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106 E Escalones, San Clemente, CA 92672-3901
+1 949-492-4010
09:00 - 21:00
Open now
See all hours
Sun 09:00 - 20:00
Mon - Sat 09:00 - 21:00
More Info
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19 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 18: English reviews
San Clemente, California, United States
Level Contributor
212 reviews
163 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 December 2016

I go here sometimes always alone cause nobody else really trusts the place and if you order anything that isnt fried you might not be fan but as stated above the fish and chips are awesome not just good but awesome. I hear the onion rings are good too but thats not my thing soooo get a cold beer eat... More 

Thank Kelly C
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
195 reviews
128 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2016

I was so delighted to find this little Mexican restaurant. So far, we've had their chile relleno, chile verde burrito, pork enchilada, beef taco and guacamole. All were excellent as were their rice and beans. Their homemade salsas are wonderful. I especially like their roasted onion salsa and pureed mixed chile salsa. This is now our go-to Mexican restaurant in... More 

Thank Karen K
Dana Point, California
Level Contributor
249 reviews
193 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2016

Generally, hole-in-the-wall Mexican eateries in San Clemente are acceptable to good. Not this one !... Stopped for breakfast and ordered 3-4 different things... Huevos , Quesadillas, Tacos. Everything looked tired and tasted weird.... The place is cheap so did not waste much money but left disappointed.

Thank PG13LA
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
152 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2016

They specialize in fish and chips and that is what you should order. Have a cheap beer while you are waiting. This is a neighborhood dive and I love it.

Thank Susan R
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
42 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2016

I have to admit, I love mexican food but this restaurant serves the best fish and chips I've ever had anywhere. I've been around the world. There is England's world famous fish and chips and then there's El Jefe. I can't stop!!!!! Don't wanna. It's soooo good. Go, seriously. Doesn't even cost that much for the amount of food they... More 

Thank TheTravelB
Level Contributor
27 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2015 via mobile

We stopped in after an afternoon of walking the beach. Our tacos were authentic. The selection of meats is somewhat limited, but it was tasty with simple spicing. Our server was attentive and friendly. The portions were generous, and our total bill was smaller than I expected to pay for a full meal for three.

Thank Paul H
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
45 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2014

fish and chips are great as are most of their menu items, quick friendly service, fair prices, small place easy to miss just off of Camino Real

Thank Marty M
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
417 reviews
218 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2014

Good place for lunch. Food is mediocre but not expensive. I usually have a mexican plate of some sort when here. I come with a friend whop likes it and it is in walking distance of his work.

Thank JimW551
san clemente
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

This is a small Mexican food restaurant with great food. Lots of Mexican dishes as well as fish and chips, burgers, and of course cold Corona. The people are great and the cook can take special requests, or if you just order a surprise you will not be disappointed.

Thank scdiner
San Clemente, California, USA
Level Contributor
52 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2014

EL Jefe is still the best authentic Family-Owned Mexican Restaurant in San Clemente. It's 2013! My boyfriend, NOW husband, and I are still coming here! We've live in San Clemente since 2000 and we're still come here for Taco Tuesday because it is the BEST--much better than La Siesta! Where can you find a fried or grilled FISH tacos less... More 

Thank dafilpsyd

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    3 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    3 of 5 bubbles
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff
Good for
Cheap Eats, Child-friendly
Open Hours
09:00 - 20:00
09:00 - 21:00
09:00 - 21:00
09:00 - 21:00
09:00 - 21:00
09:00 - 21:00
09:00 - 21:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 106 E Escalones, San Clemente, CA 92672-3901
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Orange County  >  San Clemente
  • Phone Number: +1 949-492-4010

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from El Jefe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?