Mercado - Santa Monica

4.6
992 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
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About

Mercado in Santa Monica is an inventive mix of food, atmosphere and tradition, reflecting the heart & soul of New Mexican dining. The main dining room is an eclectic fusion of modern design, accented with classic touches, that create the ultimate in intimate upscale dining while remaining accessible and comfortable. The menu, created by Chef Jose Acevedo, exemplifies the cuisine and flavor of he and co-owner Jesse Gomez’s deep Mexican roots, featuring items such as Chef Acevedo's signature Carnitas, created from a recipe handed down through generations. With tortillas made by hand, the finest meats, poultry and seafood, flavorful sauces, carefully crafted ceviches, enchiladas and tacos, produce from the local farmers' market, and everything made from the freshest ingredients, Mercado offers handcrafted cuisine, artful design, warm atmosphere and service that is both friendly and informed to guide each guest through the dining experience. We look forward to having you join us soon!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Mexican
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Hours of operation
Monday - Thursday: 5pm - 10pm,
Friday: 5pm - 11pm,
Saturday: 4pm - 11pm,
Sunday: Brunch 11:00am - 3pm, Dinner 4:00pm - 10pm

Happy Hour:
Monday - Friday: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Saturday and Sunday: 4:00pm - 6:00pm
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Phone number
(310) 526-7121
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Jose Acevedo
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Santa Monica
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Parking details
Parking Structure 5 is closest to the restaurant.
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 992 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

There was hair in my food - they blamed it on me and didn’t take it off of the bill. They did give me another meal though and it was very good.

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A
Denver
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my new favorite restaurants! I've been back twice in the past month.

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FL
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A fun and vibrant environment and we loved the food. Carne asada, fish tacos, carnitas tamales & steak tacos all enjoyed. The flan was a great end to the meal. I wish I could recall our server's name, he was very friendly and efficient. We were traveling, but I wish Mercado was closer to home for us. Hope to visit again one day!

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OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Normally we usually have a great experience at Mercado however we would never recommend for someone to go here on NYE. We made a reservation for 9pm for 2 people thinking that it would be a perfect spot to get a great meal and a couple margaritas before heading home to celebrate the New Year. We were sat promptly and had a really nice server wait on us. At no time however we were told that they were closing at 10pm and there was a last call for drinks soon after being seated. We felt rushed through the entire dinner and when ordering a second round of drinks were told "I'll see if they get accepted by the bar" (again, no mention of a last call ever). We always order the carnitas but they were out so settled with the steak instead. It unfortunately was unappetizing and very chewy. Sadly we are SO disappointed with this experience as we frequently visit this spot at least 1-2 a month and it's usually a favorite of ours. We did speak with the manager and he was accommodating however the situation did leave us feeling disappointed about our choice to have NYE dinner here. I honestly think they were just trying to close up and get out of there before midnight but didn't communicate this with their guests being seated an hour before their regular closing time. Because the tables are so close to each other in the restaurant both couples on either side of us also shared their frustrations about the service and lack of communication. I hope that this was a one-off experience because we do plan on going back again on a normal night. I highly recommend getting the carnitas, elote and the Mercado margarita - these are usually a sure thing!

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SC
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The Mahi Mahi was perfect. Sadly, the rice was undercooked and cold, and the veggies were cold. However, the guacamole was great. The Mercado margarita was great. So, overall, we had a nice time. Will be back to try Happy Hour

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s
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The manager Glenn is a gem!! Always there to make sure your meal is delicious! Makes everyone feel welcome! Always a treat! Can’t wait to go back!!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Food was good. However, it seems like they were having an off night. My boyfriend ordered the chicken enchiladas only to discover that when he cut into it, there was a large wishbone that the kitchen had left in. One order of tacos and the elote took a while to come or the table, but the staff was very prudent, making sure we were okay and informing us that the food would come soon s The service was great and the waitress was very accommodating. They compensated the enchiladas at the end, which I think was the appropriate thing to do. I will definitely come back as the ambience was very inviting and intimate. I think they were just having an “off-night”.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Nice atmosphere.
Everything are tasty. All of my party love that place.

