We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

El Ranchero

€€ - €€€
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
226 Main St, Vista, CA 92084-6008
+1 760-724-7680
Website
Today
11:00 - 20:00
Closed now
All hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 11:00 - 20:00
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

22 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
Showing 22: English reviews
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
61 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2016 via mobile

My expectations were moderate when I first entered. Sun-bleached A-Frame menu board in front was unappetizing and the interior was pretty barren. But we were hungry. Service was a little slow and she was kind but very quiet and shy. Still, the food and prices were decent. I had the Chicken Tacos and my wife had Vegetatian. Both flavorful. Beans... More 

Helpful?
Thank 4chrisryan
Vista, California
Level Contributor
90 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2016 via mobile

The Strawberry Festival in Vista draws a really large crowd for our city! With that being said, there were lots of vendors vying for your money! This place has great carne asada tacos though! The salsa has a good kick to it! The rice and beans were just ok. It's pretty small so don't bring a big group. It's a... More 

Helpful?
Thank Denise C
Vista, California
Level Contributor
123 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 December 2015

The place might be going through growing pains, as they were using the menu from a former owner, with items no longer offered crossed out by hand. Pretty tacky. The food is ho-hum Mexican, and there is a long wait to be served.

Helpful?
Thank tijuanade
vista,ca
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2015

Very good value for your money. Basic and some improvised dishes. Try there enchilada calabaza. Pork carnitas is very good too.

Helpful?
Thank Lawrence Martin K
Level Contributor
101 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2015

I was with some girlfriend having lunch when my brother called. He came with my niece and we had a blast! The food and the atmosphere was wonderful! Old style Mexican feel and charm. So going back!

Helpful?
Thank Latnldy1
vista, ca
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2015

Service is GREAT....Atmosphere very authentic...Food is very good and authentically Mexican traditional entree's...priced right for good family meal

Helpful?
Thank h2opolo
Vista, CA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2015

My husband and I were super excited to try this place a couple weeks ago. It was pouring rain and we didn't want to go to the store. When we entered the restaurant was empty and the hostess/server and the cook we're sitting at a table talking. It still took them over a minute to greet us. When we were... More 

Helpful?
Thank CatLady36
Hemet, CA
Level Contributor
112 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2014

We were with our toddler and another couple in Vista for the Strawberry Festival Run and wanted a sit down place where they'd refill our Ice Tea. The good smell of Mexican food drew us in. Like another reviewer, I felt the chips and salsa were unremarkable and were not refilled. The strawberry margaritas were just OK. That said the... More 

Helpful?
Thank SereneEcho
Orem, Utah
Level Contributor
142 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2013

Unlike my first visit here, I liked my meal, a chicken chile verde burrito. Still don't like the complementary chips and salsa much--chips are not as fresh-tasting as other Mexican restaurants we go to. The owner-operator is a very hearty host and the service is good; they re-filled drinks frequently.

Helpful?
Thank Gary W
Ireland
Level Contributor
131 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2013

The standard I use for comparing Mexican restaurants is in the chili relleno; now, as we wind down our SoCal adventure, I must say this place serves one of the best. Authentic Mexican food: nice incorporation of seafood in many dishes; perfect salsa and chips; very good selection of chilled Mexican beers; friendly service; all tidy and clean. Eat your... More 

Helpful?
Thank Drumraine

Been to El Ranchero? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Cuisine
Mexican
Meals
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff
Good for
Child-friendly
Open Hours
Sunday
11:00 - 20:00
Monday
11:00 - 20:00
Tuesday
11:00 - 20:00
Wednesday
11:00 - 20:00
Thursday
11:00 - 20:00
Friday
11:00 - 20:00
Saturday
11:00 - 20:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 226 Main St, Vista, CA 92084-6008
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Vista
  • Phone Number: +1 760-724-7680

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from El Ranchero staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?