For truly authentic Mexican food in San Diego, look no further than Las Cuatro Miplas in Barrio Logan. Visitors should not be deterred by the wrought-iron bars on the windows or the back alley way location–there's an experience like no other found inside.
Petra and Natividad Estudillo opened Las Cuatro Milpas in 1933 and it has been serving San Diegans the best Mexican food in town ever since. Meaning “The Four Cornfields,” it is the quintessential hole in the wall serving great food at good prices. Visitors from all walks of life cue up in a long line daily and wait for a peak inside at the traditional menu. The restaurant set-up is simple with cafeteria-style ordering up front, table seating in the middle, and a tortilleria in the rear. A pigeon or two can usually be spotted walking around.
This is like In-N-Out done Mexican style, serving only a few basic menu items without a lot of extras; for example they don't have carne asada or guacamole, but what they do have are the best tacos, burritos, tamales, and tortillas north of the border. Tacos can be ordered with beef, chicken, or pork and are deep-fried to order. Tamales can be served in a bowl of rice and stewed pinto beans, a serving which can often defeat even the most ambitious eater. The burritos come in chicken and pork varieties and are often the size of a small country. The price is just right, too. A visit to Las Cuatro Milpas normally costs no more than $7 or $8 including the dozen tortillas that can’t be avoided.
One side item that Las Cuatro Milpas does have is salsa, which deserves a paragraph of its own. Made by simmering pork fat with chopped chilies and spices, this stuff is not for the faint of heart. One container on the main dish is tasty; two or more will hurt, but are oh so good. The salsa also complements the goat cheese (not cheddar) that is used as a topping on most orders.
As expected, Las Cuatro Milpas does not have a website for more information. Open from 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and closed for several weeks around Christmas time. Other reviews, including a map of the Barrio Logan area, are found on yelp.com.