It’s been about a year since Los Gallitos moved from its 36-seat spot in Fort Bragg to a much larger location that now seats nearly 90. With a lively atmosphere that is filled with families, friends, laughter, and conversation, it’s clear that the change has been overwhelmingly positive. Dotted with bright colors and custom chairs, the restaurant feels eternally festive, which is often reflected in the groups that visit. “We pretty much have a birthday party in here every day,“ Jesse Valenzuela, the owner’s son, explains, pointing out that groups love to reserve the larger back rooms.
Perhaps it’s the food, traditional and satisfying, that draws people, or maybe it’s the new Dulce de Leche ice cream that local ice creamery, Cowlick's, makes just for Los Gallitos. More than that, though, it might be the pervasive sense that there’s something here for everyone. Owner Margarita “Lety“ Valenzuela explains, “When we moved, we envisioned a bright, cheery place for all ages, where the adults could unwind with a nice drink and the children could be in a family friendly place enjoying homemade Mexican food.“
Though there’s now a full bar, the options for non-drinkers are extensive. A variety of aguas frescas are made each day in seasonal flavors like Hibiscus Tea, Watermelon, Pineapple, Tamarind, and Cantaloupe. The housemade horchata is also a favorite. Flavored with a touch of vanilla and a hint of cinnamon, it is a smooth rice drink that somehow feels nostalgic, comforting even, no matter the age of its consumer. Of course, you can mix up your own horchata to enjoy on a warm summer day, but stopping by Los Gallitos to have one among friends can make the whole experience that much sweeter.
1 c white rice
1-1/3 c sugar, adjusted for your sweetness preference
1 cinnamon stick
1 T vanilla
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
1-1/2 c milk
4 c water
Soak the rice and cinnamon in a bowl of water overnight. Strain out the water from the mixture and dispose of it. Combine the remaining cinnamon and rice in a blender with the evaporated milk and blend until smooth. Pour the liquid into a pitcher, and add the sugar, vanilla, and milk. Mix until everything is well combined. Add water. Pour over ice and serve. Add a cinnamon stick or dash of cinnamon to garnish. ¡Viva la horchata!
230 N Franklin St, Fort Bragg | (707) 964-4519
Open Sun 10am–7pm, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue, Wed 11am–8pm