Welcome to our culinary journey through the vibrant flavors of Orange County! In this article, we’ll be exploring the very best Mexican restaurants in Orange County, where mouthwatering dishes and authentic Mexican cuisine take center stage. From sizzling street tacos to savory enchiladas, these eateries offer a delightful fusion of traditional recipes and modern twists. So get ready to tantalize your taste buds as we uncover the hidden gems and must-visit spots that showcase the rich tapestry of Mexican flavors found in the Best Mexican restaurants in Orange County.

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Sancho’s Tacos

Address: 602 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Phone: +1 (714) 536-8226
Website: sanchostacos.com
Details: $, Taco restaurant

Sancho’s Tacos in Orange County is a hidden gem that guarantees a fantastic dining experience. With their focus on freshness and homemade dishes, this Mexican restaurant exceeds expectations. The shrimp and fish tacos are outstanding, with perfectly cooked shrimp and flavorful salsa. The carne asada burrito, filled with homemade pinto beans and perfectly balanced cheese, is a must-try, enhanced even further by their spicy salsa. The friendly staff, including the attentive manager who visits each table, create a welcoming atmosphere that keeps customers coming back.

Located in Newport, Sancho’s Tacos offers a delightful combination of delicious tacos, guacamole, and refreshing drinks. The street parking ensures convenience while the vibrant ambiance adds to the overall dining experience. Customers can relax on the outdoor benches, savoring their meal with a breathtaking view of Huntington Beach. The Caliguley burrito and mild sweet salsa come highly recommended, while the tri-tip nachos and the variety of salsa choices are sure to please. Don’t forget to take in the stunning artwork that decorates the restaurant.

Guests can expect outstanding freshness and flavor at Sancho’s Tacos. From the surf and turf burrito to the chicken, flounder, and carnitas tacos, every bite is a delight. The homemade chips and salsa are irresistible, and the friendly and knowledgeable staff make the experience all the more enjoyable. The combination of excellent food, great service, and the unique ambiance makes Sancho’s Tacos a must-visit Mexican restaurant in Orange County.

South Of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen + Bar

Address: 110 N El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672
Phone: +1 (949) 481-4545
Website: nicksrestaurants.com/south-of-nicks
Details: $$, Mexican restaurant

South of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen + Bar in Orange County is a culinary gem that offers a truly delightful dining experience. The staff, from the friendly hosts to the attentive waiters, creates a welcoming and professional atmosphere from the moment guests walk in. The view from the restaurant is splendid, adding to the overall ambiance. With a focus on taste and presentation, the Mexican cuisine at South of Nick’s is simply outstanding. From the Chilean Sea Bass to the seafood enchiladas and the grilled portobello tacos, every dish is exceptional in both flavor and presentation.

Planning a special event? Look no further than South of Nick’s. Their private events room is beautiful, perfect for hosting a wedding rehearsal dinner or any other celebration. The staff, including Corey, who assists with event planning, ensures a phenomenal experience for all guests. The food, drinks, and service receive high praise, making South of Nick’s an ideal choice for special occasions.

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Whether you’re dining at the San Clemente or Laguna Beach location, South of Nick’s consistently impresses. The craft drinks, such as the toasted coconut cocktail and margaritas, are fantastic additions to the meal. The chip and salsa sampler, along with the guacamole, start the dining experience on a high note. The menu features a range of delectable options, from the blackened shrimp taquitos to the carne norteña and the chicken tortilla soup. With impeccable service and beautiful presentation, South of Nick’s is a must-visit destination for those seeking exceptional Mexican cuisine in a captivating atmosphere.

El Adobe De Capistrano

Address: 31891 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Phone: +1 (949) 493-1163
Website: eladobedecapistrano.com
Details: $$, Mexican restaurant

El Adobe De Capistrano, located in Orange County, offers an exceptional dining experience with its friendly staff, inviting atmosphere, and flavorful menu. From the moment guests step foot in the restaurant, they are greeted with warm smiles and professional service. The chips and salsa, a true test of a Mexican restaurant’s quality, are delicious and set the stage for a memorable meal. The President’s Choice, a favorite entree of President and Mrs. Nixon, showcases the rich flavors and generous portions that El Adobe is known for.

