After 51 years, The Original Herrera cafe on Sylvan Avenue is closing

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The Dallas Morning News reported yesterday that Herrera’s Cafe on Sylvan Avenue was closing after 51 years in business.

Amelia Herrera opened this Tex-Mex institution in 1971 on Maple Avenue in what is now the Grapevine Bar. Nora Ontiveros, Amelia’s granddaughter, told the morning news that high food costs and labor shortages since the pandemic led to the decision to close.

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Sour cream enchiladas were a local legend.

Kathy Tran

Family-owned Herrera’s has long been a survivor of the Dallas culinary scene. Before moving to Sylvan Avenue in West Dallas, Herrera walked Maple Avenue several times. They left their first location after a kitchen fire and remained stable at their second location for over 20 years until gentrification pushed them down the street to another location on Maple Avenue.

But tax rates and rents went up, so they moved to this West Dallas location, where they’ve spent the past seven years. We spoke with Ontiveros at the time, and she told us, “Now if I can only stay here for 10 years.”

The pandemic has put an end to these hopes.

There are two other Herrera; one at the Omni, Café Herrera, which is a more upscale version run by another side of the family and another location south of Oak Cliff on West Illinois Avenue. This closure does not affect any of these sites.

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