Food + Wine

Beach Food for Hungry Surfers

by Cathay Che

Cowell's Beach and Taqueria La Cabaña, Santa Cruz, California

Ride the waves: Santa Cruz locals boast that it was here, in the 1930s, that surfing was first introduced to the continental United States. This classic California surf city is also home to the world's first official surfing museum (sorry, Australia, yours came later). Speaking of beginnings, Cowell's Beach, in the center of town, is ground zero for first-timers. The long, gentle sandbar wave rolls in year-round, and there's no attitude in the water—most everyone else is learning to stand up, too. Water temps tend to be chilly, so rent a wet suit with your board.

Tide your appetite: Despite an influx of trendier digs, Taqueria La Cabaña, a family-run institution opened in 2003, endures. The dazzling array of tacos includes fried snapper, nopales (that's cactus), pork with chile verde, salmon, and spinach, all under $3 each. Tempted as you may be to order four when you reach the counter, three will more than do you. The California-style super burrito loaded with french fries is a good bet if you're really hungry. At peak mealtimes, call in advance to place your order (the menu is online), or be prepared to appease your growling stomach with free chips and salsa until your food arrives.

Taqueria La Cabñna
2332 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, California
Tel: 831 425 7261
Entrees $2–$13

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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