Fresh coastal flavors come to life every day in our kitchens where we draw inspiration from our Mexican heritage and Southern California surroundings. From sourcing sustainable seafood to selecting the freshest produce available, we make sure every ingredient that goes into our chef-crafted menu maintains the highest standard of quality. Because great food starts at the source.
Learn a bit more about what you bite, here.
Seafood will always be the heart and soul of our ever-evolving menu. We started with The Original Fish Taco® back in 1983, and we’ve been constantly learning ever since, mastering new techniques, flavors, and recipes. Rubio’s chefs are always on the lookout for new seasonal fish and seafood options to keep our menu fresh and exciting.
Nearly all of the seafood we serve at Rubio’s is certified sustainable from fisheries that maintain healthy populations and ecosystems. With some fish – Mahi Mahi, for example – sustainable just isn’t possible yet. We hope that changes soon, because we love Mahi Mahi deeply.
Aside from its delicious perks, seafood also contains omega-3 fatty acids1, natural vitamins and minerals, and all sorts of other nutrients your body needs. Because of this, the American Heart Association recommends you eat it at least twice a week2.
Genuine Wild Alaska Pollock
Alaska Pollock is the most popular fish on our menu. To complement its mild flavor, we hand-dip each piece in our signature beer batter and cook it to crispy perfection. You can find our sustainable Wild Alaska Pollock in, of course, The Original Fish Taco®, but also Fish Taco Especial, The Coastal Trio® and the Beer-Battered Fish Burrito.
We source our genuine wild Alaska Pollock directly from the icy ocean waters in Alaska. Our fisheries are certified by the FAO-Based Responsible Fishery Management (RFM) Certification. This certification shows that Alaska’s fisheries meet the criteria of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. This third party certification is awarded to fisheries or farms that meet sustainable seafood standards for maintaining healthy populations and ecosystems, and for seafood traceability.
Atlantic Salmon’s light flavor is a “go-to” for seafood lovers. At Rubio’s, we serve it lightly seasoned with olive oil and garlic, or house blackened with a blend of red, white, and black pepper and seasonings, then seared on an authentic comal.
Our Atlantic Salmon comes from fisheries that are certified as sustainable in accordance with Best Aquaculture Practices.
Whether you’re enjoying a bowl, burrito, taco, or salad, Rubio’s succulent shrimp is always a delicious choice. First we marinate the shrimp in ancho chiles, garlic, cilantro, olive oil and lime juice, then pan-sear them to perfection. We source our shrimp from farms that are certified sustainable in accordance with Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP).
Try pan-seared shrimp in our Ancho Citrus Shrimp Burrito, Classic Grilled Shrimp Burrito, Salsa Verde Shrimp Tacos, Grilled Gourmet Taco™ with Shrimp, The Coastal Trio®, Shrimp Enchiladas, California Bowl with Shrimp, Chipotle Orange Salad with Shrimp, Chopped Salad with Shrimp, Chipotle Ranch Salad with Shrimp and our Balsamic & Roasted Veggie Salad with Shrimp.
Pacific Mahi Mahi
Wild and mild, rolled into one. Our Pacific Mahi Mahi is wild-caught and mild in flavor. We prepare our Mahi Mahi with olive oil and garlic then grill it to perfection, or sear it with a blend of traditional blackening spices, both on a traditional comal.
Pacific Mahi Mahi can be found in our Pacific Mahi Mahi Taco, Pacific Mahi Mahi Burrito, California Bowl with Mahi Mahi, Chipotle Orange Salad with Mahi Mahi, Chopped Salad with Mahi Mahi, Chipotle Ranch Salad with Mahi Mahi, and our Balsamic & Roasted Veggie Salad with Mahi Mahi.
Regal Springs® Tilapia
Our Regal Springs® Tilapia is a delicate, flavorful, flaky white fish. We offer our tilapia seasoned with olive oil and garlic, or house blackened with a blend of traditional spices, then seared on an authentic comal.
We source our Tilapia from Regal Springs®, which is certified as sustainable in accordance with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
You can find sustainable tilapia in the Regal Springs® Tilapia Tacos, Regal Springs® Tilapia Burrito, California Bowl with Tilapia, The Coastal Trio®, Chipotle Orange Salad with Tilapia, Chopped Salad with Tilapia, Chipotle Ranch Salad with Tilapia, and Balsamic & Roasted Veggie Salad with Tilapia.
- Fish and omega-3 fatty acids. (2010, September 7). Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Fish-and-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids_UCM_303248_Article.jsp
- Meat, poultry and fish. (2011, January 20). Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Meat-Poultry-and-Fish_UCM_306002_Article.jsp
Our Grilled Veggies are a delectable medley of lightly roasted red, yellow, and green bell peppers, zucchini, red onion, and squash marinated in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon juice.
Our cooks arrive bright and early each day to prepare food with passion. They’re perfecting handmade guacamole, salsas, and sauces, each created with its own distinctive flavor.
