
- Drive thru is available if you just need some solid tacos or a good burrito to go.
- Taco Tuesday is cheap-ish (3 street tacos for $3.75), and it lasts until Wednesday.
- Parking is pretty limited. The best bet is to park across the street at CVS.
- They have patio seating, with proper tables and chairs, if you feel like having a seat and enjoying some food more slowly.
- Some days, they will do a proper Mexican roasted corn. This, like the bigger breads, will likely run out of supply as the day goes on.
Panchita’s Kitchen & Bakery
- 3803 32nd St
- San Diego, CA 92104
- (b/t University Ave & North Park Way)
- North Park
- Phone number (619) 255-5498
- Cost: $3-14/person depending on meal and beverages