La Super-Rica: Savoring Legendary Santa Barbara Taqueria

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Mexican Food Santa Barbara


The most famous restaurant in Santa Barbara isn’t along the ocean, doesn’t offer table service and sports a glaring aqua roof shaped like a Wall Street earnings graph. This is all part of the charm of La Super-Rica, a family-run restaurant that produces some of the best Mexican food in Southern California.

Jalisco native Isidoro Gonzalez opened La Super-Rica in 1980. Santa Barbara resident Julia Child was a vocal fan by the mid-80’s, and a legend was born soon after. Over 20 years later, La Super-Rica is still going strong.


Through the window, we could spot a woman hand-pressing and grilling fresh corn tortillas. Not many Mexican restaurants are as committed to freshness and quality.

La Super-Rica keeps things simple. They offer a blackboard menu that lists only 20 dishes, all revolving around beef, pork, chicken, chorizo or vegetables. There’s a smaller blackboard sporting a couple Daily Specials, on this day tacos and a vegetarian tamale. One thing you shouldn’t expect to find at La Super-Rica: seafood.


Super-Rica Especial ($6.80) consisted of chunks of roasted pasilla chile tossed with crusty mangles of spice-marinated pork and gooey cheese, then piled on a stack of corn tortillas. The smoky mix was basically a deconstructed chile relleno, only easier to eat, with incredible flavor.


Alambre de Filete ($5.80) was nearly as sensational, a stir-fry of juicy tri-tip, green bell peppers, onions and bacon. The onions were practically caramelized and infused with the juices from the beef and bacon.


Tacos de Calabacita – a daily special – featured tender cuts of sautéed zucchini with crumbled marinated pork, blanketed with a zesty herb-filled tomato sauce.


Frijol Super-Rica ($2.55) involved stewed pinto beans, flavored with cubes of chorizo, strips of bacon and flecks of pasilla chile.


The salsa bar offered bottomless containers of spicy red salsa, tangy green salsa and fresh-made pico de gallo. At La Super-Rica, they don’t strain the seeds, so expect some spice.

While there’s some really good Mexican food in Los Angeles, it’s still worth driving 180 miles round trip to experience La Super-Rica at least once.

La Super-Rica: Savoring Legendary Santa Barbara Taqueria

622 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103, USA
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Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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OLA ISIDORO ESPERO TE ACUERDES DE MI SOY ALFREDO HIJO ADOXCTIVO DE CHAYITO DE MEXICO TUXTLA GUTIEEREZ CHIAPAS

Great blog! Sorry to get off subject, but since Nashville is a big up and coming city, I’m looking for a great Nashville sushi restaurant or Japanese restaurant. Have you heard of any good ones? There’s a new one called Nomzilla Sushi Et Cetera, but I’ve only seen a few reviews. Here’s the address of this new Nashville Japanese Restaurant, 1201 Villa Place, Suite 101 Nashville, TN 37212 – (615) 268-1424. Thoughts? Thanks!

Maryetta,

I actually went to college in Nashville, at Vanderbilt University, but it’s been years since I’ve been there. Some of the best restaurants I used to frequent were Monell’s, Swetts, Sylvan Park and the Loveless Cafe. Unfortunately, none of them were Japanese. Enjoy, and let me know if you find anything good on your trip.

Wow, all the food looks out of this world delicious. I need to get back to Santa Barbara and get me some of that! The first plate looks amazing, the cheese just seems to go perfectly with the green peppers and wow I am making myself hungry. I love going to Santa Barbara, it is always a great time and the food is always out of this world delicious. I tend to check out new places whenever I go but sometimes old favorites are a must. Love staying at the Sandman Inn (www.thesandmaninn.com). Actually really close to Super Rica and beyond affordable.

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Black Bart Roberts

Robert J. Lanier aka Black Bart Roberts: Being a dedicated mercenary pirate and wild game poacher i enjoyed the fresh flavor and mix at La Super Rica. My first trip i asked the person in front of me what to get.

“#16 but i am from San Luis Obispo.” (featured on this site, the Super Rica Especial.

Being from SLO Town with good Mexican food i tried #16. My problem being i have never tried any other dish.

I plan to franchise La Super Rica in my virtual home of Two Dot Montana. Having just purchased the World Famous Two Dot Bar and Grill i am remodeling in Art Deco Ranch Style and will open in June as an eatery next to the now named Threshold of Grains. Stop by for a virtual meal.

The fish tamal is also wonderful; so it’s not quite zero-seafood. We’ve gone perhaps 100 times, enjoying the lovely drive up the coast from West L.A.; and the food has been utterly consistent, and always delicious. The horchata and atole and also the best we’ve had. Actually, everything Super-Rica makes is the best we’ve had of that dish.

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