Learn more about your favorites, and perhaps find a new one, below.
Not all avocados are created equal. That’s why, when it comes to our fresh-made guacamole, it has to be Hass. Our cooks mash fresh, buttery Hass avocados daily to mix with chopped cilantro, natural sea salt, and lime juice, giving our guacamole a deliciously citrusy zing.
All those salsas at our salsa bar? They’re prepared fresh in our kitchens every day. From mild to spicy to smoky to rich, each salsa has its own unique character. And a unique ability to make a great meal even better.
With a rich, fresh flavor from vine-ripened tomatoes, white onions, cilantro and a hint of heat from serrano and jalapeño chiles, this is the jack-of-all-trades at our salsa bar. It’s great with chips and, well, just about anything else.
Our Tomatillo Salsa is a delicious staple of the salsa bar. Made with tomatillos, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, and onion, this green goodness has a subtle heat and a fresh, light taste.
Roasted Chipotle Salsa
The Roasted Chipotle Salsa brings together complex flavors of fire-roasted tomatoes, smoky red and jalapeño chiles, and lime juice. You’ll find it starring in our salsa bar – it’s the deep, rich, smoky option. While this salsa pairs deliciously with everything on the menu, we think it particularly elevates our grilled chicken and steak offerings.
Inspired by one of Ralph’s trips to Puerto Nuevo, Mexico, Picante Salsa has a spicy heat with a rich, toasted chile flavor. It’s crafted with ripe red tomatoes and mixed with a blend of toasted, crushed red chiles. The Picante Salsa is an ‘especially’ nice complement to the Fish Taco Especial according to Ralph, but you can find it at the salsa bar to spice up any of our menu items for yourself.
Our salsa fresca is a celebration of freshness. Made in-house daily, it features diced Roma tomatoes, white onions, cilantro, jalapeno and Serrano chiles, lime zest, oregano, and just a pinch of sea salt.
Red Tomatillo Salsa
Our Red Tomatillo Salsa is a blend of fire-roasted tomatillos, fresh tomatoes, jalapeños, and ancho chiles, with a hint of cilantro, and onions. The resulting mellow heat of this salsa provides a perfect pairing for grilled seafood and chicken.
Rubio's White Sauce
Rubio’s white sauce is a classic that’s been with us since the beginning. Inspired by the fish tacos in Baja, this sauce has a light creaminess that offers a cooling contrast to the heat of our chiles and salsas. You can find our white sauce on The Original Fish Taco®, Fish Taco Especial, The Coastal Trio®, Beer-Battered Fish Burrito, Chipotle Orange Salad with Shrimp, and the Chipotle Orange Salad with Tilapia.
Creamy Chipotle Sauce
Creamy Chipotle Sauce adds a spicy kick to our Classic White Sauce with an extra touch of heat from chipotles in adobo. You can find Creamy Chipotle Sauce on our Ancho Citrus Shrimp Burrito, Classic Grilled Shrimp Burrito, Pacific Mahi Mahi Burrito, Regal Springs® Tilapia Burrito, Atlantic Salmon Burrito, Grilled Gourmet Taco™ with Shrimp, Grilled Gourmet Taco™ with Chicken, Grilled Gourmet Taco™ with Steak, Grilled Gourmet Taco with Veggies, Pacific Mahi Mahi Taco, Regal Springs® Tilapia Tacos, Atlantic Salmon Taco, Classic Grilled Chicken Taco, Burrito Especial with Grilled Chicken, Burrito Especial with Grilled Steak and California Bowl.
Only the best tortillas, the crispiest chips, and the finest sides leave the kitchen to complement our chef-crafted recipes.
The corn tortilla, lies at the heart of Mexican cuisine. Our recipe is simple, but the mastery is in the making. We use stone-ground, non-GMO, real white corn, sourced locally in California to retain its fresh corn flavor, and then mix it with water and lime. Oh, and love. Lots and lots of love.
We also offer flour tortillas and whole-grain tortillas, made with just as much love.
Tortilla chips at Rubio’s are deliciously simple. We take our stone-ground corn tortillas, cut them up, cook them to crispy perfection, then sprinkle them with a pinch of sea salt. That’s it. That’s the secret to delicious, crunchy chips that pair perfectly with basically everything on our menu.
Pinto & Black Beans
Beans are beans. Or so you may have thought. At Rubio’s, we simmer and season our pinto and black beans from scratch every day. And we never ever fry or refry.
Our pinto beans have a dash of garlic and black pepper, and our black beans are prepared with garlic, salt, and our signature smoky red chile sauce.
Our Mexican rice recipe comes straight from Ralph’s mom herself. Thanks to her, we lightly toast our rice kernels first, then cook them with rich red tomatoes, garlic, and a secret blend of spices.
We prepare our Citrus Rice fresh daily, flavoring it with lemongrass and lime juice to perfectly complement our diverse menu.
