El Adobe de Capistrano

4.6
486 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine in a historic setting at El Adobe de Capistrano. This landmark features a wedding chapel, stained-glass windows and additional beautiful architectural details. Its kitchen has a mesquite-burning grill where chefs prepare deliciously flavored seafood and steak dishes. Soups, salads and appetizers are also on the menu, including tasty desserts.Owners Tony Moiso and Gilbert Aguirre have kept the atmosphere and traditions of the El Adobe de Capistrano going. This establishment still prepares the dishes that President Nixon and his wife enjoyed while visiting during his administration. It has a full bar that serves various drinks, a lounge area for socializing and a patio in the front. El Adobe de Capistrano offers private rooms for banquets and other events. The Palenque features a retracting roof, making it ideal for hosting an event under the night sky. It offers brunch and has a Happy Hour.
What 486 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
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vipalicias
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Went to check out this historic restaurant and it truly did not disappoint. The bar area at the entrance was a perfect spot to sit and have a drink while waiting for our table. The service was great and I still can't get over the empanada's as our appetizer AMAZING. I ordered a combo and the BEANS again AMAZING chips and salsa nice and hot and you can request the spicy salsa so good.

L
vipLuv2laf
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience5

I love their enchilada salad. When I went here a few months ago it wasn’t served on a plate. It used to come on a plate with the enchiladas sitting on top of the chopped up lettuce. The last time the chopped up lettuce was in a bowl with the enchiladas sitting on top of it, it made it hard to cut the enchilada without the lettuce spilling over. This time it was on a plate however I received about four lettuce leaves with a little bit of dressing on the lettuce, and the two enchiladas were placed next to it not on top of the salad. I don’t know if they were running low on lettuce or what But I did not care for the salad like that. It’s not the way it used to be, it was delicious having the warm enchiladas sitting on top the lettuce.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love El Adobe! Celebrating a birthday. Everything was great.

T
vipTraveler
Los Angeles
135 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2022
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The food was very good and authentic
It was a bit crowded even though it was well past lunch time
Most of the crowd did not wear masks, all the workers did.

JB
JohnB
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best Mexican food in Southern California. Good patio for group reservations. It can get noisy, but that’s due to happy family gatherings. You pay a little more, but the quality is worth it. Friendly waiters and kitchen staff will tend to special requests.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always go to El Adobe to celebrate special occasions. They have great service, great food, and great ambiance. I highly recommend!

s
surfinguitar
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I've dined here occasionally over the years since 1975. It's great! I don't really go here that often as it is out of the way for me. Always great food and service.

L
vipLgm17
Orange County
13 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter was wonderful and the food was delicious!

CM
CorrieM
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Very nice, cozy, convenient parking in back, but it became very loud as more people were seated, and it was difficult for my friend and me to hear each other—even though seated at a small table for two.

MW
MarianneW
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love El Abode and hope you enjoy it too

JC
JoseC
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service were both very good. The service was excellent across the board. I would definitely go back and eat there again.

BS
vipBeauS
Palm Springs
12 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We chose El Adobe because of your listed rating and we were very pleasantly surprised! The ambiance was festive for Christmas Eve and the service and food were fantastic!

ST
ShawnT
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

First time at this Mexican restaurant. Ambience is perfect and classy in an old world way. Service was great. The food was bland and was disappointed. We had the combo fajitas....not much flavor. Chips and tortillas were good and salsa was nothing special in the homemade sense.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful staff and place, went for my partners birthday reserved ahead of time. We got lost along the way there we called and told them we were running late and they still seated us after we had arrived. Food and drinks were delicious!

SP
SarahP
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great evening entertaining our guests here. Everything was spot on and they enjoyed learning about the historic building. Food was very tasty, great portions, and excellent value. Our server, Pedro, was efficient and very pleasant. We enjoyed the festive, warm atmosphere they had created.

LV
LoveVegas
Orange County
22 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is our favorite restaurant in the south Orange County area. It has a great Happy Hour, fabulous food and a beautiful setting. We also had a rehearsal dinner here in a private room and loved it! Great service, and a polite attentive wait staff made for a great time.

LS
vipLynnS
Orange County
11 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Amazing dining experience except it would be nice to have 2 restrooms for women.

