El Mariachi

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We must keep as our goal turning away from production for war and expanding production for peace.png This entry refers to a departed business that has closed or left town.
All information here is for historical reference only.

el_mariachi_winter.JPG elmariachi.jpg

Location
400 G Street
(near the Regal Stadium 5)
Hours
Daily 11:00AM-9:00PM
Phone
(530)750-0688
Prices
$4-$7 range.
Payment Options
cash, Visa, Mastercard

An authentic counter-style taqueria, El Mariachi is arguably the most Mexican of the Mexican restaurants in Davis. Family owned and operated, El Mariachi features a wide selection of Mexican favorites. The owner, Victor, used to be a custodian at Tercero residence halls. One of its defining characteristics is the salsa bar which features a wide selection of fresh salsas, i.e. strawberry, pumpkin, mango, pineapple, cactus, cucumber, corn, etc. This is also the only place in Davis that serves "nopales" cactus (Opuntia sp., "Prickly Pear") in their burritos which has a distinctive taste. The tortilla soup (not listed on the menu) only costs $2.25 and is pretty good cheap food. The freshly crushed watermelon juice is also excellent and goes well with just about anything on the menu. El Mariachi is also home to the Gamma burrito.

All of the meats and vegetables are all bought fresh daily to ensure the best possible taste. The horchatas and licuados are made fresh, not from packaged mix. They also have vegetarian options, which are greatly enlarged by the fact that they make their rice using vegetable broth. They advertise "All Menu Items do not contain MSG or LARD. ALL NATURAL".

Their soft tacos are pretty enormous and they fry their own crispy taco shells.

The location was previously home to Andrade's Mexican Restaurant. Andrade's started off as a booth in the Davis Farmers Market, and eventually opened their restaurant location July 13, 2000.

Menu_May2012.jpgEl Mariachi menu as of May 2012; click to enlarge

Photos

el2.jpgAn El Mariachi tamale special.

tacos.jpgTheir tacos are distinctly large. el3.jpgThe inside of El Mariachi. el.jpgA former El Mariachi menu above the main counter.

Comments:

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Anyone know if that tortilla soup is vegetarian? - PhilBerghuis


The food here tastes fresh unlike a lot of the "Mexican" places here in Davis. While the best authentic mexican food can be found at the El Paisano Taco Truck right off the 113 main street exit in woodland, this place is not bad. The salsa bar is amazing, it is half the fun of going here. They have garlic salsa(my favorite), strawberry salsa, salsa verde, avacado salsa, pumpkin seed salsa, chipotle salsa, habanero salsa, jalapeno salsa, pineapple salsa, roasted tomato salsa, mango salsa, cucumber salsa, roasted corn salsa, cactus salsa, various chile salsas, and many others (including standard ones). Their mole buritos are decent, but my favorite is the asada napales burrito (steak and cactus). I think it might be the only place in davis that serves napales or napalitos, I haven't seen them anywhere else. the tortilla soup is cheap, more of a light flavored broth rather than the standard thick tomatoy stuff. they have horchata made from scratch, and I really liked their Hibiscus liquado. next time I'm trying the watermelon one. This place is solid, but for tacos got to el paisano because the places in davis dont do them right. About $4.50-$6 per burrito, $7 for seafood. - MattHh


2005-04-26 11:04:24   El Mariachi's has a great selection of salsas, my favorites being the pumpkin seed salsa and the cucumber salsa. While I have to say that I enjoy Taqueria Guadalajara's burritos more, no one, absolutely no one, beats El Mariachi's horchatas and liquados. They make them fresh daily and rotate the liquados (Strawberry, Papaya, Watermelon, Cantaloupe...). The greatest thing about them is that they don't have that "thick" or overly sweet taste that you get from the pre-made stuff, absolutely great on a hot summer's day. Bonus! Victor the manager is a great guy, Phi Alpha Delta did a fundraiser at Mariachi's and he was nothing but accommodating and friendly. —AlvinTsao


I would recommend getting to know the owner. He is a really nice guy, and if you go more than once in your life he wil remember you and give you free things. He believes in doing things for his customers including: giving away food and giving discounts. — RobertBaron


2005-06-20 19:17:12   Mmmmm. Super burrito with al pastor y chorizo is muy bueno. Add the Rattle Chile all over it! GRUB! Enough for two meals... $6 —MichaelGiardina


2005-06-20 19:25:28   Victor is awesome! When we lived in G building he would bring food over for us. Now we go in and if he's there he insists on giving us free stuff. His little girl is a sweetie too. —CindySperry


Their tacos are absolutely disgusting. Stay away from the oily, overpriced tacos. —BrianChen


2005-07-13 15:34:54   I think the tacos are delicious (prawns especially), I love the owner and the tomato salsa! —StephanieLiese


2005-07-17 16:01:08   They serve aguas frescas, an excellent Mexican beverage. Despite having a huge salsa selection, it all tastes the same. —NoelBruening


