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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Tasty, cheap, and all over Instagram: students love to eat at Roger’s Tacos

Roger Jimenez prepares carne asada an hour before the Roger’s Taco stand opens for business on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Isla Vista, Calif. Jimenez commutes from Los Angeles a couple time each week to set up his stand for Isla Vista residents.

Rogelio Jimenez, the owner of Roger’s Tacos, has big plans on extending his family business of street tacos and burritos towards more students who reside in Santa Barbara, Calif. 

Jimenez has successfully been using his own family recipe for over ten years. The owner, a Vallejo native, has kept Roger’s Tacos up and running for the past three years in Isla Vista, Calif. Jimenez typically sets up his stand on Del Playa Drive, one of the most common streets filled with students living in Santa Barbara. 

“Del Playa is perfect because it’s always busy,” Jimenez said, turning his head towards the line that had grown dramatically, while he constructed tacos. 

Roger’s Tacos serves foods filled with many different types of protein and offers a vegetarian option. These include carne asada, al pastor, chicken, and potatoes which go on top of melting mozzarella on the soft tortilla. One of the most common requests; burritos are made right in front of you and are filled with cheese and proteins.  

“Just direct message me on instagram, give us a venue and we will give you free tacos,” Jimenez said, pointing at the QR code referring to his Instagram. 

The year of 2023 has seemed to be busy for Jimenez and his family, as new students show their support weekly. 

The owner is constantly posting his venue time and location through his instagram profile, which was first created by a group of students attending UCSB. Instagram is where Jimenez refers all his customers to, he suggests communicating through social media in order to get student attention. 

“I come to Roger’s Tacos every Friday, it’s a real shame that they only come up to Isla Vista Tuesdays and Fridays,”  Ryan Kittinger said, a City College student who eats there regularly. 

On Oct. 7, Roger’s Tacos put out a message via Instagram. This post informed followers of the new schedule due to changes in the shared kitchen, which only allowed Roger use on Tuesdays and Fridays. 

“I’m very sorry, I hope you understand me,” Jimenez wrote on a post with a comment section filled with sympathy and potential solutions.

Despite this conflict, Roger’s has been using Tuesdays and Fridays to their  advantage; over one hundred students have been regularly seen at the taco stand weekly. Many tourists are lured in by the crowd, making Roger’s Tacos a hot spot for Santa Barbara travelers. 

“I hope to receive a permanent spot at UCSB soon, it’s just a long process,” Jimenez said, referring to an on-campus venue.

Students attending City College have been taking the Santa Barbara MTD 15x bus to commute over to Isla Vista in order to get their hands on the tacos being sold. Jennifer Handlos, a second year at City College, has been commuting to Del Playa Drive from downtown Santa Barbara every Tuesday for Roger’s Tacos. 

“I took the train up to Isla Vista for an event, and ran into Roger’s Tacos. I have been trying my best to go up there almost every Tuesday since the schedule change,” Handlos said, waiting in line.

Roger’s Tacos is constantly supporting fundraisers, businesses, and student organizations.  Many clubs at UCSB have used Roger’s Tacos for different charities and events. These include the teddy bear club, the fashion club, the figure skating club, and more. They have also fundraised for fraternities and sororities, such as Lambdas Theta, and Chi Delta Theta. 

 Rogers Tacos shows support for City College as well.  In the past, they have held fundraisers for the women’s lacrosse team. Jimenez says that he rarely goes downtown, unless it’s for a city college event. 

Almost every fundraiser Rogers’ partakes in benefits UCSB, which helps increase its popularity. With over 1,000 Instagram followers, Roger’s Tacos continues to expand throughout the Santa Barbara community. Jimenez hopes to grow more involved in the student community.

  “These tacos need to be tried,” Handlos said while eating an al pastor street taco. “ The wait is worth it.”  

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