Vargas family brings ‘a little piece of Mexico’ to Southlake with Cristina's Fine Mexican Restaurant

Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant is owned by Arturo Vargas (left). His daughter, Cristina Vargas, will take over the business when he retires. (Anna Herod/Community Impact Newspaper)
Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant is owned by Arturo Vargas (left). His daughter, Cristina Vargas, will take over the business when he retires. (Anna Herod/Community Impact Newspaper)

Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant is owned by Arturo Vargas (left). His daughter, Cristina Vargas, will take over the business when he retires. (Anna Herod/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Cristina Vargas said Johnny's Tacos—specifically the brisket tacos—are one of her favorite menu items. (Anna Herod/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Cristina Rite is one of the restaurant's signature cocktails. (Anna Herod/Community Impact Newspaper)
Arturo Vargas knew he had a passion for service when he immigrated to Texas from Mexico.

That passion helped him to advance from being a dishwasher and busboy to becoming the owner of Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant—named after his daughter—which now has 12 locations.

Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant first opened its flagship store in 1996 before expanding into the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This included a location in Southlake that opened in 2007. The flagship store was an extension of Angelina’s, a Mexican restaurant founded by Arturo’s mother-in-law.

“The idea is to bring a little piece of Mexico to the people we serve,” Arturo said.

The restaurant, Arturo said, has been fortunate to be able to grow with Southlake. And in the process, it has become a familiar fixture for the community, he added.


Cristina Vargas, Arturo’s daughter and the restaurant’s namesake, is set to take over when her father retires. She said some of her earliest memories are of spending her days in the restaurant with her family and friends.

“Customers are able to feel the love we’ve put into it transcend into the food and the service,” Cristina said.

The eatery serves a mixture of authentic Mexican food and Tex-Mex.

“We say to our cooks and employees: ‘Pretend that you’re cooking for your mother,’” Arturo said.

Arturo said he and his wife always dreamed their children would take over the business. This dream has come to fruition, as Cristina and Arturo’s other children are committed to keeping the restaurant family-owned and -operated, Arturo said.

“I was not only raised in a home where I got to see a lot of love and a lot of generosity, but I also got to see my parents create a place like that for people to work at and eat at,” Cristina said. “I believe that God has given this all to us to spread love and generosity, and I’m honored to carry that on.”

Additional reporting by Ian Pribanic.

Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant

2707 E. Southlake Blvd., Ste. 100, Southlake

817-488-2095

www.cristinasmex.com

Hours: Sun.-Thu.: 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat.: 11 a.m.-10 p.m
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By Anna Herod

Anna Herod covers local government, education, business and the environment as the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Lewisville/Flower Mound/Highland Village edition. In the past, Anna served as the reporter for Community Impact's San Marcos/Buda/Kyle paper. Her bylines have appeared in the Austin American-Statesman, Hays Free Press and The Burleson Star. She is a graduate of Texas State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


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