Santa Barbara Independent reporter Molly Forster has announced that Taco Tuyo, a vegan Mexican food takeout restaurant, opened its doors in January at 724 East Haley Street. Forster reports that owner Steven Sysum’s mission is to provide Santa Barbara with healthy, tasty, affordable food using traditional Mexican flavors that we all know and love. Forster adds that Sysum aims to introduce a different style of Mexican food to Santa Barbara rather than the meat-heavy Mexicali food that most of us are used to. Sysum describes his business as follows:

“Taco Tuyo is the first restaurant of its kind on the Central Coast, and perhaps in California. It’s meant to be fun, casual, healthy, and communal. Taco Tuyo seeks to be a place where regulars can stop in for a quick bite or meet up with friends and family for delicious meals, and where visitors can learn that Santa Barbara is the best place to showcase such healthful and flavorful plant-based Mexican food at a reasonable price. Taco Tuyo also exists for more than food. 2% of its profits go to a local non-profit whose mission is to end homelessness. We also participate in composting and environmentally-friendly practices behind the scenes. We support local farmers by buying local and seasonal ingredients where possible. We use only Earth-friendly takeout packaging. We want to educate people about the benefit of eating healthy.” Call 319-3627 or visit tacotuyo.com.

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  1. ThisGirl says:

    Tried it and LOVED it!

    It’s mainly for take-out and they are only open a few days a week in the evenings (check the website or Independent article). We had the “ceviche” (YUM), the “nachos” with jackfruit (again YUM), and a couple of tacos (unusual but very good).

    There was a line but there’s a nice place to sit outside and we got our food without a long wait.

    As a bonus, there’s a new empanada place next door (same parking lot) and they have a regular VEGAN empanada on the menu as well as special vegan empanadas not on the menu (with such things as butternut squash, quinoa, mushrooms, and onions). There are several lacto-veg options, too (with cheese).

    Love all these affordable vegan options (finally!) — Since Sojourner closed, us vegetarians and vegans haven’t had many “everyday” places to go (other than Natural Cafe, which has lately become more expensive…). And as you’ve reported, Vegan Green is also opening (upper State). Obviously, we have Mesa Verde and Oliver’s (both “plant based”), but for me, these are better suited for special occasions!

  2. Steve says:

    This is the same address as Buena Onda (the empanada place). Did Buena Onda close and they’re replaced by Taco Tuyo? Or they both operate at the same address?

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