Spencer Makenzie’s: Taking fish tacos to a world famous level

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Spencer Makenzie’s: Taking fish tacos to a world famous level

Julia Fickenscher

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Ventura is known for having both excellent Mexican and Seafood cuisine. When it comes to Spencer Makenzie’s, they combine the two into an amazing, California beach-style restaurant.

Restaurant Reviewer Julia Fickenscher ordered

Restaurant Reviewer Julia Fickenscher ordered Spencer Makenzie’s “World Famous Taco.” Credit: Julia Fickenscher/The Foothill Dragon Press

Ventura is known for having both excellent Mexican and Seafood cuisine. When it comes to Spencer Makenzie’s, they combine the two into an amazing, California beach-style restaurant.

Spencer Makenzie’s first started as a trailer at the Ventura County Fair in 2007, and after witnessing its extreme popularity, the restaurant was born. Named after the owner’s two kids, the restaurant definitely has a family feel.

Upon walking in, I immediately smelled the freshly cooked fish being grilled, and my mouth started to water. When taking my seat in the small indoor area, I noticed how everything was clean and in its place, and between the teal blue walls and the beachy pictures hanging all over, it definitely gave off that beach vibe.

When glancing over their menu, they seemed to have the perfect variety of options, ranging from salads, tacos, burritos, and both seafood and non-seafood options. Spencer Makenzie’s has world famous fish tacos; they have been voted Best Fish Taco by the VC Reporter for seven years in a row, as well as one of the Top 50 Tacos in America, voted by Foursquare, the Chive, and Business Insider. Their Fish and Shrimp Burrito has also been voted one of America’s Best Burrito by FiveThirtyEight.

Along with their impressive menu, comes impressive, fresh ingredients. They are sure to use only sushi grade fish, vegetables from produce wholesalers known for their freshness, and they always make their own salsa and clam chowder from scratch.  

Spencer Makenzie’s is also environmentally friendly. They turn their cooking oil into biodiesel fuel for vehicles, and always use biodegradable cups, plates, and utensils.

Their prices are reasonable for the amount of food offered, averaging about $6 for their large fish tacos, $3 for their normal tacos, and $8.75 for their famous burrito. Spencer Makenzie’s also often offers special deals, such as Two for One Fish Tacos, Happy Hours, and Taco Tuesdays, making the price easily affordable for families.

I decided to order their World Famous Fish Taco, consisting of grilled fish, cabbage, cilantro, bell peppers, and their special “Spencer Sauce,” all served on an open-faced flour tortilla. The food was brought to me just minutes later by the friendly service.

Although I do not typically order fish tacos from any restaurant, this one was worth ordering again and again and again. Everything tasted extremely fresh and healthful. Each vegetable added an important flavor that combined excellently with their perfectly cooked fish. Their special Spencer Sauce was the perfect compliment to all the other flavors, being mild but still having an extra kick of flavor that added to the overall effect.

Along with the classic Spencer Sauce, they offer four separate sauces, all ranging in sweetness and heat. Several menu options can be ordered “Brooklyn style,” or with a sweet Chili fire sauce.

Spencer Makenzie’s provides a kid-friendly, laid back atmosphere that cannot be found anywhere else. Between the clean restaurant, fast and friendly service, affordable prices, and impeccable food, Spencer Makenzie’s is definitely a Ventura gem, there to satisfy all your Mexican Seafood needs.  

Background Photo Credit: Julia Fickenscher/The Foothill Dragon Press

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