2005-07-18 23:32:41   Terrible. I had a burrito here and I regretted it. —HeatherKlinger


2005-10-03 13:08:06   Man. Wiki reviewers are ruthless. I disagree with the salsa bar being homogenous, but it's also hard to get the opportunity to try all of them. Next time you drop in try the Pumpkin salsa, that one is delicious. They have a great selection of agua frescas, they were so nice to me, that when I asked for Cantaloupe last Thursday, they told me they would get it for me on Saturday. And boy, did they ever deliver. —AlvinTsao


2005-10-03 13:09:06   P.S. Victor is great, and the general staff here is much more friendly than most other Davis restaurants. —AlvinTsao


2005-10-04 14:30:52   After driving by this place so many times, I finally stopped in and had a burrito. The service staff was super friendly, but I was underwhelmed by the food. It wasn't horrible, it just wasn't anything special. —AlexPomeranz


2005-10-11 12:45:11   I returned here after reading that they made their own horchata. The mixes I've seen are full of hydrogenated fat, so this is an important issue. Victor is nothing if not friendly. But then, that's probably not the reason for going to a restaurant. They have one of the largest salsa bars in Davis. My vegetarian burrito was good, just not excellent. They give chips with it (I'd prefer they not). They claim to be "Authentic Mexican" (who doesn't?), but they also say they don't use lard, which voids the assertion. Personally, I DON'T want authentic -authentic is bad. Fortunately, they're not. I haven't gotten (or seen anyone else) getting "free stuff", but then, I don't expect it either. I recommend this place and I'll return again. —SteveDavison


2005-12-02 20:56:35   They have the best salsa bar in town. My only advice would be not to get their steak and french fry burrito. The steak part was good, but the fries were not cooked till golden and were quite flaccid. —CraigBrozinsky


2005-12-02 22:49:35   I'm torn between the burritos here and guads! I can't decide which one is better! But I love the many choices for salsas —JoAnnaRich


2006-02-06 11:01:15   This place is good - especially the green mole burrito - but Guad is way better. —TiffanySnell


2006-03-23 13:58:03   This is the best Mexican I've found in Davis, but since my frame of reference is limited to Guad, that's not saying much. I love the salsa bar and the atmosphere. The menu items are alright. —SS


2006-03-24 13:38:37   I think its kinda like going out for Chinese —JevanGray


2006-03-24 15:05:23   This place is great! Reasonable price, huge portions and great taste! The salsa bar is one of the best I have ever seen. Very fresh and unique. —KeithPieper


2006-04-11 05:07:46   This is by far my favorite restaurant in town. The food is great, everyone who works here is friendly as hell. They also have the best Horchata I've tasted. —ZacMorris


2006-04-16 15:33:27   The Speicals are also usually very good, quite filling, and cheap too —ChrisBogstad


2006-04-26 12:14:27   When I first came here as a freshman four years ago, this place was not very good and my friend got a rock in his beans. But since they have underwent new management and it is now easily the best Mexican restaurant in Davis. The food is very good and the prices are very reasonable, the kitchen is in plain sight and the food tastes very fresh, the owners and employees and even the cooks are very friendly, the chips are great, and the best part is the salsa bar, all kinds of stuff like strawberry and pinneapple salsas, my favorite is the garlic salsa. —HaggroAlex


2006-05-29 18:03:57   They have a great salsa bar, awesome burritos (better than the Guad!) and it is reasonably priced. Their agua fresca tastes so fresh, to the point that I feel like I’m drinking watermelon. When they have pineapple and strawberry ask for them to mix the two, it's delicious! Best burritos in Davis for your money, and the owner is a really nice guy. —AnjaGilbert


2006-05-30 20:51:27   This place gets two thumbs up. Not only is the owner a super nice guy, you get more than what you pay for. For five bucks, you can get a huge plate of nachos with everything on it. Their aguas frescas are delicious, also my parents came here and they loved it. —CalamityJanie


2006-07-01 21:12:41   el mariachi has really good lunch specials their chicken enchiladas are awesome (get them with green sauce!) —BrendaPerkins


2006-08-20 13:30:16   This is a really good restaurant, and I must agree with the "amazing salsa bar" comments. The garlic salsa is awesome: and the owner will tell you the recipe if you'd like. He is really cool. I would recommend: super nachos- way too big for me to eat alone-really good with chorizo. (so wrong! so right!) Also: fried (crispy?) taco is awesome- especially with chorizo. That being said: not everything on the menu is super good. Chicken salad: super boring. Beans are boring, burritos for the most part: bland, blah. But I mean: this place is probably the best mexican food in Davis- and a great place to go for nachos and a beer before/after a movie. —DianaChristofersen


