There are 263 taquerias in the Watsonville area.
That's according to Kurt Overmeyer, the city's economic development director.
He admits, "it may include taco trucks and definitely includes the bakeries and markets that serve hot food" and that it's not a perfectly scientific figure. A few of the establishments are on the outer edge (or just outside of) city limits.
Earlier the week, I asked readers to guess the total number.
The low-ball guess was 48, from both Rebecca Tait and "Watzon McWats" (who said he could name 25 from memory alone and recommended Mariscos El Nayarita II). Reader Ofelia got darn close with her estimate of 273 taquerias.
The overabundance of Mexican food, according to Overmeyer, discouraged at least one chain—Chipotle, known for healthy south-of-the-border fare—from coming into Watsonville.
While taquerias and Mexican restaurants in Watsonville serve some diverse dishes—such as regional items or seafood—some residents have been critical of the lack of variety in the city's restaurants.
Patch reader David Perez commented: "A taco is great from time to time, but not a steady diet of them. That's why so many of us go to restaurants in other areas for a little diversity."
Check out Patch blogger Michael Gaither's song "Now It's a Taqueria." The video's on the right.
And just for comparison, there are just three Japanese restaurants in Watsonville. Can you name them all?