Las Palmas Taco Bar in Santa Cruz has built an excellent reputation for authentic Mexican cooking, friendly service and very reasonable prices.
We’re a family-owned restaurant in business since 1955. We welcome you to dine in, take advantage of our outdoor seating, or order take-out.
Take a minute to see what some of our hundreds of loyal customers say about us. Then stop in or call us at 831-429-1220 to place an order. We’ll be happy to serve you!
“The bomb – best I ever had!” “Best Mexican food In Santa Cruz! Their fried tacos are the bomb – best I ever had!” Melissa U., San Martin, CA
“Feel your worries melt away …” “I have declared this place my favorite spot for tacos. Crunchy shredded beef or chicken and lengua soft tacos made up a substantial portion of my diet while I resided in Santa Cruz.
“Get off the beach, walk in and order up the "3 Amigos" plate ( with the three before-mentioned tacos ), a Modelo and feel your worries melt away. And don't forget to grab a bottle of their hot sauce. Seriously makes a great taco into something special!” Bryan N., San Jose, CA
“Highly recommend coming here …” “My best friend and I eat here during our summer trips to the beach boardwalk. I get the Super Burrito fried with shredded chicken. Highly recommend coming here, getting that burrito and a cold beer. Seriously, you won’t regret the sunshine, awesome people watching and delicious food.” Jesse J., Mountain View, CA
“The food is consistently great …” “Been coming here for 21 years now, with good reason -- the food is consistently great and the staff is super nice. Favorites are #10 chicken taquitos and their super burritos. Perfect place to grab a quick bite before the Friday night free concerts on the beach.” Grant G., Santa Cruz, CA
“Man, this place hit the spot!” “This place is awesome! We were all tuckered out after a day at the wharf / boardwalk and … we wanted something nice and filling that tasted like real food before we hit the road for the long drive back. Man, this place hit the spot! Tacos, quesadillas and a monster burrito that were packed with flavor and left us feeling nice and happy, AND didn't empty our wallets…” Liz I., Modesto, CA
“It’s all about the tacos!” “It’s all about the tacos (carne asada soft tacos for me)! Love them! And their hot sauce, I swear I could devour the whole bottle of it – it’s so good!” Denise C., Campbell, CA
“My wife and I first ate here nearly 20 years ago…” “Not only are the chicken tacos the best EVER! The cheese enchiladas are the BEST! Great place. My wife and I first ate here nearly 20 years ago. Decided to grab a couple tacos and a cheese enchilada to tie us over until we got to Monterey. We have been stopping here whenever we come this way ever since. A few crispy chicken tacos and a cervesa is all I need.” T.B., San Leandro, CA
“Truly a Santa Cruz classic.” “Truly a Santa Cruz classic. Totally casual atmosphere right across from the entrance to the wharf. Mendez family provides super friendly service, killer Mexican food at a great price. Crispy Three Amigos chicken tacos are my favorite.” Ashlee J., Castro Valley, CA
My local go to Mexican Taqueria, I need a fix at least once a week!
It's a walk up to the counter and order type of place with a nice dining area and also outside seating. It’s a walk away from the boardwalk, a great location I must say! And the people that come here seem to all be happy and friendly, probably because they are eating such great food. I've been coming here for years and have tried everything on their menu, and they have a pretty extensive menu. I have not had a meal I did not like and that's saying something because I can be pretty picky, especially when it comes to my Mexican food. My favorite by far is their CRISPY CHICKEN TACOS, to die for. The staff is very friendly and its family owned; they move fast and show a sense of urgency to get your food out as fast as they can without sacrificing quality.
I love Las Palmas! After working on Beach Street, the last two summers, Las Palmas became my go to spot for tacos. Cheap, fast, and friendly service from a family operated business. It's also located a couple minutes’ walk from the biggest attraction in Santa Cruz. What more could you ask for? There are so many other places in Santa Cruz to get tacos, burritos, etc. but I love the small, authentic Mexican vibe this place gives off; and the food speaks for itself! It's not just all about the tacos at this place either. I was impressed with the flavor and consistency of the salsa, and the beans and rice were better than my mom's! My favorites are the crispy chicken tacos, their super burrito if I am starving, or their nachos to share with a friend. If you're feeling sad, try their "Special Burrito", you'll thank me later. You'll forget all about that person that broke your heart as you bite into this fried gift from God. It's also healthier than eating a whole quart of ice cream by yourself and watching romantic comedies. If you're looking for dank, authentic Mexican food on the cheap, stop by Las Palmas.
