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Gaby’s Taqueria Sets Downtown Pensacola on Fire with California-Style Mexican Food

Gaby’s Taqueria | By Magi Thomley Williams | February Bella Magazine

Gaby’s Taqueria is Pensacola’s newest upscale food truck experience. Gaby’s offers a different aesthetic and California-Mexican inspired food at the location at 104 East Gregory Street. What sets this Mexican restaurant apart from dozens of others in Pensacola? Gabriel “Gabe” Hernandez, one of the owners, readily admits it isn’t the food. “There is no new food. Gaby’s is experience based. The high level of service. The music. We want restaurants with cool stuff and nice curb appeal.” He explains. 

Co-owners, Kyle Smith, Rafael Simpson, and Gabriel Hernandez have achieved their goal. The tastefully designed outdoor dining area is perfect for relaxing with family or friends. Guests can enjoy the breeze that makes banana palms sway around the perimeter of the seating area. Or they can pick up a game of corn hole or play tabletop tower games.

The simple menu is heavily reliant on Simpson’s authentic family recipes and includes breakfast fare served from 10am-2pm daily. Gaby’s Breakfast Bowl offers a choice of protein, potato, egg, black beans, pico, avocado, queso fresco, and cilantro. Tacos and burritos are crafted with a tortilla, egg, choice of chorizo, (Mexican pork sausage) bacon, or veggie, with potato and cheese. Order a burrito bowl, and get a diners’ choice of protein, choice of rice or lettuce, black beans, corn, pico, and cheese. Lunch and dinner tacos include chorizo, chicken, pescado (fish) or camaron (shrimp) on flour or corn tortillas topped with Gaby’s slaw. There’s a reason the hot sauce is served on the side. The bona fide red-hot recipe is not for delicate palates.

Gaby’s servers are friendly, energetic, speedy, and happy to answer questions about the menu. The level of service is a welcome change from the usual fast-casual dining experience. A kid’s menu is available and so are tasty Aperitivos (starters/sides) including queso and chips, or guac and chips, esquite (corn in a cup), or rice and beans. To go orders can be placed at (850) 741-4055.

Enhancing the legitimate Cali-Mex experience is the authentic Mexican non-alcoholic drink menu. Offerings include Mexican Coke, (American Coke is made with high-fructose corn syrup and Mexican Coke is crafted with cane sugar which is less processed than high-fructose corn syrup. Some say the difference offers a more natural or purer taste.), Topo Chico, (sparkling mineral water from Mexico); and Jarrito, (a fruity Mexican soft drink.)

Read the full  article: February Bella Magazine :: Pages 40 & 41

Meet the Author

Magi Thomley Williams is Founding Principal at Thomley Consulting. She can be reached at