Open daily, 10AM to 10PM
(609) 989-8010 Google Maps
Gravitas: Decor: Cost: Proximity:
(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.