The ambiance at El Adobe is truly special, with historic touches and a charming outdoor patio. The venue is perfect for weddings and other celebrations, with attentive staff, delicious food, and a picturesque setting. The courtyard, adorned with strung white lights, creates a romantic atmosphere for a memorable event. The adjacent room, also adorned with lights, serves as an excellent space for cocktail hours and receptions. The attentive bartender, Santos, ensures that guests’ drinks are always served with a friendly smile.

For those seeking traditional Mexican fare, El Adobe delivers. The menu offers a variety of options to cater to every taste, with delicately prepared dishes and generous portions. The shrimp enchiladas, lobster tacos, and ceviche are standout choices, bursting with flavor. The margaritas perfectly complement the meal, and the attentive waitstaff, like Miguel, add to the overall enjoyable experience. With its rich history and delicious cuisine, El Adobe De Capistrano is a must-visit restaurant in the area.

Red O

Address: 143 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Phone: +1 (949) 718-0300
Website: redorestaurant.com/newport-beach
Details: $$$, Mexican restaurant

Red O, located in Orange County, offers an exceptional dining experience with its friendly staff, vibrant atmosphere, and diverse menu. The restaurant is known for its ability to accommodate both small and large groups, making it a perfect choice for special occasions. The experienced servers handle any situation with professionalism, ensuring a pleasant dining experience. The margaritas, especially the spicy jalapeño ones, are a must-try, while the sparkling rose and chardonnays offer a delightful wine selection. The chips, salsa, and guacamole are delicious, setting the stage for the wide variety of seafood and meat tacos, bowls, salads, traditional Mexican dishes, and sizzling fajitas.

When it comes to the food and drinks at Red O, everything is amazing. The dishes are delicious and authentic, capturing the true flavors of Mexican cuisine. The salsa is described as being so good that one could “take a bath in it.” The whole fish is both awesome in taste and presentation, making it a standout choice for the table. The drinks are large and strong, perfectly complementing the meal. While the ambiance is lively and dimly lit, it adds to the overall experience.

Red O stands out as a fantastic dining destination at Fashion Island, Newport Beach. The menu showcases a delectable selection of traditional Mexican dishes, along with fusion creations that beautifully blend flavors, spices, and preparations. The ceviche negro, hand-made corn and goat cheese tamales, Sinaloa shrimp tacos, and duck taquitos are just a few of the highlights. The service is excellent, with attentive staff members providing perfect suggestions and answering any questions. The elegant restaurant architecture blends Northern Spain and Moroccan styles, offering comfortable indoor seating areas as well as an atrium with an inviting “al fresco” feel. With an exceptional culinary experience and a desire to return, Red O proves to be a standout choice for Mexican cuisine enthusiasts.

Ola Mexican Kitchen

Address: 21040 E Pacific Coast Hwy f200, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Phone: +1 (714) 969-7300
Website: olamexicankitchen.com
Details: $$, Mexican restaurant

Ola Mexican Kitchen, situated in Orange County, offers a delightful dining experience with its stunning beach view, delectable food, and friendly staff. Despite stormy weather, the breathtaking view from the windows adds a special touch to the ambiance. The tacos and chips stand out as particularly tasty and unique. The staff members are known for their warm and welcoming demeanor, making guests feel comfortable and appreciated. Free parking is available when dining at the restaurant, and the attentive staff ensures that guests remember to have their parking ticket stamped. Overall, Ola Mexican Kitchen comes highly recommended.

