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Dona Esther

Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
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25 Franklin St, San Juan Bautista, CA
+1 831-623-2518
9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Mon - Fri 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
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93 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Showing 91: English reviews
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Very good food and service, reasonable prices, we ate at their pleasant outside courtyard with music and a mural of the Mission.

Thank Marc M
Napa CA, United States
Level Contributor
42 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2017 via mobile

Traveling to meet friends in Carmel, but terrible rain and falling trees stopped all forward progress . Decided to cut our losses and eat before we turned around for home. Pretty much the only restaurant open, and many of our fellow travelers washed up there as well...full dining room in this wonderful old building. Food was very good..chicken soup was... More 

Thank Alan B
Grenada, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2017

This is probably a great place to take children who like bland food. The tamales are just a hunk of breading, salsa nothing special, and entrees of no significant interest.

Thank Lana W
Larkspur, Colorado
Level Contributor
457 reviews
145 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 246 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2016

Since I was in California Artichoke country, a Mexican restaurant should serve that ingredient on it's menu, right? I did not expect it, but i had read from other Trip Advisor reviews that the Dona esther Artichoke Enchiladas were the bomb and I went to try them. Well, I am now forever jaded because they were amazing, like nothing else... More 

Thank Oceandweller7
Chico, California
Level Contributor
52 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2016

The staff was expecting our rather large group (20) and they were extremely accomodating, even though we asked to be seated outside rather than inside, where they already had our tables ready. The food was ready, piping hot,and delisioso!

Thank zushkart
Perryville, Maryland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2016

This restaurant was recommended by the clerk at the Mission. It was good Mexican food, served hot and quickly. We enjoyed our meal.

Thank ktmommablue
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2016

When I make my annual visit to relatives this stop is a must. We were introduced to this place about 10 years ago & have never had a bad meal. The service is great, which can be a feat in itself considering that there are always 10+ people including children. The plates are always hot keeping the food hot. My... More 

Thank Toni C
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2016

I eat here often and the food is good. The staff is pleasant and always will give us separate checks. It is great for dinner and for lunch.

Thank 158sheilag
Paris, France
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2016

The employees at this restaurant were really nice, but this place sadly needs a Gordon Ramsay intervention. My chill relleno plate was literally swimming in grease, the rice was certainly not fresh. The guacamole on the tostada? Brown.I would be afraid to see how old the food in their walk-in is, and the condition of their ice machine etc. This... More 

Thank jonze
San Jose, California, United States
Level Contributor
146 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2016 via mobile

Had the lobster enchilada. It was ok. Found out the refried beans had lard. My friend ' quesadilla was made with cheddar cheese.

Thank Johnny S

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Mexican, Latin, Spanish
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Good for
Kids, Families with children, Dining on a budget, Large groups
Open Hours
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 25 Franklin St, San Juan Bautista, CA
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Juan Bautista
  • Phone Number: +1 831-623-2518

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Dona Esther and other visitors
1 question
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over a year ago

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Questions? Get answers from Dona Esther 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?