Rubios coastal grill breakfast and seafood

Rubios coastal grill breakfast and seafood

10 minutes, 27 seconds Read

Rubio’s Coastal Grill is a fast food and dine-in restaurant chain that specializes in their original fish taco and other seafood dishes. The chain was created in 1983 by Ralph Rubio, who started selling fish tacos in San Diego, California, after discovering them on a spring break trip to Baja California, Mexico.

Rubio’s menu features a variety of seafood dishes, including fish tacos, burritos, salads, bowls, and quesadillas. The chain sources its seafood from sustainable fisheries and offers a variety of options for different dietary needs, such as vegetarian and gluten-free.

Ralph Rubio, who started selling fish tacos in San Diego, California

Today, Rubio’s Coastal Grill operates over 200 restaurants across the United States, primarily in California, Arizona, and Nevada. The chain has won several awards for its food and commitment to sustainability and is known for popularizing the fish taco in the United States.

History of Rubios coastal grilled cuisine

Rubio’s Coastal Grill, also known simply as Rubio’s, is a fast-casual restaurant chain that specializes in Mexican-inspired seafood dishes. It was founded by Ralph Rubio in 1983 in San Diego, California.

The story goes that during a college spring break trip to Baja California, Mexico, Ralph Rubio fell in love with the fish tacos he tasted there. Inspired by the flavors and freshness of the tacos, he decided to bring the concept back to the United States.

Rubio starts his own brand in San Diego

Upon returning to San Diego, founder Ralph Rubio opened the first Rubio’s stand in a converted former Orange Julius location in Mission Bay.

The original menu consisted of only three items: fish tacos, chicken tacos, and shrimp tacos. The fish tacos were the star of the menu, featuring a warm tortilla filled with battered and fried white fish, topped with cabbage, salsa, and a white sauce.

Mexican rice and Chipotle sauce for the twist

Rubio’s unique twist on traditional Mexican seafood quickly gained popularity, and the restaurant became a local favorite.

As the demand for their fish tacos grew, Rubio’s expanded their menu to include a wider variety of seafood options, including grilled shrimp, grilled mahi-mahi, and grilled salmon.

They also introduced different types of tacos, burritos, salads, and bowls to cater to various tastes and dietary preferences.

Eco-Friendly movement

Rubio prides itself on using high-quality ingredients and sourcing sustainable seafood whenever possible. They are committed to responsible fishing practices and have partnerships with organizations like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to support ocean conservation efforts.

Diverse menu for takeout and dine in

While Rubio’s primarily focused on lunch and dinner options, they periodically introduced limited-time offerings and seasonal specials that included breakfast items. However, it’s important to note that as of my knowledge cutoff, they did not have a consistent breakfast menu available at all their locations.

The success story of Rubio’s coastal grill

Rubio’s Coastal Grill has a compelling success story that stems from its humble beginnings as a single stand in San Diego to become a well-known and respected fast-casual restaurant chain. Here are some key points that contributed to Rubio’s success:

Founder’s Vision:

Ralph Rubio, the founder of Rubio’s, had a clear vision for bringing the flavors of Baja California’s fish tacos to the United States. He recognized the potential of this unique concept and pursued it with passion and determination.

Unique Offering:

Rubio’s introduced a fresh and distinctive take on Mexican-inspired seafood. The fish taco, their signature dish, set them apart from other fast-food chains and captured the attention of customers looking for a healthier and more flavorful option.

Commitment to Quality:

Rubio’s prioritized using high-quality ingredients from the beginning. They focused on sourcing fresh seafood and using authentic flavors to create their dishes. This commitment to quality resonated with customers who appreciated the difference in taste and experience.

Local Support and Word-of-Mouth:

The San Diego community embraced Rubio’s from the start. Positive word-of-mouth spread quickly, leading to increased customer traffic and loyal patrons. Rubio’s gained a reputation for being a local favorite, which helped fuel their growth.

Expansion and Franchising:

After establishing a strong presence in San Diego, Rubio’s began expanding its reach by opening more locations and exploring franchising opportunities. This allowed them to bring their unique seafood offerings to new markets and reach a broader customer base.

