You can find just about any Mexican food restaurant in the Rio Grande Valley, but one stands out among the rest: Nana’s Taqueria. Easily recognizable by the building’s colorful Otomi-inspired murals and outdoor setting, Nana’s Taqueria has created a space of celebration for its guests for the past 11 years.
Owned and operated by the Treviño family, Nana’s Taqueria offers various authentic Mexican food made from fresh local ingredients such as tacos, burritos, tortas, quesadillas, churros, and more. The Treviño family hails from Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, where lonches originate from. The dish is now a Nana’s specialty.
Roxy Treviño, the eldest daughter of Alfredo and Roxanna Treviño, in charge of the restaurant’s development, inventory, and social media presence, explained the goal of Nana’s is to transport people to the part of Mexico where their family is from.
“That’s the heart of Nana’s, like really trying to be as authentic and respectful as possible. And trying to create that sensation of home,” she said. “That home, some of us might know it, some of us only know it through stories that are around us. But we all have a sense of what that is. And we wanted this place to embody that. I think that was at the heart of what my parents tried to do. They put a lot of love and heart into what they do.”
Mr. and Mrs. Treviño founded Nana’s Taqueria in January 2010 after leaving their 15-year-old Mexican folk art store in Nuevo Progreso due to the increased border violence heightened by the 2008 U.S. recession. With four kids and growing debt, they decided to embrace their Mexican roots and love for street food and started a taqueria in a little shack next to their house in Weslaco.
Nana’s Taqueria started with Mrs. Treviño as the only cashier and waitress and Mr. Treviño running the kitchen and a six-table dining room. Today, Nana’s is one of the few restaurants that can seat a table of two or 50 people at a moment’s notice on their patio. They can also help celebrate wedding rehearsals, birthday parties, cultural events like Día de Los Muertos, and weekly mariachi nights from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays.
“Our love for our culture has stayed intact since the beginning, and as we grew, we made sure to express it through every detail of the architecture, murals, and general ambiance of Nana’s,” Mrs. Treviño said. “We have come full circle and have even opened a small artisanal folk art gift shop next to the restaurant called Shop Para Mi. We work hard every day to add to Nana’s experience and bring a little piece of Mexico to Texas.”
Roxy explained the family environment has helped customers feel at ease, allowing them to feel as if a tío or tía is serving them. Nana’s Taqueria’s sense of familia is also reflected in its staff, with Roxy’s sisters, tía, and grandpa all pitching in to help.
The biggest testimony to Nana’s atmosphere of family and camaraderie is when staff and customers found out Mrs. Treviño was battling breast cancer in fall 2020. Roxy recalled staff showed up in front of the Treviño’s house, holding signs of encouragement and flowers to support the family.
“I think that is the bigger point to be made. The number of customers that come, some that we know and some that we don’t know, they’re like, ‘Hey, we heard about Roxanna, and she’s on our prayer list at church.’ Or they’ll bring remedies that work for them or share their story,” Roxy said. “I think that’s been a true testament to how amazing our customers are and how amazing our community is.”
Roxy explained her mother and father have had to take a step back from the restaurant while her mother’s health improves. Since then, Roxy said she and her sisters have had to step up and make sure Nana’s was in order.
“(We’re) trying to make her proud even though she can’t physically be here,” she said. “(Her treatment) is preventative. Because (the cancer) did go away. She’s so ready to get back in the game, and we’re ready to have her. The team here loves her. They stepped up and really try to make her proud because she is like the Boss Lady here, and they all see her as a mom figure.”
Now a Valley staple, Roxy attributes the restaurant’s success to the simple and homey environment and welcoming staff.
“As long as the restaurant is open, you have to be, ‘Yes, keep your head in the game and make sure that everything is taken care of’ because everyone’s coming in with a different experience,” she said. “As long as you keep consciously working on improving that experience. I think that’s what will help you make it and never take anything for granted.”
The Treviño family is constantly cooking up new ideas at home to keep the restaurant fresh and ensure customers feel a little piece of Mexico throughout their entire dining experience.
To further enhance the Nana’s experience, the Treviño family is looking to expand their kitchen and parking lot.
“One favorite thing I love reflecting on is seeing my parents where they’re at now and knowing everything they’ve been through,” Roxy said. “Now I’m trying to put my little grain of salt into this story. I’ve always thought (my parents) were amazing, but this experience makes me that much prouder of them.”
Nana’s Taqueria is located at 1802 S. International Blvd. in Weslaco along with their gift shop Shop Para Mi.