Muy Delicioso: 10 Best Mexican Restaurants in Santa Barbara

Here is our take on the 10 best Mexican restaurants in Santa Barbara.

But first, a warning:

No matter how we organize this list, we are destined to make more than a few people mad. Everyone has a preferred Mexican restaurant in Santa Barbara. Every local has a favorite dish. And we can't possibly hope to do justice to the huge array of amazing tacos, tortas and taquitos in town. 

So we start with the caveat that almost any Mexican restaurant you pop into during your stay will have something tasty for you to eat. Some may even offer a better chile relleno or more authentic shrimp cocktail than others on this list.

But every restaurant you see here is here for a reason: there is at least one thing that they do exceptionally well. One experience you won't find anywhere else.

Whether you're waiting in line at La Super-Rica for an ooey, gooey #6 (on homemade tortillas) or ducking into Lilly's for some cheek tacos, you are guaranteed a good meal. And, if and when you find something better, you be sure to let us know in the comments. It's our job to try new things, after all. 



For a delicious burrito the size of your thigh (or thereabouts), head to Super Cuca's. The undisputed winner of many, many local "best burrito" contests, Cucas (as the in-crowd calls it) is your destination for tasty Mexican food in massive...  Read More



Cava restaurant opened in Montecito in 1997 and has been a favorite with locals and visitors ever since. Their menu features south-of-the-border favorites with a Santa Barbara twist - like locally caught seafood. Every table receives a basket of...  Read More



Los Arroyos is a locally owned chain of Mexican restaurants that focuses on fresh ingredients and made-to-order food at reasonable prices. This downtown location is located just off bustling State Street and is the perfect place to stop for...  Read More



Best food in the Funk Zone? Maybe. Best tacos in the Funk Zone? DEFINITELY. Head to Mony's for tasty, reasonably-priced tacos and a killer salsa bar, just a few blocks from the beach. If you're in the Funk Zone doing a little wine tasting (and...  Read More



This location of Cuernavaca Taqueria is a recent addition to popular branches in Oxnard and Ventura. Just two blocks off busy State Street, it's a real find for hungry travelers and a place that locals are likely to keep to themselves. The tacos...  Read More



For the most authentic tacos in Santa Barbara, head to Lilly's tacos. Unobtrusively tucked in an out-of-the-way shopping center at the oceany end of downtown, Lilly's tacos has been serving up sizzling meats on soft corn tortillas to lines of...  Read More

Santa Barbara


Loa Agaves is a casual Mexican food restaurant in Santa Barbara. They serve tacos, burritos, nachos and other customary fare, but the highlight of their menu is their wide assortment of specialty dishes. Try an order of pulpo ceviche, rack of...  Read More

Santa Barbara


At first glance, this maybe isn't the kind of restaurant you expect to be sent to as a traveler. But trust us, it's delicious. Open everyday from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., this family-run eatery serves up amazing breakfast burritos, delicious...  Read More



Repeatedly voted the best Mexican restaurant in Santa Barbara, Rose Cafe is a family run, full-service establishment. Prices are reasonable and portions are generous. There is ample room for loud families and large parties. House specialties...  Read More

Santa Barbara
La Super-Rica
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives


For an authentic taste of Santa Barbara, drive up Milpas until, on the right, you see a little white shack with aqua trim. There is no obvious sign, but a line extending from the doorway will let you know that you're at the right place. This is...  Read More


Meet Geneva Ives

Geneva Ives moved to Santa Barbara in 2000 on a whim (ok, and to go to college) and never looked back. She loves Santa Barbara because it’s really one of America’s greatest small towns - it...  More About Geneva