About Us

los-pinos-stor-frontJorge Alvarez Sr. and his wife, Soledad, migrated from Cotija, Michoacan, Mexico. In the late 1980’s Mr. Alvarez was given an opportunity to operate Cotijas Taco Shop in Santee, CA. Originally, his intent was to work as hard as he could so he could support his family. After many years of learning the taco shop business he decided to venture out on his own. In the year 2000, with the help of a local business man, Frank Salazar, Mr. Alvarez opened up Los Pinos Taco Shop in La Mesa, CA. The story goes that the name for the shop comes from the “pine trees in the median of the road” outside of the shop.

For many years their little shop thrived using their family recipes to serve Mexican food to the local La Mesa community. Being one of the few authentic restaurants, there was little competition in the area and business was good. The eldest son of the family, George Jr., wanted to help his father and make things a bit more interesting. He decided to grow the menu to offer burritos with unique names that would set themselves apart from a traditional taco shop. George calls it a San Diego, California style Mexican food to cater to his customers.

George Alvarez has been helping his dad since he was 4 years old. From sweeping floors to cleaning tables, to taking orders George grew up in the taco shop business. He found himself working at the taco shop at the same time as going to school. In 2015, Mr Alvarez retired and naturally passed the business down to George as the new owner.

Now, 20+ years later George has brought his own family in to learn the business and is looking to grow and branch out Los Pinos Taco Shop in a variety of ways. The 2020 pandemic has brought to light many positive changes to the taco shop. We have undergone a logo change which now includes a grizzly bear. Something that we have wanted for many years now.

We were also forced to reduce the menu and focus on the items that are the most desired by our awesome community. Currently, we are in the process of remodeling the interior to accommodate for our limited dine-in space. Thank you all for your continued support during the not so great times. We really appreciate you all.

See Inside Our Shop