2006-09-11 21:19:48   added coupons —DavidWebb


2006-09-24 21:32:09   Question: Is it possible not to have a super combo burrito fall apart on you? Seriously, I love it, $6 roughly and you get one of the biggest burritos you'll ever have in your life. I should try one of there tortas the next time I'm up. I also wonder if there's a place like this in the South Bay. —SteveNgo


2006-09-25 11:14:02   Here's a secret about the super combination burrito, and if you tell anyone about it—I will come to your house and demand your first born child: Order a super-combination burrito with Pork-in-Red-Salsa... and whatever other meat you prefer. Fill up four cups of "Rattle Chili" from the salsa bar, and drive your burrito back home. Now, go boil enough spagetti noodles to serve 2-3 people. On a cutting board, chop burrito up into pieces. Insert 1/2 jar of Classico tomato sauce into finished noodles, mix in rattle chili, mix in tomato sauce, and then add red pepper flakes to taste. Place your big mixture into a baking tray/cake tin. Sprinkle shredded Mexican Cheese blend on top, then bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and a little crispy. Remove from the oven, plate your masterpiece, and sprinkle parmesan cheese on to "finish" this measterpiece. This creation of mine, which I like to call "Giardina's Italian Burrito" will make you about 5 meals for about 8-9$. —MichaelGiardina


2006-10-22 23:48:30   There hasn't been any GREAT Mexican food in the immediate area since George's Orange. But El Mariachi is the best in town. Is everything a home run? No, but overall things are pretty good. The salsa bar is very good. I used to stick to the tomatillo and pico de gallo, but now I can't wait to get to the pumpkin seed, the avocado, or even the strawberry salsa. The carnitas rock. The crispy tacos are a little too 'not crispy' after the sour cream soaks in, so I need to try to ask for them without. Yes, the beans and rice are bland but that's just another reason to visit the salsa bar. This place can be packed with dorm students on Friday nights as the restaurant accepts dorm food credits from the University. And the last big plus - they have Mexican CocaCola with cane sugar. Mmmmmmmm! —MonkeePantsII


2006-11-13 00:22:54   Just had a carne asada burrito and soft taco with a large water melon agua fresca and it was pretty good. The asada was ok but could have used a little more seasoning. Fast service! The owner gave me a free refill on the agua fresca which was awesome. I'll come again until i find some better Mexican food in Davis. —DanielSheeter


2006-12-13 21:16:24   The burritos can get a little soupy, but they taste great. The ingredients seem very fresh and the salsa bar is like a little sideshow on top of a good meal. It is like the circus elephant, it doesn't need to be there but damn is it a good time! —JohnHumperdinkle


2007-01-21 15:24:25   This is my favorite place to eat in Davis. The staff is so friendly and they don't mind making things vegan for me. I love their veggie super burrito and tacos. Victor is super nice and really likes it when people order in Spanish. —LaurelManfredi


2007-02-28 18:30:09   Yum. They have an excellent salsa bar. Puts the one at Dos Coyotes to shame. I especially like the strawberry salsa. It's different, and I like things that are different. —BriannaBetancourt


2007-04-29 18:43:21   their steak nachos are OUT OF THIS WORLD, and HUGE. very, very good deal. if you try it and dont like it, let me know for a complimentary backhander. Awesome service, always real nice and they appreciate your business. They have coca-cola made from real sugar and not HF corn syrup, imported from mexico. best place to eat in Davis, i think. —boristheblade


2007-05-02 20:39:11   Love the veggie burritos here and the wonderful array of salsas in the salsa bar. —CovertProfessor


2007-06-02 21:06:12   I decided to try this place out because Taqueria Guadalajara in North Davis was super busy with a line out the door...After having tried this Mexican restaurant I have a pretty good idea why, because El Mariachi has the worst Mexican food I've had in years. I got the super combination burrito with beef and pork for about $7 and it was not only cold, but the meat was horrid. The beef was rubbery, salty, and charred. The pork was dry, but at least had some flavor. I couldn't even finish it because it tasted so bad. Maybe I was just unlucky, but considering how bad my friend's chicken quesadilla was (wet & salty), I doubt that's the case.

It was a total waste of money and I DO NOT recommend going here —JamesWatson


2007-07-14 20:30:43   I met Victor today in the restaurant and agree with previous comments about him: He is very nice and enthusiastically helpful. The horchata here is very good; definitely tasty enough to keep me coming back despite a thin pocketbook. Anyone who likes horchata should also try "the mix", which is horchata and a strawberry drink mixed together...very refreshing on a hot day and probably even better on a cold day when you're not so thirsty you just guzzle it like I did. Mexican Coca-cola is available at around $1.50 a tall bottle...for any Coke fans, this is almost what Coke used to taste like before the company cr&%#ed it up with high fructose corn syrup instead of cane sugar in the 80s. You can buy giant gallon and two-gallon containers of horchata for parties at a really good price, which I would do every weekend just for myself if I could afford it. I had a tamale, which I think was very good, but I was delayed on the way home and so by the time I consumed it, the meal was far from freshly made. —BigSlice


2007-07-16 12:27:40   Probably the best Mexican food place in Davis. Easy going atmosphere, has a tv with sports on, and really good, all natural food. Also, the portions are pretty big. Try it out, everyone has a different idea of what makes good mexican food. Try the asados burrito. mmm.


