Best mexican restaurant in santa barbara

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Santa Barbara’s historical past and tradition are deeply intertwined with Mexico, so it’s solely pure that Mexican delicacies has lengthy performed a outstanding function in Santa Barbara’s culinary panorama. This makes Santa Barbara a very scrumptious vacation spot for taco lovers as a result of stumbling upon eating places and taquerias serving up mouth-watering tacos and genuine Mexican fare is dangerously straightforward to do right here on The American Riviera®.

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Between the well-known spots with cult followings, the mom-and-pop neighborhood joints, and the newer fast-casual outposts that put a recent twist on the normal, you may chart your individual taco path and graze as you go. Let the aroma of freshly baked tortillas information you from Milpas Avenue and the Funk Zone to the waterfront, downtown State Avenue, and past as you house in on the highest tacos, superior salsas produced from scratch, and different addictively scrumptious hand-crafted concoctions.


Locals know that Milpas Avenue is the place it’s at for probably the most genuine tacos in Santa Barbara. There’s no higher place to start out than Taqueria El Bajio (129 N. Milpas Avenue), a quintessential Milpas joint. A family-run enterprise specializing in conventional selfmade Mexican fare, menu favorites embody the carnitas tacos and the tamales—particularly the candy corn and pork renditions.

Cesar’s Place (712 N. Milpas Avenue) will get two thumbs up for its recent seafood—and there positive is loads of it on the menu to select from. Order the ceviche campechana, a recent mix of fish, shrimp, and octopus served with a facet of selfmade crispy tortillas and saltine crackers. Or go the nontraditional route with a giant plate of fish and chips. No matter you determine, anticipate to go away blissful and full. The ”secret” is out relating to Los Agaves (600 N. Milpas Avenue), and it’s straightforward to see why—the success of the unique Milpas restaurant impressed the next opening of De La Vina Avenue and Goleta areas. On Milpas, a cheery inside with Spanish tile tables greets keen prospects lining as much as order from the tantalizing menu greatest identified for its seafood dishes. Past the ocean, standout tacos embody Costra Al Pastor that includes a cheese crust with marinated pork, pineapple, and chipotle sauce and the Taco Azteca with steak, rajas, elote, Monterey jack cheese, and jalapeño dressing.

If you already know something about Santa Barbara Mexican meals, it’s secure to say you’ve in all probability heard of La Tremendous-Rica Taqueria (622 N. Milpas Avenue), the late Julia Youngster’s favourite native taco store. A humble cement shack with a shiny blue exterior, La Tremendous Rica has attracted media consideration over the many years for its movie star clientele and terrific tacos. It even makes a particular look in native Katy Perry’s video for “This Is How We Do.” The widespread reputation does have its draw back within the almost-constant line wrapping across the nook from the place this shanty stands. It has remained an iconic determine of Milpas taquerias all through the years, nevertheless, so it’s secure to say it’s definitely worth the wait.

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Simply off Milpas heading in direction of State Avenue is Lito’s Mexican Meals (514 E. Haley Avenue), whose pork posole was featured on the Meals Community’s “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.” One of many longest operating family-owned Mexican eating places in Santa Barbara, Lito’s is a daytime spot serving an in depth number of epic breakfast burritos all day lengthy. The equally huge taco menu consists of the Central Coast’s signature tri-tip minimize of beef in addition to wonderful fish tacos and carne asada.

A pair blocks away, the scent of pan dulce baking within the oven is sufficient to attract anybody into Los Tarascos Bakery and Deli (314 E Haley Avenue). Anticipate tasty Mexican sandwiches (tortas) and pastries, in addition to fresh-squeezed juices. The pastry menu adjustments every day, providing dessert and lunch pastries sizzling out of the oven. From the torta choice, “La Tarasca” is a high decide—ham, egg, tomato, beans, bacon, lettuce, onions, cheese, and roast beef all on selfmade Bolillo bread. And the straightforward taco menu sticks to classics—fish and carne asada.


three fish tacos from East Beach TacosGiven East Seaside Tacos (226 S. Milpas Avenue) falls on the south facet of the 101 and is simply blocks from the seaside, we’re together with it within the Waterfront part, although you would simply embody it on a Milpas taco trek. East Seaside Tacos serves arduous and comfortable shell tacos with a recent twist, and has an inviting shaded patio for these submit seaside day munchies. Their “Triple Play” choice permits you to customise your order and pattern three completely different tacos, akin to ahi poke, spicy crispy shrimp, and banh mi.

Located within the Funk Zone, which is a high vacation spot for native wine and beer tastings, Mony’s Mexican Meals (217 Anacapa Avenue) is cause alone to hit the artistic neighborhood. Get there by midday, and don’t be afraid to attend in line. Not solely is it greater than definitely worth the wait, however the line strikes shortly. The self-serve salsa bar is arguably among the best on the town as a result of number of decisions and distinctive, recent flavors akin to pistachio.

