Do you like to watch those television shows about people who eat unusual foods? Or people who travel to exotic destinations to eat what the locals eat and who, only after their last bite, discover the dish they've been enjoying is made of lips or eyes or something equally, well, different?
You do? Then pack your bags, appetite and adventurous spirit and head for Lilly's Taqueria in Santa Barbara. For around $2 a pop, you can choose from tacos packed with a variety of meats, including asada, adobado and even ojos. Yep, you read that right! Lilly's proudly serves a variety of less common taco fillings like eyes, tongue, udders and cheek. Order a few, dress them up with the fresh offerings at the salsa bar and then scarf them down.
Lilly's Taqueria already had a line out the door within a week of opening — Photo courtesy of Lilly's Taqueria
This award-winning taco joint is a favorite of Santa Barbara locals. Lilly's has been serving up sizzling meats on soft corn tortillas to lines of customers for years. There are no chips, no rice and nary a bean in sight; small, authentic tacos are the only thing on the menu here. And now, much to the delight of area residents, Lilly's Taqueria has opened a second location. It's their first Goleta outpost.
You can easily eat (a late) breakfast, lunch and dinner here at Lilly's, all for under $20 if you're on a tight budget. To accompany your tacos, Lilly's sells a variety of juices and soft drinks, including sugary Mexican Jarritos and glass bottles of Coke.
Tacos, fresh radishes from the salsa bar and a Mexican Coke — Photo courtesy of Lilly's Taqueria
There is ample seating in the new location, with two large rooms and multiple table configurations. Order your tacos at the counter, and the friendly staff will call out your order number when it's ready. Tacos are served on a disposable plate, so there's no muss, no fuss. Just some good eatin'.
If you're not in Goleta but this article has your mouth watering, don't fret it! The original Lilly's location in downtown Santa Barbara is still open (and busy), too.
Lilly's Taqueria opens at 10:30 a.m. every day, except for Tuesdays, when both locations are closed. On Fridays and Saturdays, they close at 10 p.m. Lilly's closes at 9 p.m. all other nights - Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
The new Goleta location has ample free parking in the lot out front and is close to other restaurants and shops, including Hollister Brewing Company. If you're in the mood to enjoy a cold, locally-brewed beer after a filling meal of tacos, it's the place to go!