Cheap eats: Costa Mesa's 5 favorite spots to find inexpensive Mexican food

Taco Mesa. | Photo: Michelle N./Yelp

Craving Mexican food on a budget?

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the best affordable Mexican restaurants around Costa Mesa, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of the top spots to meet your needs.

1. Baja Fish Tacos



PHOTO: jane l./YELP

Topping the list is Baja Fish Tacos. Located at 171 E. 17th St., it is the highest rated inexpensive Mexican restaurant in Costa Mesa, boasting 4.5 stars out of 475 reviews on Yelp.

Established in 1996, the fast-casual spot -- with locations across Southern California -- serves up fresh Baja favorites like carne asada; sauteed shrimp; and Ensenada-style beer-battered fish with cabbage and Baja sauce. (You can check out the full menu here.)

2. Taco Mesa



Photo: Shirley K./Yelp

Next up is Taco Mesa, situated at 647 W. 19th St. With four stars out of 1,362 reviews on Yelp, the regional Mexican chain has proven to be a local favorite for those looking for an inexpensive option.

On the menu, look for contemporary Mexican cuisine featuring GMO-free corn infused with herbs and spices, along with responsibly sourced seafood and humanely raised meats. (See the full menu here.)

"I love this place," shared Yelper Augusta B. "I don't want to recommend it very much, only because it's already busy, but they have great taco Tuesday deals and yummy authentic Mexican food (which I have found hard to find since moving from San Diego)."

3. El Toro Bravo Tortilleria



Photo: Eddie B./Yelp

El Toro Bravo Tortilleria, located at 745 W. 19th St., Unit H, is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the cheap Mexican spot four stars out of 860 reviews.

Carnitas, pollo asado, lengua (beef tongue) and more are on offer, along with specialties like birria (spicy goat), chicken tacos and hojas para tamales (corn husks).

Additional offerings include whole chickens, enchiladas and fresh tortilla chips made fresh on-site every morning. (You can view the menu on Yelp here.)

4. La Canada Grill



Photo: Moora B./Yelp
La Canada Grill is another much-loved, low-priced go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 163 Yelp reviews. Head over to 841 W. 19th St., Suite A, to try it for yourself.

Menu offerings include steak fajitas; filets of Mojarra fish in garlic sauce; and a California burrito stuffed with french fries, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and your choice of protein.

"The best Mexican restaurant in Costa Mesa," wrote Yelper Leanna H. "Don't let the location fool you. Once you're inside, the restaurant is clean, welcoming and authentic. ... You can taste a lot of pride in the recipes and the cooking."

5. Super Pollo



Photo: an h./Yelp

Finally, check out Super Pollo, which has earned four stars out of 427 reviews on Yelp. Dig in at the chicken shop and Mexican spot by heading over to 1731 Superior Ave.

On the menu, expect to find authentic Mexican fare in the form of burritos, taquitos, tacos and nachos topped with charbroiled chicken, beans, salsa, sour cream, cheese and guacamole.

Yelper Sandra G., who reviewed the spot on Sept. 6, wrote, "Super Pollo lives up to its name -- it's absolutely super delicious! The garlicky flavor, pico de gallo, refried beans, Mexican rice and their tomatillo salsa, it's all so good!"
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