10 Mexican Restaurants In Santa Monica, California - Updated 2021

mexican restaurants in santa monica
Nyrene Grace Patricia
Nyrene Grace Patricia

Can’t choose where to eat at Santa Monica tonight? You can never go wrong with burritos and tacos. Here at Santa Monica, you’ll find all sorts of Mexican food with rich stories, unique dishes, and friendly staff! From traditional and old-school style cooking to recipes handed down from generation to generation up to beach-side dining with seafood specialties, the streets have a myriad of choices to offer. Healthy, meaty or spicy - whatever you’re craving for, you’ll find it below. Several Mexican restaurants in San Jose, California, offer weekday specials and happy hours where you might get good deals for tacos and margaritas so check out the details below!

1. Gilbert's El Indio Restaurant

It’s best to kick off with this classic restaurant that just celebrated their 45th anniversary on May 20, 2019! There’s no denying that the rich and flavorful Mexican cuisine they offer has been loved by generations of local patrons and even families. Lots of Mexican restaurants have already popped up with new modern twists, but this place is where you get the traditional, old-style serving. Here’s a useful tip: they offer a Tuesday happy hour special at 4 pm for a lucky taco and beer deals] The place is cash-only!

Gilbert's El Indio Restaurant

Address: 2526 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Website: Gilbert’s El Indio Restaurant

Opening hours: Sun – Thu: 8am – 11pm; Fri – Sat: 8am – 12am

2. Tocaya Organica

Clean, healthy, and flavor-rich dining? Tocaya Organica maintains a modern healthy eating movement with fresh local ingredients and traditional Mexican cuisine. They accommodate vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free diet with versatile choices to offer! Their flavors can be really bold even on strict diet preferences. Whenever you’re up for a guilt-free Mexican cuisine indulgence to treat yourself with, Tocaya may be your best bet.

Tocaya Organica

Address: 507 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Website: Tocaya Organica

Opening hours: 11am – 10pm (daily)

3. Wahoo's Fish Taco

Fish Tacos at Wahoo's
Source: Photo by Flickr user Sean Loyless used under CC BY 2.0

First built in the 90s for surfers and skaters in Costa Mesa, Wahoo’s Fish Taco now also serves fresh dishes for all types of adventurers and wanderers including Mexican cuisine and seafood enthusiasts. This glistening salmon bowl in the photo is a mouthwatering sight that we all need to get a taste of!

Wahoo's Fish Taco

Address: 418 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Website: Wahoo’s Fish Taco

Opening hours: 11am – 9pm (daily)

4. Tacos Por Favor

mexican restaurants in santa monica | tacos por favor

If you need a quick stop for tacos before a relaxing beach time, take a trip to Tacos Por Favor for a ravishing dine. It’s exciting to try their self-serve salsa bar where you can take flavor varieties like pico de gallo, red and green salsa, and jalapeño slices to go with your orders. There could be a long line in the counter for people who want their share of tempting meaty options.

Tacos Por Favor

Address: 1408 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Website: Tacos Por Favor

Opening hours: 8am – 8pm (daily)

5. Blue Plate Taco

With fresh and hand-pressed tortilla, organic meat ingredients and appetizing atmosphere, Blue Plate Taco serves a healthy, guiltless and flavor-rich dining. You’ll enjoy a tickling breeze and magnificent beach-side view while you munch on their popular lobster tacos.

Blue Plate Taco

Address: 1515 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Website: Blue Plate Taco

Opening hours: Sun – Thu: 11am – 10pm; Fri – Sat: 11am – 11pm

6. Lares Restaurant

While staking out for old-school Mexican cuisine around Pico Boulevard, Lares Restaurant is just waiting with their chicken mole enchilada, incredible tacos, and splendid margaritas. The small place gives off a casual, yet intimate ambiance spiced up with astounding theme decors depending on season or occasion. The live playing band is also a big bonus!

Lares Restaurant

Address: 2909 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Website: Lares Restaurant

Opening hours: 8am – 1am (daily)

7. La Fiesta Brava

We can turn on the heater for a cozy night dinner

Posted by La Fiesta Brava on Monday, 10 October 2016

La Fiesta Brava is a Venice food treasure that has stood the test of time and struggle after having to move to another location a few years ago. Fortunately, this Mexican cuisine restaurant that does an exceptional job found its way back to serve its patrons. La Fiesta continues to serve sizzling steak fajitas, spicy diablo seafood and plenty of other spectacular dishes!

La Fiesta Brava

Address: 259 Hampton Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90291

Website: La Fiesta Brava

Opening hours: 10:30am – 9pm (daily)

8. Benny's Taco and Chicken Rotisserie

We don't even have a caption for this. It just LOOKS amazing (tastes even better). Grab your own at Benny's...

Posted by Benny’s Tacos and Chicken Rotisserie on Thursday, 30 May 2019

There have been several Mexican spots from Wilshire in this list already, but Benny’s signature rotisserie chicken taco deserves to shine! Their attractive menu offers some affordable and worthy deals. Incredible food that comes with great prices and generous parking? That’s a precious find in Santa Monica.

Benny's Taco and Chicken Rotisserie

Address: 915 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Website: Benny’s Taco and Chicken Rotisserie

Opening hours: 8:30am – 10pm (daily)

9. Casa Martin Mexican Restaurant

Here’s another dining choice right near Santa Monica pier! Casa Martin is a family-owned restaurant that serves Mexican cuisine of Jalisco origin. Their friendly staff and a bonus mariachi band might greet you when you arrive. The restaurant’s vibe fits celebration and special occasions!

Casa Martin Mexican Restaurant

Address: 1654 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Website: Casa Martin Mexican Restaurant

Opening hours: Sun – Thu: 11am – 10pm; Fri – Sat: 11am – 11pm

10. Mercado Santa Monica

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Mercado opens on later hours compared to other places that offer Mexican cuisine. Still, their spectacular cuisine quality, fine service, and ambiance keep the place packed once the clock hits five! Try to catch some of their popular carnitas on happy hour for delicious bargains!

Mercado Santa Monica

Address: 1416 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Website: Mercado Santa Monica

Opening hours: Mon – Thu: 5pm – 10pm; Fri: 5pm – 11pm; Sat: 4pm – 11pm; Sun: 11am – 3pm, 4pm – 10pm

Spending your Tuesdays with tacos

001 Tacos de carnitas, carne asada y al pastor
Source: Photo by user Larry Miller used under CC BY-SA 2.0

With plenty of restaurants in Santa Monica that offer Mexican cuisine, there’s no excuse to miss out on tacos. Drive by any of these spots on your next Taco Tuesday!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Nyrene is a university student with a passion for writing. She finds joy in meticulously planning events and trips up to the smallest detail through her tracker sheets. From time to time, she...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Santa Monica
Good things are meant to be shared!