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Carlos Mexican Restaurant & Cantina

Certificate of Excellence
Mexican, Southwestern, Latin
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34224 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629-2821
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59 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 58: English reviews
San Clemente
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

With all of the Mexican food restaurants in the area, they have some really stiff competition. I love their food, and the service is excellent. Always friendly and quick. Highly recommend it.

Thank Rick B
San Clemente, California, United States
Level Contributor
88 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I've driven by this place for years, and finally stopped by for lunch...beautiful outdoor patio, but...the food was mediocre, the drinks uninspiring (Cadiliac Margarita made with too-citrusy obvious store-bought mix) and the service begrudging.

Thank David L
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
64 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Family owned, traditional Mexican food. Indoor and outdoor seating. Delicious salsa. Be sure to ask for extra napkins.... They give you one paper napkin around your silverware .

Thank Annie_Av
Fountain Valley, Ca
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My Mom and I had lunch here a little after 1pm on Sunday. The restaurant was about 1/2 full. We were told to sit anywhere but no one brought us a menu or water or chips for about 10 minutes. We needed to ask the bus boy for our server. The chips were rather low end and the salsa looked... More 

Thank MTrooper
Dana Point, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Carlos has amazing chilequiles for breakfast - perfect. Their other breakfasts are so-so. I love chorizo and eggs but do not like when places make their own; I actually love the grocery store chorizo! Their chorizo doesn't do it for me. Their beans are only ok, rice so-so, other Mexican dishes so-so. They do have a great outdoor patio with... More 

Thank mmmincalif
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2016

My husband is a Mexican Food snob and he (we) LOVED this place. We learned that it has had the same owner for 40 years! We ate here 2 nights in a row. I noticed that many people that came in to the restaurant were greeted with hugs and warm hellos...which means they have a lot of repeat customers. If... More 

Thank artist62
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
101 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2016 via mobile

If you want to go out to have Mexican food and the server takes 10 min to acknowledge you are even here!!!! Is outrageous!!! Save your time and your money and go somewhere else!!!! The tables are left with dirty dishes... It's disgusting!!! I will not be back!!!!

1 Thank Frank A
Dana Point, California
Level Contributor
223 reviews
172 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2016

Below average Mexican food but one of the better flans !!!.. Unimpressed with just about everything on the menu but the flan has been consistently good to great !

Thank PG13LA
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
221 reviews
126 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2016

We come to Carlo's once every few months to enjoy breakfast on the weekend. They have some amazing pozole and they make a killer bloody mary to start your day off right. Good beef tacos and burritos on their menus. Local place that's been here for years and is a good place to visit

Thank Dooz85
Laguna Niguel, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2016 via mobile

After paddle boarding in Dana we like to go out for brunch. Carlos Mexican food is good and reasonably priced. I tried their huevos rancheros and really like them. We haven't experienced long waits for our large group usually 7 or more. Great outside patio with big fire pit.

Thank globeexcursionist

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 stars
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    3.5 of 5 stars
Mexican, Southwestern, Latin
Dinner, Lunch
Restaurant features
Outdoor Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Takeout, Serves Alcohol
Good for
Families with children
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 34224 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629-2821
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Orange County  >  Dana Point
  • Phone Number: 949-496-4470

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Carlos Mexican Restaurant & Cantina staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?