Grub — Villa’s Patio

When I asked a few people recently to give me the name of their favorite Mexican restaurant around these parts, the No. 1 answer was a shrug. Few had a favorite. Some claimed there isn’t a good one. Others gave half-hearted endorsements.

But, undeterred, I pressed ahead. My wife and I tried Villa’s Patio on 7th Ave. in Marion.

It was Friday night and the place was jammed, a good sign. Although it seems like every restaurant in this town, good or bad, is packed on Friday night. We waded in, had a couple beers at the bar and after a pretty good wait, and nearly two baskets of chips and salsa, a table was ours.

The service was fine. Your not going to be wowed by the atmosphere, which was loud and crowded.

But the food was really very good, fresh and hot. The lettuce was crisp, the tasty guacamole and salsa were terrific and the sides were more than a lump of afterthought. The tacos I ordered were filled to overflowing with big, meaty chunks of beef. I was impressed and will gladly go back to Villa’s to try more of its huge menu.

I’d also like to hit the margartia list, which looked great.

Now, I can’t say it’s the best Mexican joint around, because I haven’t been to any others. It’s time to make your nominations, with extra credit for candidates with a good patio. And please, do not tell me to go to Carlos O’Kelly’s. I’m looking for local spots.





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15 responses to “Grub — Villa’s Patio

  1. Tom

    I love La Salsita. I highly recommend the shrimp in garlic, and the fajitas. Great salsa w/ the chips, too. Also for basic taqueria fare, El Super Burrito is excellent, as well.

  2. Karen

    When you go back to Villa’s Patio make sure you get a premium margarita-they’re like candy in a glass!

  3. jackattack

    Gringo’s on First Ave. across from the US Cellular Center. Whether or not you will have good service is pretty hit or miss.

    Hacienda/Casa las Glorias – any of the 3 locations.

  4. Molly

    I concur on the Hacienda Las Glorias, on First Ave. — great food, good service and incredible margaritas.

  5. Pingback: What’s your favorite Mexican restaurant? « Table Talk

  6. Linn Resident

    El Super Burrito!

    Actually, I am not sure that if its still there. It sits near the corner of Johnson Ave and Edgewood Rd on the West Side, and I haven’t been over that way in quite a while.

    IF it is still open, its the best! The atmosphere isn’t the best, but the service is great (if you can decipher accents), and the food is the most authentic, tasty, and fresh food you will get in Cedar Rapids. Run by first generation immigrants, El Super Burrito will leave you wanting more.

    Try the Menudo. It’s better than the boy band.

  7. KG

    El Super Burrito – hands down!

  8. Justin Kallas

    Fiesta Del Sol on the corner of 1st Ave and the Collins Rd. Bypass is excellent for Mexican food. The food is great and the service is excellent as well!

  9. Kathy

    For fajitas, I like El Rancho. The side fixin’s are fresh and tasty and I love the sizzling platter presentation.

    For Chiles Rellenos, I like Fiesta del Sol or any of their sister restaurants in Iowa City.

  10. Kathy

    Hacienda or Fiesta Del Sol are our favorite places to go.

  11. DM


    On Johnson Ave NW just off Edgewood Road. (across the street from the Guppy’s on Edgewood and Johnson)

    Fantastic food. The best. The guacamole will make you weep with happiness. The steak torta is amazing and tasty. The bread is so good – I think they make it themselves. They also have a lot of pastries and breads for dessert – all made by the owners of the restaurant.
    The burritos must weigh 5 pounds and are excellent as well.

    I think the atmosphere is okay. It’s not first-class service, but it’s not unfriendly in there at all.

    And the food is very reasonably priced. Our family of 3 eats there for under $15, including chips and guac and a few pastries from the dessert display.

  12. JS

    Cancun on 6th street in cedar rapids, really good and cheap mexican food.

  13. KIM


  14. Dave

    Iguana’s Grill in North Liberty is quite good.

  15. Beth

    Two words: Plaza Jalisco. Coralville’s newest Mexican restaurant is fantastic! Home to both Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, the costal state of Jalisco, Mexico is known both for it’s traditional Mexican and sea food fare, and the people at Plaza Jalisco do both very very well. They have a huge menu and a friendly and gracious staff. Definitely worth the trip. (located at Oakdale and 956)

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