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Dona Esther

Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
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25 Franklin St, San Juan Bautista, CA
+1 831-623-2518
11:00 - 22:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 09:00 - 21:00
Mon - Fri 11:00 - 22:00
Sat 09:00 - 22:00
More Info
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92 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 90: English reviews
Napa CA, United States
Level Contributor
41 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Traveling to meet friends in Carmel, but terrible rain and falling trees stopped all forward progress . Decided to cut our losses and eat before we turned around for home. Pretty much the only restaurant open, and many of our fellow travelers washed up there as well...full dining room in this wonderful old building. Food was very good..chicken soup was... More 

Thank Alan B
Grenada, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is probably a great place to take children who like bland food. The tamales are just a hunk of breading, salsa nothing special, and entrees of no significant interest.

Thank Lana W
Larkspur, Colorado
Level Contributor
459 reviews
145 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 246 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2016

Since I was in California Artichoke country, a Mexican restaurant should serve that ingredient on it's menu, right? I did not expect it, but i had read from other Trip Advisor reviews that the Dona esther Artichoke Enchiladas were the bomb and I went to try them. Well, I am now forever jaded because they were amazing, like nothing else... More 

Thank Oceandweller7
Chico, California
Level Contributor
52 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2016

The staff was expecting our rather large group (20) and they were extremely accomodating, even though we asked to be seated outside rather than inside, where they already had our tables ready. The food was ready, piping hot,and delisioso!

Thank zushkart
Perryville, Maryland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2016

This restaurant was recommended by the clerk at the Mission. It was good Mexican food, served hot and quickly. We enjoyed our meal.

Thank ktmommablue
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2016

When I make my annual visit to relatives this stop is a must. We were introduced to this place about 10 years ago & have never had a bad meal. The service is great, which can be a feat in itself considering that there are always 10+ people including children. The plates are always hot keeping the food hot. My... More 

Thank Toni C
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2016

I eat here often and the food is good. The staff is pleasant and always will give us separate checks. It is great for dinner and for lunch.

Thank 158sheilag
Paris, France
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2016

The employees at this restaurant were really nice, but this place sadly needs a Gordon Ramsay intervention. My chill relleno plate was literally swimming in grease, the rice was certainly not fresh. The guacamole on the tostada? Brown.I would be afraid to see how old the food in their walk-in is, and the condition of their ice machine etc. This... More 

Thank jonze
San Jose, California, United States
Level Contributor
144 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2016 via mobile

Had the lobster enchilada. It was ok. Found out the refried beans had lard. My friend ' quesadilla was made with cheddar cheese.

Thank Johnny S
Corrales, New Mexico
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2016 via mobile

After wandering around the Mission, I had craving for a bit of picante! I stopped for a quick bite at what looks like a typical Mexican cantina. Ordered 2 carne asada tacos, the carne flavor was great and they were served on the authentic double layer of corn tortillas. The salsa had a mild heat & while I was searching... More 

Thank Goodamico1

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Mexican, Latin, Spanish
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Good for
Cheap Eats, Child-friendly, Kids, Groups
Open Hours
09:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
09:00 - 22:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 25 Franklin St, San Juan Bautista, CA
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Juan Bautista
  • Phone Number: +1 831-623-2518

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Dona Esther and other visitors
1 question
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over a year ago

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Questions? Get answers from Dona Esther 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?