Not that long ago, it was tough to find a decent fish taco in decidedly landlocked Columbus. Fortunately, the classic SoCal/Mexican fare has been surging locally in recent years. Here are three beach-worthy variations

Not that long ago, it was tough to find a decent fish taco in decidedly landlocked Columbus. Fortunately, the classic SoCal/Mexican fare has been surging locally in recent years. Here are three beach-worthy variations

El Arepazo

The vibe: Downtown workers have made this cozy Latin hole-in-the-wall a noontime hot spot for years-and made their suburban-dwelling friends jealous with tales of deliciousness only available at lunch. The recently opened sister restaurant Arepazo Tapas & Wine in Gahanna can give you a taste of what you've been missing.

The taco: A gut-busting order of three fish tacos ($9) comes served on a small rack to keep the overflowing ingredients in check until you get them in your mouth. Breaded and fried cod fillets are topped with lettuce, corn, red bell pepper and sliced avocado. If you can find any room-and you should-top it with Arepazo's signature cilantro sauce.

47 N. Pearl St., Downtown,

614-228-4830; 93 N. High St., Gahanna,

614-471-7296, elarepazolatingrill.com

Si Senor

The vibe: An ever-growing following for this mouth-watering Peruvian sandwich spot has led to ever-growing homes: first as part of Pearl Market, then a spot on Long Street, and now a spacious spot tucked away on Lynn "Street" (really more of an alley). There's ample seating, but expect a line on Fridays, aka "Fish Taco Day."

The taco: Take one bite and you'll see why this top-notch taco draws a crowd. Perfectly fried strips of tilapia are topped with thin onion rings, lettuce, jalapeno relish and cilantro sour cream and served on a soft tortilla ($7.75 for three). Once again, a standout house-made hot sauce is a perfect topper.

72 E. Lynn St., Downtown

614-227-0070

sisenorlatinfusion.com

El Camino Inn

The vibe: When you walk into El Camino, you'll think someone stole a hip '70s Cali surfer hangout. Wet your whistle with ice-cold canned beers and a solid selection of tequilas, enjoy the vinyl-only music selections … and, of course, nosh on some tacos.

The taco: El Camino continues the authentic vibe with a simple, traditional take on the fish taco ($3 each): grilled tilapia, avocado lime crema and a cabbage and red onion slaw on a corn tortilla. Give it a squeeze of lime for a refreshingly simple bite, or request the great house-made hot sauces for a little kick. The fish tacos are available only on Tuesdays (and while they last), but we're told they may soon earn a full-time spot on the menu.

238 S. Fourth St., Downtown

614-220-8877

elcaminoinn.co