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El Nopalito Restaurant

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560 Santa Fe Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024-4640
+1 760-436-5775
06:30 - 19:30
Open now
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Sun - Sat 06:30 - 19:30
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28 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
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Time of year
Showing 27: English reviews
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
227 reviews
172 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2014

El Napalito is a regular experience for us. Listening to Spanish TV, eating a burrito with the salsa bar - does it get much better than that? Well, yes, but it's a great experience for the price. It's easy to get to (next to the 5 freeway) and everyone is mellow. Another good place to hit after a surf session... More 

Thank jsearle99
Carlsbad, California
Level Contributor
141 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

El Napolito is by the high school so all of the kids go there often and love the food. The chips and salsa are sold all over town and everyone loves them!! I had them cater a party for 50 recently and everyone loved the food. Its super reasonably priced for everything we got and very generous portions. They set... More 

Thank LJucha
Sandy, Utah
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2014

We went to El Nopalito because it was rated the top Mexican restaurant in Encinitas. Even though one reviewer call it "a dive," because the ratings were so good, we expected a more upscale restaurant. One orders at the counter and food is brought to the table. The food was only average. The home made chips were greasy and between... More 

Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
123 reviews
98 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2013

Let's get one thing out of the way from the start. El Nopalito is definitely a dive (by Guy Fieri's standard) but, when you find many of the local stores carrying their salsa's, you gotta believe something is being done right! We were steered there because of their Carne Azada burrito's and, frankly, they are so-o-o good, we haven't been... More 

Thank Jim C
so cal
Level Contributor
275 reviews
180 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Encinitas has a plethora of really good little Mexican restaurants and this is one of them. I had a carnitas burrito which was very good and as much as I could have eaten and it was $4.75 or so. They have a salsa bar which has spicy carrots which are a great addition to Mexican food.

Thank xsteves
Encinitas, CA
Level Contributor
251 reviews
108 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

casual eat in or quick take out. fresh, authentic Mexican food. especially good for Christmas tamales

Thank motherHEncinitas
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2013

Being Mexican I can definitely say this is REAL authentic mexican food and you will know because it's full o mexicans. The place isn't fancy and sometimes the service can be slow but it's worth the wait the food is very very delicious and the offer trays to go.

Thank MrsVamonos
San Diego
Level Contributor
63 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2013

Great Mexican food. They also cater and do an amazing job. Not in a "designer" location, authentic and we love it!

Thank cre8dnrg
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 26 October 2012

Great informal & excellent Mexican, made with the most fresh ingredients~I love the chile relleno, and my son always goes for the over-stuffed chicken burrito. Make sure you pick up some home-made guacamole & El Nopalito brand salsa. Home-made tamales in the packaged bags are the best way to have an impromptu FIESTA! Chips & salsa-and have a cerveza while... More 

Thank DeniseDaley
Encinitas, California, United States
Level Contributor
56 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2012

Marginal restaurant in a marginal shopping center. Not very secure with all the riff raff walking around BUT they are world famous (or should be) for one thing...their roasted red pepper salsa. If you like mexican food you must try this !

1 Thank Mark S

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    3 of 5 bubbles
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible
Good for
Cheap Eats, Child-friendly
Open Hours
06:30 - 19:30
06:30 - 19:30
06:30 - 19:30
06:30 - 19:30
06:30 - 19:30
06:30 - 19:30
06:30 - 19:30
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 560 Santa Fe Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024-4640
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Encinitas
  • Phone Number: +1 760-436-5775

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from El Nopalito Restaurant staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?