California is the king when it comes to having an authentic Mexican food experience this far north of the border. There are many restaurant options for Mexican food in Santa Barbara, but some are more authentic than others. Make sure to visit these restaurants while you’re here:

Los Agaves Restaurant

600 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Los Agaves guarantees you the bold flavors of Mexico, with a focus on authenticity and innovation. This award-winning restaurant is one of the most popular in all of Santa Barbara and provides a classy dining experience to go along with the Mexican cuisine. Try the Alambres (homemade corn tortillas, chicken, grilled bell peppers, onions, and melted cheese) if you want a Los Agaves specialty, or if you want something hearty, try the Enchiladas Guadalajara (enchiladas with shredded chicken, topped with house-made salsa, cheese, and sour cream).

Corazon Cocina

600 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Head to Corazon Cocina for authentic Mexican street food. Just like the street food we love so much in Mexico, this food is affordable enough for anyone to enjoy. At Corazon Cocina we recommend the Al Pastor (spit roasted pork marinated in adobo, with cilantro, pickled habañero-pineapple salsa, and homemade corn tortilla) for some fun and unconventional flavor. The ceviche is also to die for, especially the Sayulita, which is made with a plethora of divine ingredients including wild white shrimp, mango, and burnt habañero aioli. Just reading the menu is enough to make your mouth water.

Santo Mezcal

119 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Santa Mezcal is the place to go for modern Mexican food served up with a lot of love. Dining at Santa Mezcal is like taking a trip through the local regions of Santa Barbara and the heart of Mexico, all at once. Try the Filete Costeno if you feel like rib-eye steak, or maybe the Tacos Salmon, which comes topped with grilled pineapple and chipotle sauce. Whatever you eat here, make sure to save room for the desert. The Pan de Elote is amazing! The food here is perfect for any afternoon in a seaside town like ours, and fits in perfectly with a beach day, or a vacation day filled with Santa Barbara exploration.

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