Loli's taco drive-thru endures as a local favorite in San Marcos

Marta Carillo opened Loliu2019s Cafe in 2005 with a $5,000 loan from her brother and support from her family.

Marta Carillo opened Loliu2019s Cafe in 2005 with a $5,000 loan from her brother and support from her family.

Image description
Loli's taco drive-thru endures as a local favorite in San Marcos
Image description
Loli's taco drive-thru endures as a local favorite in San Marcos
Image description
Loli's taco drive-thru endures as a local favorite in San Marcos
Marta Carillo opened Lolita’s Cafe—renamed Loli’s Cafe in 2016—in 2005 with encouragement from her family and a $5,000 loan from her brother.

Now 14 years later, Loli’s Cafe has been solidified as a local favorite, evidenced daily by long lines of cars that often stretch out to the street as customers wait to order breakfast and lunch tacos.

“Sometimes I don’t believe it,” Carillo said. “It’s the best gift you can have when you work and you see how people come to your place. Most of my customers [have been] ... regulars for years, and a lot of them are from the university, my babies. ... They start coming and they become regulars; and I get so used to them and then they graduate. But then they come back and say ‘I was in town on the way to San Antonio or Austin and ... [had] to stop at Lolita’s.’”

Carillo started working at the drive-thru restaurant in 1995 when it was run by different owners. Back then, the restaurant served a limited selection of breakfast tacos and chili dogs. When the owners went on to relocate their restaurant, the property owner asked Carillo if she wanted to rent the property and start her own establishment.

“I was very afraid to do that because I didn’t have the money,” she said. “My brother loaned me $5,000, so I started with $5,000. And my sister, she was a big supporter. She said, ‘You did it for somebody else for so many years. You’ll do great.’ And I started believing her.”

Carillo had to change the name of her restaurant from Lolita’s Cafe to Loli’s Cafe in 2016 because she discovered that a California taco stand had trademarked the name Lolita’s Cafe. She said she was sad at first because the restaurant was named after her daughter, and she also grew afraid that she would lose business if she was operating under a different name than the one customers had come to know and love. But that did not happen.

“That was kind of hard for me, but when that happened I learned a lot,” Carillo said. “I appreciate everything more now. I really never thought I’d have so much support from the community. They showed me how much they care about me and how much they care about my business, and that’s what really matters. I’m still here.”

Loli’s Cafe
1501 Aquarena Springs Drive, San Marcos
512-392-3441
www.facebook.com/lolis-cafe-106505136092467
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 5 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sun. 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m.



MOST RECENT

The Austin Trail of Lights will open nighly from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. (Courtesy Trail of Lights Foundation)
PHOTOS: Austin Trail of Lights returns to Zilker Park this week

The traditional holiday light show is open from Nov. 28 through New Year's Eve.

Manor Market Refillery relocated to 331 W. Hopkins St., San Marcos, on Nov. 24. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
Manor Market Refillery relocates in San Marcos

The shop aims to reduce waste with sustainable products.

Commissioners on Nov. 22 voted to approve a density change to preliminary plans for The Preserve, a neighborhood that city documents said could include 565 single-family homes at the northeast corner of Teel and Panther Creek Parkways. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Neighborhood near PGA Frisco could see larger lots; ERCOT says Texas power grid ready for expected winter demand and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 24.

The utility's board of directors will vote on the proposed changes at December's meeting. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
PEC members ask board to not raise solar rates

The utility's board of directors will vote on the proposed changes at December's meeting.

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. (Courtesy KXAN)
State, local officials react to Texas governor, Samsung joint announcement

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sits beside Samsung CEO Dr. Kinam Kim as he announces the company is brining a $17 billion facility to Taylor. (Screnshot via KXAN)
Samsung makes it official: Announcement from Governor's Mansion confirms $17B facility coming to Taylor

Nearly a year after Williamson County officials began pitching Samsung to bring a megafacility to the area, the electronics giant has made it official.

The battery and solar power project is considered the largest capital investment in the so-called "Texas Innovation Corridor," or Hays and Caldwell counties. (Courtesy Cypress Creek)
$1 billion capital investment in battery, solar power plant coming to Caldwell County; partnership with ACC-Hays Campus expected to certify technicians

Caldwell County will soon house a $1 billion development slated to create two battery and solar power plant facilities, expected to bring up to 400 jobs in the first year.

Mercedes Ojeda and Krissy Spruill service from South Austin to San Marcos, setting up yard-sized greeting cards. (Courtesy Card My Yard-Buda/Kyle)
Card My Yard franchise redefines celebrations in Hays County, South Austin in the age of the coronavirus

Mercedes Ojeda and Krissy Spruill opened their franchise right as the pandemic began to stop the country in its tracks.

Texas State University purchased a residence for the incoming president northwest of campus. (Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas State University purchases $2.9M residence to serve as home for new president

A new president is expected to replace retiring Texas State University President Denise Trauth in summer 2022.

Here is the latest data regarding COVID-19 in Hays County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Hays County reports 1 COVID-19-related fatality Nov. 15-22

Hays County reported one new COVID-19-related fatality along with eight new hospitalizations. The data reflects the period from Nov. 15-22.

Bill Curci is a chief operating partner for Shuck Me, a seafood restaurant in Fort Worth. (Bailey Lewis/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Fort Worth restaurant Shuck Me is fishing- and family-centric; a guide to Houston's 2021 Thanksgiving Day Parade and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 23.