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El Palomar Restaurant

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Business Details



in Business


Regular Hours

General Info:
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.
Extra Phones:

Phone: (831) 761-2161

1934 Main, Watsonville: (831) 761-2161

Phone: (831) 426-3564

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Pacific Garden Mall
Downtown Santa Cruz, Central Santa Cruz

El Palomar-Santa Cruz

Cafe El Palomar

Mexican Restaurants, Take Out Restaurants, Bar & Grills, Family Style Restaurants, Caterers, Latin American Restaurants, Banquet Halls & Reception Facilities, Mexican & Latin American Grocery Stores, Restaurants
Other Information:

Parking: Garage, Street

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Good For Family: Yes

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Take Out: Yes

Cuisines: Caterers, Family Style, Mexican, Take Out, Latin American, Bar & Grills

Alcohol: Full Bar

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: No

Price Range : Average

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Provided by Citysearch - 
Yuck is all I can say.

This used to be a reliable place for good, inexpensive food. The last time I went there, though, the food was disgusting (I had the same experience with the chile verde as another reviewer -- it was all fat and gristle), and the place was actually dirty! The bathroom was filthy. The main dining room has all the atmosphere of a college dining hall, and always has. But the food used to make up for that. It doesn't now.


Provided by Citysearch - 
The Best Mexican Food We've Ever Eaten Anywhere

This was--by far--the best Mexican food my husband and I have ever eaten anywhere, including Mexico, and every major city in America. The green sauce is TO DIE FOR, and the Flan is better than you will ever eat again. You will not be dissapointed by the food, the decor, or the family atmosphere of the restaurant and staff.


Provided by Citysearch - 
Tasty mexican!

This place is great! The ceviche was the best I have ever had. Margaritas are good, too. Very enjoyable!


Provided by Citysearch - 
A very average and forgettable dining experience

3 words -- store bought chips. That says it all. Any Mexican restaurant that serve Tostitos knock-offs already has 2 strikes against it. Food was unexceptional, marguerites were okay, and wait staff was responsive. Difficult to maintain a conversation in cavernous dining room. If you are looking for a quality Mexican food experience, keep looking...


Provided by Citysearch - 
So overrated....and so over it.

The first time I went to El Palomar, it was a nice dining experience. Food and service were good, but both have gone a serious way. The last couple of times I went, grissly(sp?) beef in the sopas and colorado beef and the Chile verde was more fat than pork - blech! So disappointing since there aren't many sit down mex restaurants in SC. I'd go for a margarita or two but avoid the food at all costs.


Provided by Citysearch - 
Best Margarita's & Taco Bar

I highly recommend the margarit's. I prefer the Guava Margarita w/ Hornitos.

The Taco Bar is one of my favorite places to eat.


Provided by Citysearch - 
You will always go back!

We have been to several Mexican restaurants in all of San Jose and ""NOT ONE"" compares to the food at EL PALOMAR. The flavors are great and if you have grown up eating this kind of food as I have, since a young boy, then you are in for a treat and will always go back for more. Growing up in the East Side of San Jose since the late 60's, I've tried just about all they have to offer and El Palomar beats them all. So do yourself a favor and you will always savor this place. Try the Sopas, there like nothing you have ever had!!! Ola...


Provided by Citysearch - 
my favorite place in santa cruz

Since moving from Santa Cruz, this is the place I miss the most! I keep trying to find a place in LA that can even come close to Palomar, but I have had no luck. The daily seafood specials are amazing, the portions are huge (so a dinner is also your lunch the next day), the bar is awesome, and the atmosphere is great. However, you can frequently wait a couple of hours for a table on Friday or Saturday nights. The attached taco bar is great for happy hour and lunch. Super prices and great food. Everything is so fresh here.


Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Mexican Food

El Palomar has THE best Mexican food in Santa Cruz. Nothing else even comes close. They served cabbage in their tacos and burritos before it was trendy. Yet, sometimes their culinary abilities are overshadowed by their bartending skills. These are also hands down the best 'ritas in town. It doesn't matter if you order a basic rocks and salt or a fruity sweet blended concoction. You won't be disappointed.

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El Palomar Restaurant

1336 Pacific AveSanta CruzCA 95060

(831) 425-7575

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