Brighten Your Tuesday With These Delicious Bites and Even Better Deals
Taco Tuesday: a timeless tradition that has been tempting taste buds and wallets with weekly wonderment for generations. But what happens when you take this age-old alliteration and put it mere miles from the cuisine’s cultural origin? The result is a world-class array of delectable Taco Tuesday destinations. From five-star restaurants to the tiniest, most intimate kitchens and stands, nobody does Taco Tuesday quite like Southern California. Here are 10 of our favorite Taco Tuesdays in Orange County.
Nobody does Baja-style cuisine quite like Newport Beach’s Sol Cocina. Inspired by the fresh and lively coastal culinary world of Mexico’s most iconic peninsula, Sol Cocina effortlessly blends traditional, wood-fired favorites with a refreshing, bold SoCal flair. And to make things even better, they offer one of the best Taco and Tequila Tuesdays around. With live music to complement margarita specials, street tacos and more, Sol Cocina will send you and your taste buds soaring along the Mexican coastline. Stop in anytime between 3 p.m. and close to try the new K-38 combo, which comes with two street tacos and one house margarita for $15!
Local Insight: K-38 is a surf spot in Baja California popular for its consistent waves, street taco stands and small local bars that make amazing margaritas. Sol’s K-38 is a nod to this unique place.
Location: Newport Beach
If it’s a truly decadent experience you seek, then look no further than Solita. Offering deals on everything from tacos, tequila and margaritas to tasty appetizers like their naked guacamole and grilled corn elote, Solita’s Taco and Tequila Tuesday goes well beyond the confines of the traditional. Our advice? Try their K-38 special offer ($10), which comes with two street tacos and a house margarita. This specialty combo allows you to sample some of their award-winning creations, including the crispy fish, oak-roasted chicken, chile tofu and carnitas.
Local insight: Solita’s Huntington Beach location is located within the beautiful Bella Terra lifestyle center, so you can enjoy Taco and Tequila Tuesday (from 3 p.m. to close), then catch a movie at Century 20 Theatres afterward!
OC Locations: Huntington Beach, Anaheim
Home of the original Taco Tuesday, El Torito is a beloved eatery that has been serving up delicious Mexican fare for decades. Their list of OC locations proves the restaurant’s popularity. From sizzling fajitas to mouthwatering enchiladas, the menu is a culinary journey that will take you south of the border. But it’s not just about the food; El Torito is also famous for its lively atmosphere and margaritas, and on Tuesdays, diners can enjoy a build-your-own-taco-bar with a salsa station! Tacos are $3, and happy hour runs from 3 p.m. to close on Tuesdays. Sip on $6 house margs or $8 cucumber jalapeno margs, or opt for the $10 marg flight, which includes mango, blackberry and their original margarita recipe. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a casual night out with your crew, El Torito promises a Tuesday fiesta that won’t break the bank!
Locations: multiple throughout OC
A local gem that’s been serving up Mexican culinary magic for years, Taco Mesa is a health-conscious establishment with a handful of Orange County locations. Every Tuesday from open to close, they transform into a taco haven, offering a mouthwatering selection of tacos at wallet-friendly prices. Picture this: Succulent carnitas, zesty grilled chicken and even delectable veggie options, all wrapped up in warm, handmade tortillas. The real star, however, is their signature Taco Mesa salsa bar, which features everything from tangy salsas to crispy veggies, ensuring you can customize your tacos just the way you like them. Pro tip: Don’t forget to pair your tacos with a refreshing agua fresca for the full experience!
Locations: Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Orange
Perched by the shore in Laguna Beach, this restaurant offers a breezy, laid-back vibe that pairs perfectly with their tasty taco offerings. Every Tuesday from 3 p.m. to close, they roll out a tantalizing taco menu featuring Baja-style fish tacos, savory carne asada and flavorful grilled chicken options. What sets Coyote Grill apart is its spectacular oceanfront patio, where you can savor your tacos while watching the sunset over the Pacific. It’s Taco Tuesday with a view! And for those looking for a twist, they even have lobster tacos to add a touch of luxury to your Tuesday night.
Location: Laguna Beach
For over 55 years, El Matador has been serving up some of the most authentic and bold Mexican cuisine in all of Southern California, and they have taco and margarita deals every Tuesday. Tacos start at $3.50 each, and you can snag a house marg for $6. Their continual dedication to culinary excellence pervades each and every part of their expansive menu, from their tacos and enchiladas to their “Tequila Wall of Fame,” featuring over 400 different tequilas and mezcals that garner love, support and recognition every year. One meal at El Matador and it is easy to see why such a seemingly inconspicuous restaurant has acted as the benchmark for high-quality, authentic Mexican food in SoCal for well over five decades.
Location: Costa Mesa
Avila’s El Ranchito has asserted itself as one of the premier sit-down Mexican restaurants in Lake Forest. This location has been operating for 25 years and is owned by Sal Avila and run by daughters Monica and Nathalie, who continue to carry on the family legacy. The building itself features a classic hacienda-style exterior with adobe accents, while the interior is filled with rustic furnishings and suspended plants.
But perhaps what this family-owned restaurant is best known for is its oversized margaritas, tableside guacamole and tasty Taco Tuesday specials. Choose from shredded beef, shredded chicken, ground beef, potato, carnitas, asada or charbroiled chicken, which are all $3 or $4 on Taco Tuesday. This special is available from 4 p.m. to close, so plan accordingly!
Location: Lake Forest, among many locations in OC
Santa Ana is home to some of SoCal’s best Mexican food, so it should come as no shock that it’s also home to one of the best Taco Tuesday deals in the state, courtesy of the highly acclaimed Taqueria El Zamorano. With melt-in-your-mouth al pastor and carne asada as well as some more unique flavors, such as their crispy milanesa, their “three tacos for $6” deal is an absolute steal.
Location: Santa Ana
Great Mex truly lives up to its name. Offering a simple yet elegant spread of all the quintessential Mexican classics as well as a wonderful, health-conscious “Mexi-lite” menu, this spot has everything one could want in a Taco Tuesday destination. It’s so good they offer it on Fridays, as well. On those two nights, happy hour is also available from 8-10 p.m. (3-6:30 p.m. the rest of the week). Don’t forget to check out their salsa bar while you wait—they offer new seasonal salsas and condiments every single day.
Location: Costa Mesa, Newport Beach
Our next pick’s claim to fame is none other than a masterfully crafted mahi mahi taco, and to make things even better, these mouthwatering creations are discounted not once but twice a week for La Vida’s Taco Tuesdays and Taco Thursdays. Select beer and house margs are also discounted on both days. Pull up a chair and come dive into all the wonderful bites La Vida has to offer. The atmosphere is lively, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Cabo as you cozy up around one of the outdoor fire pits tucked under two oversized palapas.
Location: Costa Mesa