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“+ stunning location, + delicious fare, - service is sometimes bad!”
Review of El Palomar

El Palomar
Ranked #33 of 372 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Large groups, Families with children, Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Soquel Avenue
Description: Since El Palomar’s opening in 1983, we have been serving Santa Cruz unique and fresh Mexican cuisine inspired by authentic family recipes. Our commitment to excellence has continuously earned us the “Best Mexican Restaurant in Santa Cruz” award.
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
171 reviews
122 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“+ stunning location, + delicious fare, - service is sometimes bad!”
Reviewed December 4, 2012

If you are looking for a stunning dining room in Santa Cruz the El Palomar should be amongst your choices. The Mexican restaurant’s main dining room is located within the former lobby of the Hotel Palomar that was opened in the 1920’s. It comes with a mission style painted ceiling, a Spanish plaster fireplace and second story balconies.

Besides the amazing interior the restaurant features a huge choice of tasty Mexican dishes. My personal favorite is the carne asada sobe, but the fish tacos and chicken burrito are delicious as well.

While the food is very good the service is so so. Some staff is awesome while others should really be trained better or even be replaced.
Once had a waitress that was very attentive in the beginning but then just disappeared and let us wait for the check for over 30 minutes. When we asked other personnel to help out we were ignored and had to ask 6 different people until we were able to pay and leave the restaurant!

Anyways, the El Palomar is a great place to try authentic Mexican fare in particular if you love historic places.

Average entrée: $20.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank travelinmatecom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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217 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    88
    82
    29
    9
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Maunaloa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
46 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Good food and friendly”
Reviewed December 3, 2012

Moderately priced Mexican food. Lively bar, Food quality is excellent. Gets crowded, so make a reservation if you do ot wish to wait. On the Pacific Mall

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Born2travel2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aptos, California, United States
Level Contributor
78 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Not Jalisco”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

This is a good restaurant that serves good food and has good service.
If it were amazing food and better service and were located in Watsonville, it might approach Jalisco.....

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank R E K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, CA
Level Contributor
54 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Maybe not authentic, but yummy!”
Reviewed November 13, 2012

This is not truly authentic Mexican food, but it is very, very good. Particularly good choices for lunch are chicken tortilla soup, which is divine, and the tostada salad which is on the lunch specials menu. Seating in the cantina is a little noisy, but it's bright and cheerful. Inside the restaurant is kind of dark and not all that pleasant, at least not at lunch time. It's nice for dinner. Service is great. Friendly, fast, and a never-ending supply of chips and salsa. This is a very good choice if you want Mexican food, but can't travel all the way to Watsonville for the real thing.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Rosiq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
389 reviews
334 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 265 helpful votes
“Some of the best Mexican food I've tried!”
Reviewed November 7, 2012

Delicious Mexican food! I Love the food at this place and they have great margaritas too! The salsa is really tasty and they offer a great variety of food to choose from.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank davidsantacruz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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