These tacos were GREAT! This place had always caught my eye on our way to/from the beach, and finally made the pit stop in last summer. They weren't the quickest to turn orders, but the kitchen is tiny so I understand. They also had a steady line out the door the whole time we were there - even in the odd 2:00 late-lunch hour. I can't imagine how packed this place must get during lunch on a warm summer weekend! I don't remember what everyone all got, but do recall everyone being really happy with their variety of tacos, tostadas, etc. And it was cheap! Will go back another time for sure!
We were excited to try this little taqueria and we're super pleased with our food. My husband and I each ordered crispy tacos which started off as soft corn tortillas and we're deep fried. These made them super oily but wow what a difference between tacos we've had before. We each got a Corona and ordered a full-size rice and beans on the side to share. It was a gorgeous day, good prices, yummy food we'd be back in a heartbeat if we lived closer!
This place has THE BEST CRISPY TACOS ON THE PLANET!!! There, I said it. Don't believe me? Give ‘em a try, you will surely agree. I could stop the review there but this place has been serving up tasty and very reasonably priced Mexican eats since 1955! They are located just a block east from the entrance to the Santa Cruz Wharf in a touristy area but even the locals will tell you this place rocks! They have 3 fillings to choose from on the crispy tacos. Shredded Chicken, Shredded Beef, and Ground Beef. My statement applies to the first two, they are truly awesome! They start by adding the meat to the corn tortilla and then they deep fry that! Then they get topped with lettuce and a hard-grated cheese similar to parmesan but less salty (Manchego?) Add a squirt of their mild but tasty red taco sauce and you have the perfect taco! Beyond tacos they have a large menu with lots of tasty treats. Other things to try are the Quesadillas (fried crisp), and enchiladas (saucy and cheesy yum). Grab a lemonade to wash it down and your good to go! They have a private parking lot but it's usually full, especially on the weekends in the summer. This place is quite popular but well worth it. Even when they are slammed the food comes out quickly. I do however recommend the weekdays for a saner experience. Give ‘em a try!
Super friendly customer service! Pet friendly. Delicious food! Reasonably prices! Huge burritos, Tacos and fresh aguas frescas! The cashier even brought a container with water and Ice to our puppies!
I was super hungry and had never searched for a vegan restaurant in Santa Cruz. My cousin wanted Mexican food so we went here I thought I was going to starve but looked through the menu and found a vegan/vegetarian burrito! Let me tell you it was delicious! this is now my go-to place in Santa Cruz everyone loved it! It’s very small but it’s still super cool, it has outdoor seating, and indoor as well. I love how close it is from the boardwalk and the wharf. Santa Cruz is great I love it and this place made me love it more! The staff here does speak Spanish.
Delicious Burrito, Best Hot Sauce in California!
We went there for a burrito (we had the breakfast burrito, but everything looked pretty yummy...) and were amazed by the homemade hot sauce, soooooooo good!!!! (a family recipe). I will DEFINITELY return when passing by Santa Cruz!
O M G: BY FAR THE BEST MEX IN TOWN!
Only go here if you are in the mood for the best authentic Mexican food! Just the right portions also. You will never through any food away! It is so reasonable that even the ones that are not working can afford it! Must be on your list to visit as it has to be a Santa Cruz Wharf icon of places to visit!
Fun Place To Eat
This place is a Santa Cruz tradition. It's been here over forty years. Loved their crispy tacos. Portions are large and the staff very friendly.
Loved This Place....
Friendly staff, family owned for decades this is a great little place for Mexican food in Santa Cruz. Authentic Mexican food and extremely good value for money. You simply go and order your food and you can take away or eat on the premises.
Roadside Taco Joint, with Great Food
This place was a great surprise. We were just looking for a local place to eat lunch, preferably Mexican, and stopped here. The food was excellent, inexpensive and we couldn't stop talking about how good it was. The menu is big enough to probably serve what you're looking for (if it's Mexican food) the prices can't be beat, and it has zero ambiance. Who cares though? The food was great, portions were big, but not wasteful, and we were very happy. You can get a beer if you want, or just chow down. I'd go back in a second.
It was me and four kids ages 13-8, we stopped in on our way to the beach. We ordered bean burritos. They were delish and inexpensive. The kids want to go back before we leave. Staff was super friendly and they have a vegetarian section to their menu. Nice surprise!
Favorite Mexican Food in SC
My favorite Mexican food restaurant in Santa Cruz! I love this place! The food is excellent. The service is fast and friendly! It's small so sometimes is a little crowded but totally worth it. Try the “Chili Relleno Burrito” or the tacos!!!! Right down the street from the beach/boardwalk. Muy bien!
The food was amazing and the people are sooooo nice! Great breakfast and went back for dinner! Very speedy too!