Established in 1976, the unique Rudy’s Recent Mexican Meals (305 W. Montecito Avenue) location is within the West Seaside neighborhood. The native mini-chain additionally has outposts within the Presidio District (138 E. Canon Perdido Avenue), Higher State (3613 ½ State Avenue), and Buellton (234 E. Freeway 246, Buellton). Rudy’s savory signature taco goes heavy on the veggies with grilled poblano chile, mushroom, and onion, plus cheese and your selection of meat. Pescatarians can’t get sufficient of their fish and shrimp tacos layered with avocado unfold, cabbage slaw, and creamy chipotle sauce.

On the Alley (117 Harbor Approach) is a staple of our working Harbor, additionally house to its sister restaurant Brophy Bros., which is synonymous with Santa Barbara seafood. So, it’s solely pure that their battered fish tacos are among the greatest on the town. In addition they serve Baja Shrimp and Fried Avocado varieties. This native favourite can moreover be loved at their second location in Goleta (7038 Market Place Drive, Goleta).


The central Downtown State Avenue retail and leisure district is peppered with taco-centric delights, each on the primary drag and off-the-beaten-path, together with the legendary Lilly’s Taqueria (310 Chapala Avenue). Meat lovers beware—there are ample, unique decisions in retailer in case you are keen to conform! Assume cabeza, cachete, lengua, labio, and ojo tacos—or beef head, cheek, tongue, lip, and eye. Tamer choices akin to rooster and veggie can be found for much less adventurous palates. There’s practically all the time a line out the door given Lilly’s is a delicious choice that gained’t break the financial institution. Beat the gang and check out Lilly’s second location in Goleta (290 Storke Rd, Goleta).

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Taqueria Cuernavaca (201 W. Carrillo Avenue) is a daily on native “best-of” lists for good cause. They serve reliably scrumptious smaller road type tacos with over a dozen filling choices, starting from tripa and tongue to chicharron and buche. Veggie and potato choices spherical out the taco choice. Wash your tacos down with a horchata or tamarindo.

Yona Redz (532 State Avenue) is a relative newcomer that has earned a cult following for his or her crunchy, arduous shell tacos dipped right into a particular crimson sauce. They arrive in beef and cheese variations, and you’ll wash down the messy goodness with a refreshing Michelada.

Kanaloa Seafood (715 Chapala Avenue) is a pioneer within the sustainable seafood motion—it was the primary licensed sustainable seafood firm within the U.S. So, it was very thrilling after they expanded their seafood market and distribution enterprise to incorporate a restaurant. Right here, after all, it’s all concerning the seafood tacos. Specialties embody crispy fish, Korean salmon, swordfish jerk, and shrimp. In addition they have Thai lettuce wrap choices with a selection of rooster, tofu, or shrimp for these avoiding grains and corn. Lead by Chef Ramon, Corazon Cocina SB positioned contained in the Santa Barbara Public Market (38 West Victoria at Chapala Avenue), will not be your common taco vendor. Every day specials provide a contemporary twist on conventional Guadalajara road tacos—there’s cauliflower-tempura, braised quick rib, butternut squash, wild white shrimp, mole con pollo, octopus, and extra. For brunch, we advocate the market scramble taco and chorizo con papas with a fried egg.

Los Arroyos (14 W. Figueroa Avenue) has been a household affair since 1999 and expanded to incorporate equally widespread areas in Montecito and Goleta. Helmed by chef/proprietor Tony Arroyo, the expansive menu options mixtures and home specials together with taco plates served along with your selection of Caesar salad, Mexican rice, or black or brown beans. Go for crispy or comfortable tacos and style the love and care that went into their handmade flour and corn tortillas.

Taqueria Santa Barbara (1213 State Avenue, Suite A) is one other family-owned, domestically operated spot that basically will get our mouths watering after we consider their recent salsa, selfmade corn tortillas, and completely seasoned meats. Their merely scrumptious road tacos are solely $2.50 every with 10 protein types to select from. Vegetarians aren’t overlooked of the social gathering—there are potato, corn, and mushroom varieties on the menu, too.

No taco listing can be full with out mentioning Tremendous Cuca’s Taqueria (626 W. Micheltorena Avenue and 2030 Cliff Drive), the self-proclaimed first taqueria in Santa Barbara. Winner of the Santa Barbara Unbiased’s “Best Burrito” contest yearly since 1991, Cuca’s affords hearty parts made with genuine components. With two areas in Santa Barbara, see for your self whether or not Tremendous Cuca’s deserves this coveted title.

When you’ve charted your private Santa Barbara taco path, quench your thirst with a well-deserved margarita. Listed below are a few locations to get began.

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