At Rubio’s, we believe that when you put the best ingredients in, you get the best food out. That’s why we start with the freshest produce, sourced from the Salinas and Imperial Valleys of California and Yuma, Arizona. Sometimes, when we need more than the harvest in these areas can provide, or even if the harvest just doesn’t meet our standards, we’ll get our produce from other regions. We do whatever it takes to get the freshest food on your plates.
Not all avocados are created equal. So we source only Hass avocados from California, Chile, Mexico, and Peru for a buttery flavor and a rich, creamy texture. It’s also why, in our humble opinion, they’re the very best in the world.
These delicious Hass avocados arrive fresh in our kitchens so we can pit, peel, mash, and slice them daily. You’ll find them in our handmade guacamole or sliced up on top of many of your favorite dishes.
We serve our seafood tacos with fresh lime wedges to provide that perfect citrus finish. We’re always slicing up a few more in case you need extra, which can be found at the salsa bar.
Chiles add depth of color and flavor to any recipe. And yes, sometimes a touch of “YOW!” But they’re not just about the heat. From smoky chipotles to fiery chiles de arbol, we have a pepper to please any palate.
Jalapeño chiles are our most widely-used pepper on the menu. They vary in size and spiciness, but their subtle heat is balanced out by a crunchy freshness.
Chipotle chiles are jalapeños that have been smoke-dried for several days. They’re deep red in color and combine the warmth of a jalapeno with a rich, smoky flavor.
Chiles de arbol, which we use in our picante salsa, pack a spicy punch. Aside from their major flavor, these thin, curved peppers maintain a beautiful bright red color and look just as good as they taste.
Lettuce, Cabbage, Onions and Tomatoes
Our crisp romaine lettuce, spring mix, cabbage, onions and tomatoes are grown in California’s Salinas and Imperial Valleys and Yuma, Arizona. Sometimes when we need more than the harvest in these areas can provide, or if the quality of the produce just doesn’t measure up, we’ll source from other areas so we can make sure our veggies are always fresh. And always delicious.
Tacos just wouldn’t be tacos without a hint of cilantro. Ours comes from California farms year-round and can be found throughout the menu. Our salsa fresca and mild salsa, for example, both feature cilantro. We also prepare a fresh blend of chopped onion and cilantro, available at the salsa bar.
Our dairy products, including rBST-free milk, cheese and sour cream, are free of artificial hormones.
A hallmark of Rubio’s culinary approach is pairing unique cooking techniques with our inventive recipes and delicious ingredients.
From searing seafood on the authentic comal to hand-battering each piece of our Wild Alaska Pollock, we’re not cutting corners in our kitchens. Learn more about the way we approach our cuisine below.
The Mexican comal has been used to infuse food with rich flavors for centuries. Traditionally, these pieces are handed down for generations, becoming seasoned and tempered with time.
At Rubio’s, we grill on the sizzling hot comal to give our fish and shrimp a perfectly seared exterior and delicate interior. We look forward to using it for hundreds of years, too.
It was in San Felipe that Ralph Rubio first tried a fish taco. The crunchy batter was inspired by the traditions of Japanese fishermen who introduced tempura batter and woks to the coastal region in the 1800’s. The rest as they say, is deliciously crispy history. Today, the sustainable Wild Alaska Pollock in the Original Fish Taco® is still hand-dipped in our signature beer batter and cooked to delicate perfection.
It’s the little things that help set Rubio’s apart, and one of those little things is the toasted cheese we create specifically for our Grilled Gourmet Tacos, inspired by the authentic street food of Baja, Mexico. We lay a blend of mozzarella, Monterey jack, and white cheddar directly on a hot flat grill until it’s melty, toasty, and delicious. We then lay this on a warm, stone-ground corn tortilla to create the foundation for one seriously delicious taco.
Handmade Guacamole, Salsas & Sauces
Before we open each day, our cooks are busy preparing handmade guacamole and your favorite salsas and sauces.
To create our handmade guacamole, for example, we mash fresh Hass avocados daily. The avocados are mixed with chopped cilantro and finished with a sprinkle of natural sea salt and lime juice.
Our Salsa Fresca, made fresh daily, combines Roma tomatoes, white onions and freshly chopped cilantro. Diced jalapeños and serrano chiles are then added to bring a subtle heat. We finish it off with fresh lime zest, and a pinch of oregano and sea salt.
Meanwhile, our Creamy Chipotle Sauce is prepared by blending our signature white sauce with chipotles in adobo to create a smoky, rich, and spicy sauce.
Beans & Rice
We cook whole black and pinto beans in our kitchens from scratch - we never fry or refry. Small batches are prepared throughout the day to make sure you’re always getting a fresh bite.
Our Mexican rice is prepared fresh as well. Using Ralph’s mother’s own recipe, we toast the rice kernels first, and cook them with rich tomatoes, garlic, and a secret blend of spices. Our Citrus Rice is flavored with lemongrass and lime juice for a distinctively delicious flavor.