Pacifica has possibly the world’s fanciest Taco Bell, one where you can spot whales while eating a Chalupa and where you can order your Doritos Taco Loco from a walk-in window (if you have sandy feet).
Clad in reclaimed wood that appears aged as if by pounding surf, it overlooks Pedro Point from Pacifica State Beach. This Taco Bell might stand out if it were at the Sea Ranch, but it was built to blend in with the coastal community’s vernacular architecture — and it’s a far cry from “69, 89, one-oh-nine.”
And it reopens after a renovation this Saturday, July 13, timed with Pacifica Beach’s 20th Annual Kahuna Kupuna Benefit Surf Contest. There’s artwork by muralist Nora Bruhn, composting and recycling, some branded towels and other stuff, and alcohol — such as some unspecified local beers plus frosé and margaritas in the form of Twisted Freezes.
It’s now a Taco Bell Cantina, like the 710 Third St. location in SoMa that took two years to open because the neighbors were worried it would turn into a cesspool of drunks sports fans exiting Oracle Park. Unlike other famous cantinas, you don’t have to leave your droids outside, either.
Prior to the renovation, the Pacifica Taco Bell had three stars on Yelp, which is about average for a fast-food establishment. While lots of people extol its aesthetic beauty, the complainers seem to cite the same three things over and over: It’s understaffed, it’s not very clean, and the food takes forever. Hopefully, cantina-fication will remedy these grave concerns.
Oh, and if you’re wondering why Taco Bell is so modest about calling the Pacifica location merely “one of” the most beautiful Taco Bells on Planet Earth, see this page for its rivals. The brick one in Guatemala City looks rather stunning, to be honest, as does the retro-’90s one in Lathrop, Calif., just east of Tracy.
Taco Bell, 5200 Coast Highway, Pacifica
Take a trip back in time, to the San Francisco neighborhood that Hollywood Forgot.
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