2007-08-02 20:50:18   It's like eating at home. I get homesick when I eat here. —GregWebb


2007-08-13 17:20:21   Not really a fan. Had one of their chicken burritos and everything tasted old. The chicken was also very dry. The salsa bar, however, is top notch and really the only reason I would try it again —HopeMirlis


2007-08-23 21:07:25   Best Mexican place in Davis, hands down. The tacos and salsas spring buds of joy within my breast which bloom into quesadilla fueled flowery joy. Also, the owner Victor is awesome. —WillGaggioli


2007-10-25 04:37:45   My favorite restaurant in davis. The tortilla soup is top secret, magical, quality, and like not on the menu!!?.. umm...$2.50! On my list of the 7 unexplained mysteries of the world, this qualifies as #32. 7 mysteries is under and overated, I have atleast 55...it's possible I'll spend 1.5% of my Davis inhabitance in this place. The salsa bar is a culinary sanctuary in a deserted mirage of cardboard waste bucket vacuums of money called food. —AyseG


2008-01-17 13:55:27   Had lunch at El Mariachi today. After reading all the reviews, I was interested in trying it out again. I hadn't been there since circa 2005. I ordered a steak super burrito and it was indeed fresh and tasty. The tortilla soup was not to my liking, but I think this is totally a preference thing. It had this funky taste and so I gave up after only three bites. However, I encourage people to try it because it looked well made and it seems to be a popular item. Also, it's cheap and they give you a huge bowl. I don't like tomatoes so that probably explains why I don't care for it. The chips are nice and crunchy and the salsa bar is vast and glorious. My favorite salsa is the pumpkin seed. Spicy! —CurlyGirl26


2008-02-01 08:49:13   Hands down THE best mexican I have ever had. Try the corn salsa, it is my favorite, If you like nachos bring a friend, the portions are huge. The owner of this place is a very nice guy and he always seems to be there. —DagonJones


2008-02-03 13:25:07   Stopped going here a couple of years ago. Lets just say they cured me from eating big burritos ever again. Too bad, the salsa bar was great. —DavidFeliz


2008-03-18 00:50:45   I don't know what defines "authentic Mexican" but this is by far my favorite Mexican joint in Davis. The salsa bar can't be matched for variety, the food is well above takeout quality, the staff are friendly, and the dining area feels welcoming enough to linger in while your meal begins to digest. There's a flatscreen TV that ususally has a sports channel on. The tortilla soup is a cheap way to fill the stomach but it's simple enough to copy at home: vegetable or chicken broth, chopped cilantro, canned tomatos, unsalted tortilla chips, salt and pepper to taste, and sliced onion. Easy as that. —StephenUy


2008-05-04 20:55:09   I had their super chicken burrito and watermelon juice today for lunch. The burrito was quickly made and huge, but it was quite bland. There wasn't anything wrong with it, it just tasted regular. The watermelon juice was a little too sweet, but at least it had traces of real watermelons instead of just food coloring. The salsa bar rocked though, the strawberry salsa was the best. I liked El Mariachi's chips, they seem less greasy than other place's chips. Next time, I would just get a plate of chips and sample their salsa bar, maybe try one of their special mole burrito. —justinhu

okay, I just had their Nachos Mexicanos with marinated pork and it was great. El Marachai makes their own tortilla chips, so it tastes much better than regular pre made chips found at other places. The plate was more than enough for one person. So skip the burritos and order the nachos, I'm getting them every week!


2008-05-12 10:51:31   When the owner is in, the food is excellent and the service is good, when he's not in the service is horrible and the food is pretty good. —ACA


2008-06-27 15:08:15   I love this place. The 'pickled carrots' (jalapenos, onions, garlic, vinegar) has some kick-ass spices in it. I've been known to eat their veggie crispy or soft tacos multiple times per day. The folks are really friendly, too! —BillKendrick


2008-07-19 10:32:26   A nice, cheap meal is to order the Tortilla Soup with a side of beans & rice (I usually prefer black beans). The soup is tasty and if you add the cucumber salsa and the tomatillo (sp?) salsa to the rice and beans and mix it in together, it comes out tasting quite lovely. The only thing that would top this is a dollop of sour cream (but I think they charge for that). I wonder what it'd taste like if I dumped this concoction into the soup to create a thicker meal...hmmm... —SunjeetBaadkar


2008-08-11 09:12:25   Want a real treat? Order the Super Burrito, Wet. WOW!

