From Our Family to Yours
Our family understands making authentic dishes takes time, passion and love. All of our dishes are built from scratch and we use only the best, and freshest ingredients to go in our dishes. Our food is an expression our love for family and our culture.
Like No Other - Slow Roasted Pork
Known for our slow, roasted pork, braised with homemade adobe and caramelized to taste... that is our way. “It was important to make sure that we stood apart, sharing our traditions, techniques and culture that have been passed down in my family for generations--our food is a testament to itself.”
Become a VIP, win $500
VIP's receive discounts, birthday gifts, updates on special events, and more. Be entered in a drawing to win $500
Why We Do What We do
Carmelitas Taqueria Grill, Is a boutique taqueria that specializes in making our products hand made to order. We utilize all organic, non gmo, sustainably produced ingredients. Our tortillas are made to order in house utilizing blue organic corn from Oaxaca, Mexico. We have a private farmer to ensure that the masa corn dough is consistent year round. Our house salsas are made from scratch daily.
This week, I sat down with Marcos Salim Heredia, owner of the new Carmelita’s Taqueria and he shared the remarkable origins of his family’s culinary journey, his unique cultural perspective and some of their kitchens extraordinary food. This Dana Point location is a sister location, of sorts, to its excellent full-service restaurant, Carmelita’s Kitchen de Mexico in Laguna Beach. The story begins in 1938, with Heredia’s grandmother, Maria Carmen Gamez Llamas, on a train from Guadalajara to California, as part of the U.S. government’s Bracero program, later known as the Mexican Farm Labor Agreement. On that train, 14-year-old Carmelita met her future husband, Alberto Heredia. They started working together in Southern California, married five years later, and built their family as they migrated north, eventually settling in Old Roseville, outside Sacramento. The Heredias and their six children were literally living out of a boxcar, when Alberto was severely injured while working for Union Pacific Railroad. Remarkably, he was given a $10,000 disability settlement, with which he intended to return to Mexico. Carmelita felt they had come too far to return to Mexico, so she gambled on herself, and opened a restaurant while Alberto was in the hospital recovering! That original Carmelita’s still operates today, directly across the street from where Alberto had fractured his spine.
Who We Are
Carmelitas Taqueria Grill is a boutique taqueria that specializes in making our products hand made to order. We utilize all organic, non GMO, sustainably produced ingredients. Our tortillas are made to order in house utilizing blue organic corn from Oaxaca, Mexico. We have a private farmer to ensure that the masa corn dough is consistent year round. Our house salsas are made from scratch daily.
A Taste of Culture
When you walk into Carmelita’s Taqueria, your cultural experience begins. The open kitchen allows the customer to see their meal being crafted from scratch. You see the al pastor meat spinning vertically, the sauces simmering and the fire crackling from the wood-chip burning oven for al carbon-style cooking. Every tortilla is pressed right in front of you as you order, and the authentic menu features only the freshest organic local produce. Going the extra mile is why our organic blue corn masa for the tortillas is sourced directly from a trusted farmer in the hills of Oaxaca, Mexico.