For several years, Mexican breakfast has been one of the more popular options for people eating out. Huevos rancheros or omelets stuffed with avocado and chorizo are a flavorful and filling way to start your day. Many places that serve killer tacos also serve outstanding breakfast. Recently, however, a new dish has begun to overshadow these popular Tex Mex Brex staples: chilaquiles.
If you aren’t familiar with this dish, it’s time you learn all about it. Some people call it the nachos of breakfast and brunch. Most people just call it delicious. The main component of the dish is fried pieces of corn tortilla. These then get smothered in a fresh sauce and simmered to soften the tortilla back up.
It’s commonly made with a fresh red salsa, a green tomatillo salsa or, in some cases, mole sauce. Some recipes call for pulled chicken as well. People will then top the dish with Mexican crema, queso fresco, onions and fresh avocado. Sometimes, a side of eggs, meat, guacamole or refried beans round out the plate. Different regions from Mexico add their own flair to the dish, and you can find many fun interpretations of chilaquiles on menus all over San Diego these days.
If you’re looking for authentic Mexican cuisine, this dish is a great option. In fact, the name for the dish actually comes from a Nahunta word, meaning this dish’s roots are actually firmly established in pre-colonized American culture. You won’t have to hunt around for a great place to try this breakfast/brunch dish. We’ve done the legwork of hunting down four of the best chilaquiles plates in San Diego for you.
El Borrego Restaurant
Location: 4280 El Cajon Blvd. (map)
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Closed Monday
People who live or work in City Heights should make a beeline to El Berrgo Restaurant. While this restaurant claims that its specialty is lamb barbacoa, they also make homemade corn tortillas, which give them a special edge when it comes to chilaquiles.
They have many options for you to customize your chilaquiles here. They offer all three common sauces, meaning you can enjoy a red salsa, green salsa or mole sauce. The dish comes served with queso fresco (crumbly white Mexican cheese) and beans. You can add chicken, lamb or eggs to the dish for a small upcharge.
If you come seeking breakfast with a vegetarian friend in tow, never fear! They offer soy chorizo that is sure to leave your vegetarian dining companions happy. They also make a host of lunch dishes, such as enchiladas and flautas.
You can enjoy your meal with a fresh juice to drink. They make homemade aquas frescas, which are refreshing drinks with fresh juice. You can also enjoy Mexican-style coffee and bottled Mexican sodas with your meal. Be sure to save a bit of your appetite for dessert, because they serve up flan, rice pudding and even carrot cake muffins to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Location: 3232 Greyling Drive (map)
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you find yourself in need of a bite of breakfast in Serra Mesa, Maggie’s Cafe has you covered. This place offers a perfect mash-up of American comfort foods and Tex Mex dishes for both breakfast and lunch, or dinner.
Their house plate of chilaquiles, called Maggie’s Chilaquiles, comes with your choice of either green or red sauce. The make their own corn tortilla chips in house. Then, they top it all with red onion, cotija cheese and sour cream. They also provide rice pilaf and refried beans on the plate. You can upgrade the dish to include eggs or chicken as well.
There are plenty of other delicious options for breakfast, including steak and eggs, a breakfast burrito, a skillet featuring carnitas pork and eggs, and even French toast or pancakes. You can order off of their breakfast menu all day, so even if you stop in for dinner, chilaquiles are an option.
Of course, their menu has plenty of other great options, include wraps, several kinds of fresh salads, burgers, tortas and sandwiches and a selection of entrees. They make bourbon steak, salmon and chicken, as well as fish and chips. They round out their menu with an assortment of pasta dishes, including bruschetta chicken pasta and pasta primavera.
Location: 627 4th Avenue (map)
Hours: Seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
If you want to try chilaquiles in a super trendy setting, head down to Gaslamp, where Werewolf is serving up popular dishes and plenty of drinks. This place has a full bar, late night hours and even karaoke in the evenings.
You can only order off of the breakfast menu until 2 p.m., so be sure to come in early if you want to try their take on chilaquiles. Because this place isn’t a Mexican restaurant, you don’t have a selection of sauces. Instead, they serve theirs with a red sauce and corn salsa. They top it with Monterey Jack cheese, eggs, cotija cheese, avocado and scallion sour cream.
They also allow you to add either chicken or braised beef to the dish for an extra punch of protein. Many people compare the chilaquiles here to a tostada, but the dish generally gets rave reviews. Other options on their breakfast menu include a steak quesadilla, breakfast balls (hush puppies covered in country gravy and bacon crumbles), country fried steak and even a pork belly eggs Benedict. Definitely make a point of asking about today’s specialty pancakes, too.
If you’re looking for lunch or dinner instead, they’ve got plenty of creative and trendy dishes, such as ahi soba noodle salad, a bulgogi BBQ steak bowl and even pork belly nachos.
Carnitas Las Michoacanas
Location: 6513 University Avenue (map)
Hours: Monday: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Closed Tuesday, Wednesday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday: 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For people in Rolando or the nearby college areas, Carnitas Las Michoacanas is serving up incredible and authentic flavors six days a week! With an affordable menu, authentic dishes and quaint decor, this little eatery is an ideal destination for a low-key but delicious meal.
They have four distinct menu options for chilaquiles here. You can enjoy these flavorful corn chips with pork and eggs in their carnitas con huevos chilaquiles. They also serve it huevos rancheros or huevos al gusto style. You can order it with steak, too. They come with red sauce, but you may be able to request a change if there’s something else you prefer. They don’t skimp on the portion sizes or the seasoning here, so be prepared for a filling and flavorful dish!
Carnitas by the pound with all the fixings for $12.99. Delicious and so meaty! We always have leftovers when coming here. . . . . . #carnitas #carnitastacos #carnitaslasmichoacanas #sandiego #lamesa #sandiegofood #sandiegoeats #sdfoodie #sdfoodblogger #thistastylife #sdfood #sdfooddiaries #eatsandiego #diningoutsd #foodiegram #foodporn #pork #porkbelly #porktacos #sdeats #eatlocal #eatingsandiego #stayhungrysd
There are plenty of other incredible dishes to enjoy throughout the day. They make all of the most common Mexican dishes, from tacos with carne asada or al pastor pork to tortas and quesadillas. They also make lunch and breakfast burritos with your choice of meat inside. You can enjoy specialty plates with barbacoa, menudo or tostadas, too. In addition, they have beef and chicken soup in house that they serve up with fresh tortillas and rice.