La Santa Barbacha

We really like when places focus on doing one thing exceptionally well, and at La Santa Barbacha, barbacoa takes center stage. The tender shredded beef is slow-cooked and intensely aromatic, and really pops with the bright contrast of fresh cilantro and white onions. Tacos are the focus here, and they’re served on bright green and red tortillas—spinach and other vegetables are incorporated into the masa to give the tortillas a distinct color that makes every taco here feel like a present on Christmas morning.

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You can also get the barbacoa on sopes, in chilaquiles bowls, and in quesadilla form. Whatever vessel you choose, you’ll want to add some fiery habanero salsa that adds a fruity and very spicy punch into each bite. There are a few other options—like carne asada and roasted veggies—but coming here and skipping out on the barbacoa would be like showing up to Franklin Barbecue and just ordering a sausage link.  

La Santa is located behind Howdy’s Vintage—a tiny vintage clothing shop in an old house on Manor Road. Place an order, then grab a spot on one of the picnic tables on the astroturf lawn, or spend a few minutes trying on retro trucker caps while you wait for your food. Then load up on as much barbacoa as you can (somewhat) comfortably put down. 

Food Rundown

La Santa Barbacha review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Barbacoa Tacos

This is the reason you’re here. The meat is packed full of flavor and incredibly tender. These might show up on a green, red, or regular (corn-colored?) tortilla—from incorporating spinach and other vegetables into the masa—but if it changes the flavor at all, it’s incredibly subtle. It’s more of an aesthetic thing, and it makes eating them feel just a little more fun.

La Santa Barbacha review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel


This is essentially a quesadilla filled with barbacoa, with just enough cheese spilling out from the tortilla to make some direct contact with the griddle, forming a nice, crispy layer. It’s incredibly rich, but also well worth an order.

La Santa Barbacha review image

photo credit: Richard Casteel


This is one of our favorite things to get here. It’s a mound of refried beans, barbacoa, fresh veggies, and sauces piled on top of a base of lightly-fried masa. It’s like a tostada that you can cut with a fork, and each fork-full is packed full of flavor. This goes especially well with the fiery habanero salsa, but be warned: it packs a punch.

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