A gorgeous beach view, delicious tacos, refreshing margaritas, and friendly staff make Cocina 214 one of the best restaurants in Daytona Beach. I recently enjoyed a tasty lunch at the Tex-Mex eatery during a business trip to Florida’s east coast.
A Longing for Tex-Mex Cuisine Inspires Cocina 214
The first Cocina 214 restaurant opened in 2011 in Winter Park, Fla. Former Dallas resident Lambrine Macejewski and her husband moved to Central Florida and longed for the flavors of the Lone Star State. Rather than frequently trekking to Texas, they created Cocina 214. By the way, “Cocina” means “kitchen” in Spanish and “214” is the Dallas area code. The restaurant opened a second location Daytona Beach in early 2018.
Cocina 214 Daytona Beach for Lunch
During my lunchtime visit, it was a gorgeous, sunny day; however, it was warm and very breezy. I sat inside because I am a Floridian (we Floridians know air conditioning was invented for a reason) and enjoyed the Atlantic Ocean view from my seat. Several other diners chose to enjoy the sunshine.
Cocina 214’s décor reminded me of a chic, upscale diner but it is far from being a diner. The dining area is open and includes a wall of booths with chili pepper-red colored banquettes. These pop out nicely against the stone colored wall. The word “TACO” hangs on a wall. A bar is next to the dining area. Lights drop down from the ceiling and look like balls of straw. Tables and seating wind through the middle of the dining area and along the ocean-view windows where natural light shines in.
So Many Delicious Choices!
The Tex-Mex menu has so many delicious options it was hard to choose what to order. The Melt-in-Your-Mouth-Brisket tacos caught my eye, especially since it includes slow-cooked angus beef brisket. The Corn Crusted Mahi from the Los Favoritos section sounded very tasty. This dish has corn crusted mahi-mahi, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, roasted poblano cream sauce, and served with veggie rice. Burritos, tamales, enchiladas, flautas, fajitas, and salads are on the menu, too.
You’ve Got to Try the Street Tacos at this Daytona Beach Restaurant!
I chose one of the healthy menu options, Chicken Street Tacos (another option was strip steak), and the presentation is just as delicious. Petite marinated grilled chicken breast strips top three corn tortillas (there’s an option of corn or flour) on a white, rectangular dish. Chopped onions, jalapenos, and cilantro top each taco. A small bowl of fire-roasted salsa and lime wedges accompany the tacos. I love cilantro and food with a bit of kick. The ingredients melded perfectly yielding a fresh, satisfying flavor.
I started my meal with a basket of crispy chips with the perfect amount of salt and bowl of salsa which had a nice spicy bite. My meal was accompanied with veggie rice and refried beans. I sipped the award-winning Cocina Guavarita. It’s a delightfully sweet twist on a margarita which has Don Julio Blanco, Cointreau, and guava juice served on the rocks.
A Menu Worth Coming Back For
The restaurant serves brunch every Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Entrees include a breakfast burrito, breakfast tacos, and huevos rancheros. Outdoors and overlooking the beach is a bar, dining area, and recreational area to play cornhole or simply enjoy the view.
The Cocina 214 menu has many more mouthwatering options, like Mexican street corn and the Citrus Kale salad. Plus, the service was prompt and friendly. I’ll be back to Daytona Beach later this year and hope taste more of the menu. Cocina 214 is one of Daytona Beach’s best restaurants, taste them during your visit to the World’s Most Famous Beach.
Nuts & Bolts About Dining at Cocina 214
451 S. Atlantic Ave.
Daytona Beach, Fla. 32118
Tel: (386) 456-3168
Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
The Daytona Beach restaurant shares the parking lot with Jimmy Buffett’s LandShark Bar & Grill. Parking is primarily complimentary valet.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Cocina 214 however, opinions in this post are my own. This post contains affiliate links to support this blog, my traveling habit, and my special-needs dog.