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“Good tasting Mexican food every time!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Nopalito Restaurant

El Nopalito Restaurant
Ranked #103 of 295 Restaurants in Encinitas
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Encinitas, California
Level Contributor
115 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Good tasting Mexican food every time!”
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 or taking all the flavorful Mexican goodies with you to a spectacular gathering. The dishes that they prepare are all good and you will look like a star! Your friends will want your recommendation on this one!

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Leonard K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    15
    7
    5
    0
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
222 reviews
171 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Our "go to" for a quick burrito or taco”
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 or for a quick lunch.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank jsearle99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlsbad, California
Level Contributor
136 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Awesome catering!”
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 it all up which was great. We had several different types of meat, rice, beans, chips, guac, several types of salsa, corn and flour tortillas... Im ordering again for grad weekend! Don't expect a nice restaurant. Its super casual in a strip center so if you are looking for a quick bite of some good Mexican food, this is your place!

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank LJucha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandy, Utah
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Mexican Fast Food”
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 the salty chips and salty guacamole, we had a salty appetizer. The fish tacos were mushy and bland tasting. My son-in-law had the carne asada burrito, and he was very happy with it. My daughter had a bean and cheese burrito which she liked.I suspect one can do better for Mexican food in Encinitas.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TRAVELERPAPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
123 reviews
98 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Best, Authentic Mexican Food in San Diego County”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2013

Let's get one thing out of the way from the start. El Nopalito is definitely a dive (by Guy Fieri's standard) but, when you find many of the local stores carrying their salsa's, you gotta believe something is being done right! We were steered there because of their Carne Azada burrito's and, frankly, they are so-o-o good, we haven't been able to try anything else (they're so big, we just don't have any appetite left!) But, here's what give it that air of authenticity -- the local Hispanic's eat there and the TV only play programs in Spanish. Now if you go there, don't miss checking out their market. It's in the same shopping center, but it's not in the same building. At their market, you can buy all sorts of wonderful stuff! (salsa's, home made tamales, and all sorts of meats, cheeses and condiments).

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Jim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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