Open daily, 10AM to 10PM
(609) 989-8010 Google Maps
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(Covid Update Dec 2021 – in business, review revised August 2015) Taqueria was one of the original joints we reviewed when we started this website in 2006. It was one of the pioneering Guatemalan restaurants in town (despite its Mexican name), and the food was sublime. Olga and Arnold, founders of Taqueria El Mariachi, started Restorante El Mariachi in 2008 or so, leaving the management of Taqueria to others. A couple of years later they sold it.
What’s remarkable is how little the restaurant has changed. The distinctive awning is gone from the front facade, but otherwise it’s as if the new owners (and I think we’re in the second generation of them), made a decision to change as little as possible. The prices have stayed low, making it now one of the most inexpensive Latino restaurants in town. Most of the dishes are prepared exactly the same way they’ve always been. There are a few additions to the menu (e.g. Al Pastor tostadas, shown in the photo), and a scripture quotation has been added to the cover (the Guatemalan evangelical church is now the largest in Trenton). The salsas are similar, but not quite as good as they used to be: the green salsa verde, thickened with avocado, still has the same consistency and heat, but lacks the fresh, lime tang of Olga’s original.
Taqueria El Mariachi is still a very good Guatemalan dive, if not quite sublime. As one of Trenton’s oldest and most established Guatemalan restaurants, it attracts a diverse crowd. On a recent lunchtime visit, we enjoyed watching a dozen or so Guatemalan men pile off of two landscaping trucks to take-out enormous bags of food; a table with what appeared to be a well dressed, middle-aged Latino woman, her daughter, and grand-daughter eating a demure lunch; and a blonde, blue-eyed, muscular woman with a short haircut, wearing a PRIDE T-shirt, chowing down on pupusas. It’s the new Trenton in microcosm.
Latino | Restaurants
25 thoughts on “Plus ca Change”
Totally awesome food, huge portions, and very reasonable pricing. Me encanta este lugar!
Dang, this place is good! If there’s better Latin American food around the greater trenton area, I want to know about it! As ppl said, huge amts of tasty food and the price is nice. Going back soon!!
This place is awesome!! So glad we found your review and checked it out!! This has become our favorite family treat…our three young children love it to!! Thanks for the great recommendation!!
I’m going to have to try to get to this place. It sounds like exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thank you!
Fantastic Food, Fantastic Service, Fantastic Price :)))
If it’s Mexican you want – head over to Ewing and go to Mexican Mariachi Grill on Parkway.
Taqueria is a good spot. We usually go to a different spot in the same area – Guatelinda – at 1234 S. Clinton. Their Cerdo Carne Adobada is amazing ******
Editor’s comment: Guatelinda is very good, and has been reviewed on this website. Also, we’ve reviewed the Mariachi Grill on Parkway: their food is OK, but their Tres Leches (a dessert made from sponge cake and condensed, evaporated, and whole milk) is divine.
Just the place I’ve been looking for! I live in Yardley, PA so there is no good Mexican food near me. Getting there was easy and fast, I just hopped on Route 1. Had the tacos carne asada and they were the bomb! Perfectly seasoned, melt in your mouth tastiness! I recommend the green salsa. Definitely my new regular spot!
MY husband daughter and I went out for dinner. I thought it was going to be good. From all the good reviews. First no one spoke an word of English it was very hard to order even a drink. We had to point to everything on menu to the waitress she still did no understand a word. We all had something different to eat. It was terrible. I am in no rush to go back even if the prices are reasonable.
Editor’s comment: Ordering in Spanish, or pigeon English, is part of the game at places like this. The menu itself does provide (minimal) English descriptions of most of the dishes. If you don’t enjoy the interaction with the wait staff (who are usually friendly and patient, even if they lack English skills) then you shouldn’t go to a place like this. That you experienced bad food surprises me. As you see, many folks here have had great experiences. I must say that in recent years I’ve been going to Ristaurante el Mariachi instead of the Taqueria, and the owners seem to be spending a lot more time there than at Taqueria.