Menu Innovation:

While staying true to its core offerings, Rubio’s continued to innovate and introduce new menu items over the years. They expanded their seafood selection, incorporated different flavors and ingredients, and provided options for various dietary preferences.

Focus on Sustainability:

Rubio’s commitment to sustainability also contributed to their success. They made efforts to source sustainable seafood, partnered with organizations promoting ocean conservation, and communicated their environmental initiatives to customers. This resonated with consumers who increasingly value environmentally conscious businesses.

Strong Branding and Marketing:

Rubio’s developed a strong brand identity through consistent branding and marketing efforts. They highlighted their fresh ingredients, Baja-inspired flavors, and the overall dining experience they offered. Their marketing campaigns helped create brand recognition and attract new customers.


Over the years, Rubio’s adapted to changing consumer preferences and trends. They introduced healthier options, expanded their menu to accommodate different dietary needs, and embraced online ordering and delivery services to cater to evolving customer habits.

Customer Engagement:

Rubio’s actively engaged with their customers through various channels, including social media, loyalty programs, and feedback platforms. They valued customer input and used it to refine their offerings and improve the overall dining experience.

Rubio’s coastal grill-rated delicious dishes

Rubio’s Coastal Grill is known for its lunch and dinner menu which features a variety of seafood dishes and Mexican-inspired flavors. While the specific menu items may vary by location and time, here are some commonly offered items that you might find on the lunch menu at Rubio’s:

Fish Tacos:

Rubio’s signature dish, fish taco plate, featuring battered and fried white fish topped with cabbage, salsa, and a white sauce, all wrapped in a warm tortilla. They may offer variations such as Grilled Fish Tacos or Mahi-Mahi Tacos.

Shrimp Tacos:

Grilled or sautéed shrimp served with cabbage, salsa, and a white sauce in a tortilla.

Chicken Tacos:

Grilled or seasoned chicken served with cabbage, salsa, and a white sauce in a tortilla.


Large tortillas filled with various combinations of proteins (such as grilled fish, shrimp, or chicken), rice, beans, cheese, salsa, and other ingredients.


Fresh and vibrant salads with a choice of protein (fish, shrimp, or chicken) served on a bed of mixed greens, topped with various vegetables, and accompanied by a dressing of your choice.


Rice or salad bowls with a base of cilantro-lime rice or mixed greens, topped with protein (fish, shrimp, or chicken), black beans, salsa, cheese, and other toppings.


Grilled flour tortillas filled with melted cheese and a choice of protein (fish, shrimp, or chicken).

Seafood Platters:

Grilled or battered fish, shrimp, or a combination of both served with rice, beans, salsa, and tortillas.


Options may include chips and guacamole, mango salsa, black pinto beans, brown rice, flour tortilla chips and street corns.

Chefs special at Rubio’s coastal grill fish taco plate

Rubio’s Coastal Grill is renowned for its fish tacos, which have become a signature menu item for the restaurant. Here is a description of their popular fish taco:

Rubio’s fish tacos feature a flavorful combination of fresh ingredients and Baja-inspired flavors. The traditional fish taco consists of a warm flour or corn tortilla filled with battered and fried white fish. The fish is typically crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The specific type of fish may vary, but it is often a mild white fish such as cod or tilapia.

The fish taco is then topped with shredded cabbage, providing a refreshing crunch, and a tangy white sauce that adds creaminess and a hint of tanginess to the dish. Lastly, a vibrant and flavorful salsa, often made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice, is added to enhance the overall taste.

Rubio’s fish tacos perfectly balance the textures and flavors, offering a delightful combination of crispy fish, crunchy cabbage, creamy sauce, and zesty salsa. They are known for capturing the essence of Baja-style street tacos and have gained a loyal following.

It’s important to note that Rubio’s offers various variations of their fish tacos to cater to different preferences. For example, they may offer grilled fish tacos, where the fish is grilled instead of fried, providing a healthier option while still maintaining delicious flavors. They might also offer different types of fish or additional toppings to customize the tacos to your liking.

