Lakeland: Tapatio’s

Tapatio's Mexican restaurant interior, Lakeland, FloridaMy wife and I were in the mood for Mexican food, so we recently headed down to south Lakeland for lunch at Tapatio’s.  Tapatio’s also has a location on Memorial Boulevard in Lakeland.  We have only been to the south Lakeland location.

The restaurant has a festive decor with tiled floors, bright colors, and lovely murals.  We were seated promptly and enjoyed friendly service through the entire meal.  The music (Latin pop) was a little too loud for us, that’s a pet peeve of mine with a lot of restaurants.  However, I was soon impressed that horchata was available.  This is a delightful beverage that I ask for every time I go to a Mexican restaurant.

Horchata beverage and tortilla chips at Tapatio's Mexican Restaurant in Lakeland, FloridaTapatio’s has a diverse menu with beef, pork, and seafood dishes.  Their web site actually allows you to order menu items in advance.  I also appreciate the down-to-earth description of some basic menu items on their web site.

I ordered a combination meal with a taco, enchilada (I went with cheese), rice, and refried beans.  My wife chose another combination, with an enchilada (beef), tamale, rice, and refried beans.  She had Diet Coke to drink and I enjoyed the aforementioned horchata (seen in the photo).  I’ve had horchata at some restaurants that was too gritty, but this was just right.  The obligatory chips and salsa were a nice way to start the meal.

Enchilada, tamale, rice, and beans at Tapatio's Mexican Restaurant in Lakeland, FloridaWe had both been to Tapatio’s before so we had some idea of what to expect.  But the food was really delicious.  We can’t claim to be experts, but it seemed authentic to us.  It seemed like a good sign that the majority of diners during our visit sounded like native Spanish speakers.  The enchilada sauce was tasty but not too spicy.  The rice and beans had very good flavor.  My wife said her tamale was one of the best she’s ever had.  The portion sizes were generous.

Taco, enchilada, rice, and beans at Tapatio's Mexican Restaurant in Lakeland, FloridaWith tip our total came to just over $31.  Everything was excellent, we enjoyed our lunch and look forward to returning to Tapatio’s.  The next time you are in the mood for some delicious Mexican food, give them a try.  Their south Lakeland restaurant is on South Florida Avenue south of Ewell Road.

If we have inspired you to visit Tapatio’s, or if you have already been and want to share your experience, please do so via the comments section below. And if you have Polk County restaurant tips, we would love to hear from you via our Contact Us page. Thanks for stopping by and happy eating!


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