All O.C. residents have a favorite Taco Tuesday spot, and for Rancho Santa Margarita, it’s La Fiesta. In fact, it's such an icon within the city that residents have created an unofficial Facebook page.
Crammed into the corner of a packed shopping center, the tiny taquería boasts a line longer than the one at the Starbucks across the street. Although it brings in large crowds, La Fiesta offers something even bigger—a sense of community. Walk in at any time on a Tuesday, and you’ll run into someone you know, whether a neighbor or old friend. And even if you’re a quiet type, the lengthy-but-worth-it line forces you to make conversation with other eager customers.
La Fiesta’s menu is an encyclopedia of Mexican goodness, but it’s their famous crispy taco specials that bring locals back. The crispy beef or chicken tacos, regularly $2.50 and $2.75 apiece, drop to $1.50 each on Tuesdays. Even better, Tuesdays also offer potato tacos and battered fish taco specials that go for $1.50 and $1.75, respectively.
For eaters who think hard tacos are inauthentic, you haven’t tried these. The shells are consistently and perfectly crisp, yet light and airy enough to not distract from the filling of your choice. The soft and flavorful shredded beef and chicken tacos are ideal for anyone looking to satisfy a minor taco craving, whereas the thick potato and battered fish tacos will fill you for hours.
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A flurry of lettuce and Jack cheese gets stuffed into the tacos; it’s up to you to further adorn them at the salsa bar, which stocks everything from a vinegary tomatillo salsa to a scorching habanero one. Looking for a salsa that has a kick, but won’t scald you? Ask for the off-menu roasted salsa – a smokier twist of La Fiesta’s beloved chunky tomato and onion house salsa.
Don't forget to cool off with a sweet horchata or an ice-cold lemon or strawberry margarita. And make sure to keep talking with your newfound Taco Tuesday family. Salud!
La Fiesta, 22441 Antonio Parkway , Rancho Santa Margarita, (949) 858-0407