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El Mercado Modern Cuisine, Santa Ana, CA

El Mercado Modern Cuisine

4.3
4.3
235 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
​NOW OFFERING TAKE OUT! CLICK ON THE LINK IN OUR WEBSITE TO ORDER.

El Mercado Modern Cuisine brings you the daily adventure of obtaining fresh ingredients from the market to cook the perfect supper. At El Mercado Modern Cuisine, we take this every day trip and transform it into a modern dining experience. We carefully choose our ingredients for our hand crafted cocktails and dishes to bring you the best expression of our Modern Cuisine. Offering a Taco Thursday special of 3 Tacos for $10, Happy Hour everyday (5pm-7pm). Bottomless Mimosas on Sundays from 10am-3pm. New Togo food and cocktail menu available.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Mexican, Global, International, Latin American

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sun 10:00 am–3:00 pm Dinner Wed, Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–12:00 am

  • Phone number

    (714) 338-2446

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Private party facilities

    Let us plan your special event. Celebrate your birthday, private corporate event, happy hour gathering, etc. We have multiple options from our Patio, Dining Room and semi private lounge area.

  • Private party contact

    Jose Cerrudo: (714) 338-2446

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Ana

  • Cross street

    3rd Street

  • Parking details

    Public Lot

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 235 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.3
4.3 based on recent ratings
  • 4.4Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 4.4Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • North Orange County

    Fit for Foodies

  • North Orange County

    Late Night Find

Sort by

Filters

  1. AT

    AleT

    Orange County

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Alejandro helped making our experience an excellent one! The food is great, the cocktails are great, live music is great. Second time we went there and definitely many more visits in the future. RECOMMEND
  2. V

    Veteran

    Las Vegas

    24 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great place and more important great service by all that work there .
  3. BB

    BethB

    Orange County

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    I was really excited about going to El Mercado. Overall, the food was just OK, the service mediocre, and I felt the whole experience lacked the 'oomph' I was expecting given the cost. I may try it again to see if it is better a second time.
  4. TP

    ThaliaP

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    I recommend their cauliflower dish or their guacamole & chips as an appetizer, super yummy!
  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Such a fun and delicious place! Food was yummy and beautifully plated! Service was also attentive and kind
  6. m

    mbrianm

    Las Vegas

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This place was absolutely great. Unique takes on cocktails. Traditional Oaxacan dishes, a great space and super service
  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Orlando

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience4
    I went there looking for a Michelin experience. I knew it was not a Michelin star. Nonetheless I was hoping for something more. Location is very good, and I really enjoyed it. The food on the other end it was just okay. Only mention might go to the coconut sorbet.. all the rest it was dull. Definitely not the sort of food experience I was looking for.
  8. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Orange County

    67 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    67 reviews

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Well worth it
  9. AB

    ArelyB

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience2
    Really bad customer service. The waiter a female was rude.
  10. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything was great.
  11. AO

    AaronO

    Orange County

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    Service was very good and attentive My food came first and I had to wait until my wife’s food arrived in the future I would recommend to bring both dishes at the same time. The guitarist was very good. The noise level was very loud hard to communicate with others. Overall we had a great time we will definitely go back soon.
  12. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    35 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    35 reviews

    Dined on May 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Hidden jewel ! This place is great and tasteful from beginning to end
  13. RJ

    RuthJ

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent customer service. Friendly staff members. Great food.
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absolute wonderful experience ! We had a group of 17 for our wedding rehearsal dinner. Jose was great to work with in coordinating our set dinner menu and the customer service during our meal was perfect ! Would highly recommend for a special occasion, dinner date or their all night happy hour on Wednesday!
  15. JC

    JoseC

    Los Angeles

    28 reviews

    3.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on April 24, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    Food was expensive, mediocre, and bland. If they are billing themselves as a "Modern" Mexican restaurant, flavors should pop. There should be no blandness. Food should be very flavorful. Tortillas were good. Salsa was flavorless and had no spice to it. When asked about a spicier salsa, we were provided with a green sauce that was very nice. Still not very spicy. However, I would say it was the best part of the entire meal. The Jamaica drink was made using apple cider vinegar. There is a reason why real Mexican Jamaica drinks do not have apple cider vinegar mixed in. It tastes awful and bitter. Service was also not very good. Slow, not friendly, and not attentive at all. We spent $70 for dinner for two with no alcohol served. So, their pricing is definitely not cheap.
  16. K

