Santa Barbara, like most of southern California, is known for its mouth-watering Mexican food. One of the staples that the local restaurants seem to have mastered is the taco. The question is- where can you find the BEST tacos? Below I have listed five taco joints in Santa Barbara that reign supreme. Just remember: when the line is out the door, it is worth the wait!
Mony’s Mexican Food
Mony’s is a little spot in the Funk Zone that is serving up tacos around $2 each! Like all the best eateries, you order at the counter and wait about 5-10 minutes for your meal to be brought to you. Which gives you ample time to explore what I call the best salsa bar in Santa Barbara. Their salsa has become so popular that they have started to sell it by the jar!
Resembling a street-style taco bar, Lilly’s remains at the top of the local scene. It is great for those who like to venture out a little because of the authentic- style taco fillings like cow-tongue, cheek, or eyeball. But it also has options for every palate. Tacos are served bare but no worries- their salsa bar offers everything you need to create the perfect plate.
Taquería El Buen Gusto
If you are looking for a no-frills, authentic Mexican eatery then El Buen Gusto is your new favorite spot. Their tacos are small, simple, and delicious. The service is fast and the beer is cold. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, they have weekly soup specials that are THE BOMB.
La Super-Rica Taquería
La Super-Rica is a legendary restaurant among the Santa Barbara community, with its daily line stretching down the side street. It’s so good that Julia Child even repped it on national television! While standing among the crowd coming in and out of the outdoor patio, you can see the tortillas being freshly made to order. These are the backbones to any taco and for this place, the whole menu. While you are there, I suggest trying some non-taco dishes as well.
This is not your average taco shop. Corazon Cocina started out as a stall in the Santa Barbara Public Market and has expanded to a joint venture on lower State Street with the Taproom. The menu changes regularly, and always has some of the freshest ingredients in town. Each dish offers an innovative twist on Mexican street food that foodies will die for.
For another locals guide to Santa Barbara, CLICK HERE for the top happy hours in town!
Subscribe to Leisure of Living
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I would never recommend anything I don’t personally love, and the income goes to keeping this site updated and free for everyone!