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“Lively Mexican”
Review of El Palomar

El Palomar
Ranked #31 of 372 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
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.
Great Lakes
Level Contributor
89 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Lively Mexican”
Reviewed December 2, 2013

Always a nice, cheerful and slightly exotic place to eat. Mole is good, and all the usual Mexican plates are served with above-average care and attention. Beautiful dining room.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank PJamesGreatLakes
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, December 3, 2013
Thanks for this excellent feedback. I'm very happy to hear that you're a fan of our mole, and that you can tell we take great care in selecting our ingredients and preparing every dish. I hope you'll join us again soon!

Best,
Johann, Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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220 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    90
    82
    30
    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
Lake Forest, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Great taco bar”
Reviewed October 24, 2013

We make it a point to visit the taco bar EVERY time that we come in to town. They are absolutely fantastic!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jaime D
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, October 27, 2013
We're thrilled that you love us so much, Jaime! We love making you tacos! I hope we'll see you again very soon, and thanks for this glowing review.

All the best,
Johann, Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evanston, Illinois
Level Contributor
140 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Good food, great setting”
Reviewed October 18, 2013

My wife and I enjoyed lunch at El Palomar during a recent visit to Santa Cruz. The food was very good, the setting was beautiful, and the service was outstanding.

I am a native Californian who now lives on the east coast, and I often crave good, authentic Mexican food, so this was a nice fix for me. The tortilla chips, guacamole, and salsa were excellent. The Chile Verde was wonderful, as were my wife's Carnitas enchiladas (a daily special that day that she was kind enough to share with me).

The dining room is beautiful and historic, but we enjoyed our lunch in the open air of the bar area. Either spot would be a pleasurable place to enjoy some good Mexican food and a margarita.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank elpndj
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, October 22, 2013
Thanks for sharing this kind review, and I'm so glad to hear that everything was to your liking when you and your wife came to see us. I understand the need for an authentic Mexican meal, and I'm thrilled we were able to provide you with one! I hope we can welcome you back again the next time you're in the area -- we all look forward to serving you!

All the best,
Johann, Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, CA
Level Contributor
30 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great Santa Cruz tradition”
Reviewed October 10, 2013

We love going to Palomar, especially for the happy hour! The food is good and the setting is such fun. It's a perfect place to unwind. You can't go wrong at Palomar

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank quiltingatty
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, October 13, 2013
Thanks for this great review! I'm so glad you like the food and the happy hour. We love when our guests come in to unwind and relax, and we can't thank you enough for recommending us. Hope to see you back again very soon.

All the best,
Johann, Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz area CA
Level Contributor
100 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“EXCELLENT AND BEAUTIFUL ALL OCCASIONS PLACE TO GO!”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

From the sculpted Conquistador countenances high atop this landmark, carefully preserved building to the lovely historic restaurant interior, you have one of the most interesting landmark buildings in Santa Cruz. To think there was debate about preserving this grand old building after the '89 quake, it seems the spirit of those Conquistadors prevailed! What we have now is a beautiful restaurant that is true to its heritage - it has ALWAYS been good for decades now, yet when out of towners (former locals) visited and wanted to head STRAIGHT here I realized that El Palomar is now even better than ever! Savory favorite dishes, yet they've done contemporary well - I had a SCRUMPTIOUS salad - HUGE - so can't say the prices are that high when portions are considered. The whole party loved their food - the Margaritas - the lively bar with cafe style tables while we waited chatted - the local color made this IDEAL for adding fun to the occasion!
The taco bar annex is fast and delicious as well - there is, I believe, even a ballroom in the facility! Seems to have everything here!
When locals who've moved out of town head straight back here, as i've noted in other reviews too, you know they KNOW of what they speak!
A truly Santa Cruz experience - memorable !!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank chechina
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, October 9, 2013
This is so wonderful to hear -- thank you for sharing this beautifully written review! I'm glad you came back to see us and that you enjoyed the ambiance, food, and drinks. It sounds like you and your party had quite a nice evening, and I hope we can continue to host you through the years. We appreciate your loyalty and support and look forward to serving you again soon!

All the best,
Johann, Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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