Excellent Fast Mexican Food!
I've lived in Santa Cruz for 20 years and have always wanted to try Las Palmas Taco Bar down by the Municipal Wharf and today we finally did and what a joy! The little fast food restaurant has been family owned and operated since 1955. The gentleman who took our order was friendly and offered a warm smile to us and to all of the customers with whom he interacted. I had the “Crispy Chicken Tacos” and my husband had “Chile Relleno Burrito” both dishes were absolutely delicious! The entire lunch was only $11, now where can you beat that? When my husband returned our tray the gentleman at the counter thanked him by name. It's not often that someone not only remembers your name but is gracious enough to use it! We will definitely frequent this little establishment often. If you're vacationing in Santa Cruz with kids this is a great little spot close to the boardwalk that won't bust your vacation budget!
I Always Eat Here First Thing When I Arrive in Santa Cruz
Love the food, love the owners...It is my favorite places for “Crispy Chicken Tacos” anywhere...I live in Lodi CA, and would think nothing of driving there for lunch anytime...3 hours are nothing to eat this great food.
Your basic California taco stand, but the food is so good. They make crispy tacos the way I remember growing up in the 70s. The last time I was in Santa Cruz, within 20 minutes of arriving, I was at Las Palmas ordering some “Crispy Chicken Tacos” with Rice & Beans” and eating on Cowell’s Beach, the rice and beans are excellent too, but the authentic “Crispy Chicken Tacos” are what I love most about Las Palmas.
I’ve been eating there for the last 20 plus years and it's one of the best is SC. When friends from south of the border come to town, Las Palmas is the place they want to eat at. I don't know why there are bad reviews, must be “Taco Bell Fans” and don't know the REAL DEAL. If you can, it's worth going out of your way for, you won't regret it.
I’ve been eating Las Palmas 🌮 bar since I was 13 years old. My favorites are 🌮 “Carne Asada and Crispy Ground Beef Tacos” and coming from a "local girl" that's a mighty long time! Every one that works there including the owners make it a friendly family style environment with excellent customer service.
Their chicken tacos are the best. I have been a customer for over 30 years. AWESOME!
The best fried burrito in the world! It was huge, sour cream and guacamole! Tasted like pure insanity
O M G! So good. You must stop and have a taco at Las Palmas Taco Bar. So good. I had a taco with beans and rice amazing. And authentic. They also serve craft sodas they are made with real sugar vs syrup. What a treat and refreshing. You can tell the owners and family knows what they are doing.
One of a few favorite Mexican spots in SC. Been going for 10+ years. It's so close to the boardwalk... outside seating... Amazing food!! They serve bottled beer. Kinda small so I like to sit outside. Anything they cook is amazing. I love that they have lengua!! It's the most tender. And the rice and beans!!! O M G... I'm hungry thinking of them
This place really rocks! I bought a couple of “Carnitas Burritos ‘A La Carte’” for my son and I and was surprised how inexpensive it was. While they were not the largest burritos, I've had they were exploding with flavor!!! So much so that I ordered a couple of Crispy Tacos” (shredded chicken) and they were AWESOME as well!! The cashier was super friendly and I just loved the positive vibe of the place. I also was able to educate my son about the importance of opting to do business with an independent business person instead of a corporate giant.
Great “Al Pastor Soft Tacos” and “Crispy Shredded Chicken Tacos”. Definitely ask for the hot sauce when you get your food, it's the bomb! Great customer service from the gal behind the counter, she was super nice! The boyfriend loved his “Deluxe Nachos”, we will back!
On our vacation to Santa Cruz, we stopped in here to grab a bite to eat and the whole family loved it!! 6 adults and 2 kids and they had something for everyone. We all raved about our meal to each other, very delicious and tasteful. The food was amazing, but what we enjoyed even more if that was possible, was the staff. The guy that took our order was cheerful and hilarious!! Had all of us laughing and smiling even the little ones. We will definitely be back, if anything just to go eat there.
Really great food and friendly family service. “Crispy Chicken Tacos” are stellar and the “Special Burrito”, which really is a large chimichanga, is exceptional!
A+++ “Chile Colorado” & “Chile Verde”, affordable prices and amazing location. Been going here for 25yrs
It’s a hometown favorite,
They have been feeding us locals since we were kids. Good food, good prices and it’s across the street from the ocean........
Always awesome. My family and I have been going here for years. I’m talking like 20 years. Always great. Five stars
Best tacos in town. No question. Best “Chili Verde” and Chili Colorado” as well. The service is amazingly friendly and has a "where everybody knows your name" feel every time I go in there. I've been coming here my whole life it seems and I've always preferred it to anything else around.