Courtesy of Maribel Games Reyes_ The Highlander

Dos Hermanas Mexican Food is the restaurant you’ve dreamed of when it comes to those sudden soft taco cravings, childhood home-cooked meals, nostalgic throwbacks of fiestas and taquizas with lively music.

Attracting customers since its opening in 1978, this family-owned restaurant has evolved but thoroughly maintained the consistent gold standard of Mexican food that many Riverside residents have unwaveringly enjoyed and supported throughout the years. This “hidden gem” of a spot has a well-loved legacy, having been previously named Original Tina’s Mexican Food and operated by Justina Renteria, a mother of eight children. Since 2021, she passed the torch within the family, having a grand opening that is operated by a sister-duo team, also reflected in the renaming, now called “Dos Hermanas Mexican Food.” 

Courtesy of Brenda Jovel_ The Highlander
Courtesy of Brenda Jovel_ The Highlander

Its authenticity doesn’t solely come from the extensive quality of food choices from the menu but can also be spectated from the exterior space occupied on the intersecting corner of University Ave and Douglass Ave. The restaurant showcases round patio tables for enjoying meals on a sunny day, personalized window paintings of a guitar, chili pepper, tacos and a set of maracas, as well as a banner and a sign proudly showcasing the name of the restaurant and creative designs rooted in Mexican culture. This setup nicely paves the way for the immersive familiarity and comfort that the inside provides, with booth seating, a lively playlist of older and newer Latin hits, food wall art prints, a decoratively hung sombrero and the walls proudly colored in resemblance to those on the Mexican flag.

Having eaten our fair share of tacos in Los Angeles, where you can throw a nickel and catch someone selling tacos, we can confidently say that Dos Hermanas Mexican Food prioritizes producing quality over quantity, elevating it from the generic. 

Courtesy of Maribel Games Reyes_ The Highlander

Combo Asada Plate

Generously served, you receive all the staple goods that consist of beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, flour or corn tortillas, rice and carne asada. If you’re hesitant about ordering something unfamiliar and don’t want to stray too far from what you do enjoy, this plate is a great option for trying something different. Offering a fluffy, soft cooked rice that complements the fresh taste of refried beans that have been garnished with the perfect measure of melted cheese, you’ll find that everything can be enjoyed separately or together, maybe even building your own taco if that’s what you want. 

Traditional Taco de Asada (Beef)

You can’t go wrong with picking carne asada as your choice of protein when asking for a taco. This remains true for many other dishes including carne asada since its tenderness and succulent taste are delicious in any dish. Ordering a taco with garnishes on the side is a must, if you doubt your spice tolerance and all are visually appealing when everything is served to your table. You’ll have your taco glistening, waiting to be eaten and be further encouraged by the sight of the generous garnishes that include diced onion, cilantro, bright green lime slices and a savory chili sauce that complements without overpowering other flavors — you’ll most likely find that you have some toppings left over. 

Traditional Tacos de Pollo Asado (Chicken)

Layered with two traditional corn tortillas, the taco was well supported so that it didn’t break apart. It’s probably not something that most people consider, but it’s greatly appreciated when having to eat out of your hands. The chicken was fresh and tender, grilled to perfection to bite with ease. It had a well-balanced seasoning that didn’t overpower the complexion of a minimal but homemade taste that is rarely replicated among upscale and average food places. 

Traditional Tacos de Al Pastor

This perfectly marinated protein choice provides a delicious smoky edge, with an aromatic distinction that lets you know that it’s treated with the care that comes with a home-cooked meal. Prepared on a spit grill, the al pastor is tenderly cooked and juicy and is held nicely in the double tortillas. We recommended adding the tomato or spicy salsa to enhance the delicious flavor.

Courtesy of Cecile Diroll _ The Highlander
Courtesy of Cecile Diroll _ The Highlander

Potato Taco

The restaurant also offers potato street-style tacos perfect for vegetarian and vegan customers. Packaged in a hard-shell tortilla, the tacos include warm mashed potatoes and sliced green lettuce. Depending on your dietary restrictions, customers can also add shredded cheese, such as swiss or cheddar. 

Although hard-shell tacos are often considered an inauthentic Mexican taco, these shells were not pre-bought from a store. Rather, each taco is freshly made with corn tortillas and is uniquely shaped. Every bite makes a satisfying crunchy sound. The potatoes inside are soft and creamy which pairs well with the crispy lettuce and smooth cheddar cheese. Overall, if you have dietary restrictions or just want a lighter meal, the potato street tacos are a great option. 


Agua de jamaica, an iced Hibiscus tea, is one of the agua frescas on the menu along with limonada, horchata and other soft drinks. This drink meets your expectations with its sweet and tart flavor, serving as a refreshing beverage for some of the spicy flavors. If you want a cool and classic beverage with your plate, the agua de jamaica does the job well.

By far, Dos Hermanas Mexican Food has some of the best and most affordable tacos near University of California Riverside’s campus. Students can easily take the Riverside Transportation Agency’s bus Route 1 down University Avenue to the restaurant. If you are looking for comfort food away from home, this is the place.