Not only is this establishment in the heart of downtwon Davis, it's also very well priced, serves very good food, and the staff is great. One of my absolute favorite dining areas.

Too many salsas to mention and all very good. You can also buy a jar of it from time to time depending on what they have made already. The tortilla soup is amazing and the seafood Tacos, although sounding disgusting, are quite good.

4.5 of 5 stars for me. —kyle2008


2008-11-05 18:53:03   I like the food in the restaurant and how big it is inside the building. My favorite burrito is the bean, rice and cheese. Sarah Needles. —NeedlesFamily


2008-11-30 16:09:43   I would kill or die for the pumkin seed (semilla) salsa. This is the best taqueria in Davis for sure. Great mole, amazing veggie tamales, generously portioned meals, and just plain good cooking. Victor is very friendly, his place is clean, and his staff seems happy. Go there on a Saturday morning to watch some futbol while you dine. —K.C.STAUBACH


2008-12-14 19:57:31   Burritos are okay. I love the Nachos Mexicanos. The horchata and the fresh strawberry water is pretty good as well. Wide variety of salsa at the bar is nice too. Prices are acceptable. —BenLee


2009-01-08 21:55:38   The chicken is much better than the beef, more flavor and very moist. The staff is very friendly. I took my friends who came to visit and they loved the salsas. makes it more fun. —Marianna


2009-01-26 20:26:13   I'm wondering if they just weren't on top of their game on the day I went in, because the food I had was just not good. I mean, it didn't kill me, but I wouldn't recommend it — The tamales were bland, and their idea of guacamole was just green sauce with tiny flecks of avocado in it. But... the atmosphere is nice and they were very friendly, so I might just have to give it another shot. —MichellePalmer


2009-03-23 23:51:51   I come here about 2-4 times a week and the food is always amazing! The owner always gives my boyfriend and I a discount on our food and free drinks!! We usually split the nachos asada or when were very hungry we usually get the steak burrito. I went there last night and got a prawns burrito...AMAZING. Overall, it's a great placed to sit down and eat without a big pricetag!! —TICKtacTOEtag


2009-03-31 18:43:36   Good prices, tasty food. 'Nuff said. —CodyDuncan


2009-04-23 20:13:50   This is my favorite Mexican restaurant in Davis! I'll walk from the other side of campus just to get their strawberry agua fresca. Their tortas remind me of the Yucatan peninsula and their chicken super burrito is twice as good as chipotle's. —Beconomics


2009-05-31 01:06:44   this place is probably my top place for mexican in davis. i mean the food is what it should be (not extraordinary, but good) and the servers are pretty nice, i mostly come here for the salsa bar as the habanero salsa is the only thing that has ever even remotely challenged my scoville tolerance in davis. —MiranPark


2009-07-05 18:06:46   I know this place comes highly recommended, but while the food is okay, the service is horrible. I stopped in when I was with my grandma, and the gal at the front was rude and short with me. I am always friendly as I worked customer service for many, many years and appreciate those who still do! It can be a tireless, thankless job, especially food service. Any who, I ordered and waited for my food which didn't take too long, though no one else was in there. The guy preparing the food just packaged my food and pushed it to me without a word or look or acknowledgement. I said, "Thank you very much!", and he just looked at me and muttered something. I wondered what I did wrong to be treated like the red-headed step-child of the establishment, though didn't worry long; I won't be back with such terrible customer service. Super Burrito in Woodland gets my vote! Sorry Davis! —JuanaBNDavis


2009-07-12 11:40:57   I first went to El Mariachi in 2001, I was visiting my sister and wanted some authentic Mexican food. A co-worker of my sister told me great things about El Mariachi and I walked over and eagerly got in line. The cashier was rude and mocked my mispronunciations’ of asada, and laughed to one of the cooks. The food was only ok, so I told myself I would never go back. In 2006, I got a job a couple blocks from Mariachi, and decided to go again, hoping the woman was no longer working there. Unfortunately she was and once again gave me rude condescending service. Since 2006 I met the owner whom is a very nice and friendly man who made me feel welcome. It seems when ever he is working the service is great, the cooks are friendly and the food taste great. Two weeks ago, I went in on my lunch break and once again the rude woman was working. As I approached the front of the line, she rolled her eyes and asked “What can I get for you?” As if it were hurting her to ask. After purchasing my food, she threw my change at me and stormed off the her seat. The cook tossed my food down and didn’t bother to tell me it was ready. I asked if that was mine and he nodded without looking at me. Long story short after all these experiences I will never go back, it’s almost better to get the fake stuff at taco bell, then have to deal with this hostility. —david0708


2009-08-10 19:04:19   I feel my review of this place is long overdue.

As someone with a long and fattening historic love affair with Mexican food, I have little but praise for El Mariachi, in my opinion, the single best Mexican restaurant in the city of Davis.

