Gallery: Which Taco Chain Makes the Best Fish Tacos?

Rubio’s Sesame Soy Fish Taco
Rubio’s Sesame Soy Fish Taco
With fish tacos, sometimes you have to improvise, especially if you’re not near the ocean. The sesame soy fish taco is a far cry from the conventional Baja versions most other places strive for, but it was also the best taco of the day. This taco was topped with lettuce, a touch of wasabi, and some avocado slices all sharing tortilla space with the fish. Tack on the salty, slightly sweet soy sauce with a bit of a sesame pop, and you’ve got a smooth, creamy fish frankentaco on your hands.
Rubio’s Fish Taco Especial
Rubio’s Fish Taco Especial
The Especial is an upgrade from the otherwise boring Original Fish Taco. The addition of guacamole with some jack and cheddar cheese shreds is certainly indulgent, but helps to mask a beer batter that otherwise falls flat. The fish is Alaskan Pollock and is served on a single warm, thick tortilla. Corn and flour are both available upon request.
Rubio’s Salsa Bar
Rubio’s Salsa Bar
If you find yourself staring down an Original Fish Taco, head for the vibrant salsa bar, where the roasted chipotle or tomatillo salsas are your best bet.
Baja Fresh Fish Tacos
Baja Fresh Fish Tacos
Perhaps the most widely national taco chain of the bunch, Baja Fresh is pretty vocal about their few fish taco selections. They’ve also flipped the script on correct taco plating, leaving the finished fish sections resting atop the other ingredients. It’s not a bad idea, but if you don’t eat quickly you can expect the radiant heat from the double-stacked corn tortillas and fish to warm up that tuft of cabbage pretty quickly.
Baja Fresh Grilled Taco
Baja Fresh Grilled Taco
The ono fish comes either fried or grilled, with the fried version feeling a bit mushy. Unfortunately, the fire-grilled version suffers the opposite problem, giving off a dry, almost rubbery sensation. To their credit, Baja Fresh has nearly perfected the zippy, creamy sauce that coats the bottom of the tortilla.
Baja Fresh Mango Salsa
Baja Fresh Mango Salsa
If you’re looking to liven up the grilled fish taco, the limited-time mango salsa is a good place to start. Sure, it’s a bit thick and sugary, but it still tastes plenty fresh and helps smooth out any rubberiness you might have.
Wahoo’s Fish Taco
Wahoo’s Fish Taco
For a place with fish taco in the name, it’s pretty slim pickings at Wahoo’s. The ono fish comes either grilled or ‘Cajun style’ (more on that in a moment). The fish itself is quite fresh, offering a nice, clean taste underneath the jack and cheddar cheese combo and expanse of pico de gallo, all on a double-stack of thin corn tortillas.
Wahoo’s Cajun Fish Taco
Wahoo’s Cajun Fish Taco
The biggest difference you’ll find between the grilled and Cajun taco versions is salt: there’s some on the grilled taco, and about twice as much on the Cajun version. The ends never really blacken up the way you might expect, but the addition of pepper and cayenne help to define the ‘Cajun’ genre here.
Del Taco’s Fish Taco
Del Taco’s Fish Taco
Of all the national fast food chains in Southern California, only Del Taco has a fish taco as an ongoing menu item. Of course, it doesn’t get a lot of love from customers, and for good reason. More fish stick than true fish taco. It’s no surprise that the salty, dry catfish was the worst taco of the bunch.