Salsa Fresca options

Rubio’s Coastal Grill is known for its salsa bar and the option of ordering dishes “fresco style,” which allows customers to customize their meals with fresh and flavorful toppings.

Rubio’s offers a bar where customers can help themselves to a variety of salsas and condiments to enhance the flavors of their meals. You can have these with the flour tortilla chips or use them as a dip for the lobster burrito. You can also pour it on your mexican rice and original fish taco. The bar typically includes options like:

  • Roja: A classic red mild salsa with a medium level of heat.
  • Verde: A tangy and slightly spicy green salsa made with tomatillos and jalapeños.
  • Pico de Gallo: A fresh one is made with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice.
  • Salsa de Avo: A creamy avocado that adds richness and flavor. More like guacamole!
  • Chipotle: A smoky and spicy chipotle pepper-based salsa.
  • Jalapeños: For those who enjoy an extra kick of heat.

Customers can choose from these various salsa fresca and add them to their tacos, burritos, bowls, or any other menu items to customize their desired flavor profile.

Fresco Style: Rubio’s offers the option to order meals “fresco style,” which means that certain ingredients are cooked to make the dish healthier and lighter. When you order a menu item “fresco style,” it typically includes the following modifications:

  • No Cheese: The dish is prepared without cheese, reducing the overall fat and calorie content.
  • No Sauce: Creamy sauces, such as the white sauce often found in fish tacos, are omitted.
  • More Fresh Toppings: The meal is typically topped with an increased portion of fresh ingredients like cabbage, lettuce, pico de gallo, and other vegetables.

Ordering salsa fresca at Rubio’s allows customers to enjoy their favorite dishes with a lighter and fresher twist, catering to those seeking a healthier option or dietary preferences.

The combination of the salsa bar and the fresco-style option gives customers the flexibility to personalize their meals, adding an extra layer of freshness, flavor, and customization to their dining experience at Rubio’s Coastal Grill.

Rubios coastal grill restaurant ambiance

Rubio’s Coastal Grill offers a relaxed and inviting ambiance that combines elements of a beachside eatery with a casual dining atmosphere. Here are some key features of the Rubio’s restaurant ambiance:

Coastal Décor and outdoor seating:

Rubio’s strives to create a coastal-inspired environment, evoking a sense of being near the ocean. The decor often includes beach-themed artwork, surfboards, and nautical elements. The color palette is typically bright and vibrant, reflecting the beachy atmosphere.

Casual and Laid-Back Atmosphere:

The overall ambiance is relaxed, promoting a casual dining experience. Whether you’re visiting for a quick meal or dining in with friends and family, the setting is designed to make guests feel comfortable and at ease.

Warm Lighting:

Rubio’s restaurants often feature warm lighting to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. This helps to enhance the overall dining experience and add to the relaxed ambiance.

Comfortable Seating:

The seating arrangements at Rubio’s are designed to provide comfort and accommodate groups of various sizes. You can typically find a mix of booths, tables, and chairs to suit different preferences and party sizes.


Background music is often played in Rubio’s restaurants to enhance the ambiance. The music selection usually includes upbeat and relaxed tunes, contributing to the overall laid-back atmosphere.

Open Kitchen:

Many Rubio’s locations feature an open kitchen design, allowing guests to see the food being prepared. This adds an interactive element to the ambiance and provides a sense of transparency in the cooking process.

Family-Friendly Environment:

Rubio’s aims to create a family-friendly environment, welcoming guests of all ages. They often provide high chairs, kid-friendly menu options, and a relaxed atmosphere suitable for families and children.

The combination of coastal-inspired decor, warm lighting, comfortable seating, and a casual atmosphere creates an inviting and enjoyable ambiance at Rubio’s Coastal Grill. Whether you’re enjoying a meal by yourself or dining with friends and family, the restaurant’s ambiance adds to the overall dining experience.



Sehrish Ahmedani

Hi, I am Sehrish the admin of this blog. I am very passionate in blogging and enjoy educating my readers through practical and optimized articles. written expertise spans from lifestyle, to publishing, technology, marketing and business and more.

Similar Posts