    Karen

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 24, 2022

    overall3food5service1ambience4
    The food was great! Every dish was extremely tasty. The vibe was perfect for a Saturday night…live music, lounge area, soft lighting. The service was incredibly disappointing. It took an hour to get our drinks and then another hour plus to get our meal. We were not sure what really happened to have experienced such excruciatingly slow service. The dining area was 60-70% full so it wasn’t completely booked. Perhaps it was a staffing issue or the operations of lounge/dining area hadn’t been ironed out yet, but the customer service experience was extremely poor. Our water glasses were not refilled until close to the last 30 mins of our 3 hr dinner. Fortunately, the food was spectacular, but it gives me pause as it whether I would return.
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 17, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience1
    Extremely high volume live music. Detracts from the food and conversation.
  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 17, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Great experience for our Easter celebration! The food does take a little longer then expected but to us that was a great sign (made fresh). The ambiance was great and the live music really enhanced the experience. Every dish we ordered was tasty ‼️
  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Orange County

    1 review

    vip
    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 17, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience3
    Live music was good, but WAY too loud. Concert level volume instead of ambiance.
  20. MS

    MikeS

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My best friends 35th birthday
  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always great food and great service!
  22. p

    pelican

    Los Angeles

    11 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on April 15, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Very good contemporary Mexican. Great drinks and great bartenders. My only complaint is not having a paper menu I can peruse. I rarely bring a phone to a restaurant and discourage others in my party as they are so distracting Worth trying but personally will probably not go back
  23. N

    Naga

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food is contemporary Mexican but really good. The team has put together a good ambience, the drinks are innovative just like the food. Give yourself sometime to get a parking spot.
  24. RB

    ReyB

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 9, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience4
    Waitress wasn’t very friendly. Asked for more salsa twice and never received it. Very expensive and not worth the price for the taste of food and quality of service
  25. A

    Andy

    Orange County

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Shirley was our waitress and was super awesome food was extraordinary
  26. D

    Deborah

    Los Angeles

    16 reviews

    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on April 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Our waiter was attentive. The food was delicious and interesting. I would definitely recommend .
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food!
  28. NQ

    NormaQ

    Orange County

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 26, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    We loved it. Not many choices on the menu but very good and creative choices compared with the typical rice and beans side that some "mexican" restaurants offer; They informed us from the beggining plates would arrive as they were prepared and not all at once and we appreciated that so no surprises here, drinks were great the hibiscus mezcal was my favorite, my daugters enjoyed her steaks very juicy and full of flavor, I ordered octopus and it was great not overcooked, my son ordered carnitas and every one liked what they ordered.. I recommend to come with friends to have drinks and enjoy the food, there are not many places that offers modern authentic mexican cuisine and good drinks and this is one of them..I'll come again probably with friends and not with my almost adult kids, but there is nothing wrong you can bring fam. but I'm sure you will enjoy it more if you are not the only one drinking 🙊. Good young vibe the perfect place to introduce someone to good authentic mexican food.
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Orange County

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service like always! All employees are super friendly and attentive.
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Orange County

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on March 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fun and creative drinks. A hip vibe to hang out with friends. Food was creative and cooked well.
  31. TM

    TommieM

    San Joaquin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    It was a fun lively night. We sat early and enjoyed the quieter time by 8:00 it was jam packed & noise was loud. Food was delicious and friendly. We would return when in the area.
  32. FF

    FoodieFamily

    Los Angeles

    16 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on March 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We tried El Mercado for our date night and went back the second time with our 15-year old “Chefusician” (chef and musician 😉) . Both experiences have been phenomenal. The cocktails were so good and consistent. The food was inventive and delicious. Our servers were friendly and knowledgeable and made great suggestions. We definitely plan on bringing our older children and friends to El Mercado Modern Cuisine! It is 100% a fun and trendy place to celebrate special occasions! ♥️
  33. AE

