Mercado Restaurant is one of my favorite restaurants in Santa Monica. With two other locations in Beverly Grove and Hollywood, Mercado is a go-to Mexican hotspot for many. The drinks are delicious, the vibe is cool and trendy, and there are plenty of amazing, nobread approved options for the gluten free crowd…
As with any Mexican restaurant, you have to order the guacamole to start. The guac is great and served with fresh chips. The chips, unfortunately, are cooked in the fryer and subject to cross contamination, so if you are sensitive you should ask for your guacamole with soft corn tortilla shells instead! My favorite appetizer is the cauliflower. Roasted and served with pickled vegetables, this cauliflower dish is incredibly flavorful and NOBREAD approved. Mercado is the perfect place for groups, as there are many small dishes on the menu that are meant to be shared. The tacos de pescado on corn tortilla shells are a personal favorite and the kale salad with no croutons is flavorful and the perfect healthy supplement to your indulgent meal. From the large plate sections of the menu, the shrimp and scallop entrees are both gluten free, and I highly recommend them!
Whether you go to Mercado with a group for a birthday bash or for your next date night, you will love your experience. Guacamole, margaritas, tacos, and more… it doesn’t get any better!