Santa Cruz, CA has a number of local independent Mexican food restaurants. My wife and I are big fans of Mexican cuisine, so we have tried nearly every Mexican food place in Santa Cruz. While my wife disagrees with me on this, I find that the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant is the best all-around Mexican restaurant in town. While the ho0nor of the best burrito in town may go to the Taqueria Michoachan, the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant is more like a real restaurant and less like a small taqueria. The Acapulco Mexican Restaurant is located at 1116 Pacific Avenue, right in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz, so it offers a pleasant downtown atmosphere with an outdoor seating area if you like your lunch alfresco.
The Acapulco Mexican Restaurant features a full array of Mexican dishes, including familiar items like enchiladas and tacos, and a number of more esoteric traditional Mexican dishes. One of my favorite items on the menu at Acapulco is the “Dos Fish Tacos”, which as the name suggests is a meal consisting of two fish tacos. I have a serious love of fish tacos, and the fish tacos at the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant in Santa Cruz are some of the best that I have had anywhere. The Dos Fish Tacos are served with a side of rice and beans, which are very good but nothing unexpected. One thing I enjoy about the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant is the portion size. Two fish tacos do not sound very filling alone, but when combined with the generous portion of rice and beans offered by Acapulco, the Dos Fish Tacos meal is more than enough to satisfy even the biggest of appetites.
As mentioned above, the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant has outdoor seating on the sidewalk on Pacific Avenue, which is downtown Santa Cruz’s main drag. The local street scene in Santa Cruz is eccentric and eclectic, so the outdoor seating affords one many opportunities for people-watching downtown, which is endlessly amusing given how odd many of the local residents really are in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, being situated on the north end of the Monterey Bay, always has a gentle and cool ocean breeze blowing through town, so be sure to take advantage of the outdoor seating and fresh Santa Cruz air if you visit the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant.
The service at Acapulco can be rather hit and miss, for no reason other than that a number of the waiters and waitresses speak very little English. The language barrier is not really a problem for ordering one’s food, but it makes friendly chitchat nearly nonexistent at the Acapulco. But the food at the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant more than makes up for the lack of great service. In fact this is a quality lacking in many restaurants in Santa Cruz, since the entire town has a somewhat aloof culture that is not highly service-oriented. So the service at the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant is right on par with the general quality of service anywhere in Santa Cruz.
In conclusion, the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz, CA offers the best Mexican Food in Santa Cruz with an urban downtown atmosphere. Whether you are a Santa Cruz resident or are just passing through, if you crave Mexican food then be sure to give the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant a try.