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MJ
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Love the atmosphere. What a cool place to have dinner! Unfortunately, the food disappoints. While upscale in presentation, the flavors just run mediocre and lack any complexity

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JS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We were seated at a table upstairs in the back.
Benefit: not as noisy as downstairs
Drawback: I think our waitress forgot about us.

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M
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great vibe, awesome service! Good place to meet friends for margaritas and food! Had the pineapple marg—was excellent. Fun place to go!

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p
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best place in town. Service is amazing and so is the food. Can't go wrong. Fantastic all around.

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KM
New England
6 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Very good happy hour menu. Margaritas were excellent for the price and the food was delicious though not the healthiest. Good for when you are feeling gluttonous :-)

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Great service.

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EH
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious and seasoned! A different take on your traditional Mexican. I’m a addict.

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OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Order the cucumber jalapeño margarita with tajin on the rim and the carnitas plate ...my personal favorites.

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P
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

I was super disappointed when I arrived my BF and I were seated at a communial tabled which we were not told or given an option when booking . The restaurant felt disjointed and the best seats seemed to be upstairs which we were definitely not getting as an option. The food was good but overpriced for what it was as were the drinks. Through the course of our dinner we had 4 different servers , so no one was constant in looking after our table. My BF’s glass was chipped so I asked for another drink , then asked again that they actually make a new drink for fear glass may have fallen in the previous drink wouldn’t that be the protocol? I’ve been wanting to go try this place for a while but won’t go back . Servers were friendly .

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JB
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was excellent. The Carnitas is beyond expectations. Service was a little spotty however, we were on the later side for dinner 10pm and the manager was more than apologetic for any minor issues we had with service.
We going back as soon as we can!

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c
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sat at the community table and it was amazing. Food was great!!!

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YG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Manager and waitress were great.
Very good food and delicious margaritas.

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OT
Denver
11 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great guacamole and Chile Rellanos. Good vegetarian experience, and lovely wait staff.

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KL
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Mercado is one of my favorite spots in Santa Monica. The food is excellent. It can be a bit noisy, so if you can't stand noise I would avoid. Otherwise, an amazing spot.

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f
Los Angeles
63 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my ALL TIME FAVORITE MEXICAN RESTAURANT!
The Family Recipe's take this Menu into an authentic experience.
When You can remember the first taste of the Dip Duo to last last taste of Carne Asada, or Camaroines Al Ajillo, Mexican Sweet Shrimp, Chile de árbol garlic butter. Out Of this World!
Mercado Restaurants have a great reputation for being consistent, no matter which location.

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A
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great flavors—boisterous and colorful.

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AW
Warwickshire
7 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had the Mahi Mahi special which was delicious. Place was buzzing for a Wednesday night. Mexican with a twist. Very good indeed.

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K
Detroit
6 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We found Mercado by chance and glad we did! There were 4 in our party. We ordered Jicama Shrimp Tacos, Tostaditos de Ceviche, Camarones Al Ajillo, and Enchiladas de Pollo. All excellent. Fresh and local, yes please!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Food was great, but service is disappointing during each visit.

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LL
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mercado never lets me down, great food, tasty drinks and amazing service.

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o
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We last ate here 7 years ago and it lived up to the memory this past time.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

It was so goooood

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A
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was a dream. We had to split the check 5 ways using Cards and Cash. She was very accommodating!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great spot for scratch kitchen authentic-tasting Mexican food. Drinks and dessert menu is also on point; spicy and sweet. Highly recommend.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

The waitress touched me and never gave me my
Habanero salsa

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The food here was very delicious and authentic. I highly recommend the carnitas and enchiladas (the Mole Sauce in particular). The staff was super friendly and accommodating as we brought our 1 year old baby along with us for our night out (since we were in CA on a family vacation). The most amazing part was the churro cinnamon ice cream. It was a fiesta in my mouth! Thank you for an amazing evening out (which doesn't happen very often).

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L
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Every dish is delicious!! Highly recommend Mercado

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OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent HH menu.

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MH
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food. Great margarita. Good variety on menu. Unique style of Mexican food

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EG
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been here several times and the food is outstanding.

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SJ
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 2ambience 3

Always have carne asada tacos. They are usually fantastic. Not this time- they tasted like an entire canister of salt was added. Nauseating. The jalapeño margs are fantastic.

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PD
Orange County
12 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Food was verygood, service was very good -ambience average

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