Photography by Kathy Tran

The sounds of cumbia and Spanish rock music fill Mijas Taqueria, a new neighborhood Mexican restaurant. 

“When you come to Mijas, it’s like coming to a part of Mexico where you can try different plates and flavor profiles that you find in Mexico,” owner Walter Rosales says.  

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You won’t find much Tex-Mex at Mijas Taqueria. It’s solely authentic Mexican cuisine and dishes, primarily from Rosales’ hometown of Monterrey. 

“It seems like there were a lot of taco restaurants, but they were more on the side of Torchy’s and not really on the authentic side,” Rosales says. “So we are trying to bring a little bit of our culture to Lake Highlands.”

Customers can select from an array of fillings for street tacos — carnitas, tinga, barbacoa, trompo, shrimp, carne deshebrada, cochinita pibil, tripas, veggies and chicharron. Served on either freshly made corn or flour tortillas, the tacos come with chopped cilantro and onions, and house-made mildly spicy tomatillo verde salsa and a spicier, hot roja sauce made with sesame oil and chile de arbol.

“We always make everything fresh, but besides the food, we will always focus on personalized service and making everyone feel at home,” he says. “If you take that away, it kind of just becomes another big chain restaurant.”

Authentic soups on the menu are charro beans, caldo de res, pozole and menudo, which is traditionally only served on weekends. The recipes came from Rosales’ mother, who died five years ago. 

“You know, it’s funny that growing up, every Sunday, my mom used to have barbacoa, menudo or pozole. I grew up eating that soup and it has a lot of sentimental value,” Rosales says. 

“It’s like I have my mom sitting right next to me every time I eat it.” 

Rosales started working in restaurants when he was 14. He spent 21 years at Mi Cocina, starting as a dishwasher and working his way to region manager, traveling to different cities and opening new locations. 

“Being in the restaurant business is something I love to do,” he says. “That’s why if I have to work here seven days a week, I don’t feel it because I enjoy it.”

Some of his West Village Mi Cocina regulars now live in the neighborhood and frequent Mijas. His wife, Erika, manages their original Wylie location. They opened a second location in Rowlett that shuttered last year before opening the Lake Highlands spot. 

“I’ve only been here for three weeks and never been to a place that is so welcoming,” he says. “It just makes us want to go above and beyond even more to give back to this neighborhood. We’re so blessed to have great people around us.”

Mijas serves breakfast all day.

“I’m a breakfast kind of guy,” Rosales says. “So at 6 or 7 p.m., I’m in the back eating breakfast tacos.” 

Desserts include flan, fresas con crema, tres leches cake and the “volcano” — churros served with vanilla ice cream, caramel and chocolate.

“If you go to a fine dining restaurant, you’re already expecting great service. But when you go to a taqueria restaurant and get the same exact great service, it kind of goes above and beyond what people expect,” Rosales says. 

“The people are not just customers, they also become our friends. So attention to detail is a must, along with making new friends who later become our family members. The bigger the family, the better our community.”

Mijas Taqueria, 9901 Royal Lane, 469.372.2324,