Top Five “Hole in the Wall” Mexican Restaurants in Orange County


Emily Ito

The best item on the menu is the breakfast burrito from Pepe’s.

Emily Ito , Photojournalist

While many people tend to fulfill their cravings for Mexican food at popular commercial chains such as Rubio’s or Chipotle, Orange County is filled with hidden gems that serve phenomenal Mexican food. The area is filled with hole in the wall or a slightly dingy restaurants that serve the best Mexican food you will ever eat. If you are looking for cheap, authentic Mexican food in Orange County, these five places are the way to go.

#5 Molca Salsa Mexican Food
1150 Imperial Highway, Fullerton, CA 714-870-8936

This drive-thru and sit down Mexican restaurant is absolutely incredible. While it lacks great decorum and is cramped within the building, the delicious food keeps customers coming back. A definite must try is their amazing machaca. Order it in a combo with rice, beans and chips or as a burrito. The meat is perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection. You can’t go wrong with this choice, especially to satisfy those late-night cravings. Yet if machaca isn’t a favorite, the menu contains plenty of other tasty options. Another great feature of this place is that it’s open 24 hours!

#4 Albert’s Mexican Food
701 East Whittier Boulevard, La Habra, CA 562-694-8915

Albert’s Mexican Food is in an A-framed red roofed building that probably housed a former Wienerschnitzel. Despite the non-traditional Mexican-style architecture, the food is definitely traditional Mexican. They are famous for their Super Nachos and Carne Asada Fries. Downside of this place is there is no drive-thru and no inside seating. Their menu is large and phone orders are recommended. If not, food orders are taken at their walk-up window and outside patio tables with umbrellas are available if you choose to dine al fresco.

#3 Taqueria De Anda
602 West Chapman Avenue, Placentia, CA 92870 714-528-2671

Great place for cheap but delicious street tacos that’s overfilled with meat! The meat is extremely tender and flavorful. On Taco Tuesdays the tacos are only $1.10 each! There is no Drive-thru or outside Pick-Up/Order window. The restaurant is located right at the end of strip mall by the freeway and is definitely no-frills. Order at the counter, pay cash, and watch them make your food.

#2 El Cantarito
120 West Santa Fe Ave, Placentia, CA 714-528-6090

Similar to Taqueria De Anda, the Taco Tuesday specials at $1 each taco are a great value! El Cantarito is located in Old Town Placentia. Food here is authentic, delicious, and cheap! Their Caldo de Rez is a traditional Mexican (beef and vegetable) soup dish that is a wonderful choice on a chilly day. Seafood menu items such as oysters and shrimp are also available. El Cantarito is a definite favorite amongst locals and is packed with diners on weekends!

#1 Pepe’s
821 North Placentia Avenue, Fullerton, CA 714-528-9291

Breakfast burritos are the best here! They are filled with your choice of bacon or sausage, scrambled eggs, potatoes, onions, peppers, and pico de gallo. Jayden Hawley (10) raved about Pepe’s exclaiming, “Their breakfast burritos are bomb.” Besides traditional Mexican menu items, Pepe’s offers various types of burgers, which are also delicious! Every single item served at this establishment is tasty and bursting with flavor. They offer indoor and outdoor seating as well as a Drive-Thru window which adds to the excellence of this great restaurant.

With their large menus and flavorful dishes, these restaurants are a definite must try. If you’re ever overcome with cravings for Mexican cuisine, trade in the Chipotle bowl for a meal at one of these fine “hole in the wall” mexican restaurants in Orange County.