The restaurant’s prime location overlooking the beach makes it a notable spot for visitors passing through LAX. The prompt seating and excellent service make for a memorable dining experience. The delicious food is reasonably priced, and the views from the outside terrace are simply amazing. The lobster tacos are a standout dish, generously filled with flavorful lobster. The restaurant truly excels in its culinary creations, with artful presentations that showcase the careful attention to detail. The homemade chips and guacamole are a treat for the taste buds, while the margaritas are mixed to perfection. The outdoor seating allows guests to take in the breathtaking ocean view, and dogs are even allowed on the patio in certain circumstances.

Ola Mexican Kitchen is highly regarded for its mouthwatering menu offerings. The ribeye enchiladas and fish tacos receive rave reviews, impressing diners with their authentic flavors. The El Dragón margarita is a refreshing choice that pairs perfectly with the ocean view. The restaurant’s location in a great shopping center and its proximity to the beach make it a convenient and enjoyable destination. The friendly service adds to the overall positive experience, with staff members going above and beyond to ensure guest satisfaction. Ola Mexican Kitchen is a must-visit for anyone seeking delicious Mexican cuisine, a relaxed atmosphere, and stunning views.

Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen

Address: 141 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866
Phone: +1 (714) 633-3038
Website: gabbipatrick.com
Details: $$, Mexican restaurant

Located in a quaint setting, Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen is a remarkable restaurant that has garnered recognition in the Michelin Guide. The outstanding food and service make for an exceptional dining experience. While the prices may be higher than a fast-food chain, the flavors and quality of the dishes are worth savoring. The shrimp enchiladas, smothered in a creamy poblano sauce, are a particular favorite, with the sauce being so delicious that it is often used as a dip for chips and tortillas. The fundido, although a bit spicy due to chorizo, is still a delectable choice.

The friendly and attentive staff provide quick service, ensuring that all questions are answered thoroughly. Even on the hostess’s first or second day, her warmth and hospitality shine through. Outdoor seating adds to the pleasant atmosphere, especially during lunchtime. The dishes are not only delicious but also beautifully presented, further enhancing the dining experience. Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen is a reliable choice, known for its consistently excellent food and friendly service. The guacamole, chips, carnitas, and queso fundito are all highly recommended, while their Paloma cocktail is truly excellent.

For brunch or dinner, Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen offers a range of gourmet Mexican dishes made to order. The French press coffee and Pupas make for a delightful start to the day, followed by shrimp enchiladas and flavorful Carnitas. The lamb tacos, fish stew, and enchiladas are also highly praised, with each dish boasting a depth of flavors that sets it apart from other establishments. The attentive and well-informed servers add to the pleasant dining experience. Although parking may be challenging, Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen is well worth the visit, offering a culinary experience that will leave guests eager to return.

La Sirena Grill – Laguna Beach

Address: 347 Mermaid St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Phone: +1 (949) 497-8226
Website: LaSirenaGrill.com
Details: $, Restaurant

Located in Laguna Beach, La Sirena Grill is a popular Mexican restaurant that keeps visitors coming back for more. The friendly staff ensures accurate and timely orders, making the dining experience pleasant and efficient. While parking can be tight in the area, the delicious and fresh food makes it worth the effort. Craving their calamari burritos is a common occurrence for many patrons, showcasing the flavorful and satisfying dishes offered at La Sirena Grill.

Although the restaurant is small with limited outdoor seating, the quality of the food more than compensates for the space. The carne asada stands out for its tender texture, and the burritos are generously filled. Customers often opt to take their food to go and enjoy it at the nearby beach, soaking in the delightful flavors amidst the beautiful scenery. The quick and friendly service, coupled with the consistently delicious offerings, encourages guests to return for another enjoyable meal.

