We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.


31441Santa Margarita Parkway, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
+1 949-709-7600
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
  • Excellent56%
  • Very good33%
  • Average9%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“carnitas” (21 reviews)
“bean dip” (7 reviews)
“guacamole” (9 reviews)
Opens in 1 min
Mexican, Latin, Spanish, Vegetarian Friendly
$$ - $$$
31441Santa Margarita Parkway, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
All Details
Write a ReviewReviews (131)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

1 - 10 of 128 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2018

Carmelita's I think, Has great food and drinks., I was not disappointed at all. The food was hot and so tasty... The view is always great, we sit outside where we can see Rancho Santa Margarita lake. They have umbrellas there to keep it shaded...More

Thank Melinda L
Reviewed August 27, 2018

The restaurant sits on a small man-made lake and has exceptionally good Mexican food. It's on the pricey side, but it's worth it! Great for lunch or dinner...or just appetizers and drinks. Be prepared to wait though, as it's a very busy place.

Thank SP P
Reviewed August 23, 2018

The patio on Lake RSM is really enjoyable. The food is your average Mexican food. Two things that I was surprised about: 1) They don't have happy hour 2) They don't do anything for a birthday celebration. I was there with 5 other friends celebrating...More

Thank Lisa H
Reviewed July 9, 2018

Great service and even better food. Margaritas here are superb! I have never had a bad meal here. Their Carnitas are the best I have ever had. I am a regular here for one reason - they are the best!

Thank William Jeff C
Reviewed July 1, 2018 via mobile

Really great food. They bring out bowls of chips, salsa, and warm bean dip (so good) and keep refilling. We also had them bring us guacamole. Everything on the menu sounded so good. I got the ribeye tacos, others had short rib enchiladas, prime rib...More

Thank Conniemama
Reviewed May 28, 2018 via mobile

The restaurant is in a nice location by the lake. It is always packed but I do t understand why. Food is nothing special m, but I love authentic Mexican food which is way better from a whole in a wall in Santa Ana. If...More

Thank calikanes2017
Reviewed April 29, 2018 via mobile

We were very impressed with the quality of the good and drinks here. The Cadillac margaritas were insane! My husband usually hates queso fundito but this one was his favorite dish anywhere! The tacos are authentic and the salsa and chips were worth coming here...More

Thank Cyndi W
Reviewed April 1, 2018

The setting on the patio is great. Nice selection of typical Mexican favorites. Good margaritas, chips and guacamole. Friendly wait staff. Reservations are recommended as they are often very busy. Hate eaten here often and will return.

Thank Shannydog
Reviewed March 25, 2018

Easily the best Mexican restaurant I have eaten at in many years. Everything from the food quality, portion size, service, friendliness and cleanliness - all were outstanding. The bean dip served with the chips was wonderful. I ordered a three item combo - chili rellenos...More

Thank rocknrollal
Reviewed February 20, 2018

Our family loves Mexican food and when we found this, we couldn't wait to bring our son and daughter-in-law here. The four of us came this week and they loved it also. Good, fresh, great service.

Thank Barrie L
Nearby HotelsSee all hotels
Ayres Hotel & Spa Mission Viejo
466 reviews
4.07 km away
Ayres Suites Mission Viejo
467 reviews
4.16 km away
Courtyard Foothill Ranch Irvine East/Lake Forest
197 reviews
6.74 km away
Hampton Inn Irvine East - Lake Forest
465 reviews
7.32 km away
Nearby Restaurants
Rose Canyon Cantina & Grill
122 reviews
1.31 km away
Trabuco Oaks Steak House
99 reviews
1.32 km away
Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill
157 reviews
1.40 km away
Nearby Attractions
Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas
118 reviews
1.44 km away
O'Neill Regional Park
38 reviews
1.81 km away
Saddleback Church
111 reviews
6.42 km away
Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
24 reviews
7.38 km away
Ask a question
Questions & Answers
February 11, 2016|
Response from Colby R | Reviewed this property |
Brunch starts around 11 AM. While we did not have the brunch it did look very gooo with many options. A nice place to eat and a pretty area to be in
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
  • Value
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Television, Wheelchair Accessible
Good for
View, Romantic, Kids, Child-friendly
Open Hours
10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
11:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
11:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
11:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
11:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
11:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
11:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 31441Santa Margarita Parkway, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Orange County  >  Rancho Santa Margarita
  • Phone Number: +1 949-709-7600
Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more. Claim Your Listing