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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Authentic Mexican Food at El Maguey in San Juan Capistrano


On the quest, to find authentic Mexican Food in South Orange County? El Maguey in San Juan Capistrano is one of our all-time favorites. After spending a warm afternoon at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, we love walking down the street for delicious food and margaritas from El Maguey.


The restaurant has a relaxed dining environment, with the patio being the most sought after place to dine. Since this restaurant is a local favorite and right in the heart of downtown San Juan Capistrano, there is almost always a wait – so we recommend dining in the off peak hours.

The prices are a little higher than most Mexican restaurants, but lets be honest – it’s all about location! The plus side is that they accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover when most local joints are cash only.

You are not paying for a fancy looking dish when dining here – it is all about good food. The food is not always presented in the most beautiful way, but the minute the first bite hits your palate, the presentation doesn’t matter anymore.


The kids meals are priced competitively at under $5, and come with enough food to fill them up for the day. Our kids favorite dish is the taquitos with french fries. What kids doesn’t love a fried tortilla stuffed with flavorful meat?


My husband and I always get the same thing at El Maguey, the chimichanga. The chimichanga is *huge* and large enough for both of us to share. I recommend ordering it “dry” with extra melted cheese on top. Be prepared to be in chimichanga bliss with this delicious meal.


What about the margaritas? There is not skimping on the margaritas at El Maguey. They will serve you what I like to call the “chug-o-margarita.” One of the biggest margaritas you’ll ever find in Orange County and is refreshing to enjoy on their patio on a warm afternoon.


Any must-have items? All of the reviews on Yelp don’t lie when saying that their chips and guacamole are the best around. Start off your meal with this appetizer, and you won’t be sorry.

El Maguey is located at 31481 Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano.

El Maguey on Urbanspoon

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