Lick the Plate

Lick the Plate: Tacos and music come together at Tacotopia

How about this for a classic San Diego Saturday? Work up a killer appetite all morning doing whatever healthy outdoor activity it is you enjoy.

Then head to the Del Mar racetrack in the early afternoon good and hungry and sample tacos from more than 40 San Diego and Tijuana vendors with some cold beverages and live music.

Segue that into betting on some horses, then stick around for another concert at the track.

It’s all happening Aug. 13. Event coordinator Alyssa Prestidge was my guest this week on Lick the Plate radio and had this to share about Tacotopia.

So during our radio interview, I counted like 43 vendors at this year’s event, that is a lot of taco sampling for a very reasonable price. How are you able to pull that off?

Prior to signing up, each vendor is made aware of the sample requirement.  As this event continues to grow and grow, we get more and more amazing vendors that are interested in participating.

Celebrate tacos during the Tacotopia at the Track event Aug. 13 at the Del Mar racetrack. Image courtesy Alyssa Prestidge
Celebrate tacos during the Tacotopia at the Track event Aug. 13 at the Del Mar racetrack. Image courtesy Alyssa Prestidge

And it’s not just taco shops participating; you have other types of restaurants as well. Tell me about some of those?

We have everything from well-known taco shops like The Taco Stand, to taco trucks like Dos Bandidos and The Classic Taco Food Truck to well known restaurants like Puesto, Coasterrea and Cali Comfort BBQ.

And some are coming from across the border in Tijuana as well?

We have three great vendors joining us from Tijuana, Tacos Kokopelli, La Cahua del Yeyo and Baja Sonora Asadero.

Besides all the great food, you have bands playing with a definite Hispanic flavor. Who do you have on tap musically? 

We have a pretty awesome line-up.  From noon to 1 p.m. we have Loquera Tradicion, from 1 to 2 p.m. we have Pueblo, from 3 to 4 p.m. we have Policias y Ladrones and finally we have Some Kind of Lizard playing from 3 to 4 p.m.

I also heard your ticket gets you into the track to bet on some races and another concert later that afternoon?

So, Tacotopia at the Track tickets include admission to the track that day, along with entry to the 311 and Matisyahu concert event that evening.  Although Tacotopia is all ages, the concert is only 18-plus.

I know this will be a long list, but I’m pretty sure readers would like to know all the taco vendors participating. 

Aqui es Texoco, Mariscos el trebol, The Taco Stand, Puesto, Encinitas Fish Shop, El Coraloense, South Park Brewing Company, Tacoman, TJ Oster Bar, City Tacos, Tostadas, Meze Greek Fusion, BlueWater Seafood Market & Grill, Lolita’s Restaurants, Parq Restaurant, Dos Bandidos Food Truck, The Patio, Common Theory Public House, Salt and Lime, Lucha Libre Taco Shop, Funky Garcias, Mariscos El Pulpo, Tacos Kokopelli, Pink Tequila, Tempo Urban Kitchen and Henry’s Pub.

How can folks get tickets and what are the hours?

Tickets are available at right now!  Tickets are flying this week so hurry.  We are doing a special Media Hour from noon to 1 p.m., and then gates open at 1 p.m.  Event hours are 1 to 4 p.m.

Being so immersed in this taco centric event, do you still have 3 favorite taco joints in San Diego that are your go-to?

Well I would have to start with Lolita’s Taco Shop. Long live their Cali Burrito! A new discovery is Puesto, which I can’t get enough of. And of course I have to include Lupe’s Taco Shop. Any place that throws flaming Hot Cheetos into a burrito has my vote! I’m also really looking forward to discovering new favorites at Tacotopia, that’s what this event is really all about.

Anything else you would like to add?

Attention all Tacotopia at the Track attendees, begin to prepare your stomachs now!  We are so excited for this event; again it is Aug. 13.  Come join us, and enjoy a day of music, tacos and the excitement of the races.  See you all there!

David Boylan is the founder of Artichoke Creative an Encinitas based integrated marketing firm. He also hosts Lick the Plate Radio that airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. on FM94/9, Easy 98.1, and KSON. Reach him at or (858) 395-6905.