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Total Number of Taquerias Figure Revealed

You got a chance to guess. Now here's the shocking truth.

There are 263 taquerias in the Watsonville area.

That's according to Kurt Overmeyer, the city's economic development director.

He admits, "it may include taco trucks and definitely includes the bakeries and markets that serve hot food" and that it's not a perfectly scientific figure. A few of the establishments are on the outer edge (or just outside of) city limits.

Earlier the week, I asked readers to guess the total number.

The low-ball guess was 48, from both Rebecca Tait and "Watzon McWats" (who said he could name 25 from memory alone and recommended Mariscos El Nayarita II). Reader Ofelia got darn close with her estimate of 273 taquerias.

The overabundance of Mexican food, according to Overmeyer, discouraged at least one chain—Chipotle, known for healthy south-of-the-border fare—from coming into Watsonville.

While taquerias and Mexican restaurants in Watsonville serve some diverse dishes—such as regional items or seafood—some residents have been critical of the lack of variety in the city's restaurants.

Patch reader David Perez commented: "A taco is great from time to time, but not a steady diet of them. That's why so many of us go to restaurants in other areas for a little diversity."

Check out Patch blogger Michael Gaither's song "Now It's a Taqueria." The video's on the right.

And just for comparison, there are just three Japanese restaurants in Watsonville. Can you name them all?

David H. Perez November 18, 2012 at 05:33 PM
@Martha - Thank goodness there is another Mexican-American in town besides me who likes variety. I usually get accused of being a racist for wanting variety. All I have ever asked is that EVERYBODY in this town have equal representation, but that pisses off the militant extremists.
Sergio November 18, 2012 at 07:00 PM
@ David H. Perez - Add me to the list of Mexican-Americans who like and want variety in this town. I go out for dinner with my family once per week and it’s always out of town. Also, on behalf of all true Mexican-Americans in this town, you are not racist. I find it comical when these self-described “oppressed Latinos” take things out of context and make it a race issue when it’s not. Please know that vast majority of true Mexican-Americans don’t see eye to eye with these extremists clowns.
David H. Perez November 19, 2012 at 12:44 AM
@Sergio - Thank you for your comments. Actually, you made my day. The overwhelming majority of Mexican-Americans in this town (and everywhere else) are great people, just like you and I. I find it interesting that the racist "oppressed Latino" trolls have not been commenting on the Patch lately. In any event, I hope to run into you sometime at either one of our great local taquerias, a nice seafood restaurant on the Santa Cruz Wharf, a nice vegetarian restaurant in Capitola, or a nice French restaurant in Aptos. I still need to try Syd's Barbecue in Aptos, and the new Mexican restaurant in town.
PatchReaderinWatsonville November 19, 2012 at 10:51 PM
I love me some good mexican food, but we've got a few pretty great, non-taqueria restaurants in town that we should make sure to keep around. I'm grateful to have those options locally, although they never seem to be as popular as some of the places listed above. There are two places in particular I would be sad to see go. They are delicious, but don't seem to get much dine-in business. Does everyone know about them? For Thai, Bangkok West is quite a place. It's tucked in the corner by Staples, next to GNC. Try their Spicy Rice, or any of the curries. I'm so happy I don't have to drive to Aptos or beyond for that. It's a welcoming place with friendly service. Last time we ate in, our server told us that dinner has been really slow... there's just no reason for that with food as good as theirs. My other hidden treasure is Tran Noodle, which serves up a pretty decent Pho. The Pho is inexpensive and warming, and there really aren't other options in the county for this vietnamese specialty. Service is super fast, too! Let's look out for these great places, so they don't end up going the way of the Green Valley Grill!
Oscer Rios III November 19, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Say what you want but 263 taco stands can't be wrong!

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