La Tonalteca spices things up in Millsboro


Since the early 1990’s, La Tonalteca has ranked as one of the top authentic Mexican restaurants throughout the state and region. And already their newest location, in Millsboro, is seeing to it that more and more customers are getting a spicy taste from south of the border.

Coastal Point • Ryan Saxton: La Tonalteca's Latin flavor includes a variety of options, like the Chimichanga platter and taco salad pictured above.Coastal Point • Ryan Saxton
La Tonalteca's Latin flavor includes a variety of options, like the Chimichanga platter and taco salad pictured above.

Earlier this month, La Tonalteca opened their doors in the Mid Sussex Shopping Center in Millsboro, along Route 113, at the former site of the Bonanza steakhouse and buffet.

“Everyone who comes in really likes the way the restaurant is decorated,” said manager Ricardo Munoz.

Vibrantly painted chairs and tables are likely the first things that catch patrons’ eyes upon stepping into the restaurant. From there, an aroma of spice and zest fills the air, as Hispanic melodies play over the sizzling hiss of fajitas. With nearly 60 tables and a bar for light fare and drinks, La Tonalteca can accommodate even the busiest lunch and dinner rushes.

“People really like the food, too,” Munoz added. “The fajitas are our most popular dish. They are excited when it comes out on a hot plate.”

Some other of the menu’s most popular of their 100-plus dishes include the Chimichanga, Burrito Azteca and Chori Pollo – a favorite dish for Munoz – which incorporates chicken breast and chorizo sausage with pineapple and cheese.

Originally opening in Manassas, Va., the chain quickly spread north along the Mid-Atlantic seaboard, finding its way into the First State. With the first ones in Delaware popping up upstate, it wasn’t long before the restaurant made its way into Kent and Sussex counties, and now the locations in Dover and Rehoboth are among the most widely known.

Employees from other La Tonalteca locations helped fill out the positions at the Millsboro location.
Coastal Point • Ryan Saxton: The friendly staff at La Tonalteca greets customers at the restaurant's new Millsboro location.Coastal Point • Ryan Saxton
The friendly staff at La Tonalteca greets customers at the restaurant's new Millsboro location.

“When you bring in new people” said Munoz, “and they don’t know others or the menu, it makes it harder. A lot of us have already worked together, and it makes things easier.”

Currently, there are locations in Milford and Stanton, two in Newark and one in Scranton, Pa., as well. Except for 2000, in every year from 1993 to 2010, La Tonalteca was voted the Best Mexican Restaurant in the state of Delaware in Delaware Today magazine. They were also named the Best Mexican Restaurant in the News Journal’s Reader’s Choice poll for 14 of the last 15 years.

“People recognize the name now,” said Munoz. “Business has been great so far, and people are coming in to check it out, and they keep coming back.”

A steady flow of customers have served as a friendly welcome to Munoz, who spent 11 years working for the establishment’s northern locations.

“There was always talk about moving toward this area,” he said. “We wanted something around here and along Route 113. I hear that summer traffic will help keep us busy.”

La Tonalteca is located at 28605 E. Dupont Boulevard in Millsboro. They are open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. on Friday, noon until 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, and from noon until 9 p.m. on Sunday. Customers can eat in or carry out their meal. For more information, stop in or call (302) 934-9111 or visit www.LaTonalteca.com.