loli’s cafe (san marcos)

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When I first started my job in San Marcos, I asked my co-workers for recommendations on where to eat. “Lolita’s!” was the first response, so Lolita’s it was for my first foray into the local cuisine. Started by Marta Carillo in 2005 and named after her daughter, Loli’s serves up breakfast and lunch fare for drive-thru traffic at Lolita’s carwash.

Being used to Austin prices at the time, the tacos seemed too inexpensive and, I assumed, too small for lunch, so I went for the Burrito California (aka “The Superburrito”), which seemed appropriately priced for lunch ($9.5). When I grabbed the bag, it was as heavy as a severed head. “Are you sure this is my order?” Back at the office, the bag revealed a burrito the size of a football (I’ve since learned that large burritos/tacos are a thing in San Marcos). I got three meals out of the damn thing. When I told my local friend I ordered a Superburrito, he responded with a growing knowing glow: “You ordered a Superburrito?!?!?”

Loli’s tacos are legit, stuffed full of your choice of ingredients plus cheese at no charge. My fave is the standard egg and bacon with hunks of chewy thick-cut bacon topped with spicy neon-green salsa ($2.75) but the egg and sausage and egg and chorizo are also good (and also $2.75 a piece). Writing this review (and gawking at other folks’ photo), I see that I need to try the gorgeous Loaded Picadillo ($3.25) sometime.

Open 5am to 2:30pm Monday through Saturday and 6am to 2:30pm Sunday, Loli’s also serves up a few lunch tacos but wisely slings breakfast tacos all day. Loli’s is take-out only, but I wish she had a few picnic tables out back. Conveniently located near the Austin-side entrance to Texas State University, there is often a double line of cars waiting to order their taco fix. Insider tip: If the lines are long, just park out back and use the walk-up window. And if you drive a Ferrari, the exit is not low-clearance friendly.

The locals still refer to Loli’s as Lolita’s, a name change caused by a cease-and-desist letter from a soulless Californian company who copyrighted Lolita’s for Mexican food (and are still not happy with Loli’s).

web&where: interwebs; 1501 aquarena springs drive, san marcos, texas; (512) 392-3441
what’s the deal? solid breakfast tacos; drive-thru/walk-up
overall: *** (food***; drink*; atmosphere*; service***; instagrammability*)
cost: $$$

our scale:
–          meh [think twice]
*         OK [it’ll get the job done]
**       good [solid neighborhood joint]
***     damn good [we’ll definitely be back]
****   yippity-yikes that was amazeballs [fantastic; one of the best]
***** holy sh!t [transcendental; best of the best]

each $ = $10; cost is based on a typical dinner entrée and appetizer (no drinks)
 

Articles about Loli’s:

Community Impact
University Star

August 9, 2020 update: Have been stopping in and trying the specialty breakfast tacos. Holy Mrs. Moly is the Combo Ranchero good (egg, bacon, bean, cheese, potato, ranchera sauce; $3.75). The bacon is hunky like it is on the other tacos, but it’s the chunky ranchera sauce with spurs on its boots that kick you awake. I’d call it Loli’s signature dish (and you better like spicy). No like the spicy? Then try the Lolita’s Combo, the same but without the ranchera.

 

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