Southern California’s close proximity to Mexico has blessed the region with exceptional authentic Mexican cuisine, ranging from traditional hearty comfort food to modern Baja-inspired bites. Wherever you go, it’ll be delicioso. Here are 10 local favorites:
Ola Mexican Kitchen
Perched on the top floor of Pacific City, Ola serves up authentic Mexican comfort food and cocktails with elevated South of the Border influences—and an incredible ocean view. Fresh, handmade tortillas aside, favorites include Chef Amado’s Guacamole with pomegranate, Salmon Agave tacos, Chiles Rellenos, and the Siete Mares. Grab a seat inside or on their covered outdoor patio, and note the daily Taco Tuesday especiales and Sunday Brunch.
21040 Pacific Coast Hwy., F200, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Come for the prime location at Pacific Coast Highway and 6th Street, and stay for the locally loved Mexican eats. Breakfast tacos and burritos, savory taco plates, fresh ingredients, local art, and an outdoor ocean-view patio have defined this neighborhood favorite since 2010. Try the “Skrimps,” their grilled-to-order shrimp sautéed in butter with fresh garlic and parsley, and note the Taco Tuesday especiales and “Fresh Feria” option, which replaces your tortilla with an organic butter leaf lettuce cup.
602 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Fred’s Mexican Cafe
Boasting one of the best views of the Huntington Beach Pier and ocean since 2001, Fred’s at the corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway serves up “authentic gringo mex” plates with an eye on healthy preparation, award-winning swordfish tacos, 20-ounce goblet margaritas, and signature salsas. Note the Taco Tuesday especiales, weekend brunch, and “Doggie Date Night” every Monday.
300 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. 201, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Avila’s El Ranchito
In 2016, this family-owned group of restaurants celebrated 50 years as Orange County’s most iconic Mexican restaurant. Huntington Beach’s Ranchito opened in 1999 and sends out generous portions of favorited Mexican combination plates and specialties, and an excelente margarita menu. Sit down at the bar overlooking Main Street and enjoy a warm bowl of Mamá Avila’s Soup. Note the M-W-F happy hour especiales and daily all-day breakfast.
318 Main St., Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Since 1987, Las Barcas has been serving authentic gourmet Mexican fare to Huntington Beach. All bites are prepared fresh daily and made-to-order, from the Baja Crispy Fish Soft Taco to the Chile Verde. Note the Taco Tuesday especiales and pitchers of beer.
21032 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Touting the “best salsa north of the border,” Super Mex delivers authentic Mexican comfort food—and has been doing so since 1974. Belly up to more than 30 generously portioned combination platters, plus their signature Super Mex Burritos, popular tender pork carnitas, and grande tortilla chips. Note the prime Sunset Beach location along Pacific Coast Highway near Warner Avenue.
17208 Pacific Coast Hwy., Sunset Beach, CA 92649
19684 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Little sister to SOL in Newport Beach, Solita sends out delectable Baja-inspired bites, from the grilled corn elote and queso al Forno to the street taqueria-inspired specialty taco plates and craft margaritas poured with the housemade mix. Note the Taco Tuesday and happy hour especiales, weekend brunch, covered outdoor patio, and weekly live music.
7631 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Made from scratch and “crafted with love,” plates at this family-owned cocina showcase Mexican recipes handed down through generations. Here you’ll find straightforward combination plates alongside a fresh seafood menu, plus specialty dishes like their Enchiladas de Espinaca. Note the TV-lined cantina, daily breakfast menu, and Monday-Thursday happy hour especiales.
16961 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Where the surf and food of Baja meet—in Huntington Beach. Always a party, this father-son Mexican eatery opened in 1988 and prepares belly-busting wet burritos, specialty burritos, savory bowls, and traditional plates like Tamales Authenticos and Carne Asada. Note the Taco Tuesday and happy hour especiales, and live music.
16821 Pacific Coast Hwy., Surfside, CA 90743
Mario’s Mexican Food & Cantina
A favorite among locals, Mario’s has everything you crave in an authentic Mexican restaurant—and they’ve had it for more than 40 years. Epic portions, combination platters, mole, and chiles Rellenos drowning in sauce and cheese. Wash it all down with a killer “create your own” margarita from the cantina, made with Mario’s signature mix.
18603 Main St., Huntington Beach, CA 92648
15964 Springdale St., Huntington Beach, CA 92649