Arts & Events

A Reader Recommends: La Fiesta

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Monday May 03, 2010 - 09:40:00 PM

"South of the Border, down Mexico Way" might well be the theme song of one of Berkeley's favorite restaurants, "La Fiesta." Entering through the handsome gates of this marvelous Mexican restaurant, one indeed feels transported to old Mexico. With its Spanish revival furniture and Diego Rivera reproductions lining the walls, dining at La Fiesta is a joy, 

thanks in great part to the restaurant's owners, Mario and Rosalinda Tejada, who have served authentic, inexpensive meals for more than three generations. 

Back in February, 2009, the Tejadas reluctantly announced that they were forced to give up their original restaurant, located at the corner of Telegraph and Haste Street, due to the poor economy and low patronage. Fortunately for us, however, La Fiesta moved a block away into the charming small building at 2506 Haste Street, across from People's Park. Most of their dishes are prepared as you order them, so you must allow time when you visit. But where else would you find these authentic Mexican dishes at such low prices -- enchiladas, Chile Rellenos, Tostadas, Tamales -- all just $2.60 each? Margaritas are priced at a mere $3.50, Mexican Hot Chocolate, $2.00. Dinner combinations are a modest $7.85. 

When visiting the restaurant, you might want to walk back to the rear, entering a courtyard with a fountain filled with flowers, and, not surprisingly, a large painting of the Virgin Mary. This courtyard would be an ideal place for private parties. 

So, for a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience, I would suggest you treat yourself to lunch or dinner at La Fiesta, receiving a warm welcome from Mario and Rosalinda, two of Berkeley's beloved citizens. A word of warning, though; since they're not open every day, you'll want to make reservations. (510) 848-2588.