JW
JonW
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

This is a very nice and quaint old world Mexican restaurant and right in the middle of the best part of San Juan Capistrano. All was very good, service was a little slow and servers were reserved

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Husbands birthday. Everything was perfect

L
Leslie
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another wonderful meal. Food is so fresh and authentic. We will go back again and again.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Hawaii
13 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff was SO attentive and the food as always was fantastic. Considering the amount of people there that night I could not believe how excellent the service was. Always one of our favorite spots. If I had one comment they could use more than one woman’s bathroom stall!😂

RM
RMyron
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The top level area where we sat was a bit too crowded. Our chairs were wobbly.

PO
vipPamelaO
Orange County
17 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Worth a reservation as they had several parties waiting when we arrived. We were seated right away and the food was delicious. True Mexican cooking in Old San Juan Capistrano. I had the cheese enchilada with salad and it was wonderful.

MP
vipMizP
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was delicious. Our server, Christian was excellent. Atmosphere was a bit noisy.

HG
HowardG
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Not what I expected from a Mexican style restaurant, me and my son wanted just a regular burrito and there was none on the menu. The food we had instead was good but not what I desired.

CG
CG2019
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall4food2service5ambience2

Ordered two Prime Rib dinners. Prime Rib was fine but sides were not as described. No sweet corn tortilla, potatoes were fried, not red roasted and vegetables were very skimpy…measured out with a teaspoon?
Homeless were sleeping on the bench by the front entrance m… where’s the management checking on food and outdoor safety?
Nov. 20, 2021

RD
vipRobDiner1
Orange County
60 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Historic building with a jail in it, an old stage coach stop in the bar,
and exceptional service and great food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A little noisy inside so we sat outside in the patio . It was a bit of a cold day. I believe there are warmers up on top of outside area
But they weren’t on. Anyway luckily we had our jackets. Duh. I guess I could have asked to turn them on. Food was good and service good too.

DK
vipDaveK
Orange County
88 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We are repeat customers - always consistent good quality food and friendly service

LF
LindaF
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food! Love the patio dining!
Best margaritas 😋 the salsa was amazing 😋 We’ll definitely be back soon.

P
vipPendew
Los Angeles
28 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Mexican food, it doesn’t get any better. Their Guacamole is fabulous and authentic. Their fish tacos will keep you coming back!

CK
CKG1
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Lovely traditional Mexican restaurant. Delicious food, attractive ambience, exceptional service. There were several large parties which made it very loud for the smaller tables. Great for groups. Would definitely go back :)

SS
StephanieS
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed a really nice birthed dinner for four. Delicious margarita options and food. Great service.

C
Chris
New Orleans
10 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

I enjoyed it but it was very loud. I didn’t enjoy my enchilada.

T
vipToni
Orange County
15 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere and the food and drinks were amazing!

JS
JuanS
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Open Table reservation did not capture that our event was a Birthday celebration. Very disappointed since we traveled over 60 miles

JN
JenniferN
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience4

We were there to celebrate our Anniversary. We were married at the El Adobe 27 years ago. We told our server of our celebration & his response was “that was a long time ago” and walked away…
He served us the wrong food. It was a pretty big let down to our celebration weekend…😞

DK
vipDaveK
Orange County
88 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Consistent food quality and friendly service - we are regular customers to this place - love it

E
vipEmelia
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall2food1service1ambience1

My husband and I made the reservation for this place weeks in advance. On the internet it looks like a cozy, historic place with decent food. The reality is that is was VERY crowded, super noisy, and it lacks an attentive waitstaff. My husband had to hunt down our waiter to ask for the check. On top of that the food was meh. Mine was better than my husbands- I oredered the crab enchiladas and the white sauce was good, but my husband ordered the carne asada plate and it was cold, dry, and came with a cold, hard enchilada. For sure would not recommend this place for a date.

KA
KarenA
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Drove up from San Diego to meet with my sister who was visiting from Texas with her new beau. Had Huevos rancheros, the Carnitas in Green chili sauce and Enchiladas plate along with Margaritas. -all were fabulous! We sat out on the front patio in the warm sun, the weather was great, service was superb. Can’t wait to have another brunch at El Adobe soon!

FAQs

El Adobe de Capistrano offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (949) 493-1163.

El Adobe de Capistrano is rated 4.6 stars by 486 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.