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Ratings and reviews

Travelers' Choice
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

CUISINES
Mexican, Latin
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch
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meals, features
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What you can expect during your visit
  • Hand sanitizer available to guests & staff
Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Reviews (595)
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219 results
Traveler rating
159
41
13
4
2
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Time of year
LanguageEnglish
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Traveler rating
159
41
13
4
2
Show reviews that mention
All reviews corn pancakes machaca elote tortillas lamb bread worth the wait arrive early cafe de olla big portions farm animals long wait worth the trip dona borrego barrio cheese
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Reviewed 1 week ago

This was a recommendation by my hosts in Ensenada. I arrived on a Friday at 9:30AM for the breakfast and I was blow away. I described the refried beans as "delicate" the flavors were perfect. I had a mix of pulled lamb, shredded beef/pork scrambled...into the eggs, a lamb/beef broth that came with it and I dipped my meal as I put it the scramble and the lamb in fresh (AMAZING) tortillas. DO NOT MISS THIS PLACE. I have been in the restaurant world for 40 years and this meal was one of the best, if not the best, Mexican meal I have ever had!More

Date of visit: August 2022
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This place is always busy but definitely worth the wait. While we waited in line to park, a gentleman selling bread walked over to our car (he doesn't work for the restaurant) and we decided to buy some because we were starving. My only regret...was not buying more! The rosemary bread was my favorite. After we parked, we were worried we'd have to wait for a long time but they sat us pretty quickly (it was just two of us). The service was great and the food was seriously delicious. So glad we tried it and didn't let the wait scare us!More

Date of visit: February 2022
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Get ready to wait two hours to eat an overrated meal, its just ridiculous to wait for so long, they don't respect the order you arrive to be served, food is not that great, we waited for two hours just to be seated and another...40 mins to be served. Quite frankly just the pancakes are remarkableMore

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I hear a lot of this place in Valle. So, expectations were too high. Every single food I taste was awesome! What videos and publicity says is true! It is a very cheap food, fabulous, delicious, great place. I really recommend this place, is a...MUST to go to start a day in Valle!More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed July 4, 2022

Worth the wait, its much faster to get service if you get here by 12 noon. Wonderful menu. fair pricing.

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 1, 2022 via mobile

5 stars food. Homemade local place. A casual place to eat very good food. Went around 4pm not a line, but I heard you could wait in line for 1-1/2 hour, which means to me the food is real good. I really like the food,...I sure would come back. Excellent in food!More

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed May 24, 2022 via mobile

We enjoyed our breakfast here very much!! We sat outside in the back. Ordered the corn ricotta pancakes, chilaquiles, and machaca. All were SO tasty.

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed April 23, 2022

I enjoyed my breakfast here last week very much. I arrived at 8am on a Thursday there was o wait and plenty of seats. This is a big space with indoor and outdoor dining. All the servers wear N95s which is appreciated. I loved the...borrego - and I was glad someone gave me the tip to order a half portion! Delicious! I was a solo diner and well taken care of. Worth the effort - and the road!More

Date of visit: April 2022
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Reviewed April 16, 2022

My husband and I have the cornmeal pancakes, and the red & green chilaquiles. I didn't specify I wanted eggs with the chilaquiles and guess I should have. Would have preferred them that way but they were still very good. THe cornmeal pancakes are huge...and there are 3 of them. 1 pancake per person is all one should need. The only off-putting this is how huge the place is. Not a lot of ambience, but good food and efficient service.More

Date of visit: April 2022
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Reviewed March 14, 2022

The line of cars to get in can be intimidating as is the road if you are in a car. Highly recommend an SUV. We were in a car and found the second turn off to be a bit easier to handle. The wait was...about an hour long when we were actually inside to give our names. Ana provided amazing customer service. All of the waitresses were hustling and working hard to accommodate hungry patrons. My cousin said he had the best Machaca he as ever had in his life. Two others in my group loved the Birria and did not peep a word until there plates were cleaned. lol. I ordered the Nopales without egg and it was so flavorful and amazing with the handmade tortillas and refried beans....yum I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. We also ordered the elote pancakes and cafe de olla....amazing, amazing, amazing.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed February 28, 2022

You may be intimidated by the line of cars idling outside. You may be intimidated by the wait which is longer than the 15 minutes they quoted. You may even be intimidated by the menagerie of animals casually snacking and sunning themselves outside. But trust...that the first bite of Dona Esthela's delicious Borrego will make it all worthwhile. Borrego is lamb that has been seasoned and cooked in an underground pit for 6 hours. You can have it cripsed on the flat-top with some freshly made tortillas. You can have it in a fresh gordita with cheese and some lardy beans. No matter how you have it, get the consumme to dip. This is food that reminds you of a time when you were safe and loved. This is food you want to shout about from the mountaintops. This is food you want to share with the people you care about the most in the world. Everything is good. The pancakes are so fluffy, you can take a nap on them. Fresh everything. Just go forth and eat.More

Date of visit: February 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed February 18, 2022

We arrived around 2:00 on a Friday & waited 1/2 hour for a table. We occupied ourselves by walking around the property & watching the numerous farm animals. Once seated you’re immediately served tortilla chips/salsa/cheese. The menu is extensive & mostly breakfast type entrees. We...ordered the vegetarian omelette & chicken enchiladas. The food is very fresh & large portions. No alcohol available. Cantina atmosphere, good service, & reasonably priced. Our lunch cost $11 American + tip.More

Date of visit: February 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed November 1, 2021 via mobile

Food is amazing you can really have a real taste of the Baja cuisine . You must have the corn pancakes it's a signature dish . It is really hidden in the valley so make sure you have a ride back because there are no...taxis in the area . Weekends very full and there is no reservation so try to be there earlyMore

Date of visit: November 2021
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 25, 2021 via mobile

Arrive early if you don’t want a long wait. However if you come late it’s worth the wait! Best Birria in Baja!! And you must try their corn pancakes!!

Date of visit: August 2021
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Reviewed May 14, 2021

The food was outstanding, the service was great. House specials were very tasty and we are looking forward to our next visit there. A "culinary gem" of the Valley. Highly recommended.

Date of visit: May 2021
Helpful?
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256str
March 29, 2021|
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Yes they do.
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Victor M
March 27, 2021|
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Yes they do.
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Frequently Asked Questions about La Cocina de Doña Esthela

Yes, La Cocina de Doña Esthela offers takeout services.

Yes, La Cocina de Doña Esthela is taking precautions against COVID-19. A full list is available within the "safety precautions" section of this page.

La Cocina de Doña Esthela is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4.5
  • Atmosphere: 4