Let's Taco 'Bout the 10 Best Tacos in Santa Barbara!

Confession: this was a very hard list to create... but the research was quite delicious!

Pretty much every Mexican restaurant in Santa Barbara has it's own version of a taco somewhere on the menu, and we could spend all day arguing which salsa is the most authentic and who has the best tortillas or adobada.

But we won't. Because that would be a waste of time better spent eating.

Instead, let's recognize two simple truths:

  1. Tacos are a perfect food.
  2. There's more than one way to make a taco.

This list will introduce you to the 10 best tacos in town. Street tacos, fish tacos, crispy tacos - whatever your preference, we have you covered. Whether you have $5 to spend on lunch or a stack of cash waiting for a big night out, 10Best has a recommendation for you. So get ready to dig into tripas at Lilly's, octopus at Santo Mezcal and poke at East Beach. There's a lot of delicious, folded-up goodness waiting for you!

Goa Taco
Photo courtesy of http://www.goataco.com/story/


Best not-tacos. If you're looking for a hot, corn-wrapped Mexican classic just like Abuela used to make, this is not the place to go. If, on the other hand, you're open to embracing the taco as just something delicious with something else...  Read More



Best al pastor tacos. Marinated pork with just the right kick of acid from small pineapple chunks scattered here and there. This iteration of Cuernavaca Taqueria is a recent addition to popular locations in Oxnard and Ventura. Just two blocks...  Read More



Best crowd-pleaser tacos. If Mony's was a high school student, it would be voted most popular. We're a little hard-pressed to say that any one of their tacos is a singular standout, but as a whole there's no safer bet for a group of hungry taco...  Read More

Santo Mezcal
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives


Best fancy tacos. If you think street tacos are for peasants, skip the lines and head out for an elegant lunch or dinner at Santo Mezcal instead. Just a few blocks from the ocean and steps from local wineries, this restaurant has a gorgeous...  Read More

Santa Barbara


Best truck tacos. Santa Barbara doesn't have a lot of food trucks. But it does have taco trucks. And this is the best one. What sets Tacos Pipeye apart is that it has handmade tortillas, a rare taco truck commodity. And you can get three tacos...  Read More

Santa Barbara
East Beach Tacos
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives


Best fusion tacos. You might think it's a little strange that we're sending you to the batting cages to eat, but bear with us. East Beach Tacos is a small taco shack serving up one of the most inventive taco menus, with a view of aspiring...  Read More

Santa Barbara
La Super-Rica
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives


Best veggie tacos. Get the #6. You will hear a lot of arguments for and against La Super-Rica, but these stewed rajas tacos on homemade tortillas are not up for debate. You might also want to try the chorizo tacos here, but other than that,...  Read More

Santa Barbara
Taqueria El Bajio
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives


Best crispy tacos. Get the tacos dorados to enjoy three of the tastiest fried tacos you've ever had. Chicken, carnitas, potato and bean tacos are available, making this a solid option for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Each irregularly...  Read More

Corazon Cocina
Photo courtesy of Julia Garcia


Best fish tacos. At Corazon Cocina, Chef Ramon Velazquez prepares dishes you won't find elsewhere in town, like cauliflower tacos that get a secret sweetness from Medjool dates. But if you like fish tacos, this is the one for you to try. Crispy...  Read More



Best street tacos. Go on the weekend so you can get the tripas! Lilly's has arguably the most authentic tacos in Santa Barbara. Unobtrusively tucked in an out-of-the-way shopping center at the oceany end of downtown, Lilly's tacos has been...  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