Openings and Closings

Herrera's Cafe on Sylvan Avenue to Close for Good on Friday, April 22

The Original Herrera's will close on April 22.
The Original Herrera's will close on April 22. Kathy Tran
The Dallas Morning News reported yesterday that Herrera's Cafe on Sylvan Avenue is shutting its doors after 51 years of business.

Amelia Herrera originally opened this Tex-Mex institution in 1971 on Maple Avenue, in what is now The Grapevine Bar. Nora Ontiveros, the granddaughter-in-law of Amelia, told the Morning News that high food costs and worker shortages since the pandemic led to the decision to close.
click to enlarge The sour cream enchiladas were a local legend. - KATHY TRAN
The sour cream enchiladas were a local legend.
Kathy Tran
The family-owned Herrera's has long been a survivor in the Dallas dining scene. Prior to moving to Sylvan Avenue in West Dallas, Herrera's hopscotched Maple Avenue several times. They left their first spot after a kitchen fire and held steady at their second location for more than 20 years until gentrification pushed them down the street, to another spot on Maple Avenue.

But tax rates and rent crept higher, so they moved to this spot in West Dallas, 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 ended those hopes.

There are two other Herrera's; one at the Omni, Café Herrera, which is a more upscale version run by another side of the family and another location in south Oak Cliff on West Illinois Avenue. This closure does not affect either of those locations. 
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.