Marcela Melendez has grown up alongside La Tapatia, beginning her career at the restaurant a decade ago and working in every role from cashier, waitress and food expeditor to the restaurant’s general manager.

“Owners Juan Luis and Elena Hernandez have [two] locations of La Tapatia, though they have let my dad and I run the Leander location,” she said, adding that while she manages the restaurant, her dad, Alvaro Melendez, “does it all.”

The restaurant, which first opened in 2010, moved into its current space as the business grew.

The menu combines traditional dishes from Jalisco, Mexico, such as pozole—a maize-based stew—with Tex-Mex favorites, such as soft tacos, fajitas and chimichangas.

The restaurant’s name stems from the demonym for residents of Jalisco, who are known as tapatios.

“We have classic Tex-Mex dishes like ground beef and crispy tacos, but also popular Jalisco dishes, such as menudos and pozoles,” Melendez said.

The restaurant is also known for its all-day breakfast, offering over 30 varieties of breakfast tacos.

Apart from serving as a Mexican diner, the restaurant also has a full bar and weekday happy hours, serving margaritas, martinis and beer.

“Right now we employ upwards of 30 people. As we’ve gotten busier, we have had to hire more people, some of whom have been with us since the restaurant’s opening in 2010,” Melendez said.

Most of the restaurant’s team hails from Mexico, giving it an authentic feel customers continue to come back to experience.

“We’ve been here for a long time, and we have had customers that have been eating with us since our opening, so we’re grateful for them and for our team,” Melendez said.

La Tapatia