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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.
Hours

Regular Hours

Extra Phones

Phone: (831) 761-2161

1934 Main, Watsonville: (831) 761-2161

Fax: (831) 426-1720

Payment method
discover, master card, visa, all major credit cards, amex
Price Range
$$
Location
Palomar Arcade
Neighborhoods
Downtown Santa Cruz, Central Santa Cruz
AKA

El Palomar-Santa Cruz

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

Parking: Garage, Street

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Good For Family: Yes

Good For Groups: Yes

Good for Kids: 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

Pets Allowed: No

COUPONS & DEALS

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Reviews

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virgilsamuelson

08/22/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great Place!!

Great Place!! When I go out to eat, I expect to pay a lot for my meal. I also expect to get a lot of food for that money. I'm a bit of a foodie and only want the best. Well, this place did deliver a great meal that I really enjoyed, only the portion was so small that I left feeling hungry still. The price wasn't worth the meal. However, the ambiance is very nice.

afinevintage

08/12/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
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.

thephoenixlives

04/02/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
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.

jenhilker

09/12/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Tasty mexican!

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

elunes

07/26/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
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...

susannakim

05/19/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
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 downhill....in 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.

pier2pier

01/21/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
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.

RMLUERRA

02/27/2003

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
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...

redbobsled

02/17/2003

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
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.

taradelis_citysearch

06/25/2002

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
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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