Our Story

Tony is from San Antonio, Texas.  As a teenager he relocated with his mother and three brothers to Atlanta where his mom opened the family’s Mexican restaurant in a little town outside of Atlanta.  Together with his mom Tony learned the restaurant business from the ground up – cooking, cleaning, waiting tables, putting out fliers….  He joined the family business after college by opening his own Mexican restaurant with his wife Maria.  In 1994 Tony & Maria came to the Triangle area on vacation to visit a college friend of Tony’s.  Both he and his wife fell in love with the area – went back to Atlanta, sold their home and restaurant and moved to Chapel Hill within 45 days of their inital visit.  Six months later – the original Bandido’s Mexican Cafe was opened in the basement of a building on East Franklin street.  Today there are four locations of Bandido’s.  Click here to see all the locations.

Over the years Bandido’s has become a local favorite and has garnered many awards and distinctions including:

Best Mexican Food – News of Orange County Reader’s Choice Award 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011
First Place Salsa – Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce Chili & salsa Cookoff 2008, 2010
Best Restaurant for Mexican Food – Rose Award Chapel Hill News 2008 Best Salsa – Bull City Chili Challenge 2005 & 2008
Best Mexican Restaurant – The Herald Sun Reader’s Choice Awards 2006

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