‘Watts for Dinner’: If you want great tacos – Taqueria San Julian

Will Watts

Along Bayshore Drive, there’s this place called Taqueria San Julian with some of the best tacos in Southwest Florida. And if you thought the food trucks of Celebration Park had put a dent in San Julian’s business, you and I would both me wrong.

Queso featuring chorizo, served with chips, at Taqueria San Julian, Naples.

It was packed on this Saturday night. I took the last parking space and the last table (timing is everything).

Things got off to an appetizing start with a chorizo queso dip and chips. The chips tasted homemade and the dip had generous amounts of meat throughout.

Chorizo is just sausage with a distinct red coloring that might make you think it’s extra spicy. It’s not. That color comes from dried, smoked red peppers. Yum!

For my entrée, I chose tacos al pastor and a steak quesadilla. Al pastor is one of my favorites; the Mexican version of shawarma spit-grilled meat.

If you’ve never had the quesadilla, it’s not served in the same fashion as many restaurants, like a pizza cut into slices. No each quesadilla is taco sized; looks very much like a taco; except for the melted cheese inside. The steak was tender, juicy and cooked to perfection.

Two pork tacos al pastor and one steak quesadilla at Taqueria San Julian, Naples.

My partner in dine picked chicken tacos; he also had some chorizo tacos. San Julian’s chicken are amazing; with subtle hints of tomato marinate; think chicken tinga.   

All tacos come with two tortillas and tons of meat; optional cilantro and onions and a carrousel of salsas to choose from – green, smoky, red (The green salsa is the best). If you eat the entire taco as is; you’ll need both tortillas just to hold it together (did I mention, there was lots of meat?). I sometimes divide them into two; so, it feels like I’m eating even more.

A platter with chorizo tacos in the front, al pastor in the back, at at Taqueria San Julian, Naples.

Taqueria San Julian is a favorite of locals; as there appears to be five heads to every car in the lot; so, there’s a lot of foot traffic. I observed a brisk to-go business in addition to full capacity in the dining area and outside.

If you want great tacos; pick Taqueria San Julian. If you want to eat alone or need plenty of elbow room, go somewhere else.

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If you go

Taqueria San Julian

  • 3575 Bayshore Drive, Naples
  • 239-775-6480