San Juan Capistrano, California: President Nixon's Favorite Mexican Restaurant

Richard Nixon lived down the street in San Clemente, and frequented this Mexican restaurant, El Adobe de Capistrano. While his ghost may no longer linger over the mole sauce, the spirit of a headless friar is spotted occasionally in this historic building.

Address:
31891 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA
Directions:
West side of Camino Capistrano at Forster St.
Hours:
Su-Th 11 am - 9 pm, F-Sa 11 am - 10 pm, Su (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
949-493-1163
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Visitor Tips and News About President Nixon's Favorite Mexican Restaurant

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Nixon's Favorite Mexican Restaurant - Take 2

Roadside America suggests that El Adobe in San Juan Capistrano was the former President's fave place but I firmly believe it was actually Olamendi's original location on Pacific Coast Highway in Capo Beach. A short drive (much shorter) from the Presidents place in San Clemente.

[Matt Conover, 08/13/2014]

While living in San Clemente, Nixon frequented several restaurants -- Olamendi's in Dana Point was his other Mexican fave. El Adobe is the eatery that changed its menu from continental to Mexican at Nixon's suggestion. The limited window exposure in both restaurants is said to have pleased the Secret Service.

El Adobe Dining.

President Nixon's Favorite Mexican Restaurant

The El Adobe de Capistrano is a modern Mexican food restaurant created from the marriage of two historic California structures. Located on the main drag of San Juan Capistrano and known to the locals simply as El Adobe, the northern portion of the building (where the bar is located) was the home of Miguel Yorba and was constructed in 1797. The southern portion, where the Portola Room is, was constructed around 1810 and served as the courthouse with the basement (where the wine cellar is) serving as the jail. The buildings were joined in 1910.

President Richard Nixon ate here frequently during his administration. The Western White House, Nixon's Casa Pacifica, is located just down the road in San Clemente. Nixon's favorite combination dish is still on the menu.

The jail portion of the building is said to be the most active in regards to ghosts and such. El Adobe also boasts of the ghost of a headless friar who appears every now and then (probably the same ghost from Mission San Juan Capistrano, which is a short walk up the street). Legend has it that the famous California bandit, Joaquin Murrieta, was jailed here at one time. It could be true -- maybe he haunts the jail...

[Eric B. Ramey, 04/09/2012]
Roadside Presidents
Roadside Presidents App for iPhone. Find this attraction and more: museums, birthplaces, graves of the Chief Execs, first ladies, pets, assassins and wannabes. Prez bios and oddball trivia. Available on the App Store.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Nixon's Other Favorite Mexican RestaurantNixon's Other Favorite Mexican Restaurant, Dana Point, CA - 3 mi.
White Squirrels of the PacificWhite Squirrels of the Pacific, Dana Point, CA - 4 mi.
Pirate TowerPirate Tower, Laguna Beach, CA - 6 mi.
In the region:
Velveteria: Museum of Velvet Paintings, Los Angeles, CA - 51 mi.

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