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El Nopalito Restaurant

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560 Santa Fe Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024-4640
6:30 am - 7:30 pm
Closed now
All hours
Sun - Sat 6:30 am - 7:30 pm
More Info
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25 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Showing 24: English reviews
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Level Contributor
113 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2016

This is a Mexican Restaurant, serving various burritos, tacos, fish tacos and beans, rice and such. We visited here for breakfast. I had a breakfast burrito, a Machaca, which was supposed to have shredded beef, scrambles eggs in a tortilla. It mainly was scrambled eggs; the beef was barely there. I opened up my burrito to search for shredded beef... More 

Thank Lm D
Fort Mohave, Arizona
Level Contributor
214 reviews
113 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2016

My friend and I ate there on a Sunday morning as I was just visiting him. Had never been here before. I had the Menudo which was excellent with fresh corn tortillas. He had the goat meat stew which he let me try and it was also very good!! His came with corn tortillas as well. Very reasonable and good,... More 

Thank Bobby31225
Encinitas, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 24, 2015

El Nopalito has the best chips and salsa in the state of California. We always get it at the taco shop and take some home for later. They have a market close by too. Great guacamole and amazing tortillas.

Thank Rusty M
Solana Beach, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2015

They have been in Encinitas for as long as I can remember and they have always rated #1 with me. You know it's good when most of the customers are Latinos! There is so much atmosphere here and everyone is so friendly.....just like my experiences traveling in Mexico. The food is all made from scratch and the aromas will drive... More 

Thank Princessa57
Level Contributor
62 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2014

This is very authentic Mexican food. You can get a burrito, quesadilla, or a taco. Fillings range from cheese, carne asada, chicken, and other favorites. There are also some more exotic fillings. Chips and salsa selection are legendary. People drive out of their way to take some home. Look at the family to go items. They are a really good... More 

Thank petest50
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
207 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2014

Went there with a couple of friends today. The chicken tacos were great. We all enjoyed the salsa bar - about 5 different salsas, and chopped onions, cilantro, etc. to custom make your meal. My friend ordered the breakfast burrito and loved it - especially the crispy bacon! Feels like a Baja taco shop. Affordable and authentic. Plan to keep... More 

Thank jsearle99
Encinitas, California
Level Contributor
115 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2014

Want to have lunch at a restaurant known far and wide for it's distinctive appeal and flavorful Mexican food? Hop into the car and head for the legendary El Nopalito on Santa Fe in Encinitas. No visit to El Nopalito is complete without trying their exceptional roasted salsa and magnificent tortilla chips. It matters not if you are dining in... More 

Thank Leonard K
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
207 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2014

El Napalito is a regular experience for us. Listening to Spanish TV, eating a burrito with the salsa bar - does it get much better than that? Well, yes, but it's a great experience for the price. It's easy to get to (next to the 5 freeway) and everyone is mellow. Another good place to hit after a surf session... More 

Thank jsearle99
Carlsbad, California
Level Contributor
136 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2014

El Napolito is by the high school so all of the kids go there often and love the food. The chips and salsa are sold all over town and everyone loves them!! I had them cater a party for 50 recently and everyone loved the food. Its super reasonably priced for everything we got and very generous portions. They set... More 

Thank LJucha
Sandy, Utah
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2014

We went to El Nopalito because it was rated the top Mexican restaurant in Encinitas. Even though one reviewer call it "a dive," because the ratings were so good, we expected a more upscale restaurant. One orders at the counter and food is brought to the table. The food was only average. The home made chips were greasy and between... More 


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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    3 of 5 bubbles
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating
Good for
Dining on a budget, Families with children
Open Hours
6:30 am - 7:30 pm
6:30 am - 7:30 pm
6:30 am - 7:30 pm
6:30 am - 7:30 pm
6:30 am - 7:30 pm
6:30 am - 7:30 pm
6:30 am - 7:30 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 560 Santa Fe Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024-4640
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Encinitas
  • Phone Number: 760-436-5775

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from El Nopalito Restaurant 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?