    AnnaE

    Orange County

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 4, 2022

    overall3food2service3ambience5
    Love the ambiance… staff n managers are great. But, food was just okay. The Brussels sprouts were amazing… everything else was just fair.
  34. j

    josettasbeglia

    Los Angeles

    20 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on February 27, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    Appetizers- cauliflower & Brussel sprouts - were great but entrees disappointing. Octopus was sent back to be cooked more and returned cold. None of the other 4 entrees I tried were notable. Maybe we ordered wrong???
  35. N

    Naresh

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My very first experience dining at this place and I was very impressed. I think I will be dining there frequently now. Jose was very understanding about my diet restriction being a Vegetarian as well as our server was made aware of this too. Fantastic food, great value and service with a smile. Very very memorable visit.
  36. NS

    NicoS

    Dallas

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 18, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience4
    Some of the dishes were too oily, other than that great place
  37. ES

    EthanS

    Orange County

    1 review

    vip
    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2022

    overall1food3service1ambience3
    Waited thirty minutes despite having a reservation. Took over an hour after being seated before we saw our first appetizer. Our server avoided our table and only checked on us when waved down. Waited ~30 mins for each of our drink orders. The chicken enchiladas were flavorless, the beans and rice they came with also severely lacking in seasoning and flavor. The shrimp and lentils tasted good however the shrimp was over cooked and chewy. Overall very disappointed in the experience and felt like we were over charged for the quality of food we were served.
  38. EL

    EricL

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2022

    overall4food3service3ambience5
    Lovely atmosphere and great drinks. I liked the variety of foods and the propensity for spice, but the dishes overall were just decent. I'd return though for the good vibe!
  39. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Orange County

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 13, 2022

    overall2food2service1ambience3
    I went to El Mercado to celebrate my birthday with a group of friends. We were from out of town and I thought it would be a good place everyone could find something to like. It took the server awhile to come to our table to take drink orders. By the time most of us finished, the waiter still hadn’t returned to take our food orders. When we finally did, we were told it might take awhile since they were “behind in the kitchen”. If it weren’t for the appetizers that they finally brought to our table that we shared, we probably would have just paid for our drinks and left. There was another table near us who did leave from the lack of service. It took them close to 1.5 hours to bring all of our meals to us. Even then, 3-4 people in my party (including myself) was still waiting while the rest were almost done eating. While I finished the small short ribs I ordered, it wasn’t enjoyable to eat given long I had to wait for something that could probably have been eaten in 10 mins. I couldn’t savor it like I had wanted. No one came by to check on us either to see how things were fairing at our table after the long, frustrating wait. We later found out there were only two people working in the kitchen, which was even more frustrating to realize. Otherwise, we most likely would have left for another restaurant if we knew they were short staffed and not able to cater well to our large party and other diners that evening. Not just being behind on orders. The birthday brownie also took a good 20 mins and another follow up before I saw it. By the time it arrived, I wasn’t in the mood to even try it. I just wanted to pay the bill and leave. The food was decent enough, but the experience was horrible for the amount of food and drinks we paid as I chose El Mercado for the experience as well. It was disappointing to celebrate my birthday there. We will not be returning nor will I recommend this place to friends visiting the area. It was a huge let down.
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great drinks!

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
    • Contactless payment available
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

El Mercado Modern Cuisine offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (714) 338-2446.

El Mercado Modern Cuisine is rated 4.3 stars by 235 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Google Map for El Mercado Modern Cuisine

301 N Spurgeon St Fl 1 Santa Ana, CA 92701

Additional information

  • Cross street

    3rd Street

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Ana

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sun 10:00 am–3:00 pm Dinner Wed, Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–12:00 am

  • Cuisines

    Mexican, Global, International, Latin American

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Public Lot

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (714) 338-2446

  • Private party facilities

    Let us plan your special event. Celebrate your birthday, private corporate event, happy hour gathering, etc. We have multiple options from our Patio, Dining Room and semi private lounge area.

  • Private party contact

    Jose Cerrudo: (714) 338-2446

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