La Sirena Grill is known for its exceptional food and affordable prices, offering a variety of options in a casual atmosphere. The tacos, taquitos, and burrito bowls are just a few examples of the delicious fare available. Despite its unassuming location in a strip mall, the flavors are outstanding, and the service is remarkable. The restaurant’s focus on fresh ingredients and eco-friendly practices adds to its appeal. Whether it’s a quick bite to eat or a leisurely meal after a day at the beach, La Sirena Grill provides a satisfying dining experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

Taco Maria

Address: 3313 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone: +1 (714) 538-8444
Website: tacomaria.com
Details: $$$, Mexican restaurant

Nestled in Orange County, Taco Maria is a culinary gem that lives up to its prestigious Michelin star. With a reputation for delivering exceptional food, this restaurant offers a dining experience that surpasses expectations. The menu features tantalizing dishes, such as the flavorful calamari burritos, showcasing the kitchen’s commitment to using fresh ingredients. While securing a reservation can be challenging, the attentive staff and their attention to detail make the dining experience memorable. The outdoor seating area creates a charming ambiance, and the inclusion of thoughtful touches like masks and the support of the Black Lives Matter movement add to the overall positive atmosphere.

Taco Maria’s commitment to excellence extends to their wine list, with knowledgeable staff members providing recommendations that perfectly complement the meal. The culinary journey begins with light and refreshing starters like the Aguachile, paving the way for the mouthwatering entrees such as the Chuleta de Puerco (Pork Chop) and Arrachera (Wagyu Hanger steak). However, it is the handmade blue corn tortillas that steal the show, serving as a delectable canvas for accompanying side dishes like Nopalitos (marinated cactus), Curtidos (burnt jalapeño, carrot, and red onion), and Aguacate Tatemado (charred avocado with toasted cumin, hazelnut oil, and grey salt). The service at Taco Maria is generally impeccable, although there have been occasional instances of a drop in quality during shift changes. Despite this, the outstanding cuisine keeps customers returning, eagerly anticipating the revival of the tasting menu.

Taco Maria’s reputation extends beyond its Michelin star, drawing visitors seeking a remarkable dining experience. The restaurant’s location in a shopping courtyard adds to its allure, and the food consistently exceeds expectations. From the mushroom and scallop appetizers to the delicious blue corn tortillas and the remarkable dessert options like the date cake with vanilla crème, every dish is a testament to the skill and creativity of the culinary team. With outdoor seating as the primary option and a no-reservation policy, Taco Maria offers a relaxed yet upscale atmosphere. The dedication of the friendly and capable servers ensures that every guest feels well cared for. The approximate price range reflects the quality of the dining experience, making Taco Maria a must-visit destination in Orange County for food enthusiasts.

La Sirena Grill – South Laguna

Address: 30862 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Phone: +1 (949) 499-2301
Website: LaSirenaGrill.com
Details: $$, Mexican restaurant

La Sirena Grill in South Laguna is a must-visit destination for those seeking exceptional Mexican cuisine. The attentive staff and top-notch service ensure a memorable dining experience from start to finish. The watermelon strawberry agua fresca is a refreshing treat that perfectly complements the flavorful dishes. The tomatillo salsa adds a delightful touch to the burrito bowl, leaving guests craving for more. While it’s unfortunate that there isn’t a branch in New York, the quality of food and service makes a return visit to La Sirena Grill a must.

This restaurant stands out not only for its delectable food but also for its commitment to eco-friendly practices. At the South Laguna location, patrons can enjoy sitting at the bar and indulge in a wide selection of beers or the margarita of the week. The calamari tacos are hailed as the best in town, while the avocado lime salad with added salmon is a personal favorite. La Sirena Grill offers a menu packed with fresh and organic options, perfect for a satisfying meal. With friendly and helpful staff, both Laguna Beach locations provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere that caters to families and pet owners.

La Sirena Grill prides itself on its quality and variety of dishes. From breakfast burritos to fish burritos, quesadillas, tacos, and salads, there is something for everyone. The casual and laid-back ambiance combined with great service creates a memorable dining experience. Whether you choose to enjoy the food at one of the outdoor tables or opt for takeout to savor by the nearby beach, La Sirena Grill offers a fantastic Mexican dining experience. The restaurant’s dedication to providing fresh and fairly priced meals makes it a hidden gem in the area, leaving visitors eager to return for more.