A few main factors make El Mariachi the superior choice in Davis;
1. Quality of ingredients: El Mariachi's ingredients are far superior in quality to those of Guadalajara, Davis Taqueria, or Dos Coyotes. The meat is always excellent, cooked properly, and the beans and rice above par in terms of Mexican food generally.
2. Variety: El Mariachi has a diverse menu, but is not encumbered by it in terms of quality of food. El Mariachi is the only restaurant in Davis with a Baja-style Mexican seafood menu, and from my experience it's all pretty good stuff. I also believe it's the only place in Davis you can get cactus in your burrito.
3. Salsa Bar: El Mariachi has the best salsa bar in Davis, everyone else's is complete garbage in comparison. There are a huge variety of salsas, all homemade, all delicious. The ample supply of fire-roasted pickled jalapeños and onions always makes a great meal better.

In regards to some naysayers; I will concede a few points. Some employees at El Mariachi are less than completely friendly at all times. The owner, Victor, is a really nice guy, though, and would address any complaint you could possibly have about food or service. He is never anything but cheerful and polite, and this kind of customer service has made me a regular there.

Some of the food is lackluster. The tamales and enchiladas, particularly, are bland. The enchilada sauce they use is pretty boring. Stick with burritos, tacos, and nachos here.

Also, if you order nachos for eat-in, they will give you a hilariously large amount of food, enough for 2 normal people to share as a meal, no joke. If you want something unique, try the Mariachi Nachos, they use their special, extra thick/cruncy confetti chips and mexican cheese, absolutely delicious. Also, on days where the special is California Burritos, go for it. Only place in Davis that does them that I'm aware.

The guacamole is also less than awesome, it's very thin, and is a style I'm not particularly fond of.

But overall, I give El Mariachi 5 out of 5 stars, it's an excellent restaurant, very reasonably priced, and caters to a wide variety of tastes in Mexican food. —RDRIII


2009-09-01 22:46:00   I had high hopes for this place because I am such a big fan of Mexican food. I went a couple of months ago and got food poisoning from a queadilla. I took my boyfriend here a week ago and we BOTH got food poisoning from the tacos. I will NOT be returning anytime soon. —SFNative2006

* I agree with the above reply. I eat here extremely often and the food has never made me sick. This is probably my favorite place to eat in Davis. —ashb
*food poisoning takes ~24hrs to develop, so people often miss-attribute it to a certain thing they ate when it was something the day before. —AlexB
* Seconded. I've never gotten sick from eating at this place, even a few days after eating from them. I really wouldn't worry about it. —AlexTK


2009-10-12 11:19:39   I love this place, as does my toddler. Their pickeled carrot (I don't remember the Spanish name for it) salsa is excellent. It's the only kind I've had that has herbs and spices mixed in. Oh, and Victor is _super_ nice. Highly recommended! —BillKendrick


2010-01-12 20:55:09   Best Mexican food in town! I love it, and so affordable. My fave salsa is the Pumpkin Seed, and their nopales are pretty great too. The beans and rice plate is an entire meal on its own. Great vegan options. —DanielleLee


2010-02-27 13:59:09  I absolutely love this place! Not only is it by far the best Mexican food I have ever had, Vic has to be the greatest guy I have ever met. All the different choices on the menu and the great variety at the salsa bar makes it very hard to have the same meal twice, unless you stick with the same thing every time! Every time I am anywhere near Davis.....you will find me at El Mariachi! Keep up the great work guys!


2010-03-21 15:13:57   Best food in Davis, hands down. Good people, good food. —weschrist


2010-03-28 14:50:55   The unlisted Tortilla Soup can be altered to have chicken added for a small fee. Once, when really hungry, I asked for double chicken and the cost was still under $5. Fantastic! —SunjeetBaadkar


2010-05-27 12:36:23   My wife son and I love this place. Food is excellent and comes up quick. The staff and especially the owner are terrific! —stodd84


2010-06-24 11:13:23   Good salsa bar, but the chicken was inedible - almost gamey, tasted old and dried out. —advogt


2010-07-05 19:24:39   We just moved from the Cow Hollow area of SF, and this food surpasses anything we could get inside a 2 mile radius. Fresh and flavorful ingredients. I've never seen the tamales available. I'd love to try them. The carne asada, carnitas, al pastor pork, and the chicken (very good chicken) are all superb. It is always easy to specialize your burrito or add extra cilantro, for instance. Try the pineapple salsa. While it is not the most spicy, it is special. With one exception, the employees/owners are as agreeable as the food they create. Price points are just right, and make this place one you'll find yourself visiting more than you expected. This place is not greasy, not bland, not lacking savoriness (sorry, but ever had a Whole Foods burrito?), and never do any of the fresh ingredients seem like they have been stored in an industrial refrigerator. I have an extremely sensitive stomach and I have to be particular about where I eat (no fast food, etc.)... I've been 8 times... especially satisfying after a workout. —seesharp


