Lakeland: Return to Tapatio’s North

Tapatio's Mexican Restaurant exterior in Lakeland, FloridaWe just visited Tapatio’s location on Memorial Boulevard in Lakeland a few months ago, but we had some out of town visitors recently and Tapatio’s was one of our “local tradition” restaurant stops.

Tapatio's Mexican Restaurant interior in Lakeland, FloridaWe arrived for a late lunch. The restaurant was fairly busy but we were still seated right away. I enjoy the decor at Tapatio’s – it’s simple but welcoming. Service was excellent through our entire visit.

Tortilla chips with red salsa and green salsa at Tapatio's Mexican Restaurant in Lakeland, FloridaWe very quickly received the customary tortilla chips with two kinds of salsa. While the chips aren’t really notable, they are tasty. I had delicious horchata to drink – I’ve always appreciated the flavor and lack of grittiness of Tapatio’s horchata – and my wife had unsweetened ice tea.

Beef taco, cheese enchilada, rice and refried beans at Tapatio's Mexican Restaurant in Lakeland, FloridaWithout intending to, I’m pretty sure we both order the same entrees every time we go to Tapatio’s. I had a combination meal with one taco (beef for me), one enchilada (cheese), rice, and refried beans. Everything was outstanding, as always – nice flavor, not too spicy, and a generous amount of food.

Tamale, beef enchilada, rice, and refried beans at Tapatio's Mexican Restaurant in Lakeland, FloridaMy wife had a combination place with tamale, enchilada (beef, in this case), rice, and refried beans. Plenty of beef on the enchilada.The tamale was prepared with a corn husk, as it should be, and Tapatio’s makes my wife’s favorite tamales in Polk County.

Tapatio’s is probably our favorite Lakeland Mexican restaurant. We love the food at Mega Mercado and Abuelo’s, but Tapatio’s is our favorite combination of food, service, and atmosphere. (We did love Hacienda Mexico in Bartow, a place that also deserves a second visit.) With tip, our total was only $29. Tapatio’s has two Lakeland locations, one in south Lakeland, but this review is for their location on East Memorial Boulevard, between Lakeland Hills Boulevard and Lakeshore Drive. Enjoy!

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