Rockin’ Baja

Address: 2104 W Oceanfront, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Phone: +1 (949) 723-0606
Website: rockinbaja.com
Details: $$, Mexican restaurant

Rockin’ Baja in Orange County offers a delightful dining experience with its friendly staff and inviting atmosphere. Despite a rainy evening, the attentive team provided exceptional service, making guests feel special. The skinny margaritas are a must-try, perfectly complementing the outstanding Baja shrimp and Baja lobster dishes. The delectable bacon-wrapped shrimp tacos were so delicious that a return visit was necessary to indulge in them once again.

The overall dining experience at Rockin’ Baja was superb, from the friendly and professional service to the flavorful entrees. The lobster lovers platter is highly recommended, featuring fresh lobster chunks atop a delicious corn soup, alongside a mouthwatering lobster taco and shrimp enchilada. The flavors are vibrant and the ingredients taste incredibly fresh. Even though the price may seem steep, the quality and quantity of the food make it well worth it. Whether dining inside or outside, the attentive crew ensures a pleasant experience.

Rockin’ Baja is renowned for its Baja style lobster and shrimp, served with homemade flour tortillas. Their signature buckets are a highlight, offering a delightful combination of grilled lobster tails, shrimp, chicken, and flank steak, accompanied by grilled corn on the cob, beans, rice, warm flour tortillas, chips, and three different salsas. The pier location adds to the enjoyable atmosphere, and the margaritas are a great addition to the dining experience.

Taco Surf

Address: 115 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740
Phone: +1 (562) 594-0600
Website: tacosurf.com
Details: $, Restaurant

Taco Surf in Seal Beach offers a fantastic dining experience with its friendly staff, inviting atmosphere, and delicious menu. Even if you’re not a big fan of Mexican food, their wet burrito is highly recommended and described as the best in a long time. The staff contributes to the overall positive experience, providing professional and friendly service. Whether you choose to sit indoors or enjoy the outdoor street dining with large umbrellas, Taco Surf offers a great location near the beach. The potato taco and complimentary chips with salsa are addictively delicious, and the drinks are reasonably priced.

Located on Main Street in Seal Beach, Taco Surf is the perfect spot for great tacos and a wonderful time. The service is exceptional, with a friendly and efficient staff ensuring that orders are always correct and the food arrives hot. The shrimp tacos stand out, with perfectly cooked shrimp that tastes incredibly fresh. The generous avocado portions in the Brandi salad are highly appreciated, making it a hit with visitors. Taco Surf has been a favorite for over 30 years, and the welcoming atmosphere and tasty food make it a must-visit in Seal Beach.

This casual and authentic restaurant offers delicious and generously portioned food. The three-taco platter with shrimp, fish, and asada is incredible, with spot-on seasoning and a lovely piece of steak. The restaurant’s longstanding presence in the community is a testament to its quality, and the wet carnitas burrito and fajitas are absolute perfection. The attentive service from the staff, including a fellow Texan server, adds to the overall dining experience. Taco Surf is known for its fast and friendly service, delicious complimentary chips and salsa, and unbeatable prices. It’s a popular destination for Taco Tuesday, where everyone can enjoy the Baja fish tacos and margaritas without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, Orange County offers a vibrant culinary scene with a wide range of Mexican restaurants that cater to all tastes and preferences. From authentic street tacos to innovative fusion dishes, the county has something for everyone. The highlighted restaurants, including Taco Maria, La Sirena Grill – South Laguna, Rockin’ Baja, and Taco Surf, showcase the excellence of Mexican cuisine with their outstanding menus, friendly staff, and inviting atmospheres. Whether you’re a local or visiting the area, these top-notch establishments are worth exploring to indulge in the rich flavors and culinary traditions of Mexico right here in Orange County.