2010-07-19 15:24:51   El Mariachi's amazingness has crept up on me over time. I didn't give the place too much thought until one day when a co-worker brought a big container of their corn salsa to a potluck and I became OBSESSED. I want to go here all the time, and I feel it is the best Mexican in Davis. I have some cred when it comes to this: I'm Mexican and grew up in Chula Vista. I die w/o Mexican food, and for those of us displaced So Cal peeps, living in Davis is NOT ideal when it comes to satisfying this need. I cannot get enough horchata, and the guy who I believe is the owner is always so wonderful and friendly when I see him at the Farmer's Market. Mas El Mariachi Taqueria porfa me encanta. —soledad101


2010-08-14 13:46:19   Love, love, love this place. The food is excellent, interesting, well priced, and comes in a variety of portions. The guys that work here, especially the owner, are super nice. There is also something surprising in the salsa bar too! —Ratatat


2010-09-01 22:46:31   el mariachi is one of my favorites restaurants love the salsas so many choices humm yammi los tacos doraditos !!!


2010-09-09 15:11:46   One of the worst burritos in town for your money. They have small portions compared to other mexican restaurants in Davis and bland ingredients. I have tried the chicken and pastor burritos and was disappointed with both. I cannot speak for the other dishes but the burritos here are not worth it. Also, while the salsa bar is extensive, it's hard to fully enjoy it with the 8 or so chips they give you on the side of your entree. —JakeJames


2010-09-17 08:42:42   Best food in Davis, and affordable! I love this place. —weschrist


2011-01-03 19:29:45   Gross, didn't like their tacos:( it was bland and overpriced, it reminded me of why I don't go there; I only went this time b/c Tacos and Beers were closed (Tacos and Beers have the best street tacos). I should have just gone to Guadalajara, at least Guads give you free chips and salsas, unlike El Mariachi. —kikao


2011-01-30 11:56:55   This is the only place that I will make the extra effort to get in my car and drive to when I'm hung over. It's so good. The tacos are HUGE and the crispy shells are fried right when you order. The two taco plate is almost two meals if I want to save one for later. JakeJames you must eat dumptruck portions if their burritos aren't enough food for you. They are equal in size to any burrito in Davis. They also fill your plate with chips. Maybe you had really bad luck. If there aren't enough chips for your salsa I'll share a secret... (put the salsa on your food!!)

Also, unless things have drastically changed, the chips and salsa ARE included with the meal, kikao. Unless you're talking about just walking into Guad and eating chips/salsa without ordering any food...

The owner is incredibly nice and cooked me a fresh batch of his habanero salsa for my superbowl party last year. I could eat that salsa by itself it's so good. —miguelsantiago


2011-04-30 18:23:13   This is one of the only food places I really miss when I'm back in Denmark - I have never found anything like it. At restaurants and cafe's, sure, you can some kind of burrito, which costs 15-20$ and is made from kidney beans and the same meatsauce they use for pasta bolognese... Pizza, Sushi, asian cooking of various sorts, burgers, upscale restaurants are everywhere in EU, but food like El Mariachi I have yet to find. And it's not like I can make it myself - where would I get cactus and I once saw a recipe for mole sauce and went.. yeah , right - better just make sure I get back to Davis :) —MichaelNielsen


2011-05-17 16:43:51   BEST MEXICAN FOOD in Davis!!! Hands down!!!! —ShaunaMadison


2011-07-13 11:26:38   Yes they have a big salsa bar, but most of them are too spicy for me. My boyfriend loves the pumpkin seed salsa. Their meat tastes more like something my dad would bbq, it doesn't have very strong seasonings so you may want to add that salsa. Even though they arn't great they are the best I've had in Davis. —Skywalker


2011-07-15 20:53:50   The food here is great. I really like their salsa bar and their super burrito is an awesome deal. The owner is always really friendly too. —SilvaJ


2011-07-26 21:02:28   Went in tonight and found the owner to be nowhere in sight, a very rare thing... I normally enjoy our brief conversations. Got an old standby- Nachos Mexicanos and ordered a burrito.

The burrito was nicely done, save for the overcooked and dried up chicken.. absolutely no tenderness or flavor to it at all. A disappointment.

The Nachos Mexicanos looked to be fantastic at first and I have ordered it several times and loved every single time, until now.

