RecommendationAlex Tweet, owner and head brewer at Fieldwork Beer Co in Berkeley, California recommends eating at Carnitas Snack Shack as his 'San Diego Must' as part of the Dirt Road Travels city travel guide for San Diego.

San Diego, California

Carnitas Snack Shack

"Delicious, with high-level execution."

Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle
Little Lion Cafe
Red Fox Steakhouse and Piano Bar

Carnitas Snack Shack

"Delicious, with high-level execution."

"I'm in the business of making people happy."
Recommended by:
Alex Tweet
Owner, Fieldwork Brewing Co.
Recommended in:
San Diego, California

Alex's Take

"Carnitas Snack Shack is a craft beer and pork house. That place is the epitome of gluttony in the best way, with high-level execution."

Hanis, Co-Owner of Carnitas Snack Shack
Sara, Co-Owner of Carnitas Snack Shack

Our Story

"We sold everything we had - my dream motorcycle, our belongings - to start Carnitas. I had to ride on a little orange scooter for a year to commute here because it was all we had. We really sold everything.

We did the credit cards. We got denied by everyone for loans. I mean, we know what it's like. We literally had $100 in our bank account after everything was built out. But you're so excited and pumped that you're actually doing it, and honestly, we had good press in the early days because I had won San Diego Chef of the Year and was inducted into the Chef Hall of Fame, so it helped us out. We had the industry coming in because they knew us."

Homebrewed Beer with Kelsey at North Park Beer Co Piano Bar Jam Banding at Red Fox South American BBQ at Grand Ole BBQ

What I Love Most

"I love being able to take a raw product and to create something like an artist. When I see you take a bite after that meal, I know whether you liked it or not. I love watching someone take a bite of a Triple Threat or the Steak Sandwich. When you see it and you see them smile and stop, that's it. That’s what keeps pushing me. That’s a satisfaction that they’re getting instantly and that's what we strive for, that happy look every day."

My Advice for Others

"Make sure you’re ready. I'd been cooking for 25 years before I opened this. I knew what I wanted to do, I had the experience and I took the risk. But I think that's the hardest part when you do something on your own - it’s you.

When you jump off that diving board, swan dive it. Don’t freakin’ panic or cannonball it. But don’t just flail, really focus.

Every day you have to get up and keep wanting to do it. The more you get past that fear and get over the risk, everything starts coming together."

The Triple Threat

Our San Diego Musts

"We're in San Diego, so there are lots of taco shops, like Colima's Mexican Food and Cocina 35. Little Lion is delicious, with a huge restaurant history. The Red Fox is awesome, with great steaks and cocktails.


Carnitas Snack Shack


Carnitas Snack Shack
Hanis Cavin, Chef & Owner
Carnitas Snack Shack
San Diego
Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle
"When I stumbled upon this location, it was fate, like the gods were shining upon me."
Little Lion Cafe
"It's the kind of place that when you walk in it just makes you want to smile."
Red Fox Steakhouse and Piano Bar
"It's a drinker's bar."
Carnitas Snack Shack
"Delicious, with high-level execution."

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