I was so concerned by your comments that I jumped into the car this afternoon and went there for lunch. I was relieved to see the same woman at the grill who’s been there for years. There are definitely some dishes on the menu that I prefer to others, and some which can be quite variable in quality from visit to visit. I ordered one of them: Carne Adovada.
I shouldn’t have worried. The waitress (with limited English skills) was friendly. The classic red and green salsas were the same, and delicious as always. My platter arrived with wonderfully succulent pieces of marinated, grilled pork, in a massive portion. The beans and rice were wonderful, as was the ripe segment of avocado. The thick, home made, Guatemalan tortillas were hot and delicious.
There was a group of five “anglos” in suits and ties at a table nearby. I took them to be state or federal investigators (they were talking about pepper sprays and other such topics). They had ordered a huge lunch, and reported “loving it” when I inquired on the way out.
Bottom line, while any restaurant can have a bad day, is it possible you just don’t like this kind of food? If you’re expecting tex-mex, smothered in cheese, this ain’t it. But if you’re looking for spicy, home-made Guatemalan food at rock-bottom prices, my experience confirms that Taqueria El Mariachi is still one of the picks of Trenton.
I moved out of trenton 6 years ago and still make the trip to this place. and much cheaper than taking a trip to Mexico. a true hidden GEM…
A friend and I tried this restaurant today. Excellent, excellent, excellent! The Tacos de Lengua and the seafood stew were wonderful. Service was very pleasant and friendly. We will definitely be back!
I loved Mariachi from the moment i tried it. The nachos are superb from the salsas down to the chicken tacos. the meat is fresh white meat chicken chunks. I’m a food snob. I even think the meat is better here than Mi Tierra. But I love both
This place is AMAZING. Wow – It’s been over 24 hours and I’m STILL stuffed. Our waitress was wonderful – she struggled with our lack of Spanish and we struggled with her lack of English and it all worked out quite well in the end.
I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants lots of inexpensive truly great tasting food.
I love this place thanks to you!! The Lengua taco is my favorite. Who knew beef tongue could taste so good.
Just had lunch at this place with my husband. I had the papusas con loroco (which is awesome if you love cheese) and my husband had the tostadas de pollo. The ingredients were so fresh, the portions huge and the price was great. (2 drinks, 2 entrees plus tip for under $20) We both highly recommend!
Wow! Tried this place out today and it didn’t disappoint. I got the chicken tacos, my husband got the enchiladas verde, and we split the papusas con loroco. the portions were immense, we took home more than half the meal i think. everything tasted fresh and authentic. the service is very friendly and our waitress did speak a little english and was very sweet about our total lack of spanish! the menu also had some brief english descriptions of dishes.
i think my favorite item was the papusas. they are totally addictive! the prices are also extremely reasonable for the quality and portion size.
And thanks a lot for your work, just got your website forwarded to me from a friend in my pipe band – I will pass it on to other folks, especially the Trenton naivete’ so prevelant in these ‘burbs!
I am headed there today. I’m going for the hot stuff, the tostadas – I’ll get back to you with the results!
Also try Guatelinda – 1234 S. Clinton – great place
I Went to this place one, was bad experience was a big long thik hair in my food,. was tacos al pastor
Editor’s comment: Karol, sorry you had this experience. I’ve been to Tacqueria dozens of times. The kitchen is out in the open and all of the cooks wear hair nets. The food is absolutely delicious.
The place is great! I really miss New Mexican style food (which is pretty much limited to the Rio Grande valley from Taos through Santa Fe and Albuquerque and south to Las Cruces — which definitely excludes New Jersey), but this place is really good.
Very delicious food .great prices
this amazing restaurant serves excellent food..
the best,the best food I ever have
Best food in NJ
carne adovada?? in mercer cty?? well, we’ve got to check this one out . . . and better than newark’s dive, mi pequenyo mejico? !ojala que si!