No care at all was placed in the order. First bit of pork had a huge bone in it, and it was also extremely overcooked bordering on burnt. Very little cheese. The vegetables seemed fresh enough, but when the meat is barely edible why bother picking it through for a bite or two. Add to that that the toppings were extremely sparse and it made for one disappointment dinner. A first for me from El Mariachi. I hate to say it, but it seems that when the owner is away the kids play more than work and pay very little attention to what's going on, especially with the food. —Wes-P


2011-10-09 13:32:17   I just went in this fine Sunday afternoon and had some delicious carnitas nachos, the owner was nowhere to be seen, but the food was still amazing. —EricWecker


2011-10-23 18:53:36   Let me start off by saying I love El Mariachi. The salsa bar is fantastic and I have always enjoyed everything I've ordered from there. Tonight I was enjoying an order of Mexican nachos in their restaurant and I was completely bombarded by flies. I swear it was just as bad as if I had been eating outside. I understand that they can't keep every single fly from coming through their doors, but when it gets to the point where their patrons are having to swat away flies every 5 seconds (literally) then they seriously need to do something about it. From now on I think I will order my food to go. —JenniferCook


2011-11-10 23:18:09   marino burrito is a bit pricey, but delicious! —ndah100


2011-12-21 21:49:55   El Mariachi is one of my most favorite restaurants ever. This is among my top three favorite restaurants in Davis. I didn't start eating here until about a year ago— so much time wasted!!! I should've been eatin' here every single day. YUM! Go there, you must. —ActionFigureBarbie


2012-02-03 17:31:34   Is it just me or did they raise the prices when they put up the new menu board?

I like their crispy veggie tacos. Order them without rice. Nom. —MeggoWaffle


2012-03-17 22:28:43   This place rocks. I've been there three times so far and I will continue to come back frequently. The staff is incredible. They are all very friendly and made small talk with me while I ordered. The last time I was here, my order (paying for my friend and myself) totalled $10.67. I had a ten dollar bill but my friend didn't have any change. As I went to pay with debit, the staff member told me "Don't worry about it, just bring the 67¢ next time."

The food is awesome, too. I can be pretty picky, but I'm a big fan of these burritos. I've ordered the same thing ever time, so I can't comment on the rest of the menu, but their standard burrito (forgot the name) with beef is awesome. There's also a complimentary salsa bar with an insane amount of great salsa.

I highly recommend this place to anyone. Awesome service, great food, and reasonable pricing. —Jrat


2012-04-22 23:48:29   Carnitas is so-so here. Go with the al pastor. —ScottB


2012-05-26 22:15:44   We go here on a weekly basis. The salsa bar is fantastic. I don't love all of their burritos, but their Pollo Adobado burrito is really wonderful. The nachos are really excellent, and a fantastic kid option is the chicken nachos (my kids love it). The guacamole is very subpar, but tastes pretty good in the burritos. The tacos are a very good value and tasty.


2012-06-07 20:35:55   Fresh and delicious food, great quality and great prices, nice selection, and glorious salsa bar. The staff is super chill and friendly, especially the owner, great man, really cares about his customers, and the place has a very comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. Their horchata is the bomb, and so are their agua frescas in general. Everything is so fresh and delicious. Go here now. It's awesome! —AlexTK


2012-06-11 16:50:19   I love the pumpkin Salsa. Do they sell the salsas individually? I'll have to check next time I'm in there. I would gladly buy a pint of pumpkin salsa. mmm,mmm! —drpottsiv


2012-09-29 19:37:35   To the above question about salsas: they will sell you a larger styrofoam thing of salsa — I think it's around 4-6 ounces — for a few dollars. I also love the pumpkin salsa and have bought a couple of things of it for parties in the past. —PhoebeAyers


2013-01-09 12:22:27   Over the past few years, I have eaten at Mariachi with some regularity. The food is good, and the pumpkinseed salsa is possibly my favorite salsa anywhere, ever. You can eat well for cheap. I really love this place.

Today, when the man behind the counter asked how I was doing, I told him that I had had some hard times at work, but that I was okay now. We then had a very honest philisophical conversation about life, spirituality and keeping a good additude. I was touched at his willingness to talk with me this way. It ended when my order came- I was still standing at the register. I wanted to share that story, because it makes me love this place even more. —drpottsiv


2013-02-22 00:58:25   I believe you were talking to the owner. He is a real stand-up guy who has shared many brief, yet genuine conversations with me over the years. —EricWecker


2014-01-02 10:34:34   It looks like they're closing; they posted a change of business/ownership notice on December 31st. I hope they're just moving to a new location. I love this place! —AnthonyValenzuela

Bah where do you get good carnitas in town now? Daubert


2014-01-06 12:12:44   I weep for the loss of Nachos Mexicanos and strawberry juice. —BarnabasTruman


2014-01-15 13:18:24   So sad they have closed. excellent food and the owner was great and I always looked forward to talking with him. I will have to try and make it to the farmer's market. My friends are asking me if i know what happened.


2014-01-30 20:50:10   So sad they closed. :( This was my husband's and my favorite taqueria in town. We'll miss their crispy chicken tacos and horchata! Anyone know why they closed? —jenb


2014-03-18 23:47:05   I miss this place. The portions were great and the salsa selection was the best in town. Other taquerias in Davis definitely don't have as much character as this one did. —RomanRivilis

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