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“Cool Building! Fun Bar! Surprisingly Great Food!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of El Palomar

El Palomar
Ranked #37 of 369 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Families with children, Kids, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, 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.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
55 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Cool Building! Fun Bar! Surprisingly Great Food!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

We went here on a chilly December evening to get tacos at the bar. Everything we ordered from margaritas to tacos & rice were delicious. The super salty chips & guacamole were kind of addictive too.The place is pretty cool looking. I can recommend the bar area, but the dining room looks pretty nice for a sit down in a big booth kind of meal.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JinPDX_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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214 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    86
    81
    29
    9
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Afternoon Margarita with Chili Colorado”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2012

My wife and I have been to El Palomar many times ove rthe years -- maybe more than 30? Our latest favorite is to have a couple of custom margarita's while spliting a bowl their delicious Chili Colorado. El Palomar is a great place for lunch in downtown Santa Cruz.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Rocheville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johan E, Manager at El Palomar, responded to this review, July 26, 2013
Rocheville, thanks so much for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor. We're always happy to see you and your wife, and glad to hear you're both big fans of our Chile Colorado! Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Johann, Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
2 reviews
“fri afternoon cocktails”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 12, 2012

Margaritas and chips are the best way to end the week and start the weekend and this downtown place usually is quite busy on Fri be 4pm.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank mickey t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johan E, Manager at El Palomar, responded to this review, July 26, 2013
Mickey, we always look forward to helping you start the weekend off right! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We'll see you again soon.

Johann, Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
171 reviews
122 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“+ stunning location, + delicious fare, - service is sometimes bad!”
4 of 5 bubbles 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.
Maunaloa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
46 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Good food and friendly”
4 of 5 bubbles 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.

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