What sets this Taco Bell apart from all its other 7,000+ restaurants in over 30 countries around the world – its breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. With its prime beachfront location along scenic Hwy 1 in Pacifica, California, it’s not only the surfers who flock here to order their favorite Mexican-inspired fast food. The ride alone – along a winding coastal road with stunning ocean views at every turn – is well worth the visit!
After living in the San Francisco Bay Area for years – and both of us being BIG Taco Bell fans – we finally took a drive out to the coast to see what all the fuss was about. It’s only a 35-minute drive from San Francisco and approximately 12 miles north of Half Moon Bay.
Upon arriving one beautiful sunny holiday weekend, the dog-friendly beachfront restaurant was packed. We made a beeline out to the back deck and waited for a table to open up so we could eat outside while enjoying the ocean view and watch the surfers ride the waves. The deck overlooks a beach that is popular with locals and surfers alike. It’s a pretty spectacular sight!
Don’t want to wait for a table outside? The spacious indoor area features huge picture windows along two of its walls so diners can look out and enjoy the views while eating. The dining area also includes a large enclosed fire pit and two big flat-screen TVs.
You have the option of ordering food one of four ways: pre-ordering online using the Taco Bell app, at one of the self-ordering touch-screen terminals, at the walk-up window on the outside deck, or at the main inside counter. Sorry, there’s no drive-through window at this location. We ordered our food using the touch-screen menu. A board on the wall lists people’s names in the order they are placed and alerts you when your food is ready.
During our first weekend visit, we had about a 30-minute wait. Our next visit was just before the lunchtime rush during mid-week (on another beautiful sunny day) and we were served in a matter of minutes. That time, we ordered our food from the main counter as there were no lines.
The Cantina offers an extensive menu, including value-saving combos and specialty items. Our go-to favorites: Taco Supreme, Burrito Supreme, Chicken Quesadilla and Nachos. They also offer beer and frozen cocktails, including Sangrias and Margaritas. There’s even a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights from 5-8pm. We can’t explain it, but for some reason eating the food here at this fabulous beachside location just tastes so much better than at a regular Taco Bell. 🙂
Wear layers if you visit because you never know if the fog will roll in and it could get quite chilly if you’re sitting outside, especially at night on the lighted deck. Great food, friendly staff and good service. The free Taco Bell parking lot has spaces for approximately 35 cars so try to arrive early on weekends to get a space. Additional “paid” parking lots are also available on either side of the restaurant.
Hands-down this beachfront Taco Bell is the most beautiful we have ever visited. We’ll definitely go back again every chance we get – our local Taco Bell just doesn’t hold a candle. Add it to your list next time you’re visiting the Bay Area and fancy a drive along the coast or impress your out-of-town guests with an inexpensive Mexican fast-food joint they’ll never forget. My sister is a Taco Bell fanatic and made a special trip all the way from London just to check it out… and it didn’t disappoint!
(Bon Appetit in Spanish)
5200 Coast Hwy, Pacifica, CA