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mexican and a decent coffee shop in worcester?

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I recently moved to worcester and have found the basics I need to survive - EXCEPT a decent coffee shop and a good mexican place.

Tortilla Sam's is gross - is there a hole in the wall somewhere - anything where I can get some tamales? I did find a good salvadorian place on main street but it's still not quite the same.

I've found one coffee shop in worcester on highland ave. but its not interesting or iniviting to lounge in if you plan on hanging out at all. The coffee is good, but I can make good coffee - I'm talking about a cool atmosphere. The only other place I've found is starbucks and that's way too sterile a space.


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  1. There's no decent Mexican food in Worcester that I know of. There used to be a wonderful little place near Webster Sq, but that closed 10 years ago.

    1. that's tragic - I'll just have to drive back to provie when I visit my friends.

      we should open one - seriouslt. too bad I don't know how to make mexican food.

      1. Jose Murphy's on Water St. Even if the food isn't authentic you can't help but have a good time.

        1. fair enough! I'm psyched - I'll be there in a heartbeat -

          looking forward to my first visit.

          1. no mexican..no kidding. Let us know about Jose Murphy's!
            As for coffee shops, there is Java Hut in Webster Sq. college atmosphere, but one of the few places that has live music, open mics, etc. There is Black Diamond Cafe which is technically in Shrewsbury, but it is right off Rte. 9/140 (and they have free WiFi). The Black diamond is a place you can hang out for a while (comfy couches, fireplace). Near UMASS med school is the Zodiac Cafe--cute, the coffee isn't bad, and the snacks are good, and it is inviting. There are often some med students hanging out, doing work, etc. It is right near Regatta Deli.
            hmm..I'll keep thinking, I drink A LOT of coffee ;)

            1. For coffee, try Cafe Dolce on Shrewsbury St. Coffee, tea, and an awesome dessert menu. Skip dessert at most other restaurants and come here instead.

              If you travel west a bit, a cute coffee shop in Charlton on Route 20 is the Moonstruck Cafe.

              For Mexican, try Margarita's/Chucks in Auburn. It's a chain but its decent and the menu is pretty diverse.

              1. Oh yeah, how could I forget Moe's? One in Shrewsbury on 9, the other in Worcester at Webster Square. Burritos, tacos, nachos, and quesadillas only, but cheap and fast.

                1. For Mexican food, check Tacos Parilla Mexicana at 138 Millbury St.--if it's the place I am remembering, it was a pretty good hole in the wall.

                  Java Hut's the only coffee joint I've hung out at in Worcester. A little grungy, but there's free wireless and the coffee is pretty good.

                  1. A friend and I gave Jose Murphy's a try last night. The atmosphere is very modern/industrial, and quite noisy (even though there wasn't much of a crowd), and the service is friendly and attentive. The food was not very interesting, though, and definitely not very Mexican. My fish tacos consisted of fresh but totally unseasoned broiled haddock, chopped iceberg lettuce, sour cream, generic salsa out of a jar, and a stack of cold flour tortillas to wrap it all in. I'd go back there for drinks sometime, but that's about it.

                    1. Unfortunately, I've not found good, traditional Mexican food in Worcester at all.

                      I've tried Tortilla Sam's, Moe's, and Margarita Grill (Auburn)

                      The only REALLY good place I can steer you toward is in Marlborough, I forget the name but it's still only 25 min away from Worc. Just take 290E to the end, to 495S, and exit at Route 20/Marlborough. Continue for about a mile and a half until you reach downtown Main Street - it's on the left about two blocks up. EXCELLENT food.

                      1. For Coffee I would suggest Caffe Dolce on Shrewsbury St...really really good coffee. For Mexican, I suggest Canyon Cafe on route 9, i think its westboro or northboro. There food is amazing and so are their margariatas.

                        1. If you're willing to drive north to Fitchburg -- I came across this place by accident:

                          El Volcan Mexican Restaurant & Bar
                          5 Summer St.
                          Lunenburg, MA - (just north of the airport)

                          I checked Chowhound for a mention, here's DC90042's post:

                          1. Has anybody been to ?:

                            Qdoba Mexican Grill
                            70 Worcester Providence Tpke

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Slotkins

                              Yes - I really did not like it at all. It's a counter service fast/food type place, and it didn't seem clean, even though it was brand-new. Moe's, which is the same concept, is much better.

                              If you don't mind driving out to Framingham on route 9 or down to Milford, Acapulco's is a decent local chain with quite good tamales.

                            2. There's a new mexican place in the center of Grafton -- just opened, and I haven't been there yet. I can't remember the name of it now, but no doubt, when I get the chance to go there (should be soon -- within the month or so), I'll be sure to post a review.

                              Does anyone know the name?
                              It's right on the shore of Lake ripple, on 140.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Keithel

                                A Mexican restaurant in Grafton? (Is it open past 6PM???) A friend lived there and said that it's basically a 'fly-over town' with nothing in it. You know what? If you really want great ambience anf authentic Mex food, drive outside the eggshell and go to Newton's Cafe Sol !! Gorgeous place and it's like you're really in Cancun ! :) I bought a fancy Historic home on the West Side of Worcester and I'll tell you, I need to travel past Newton/Natick for great restaurants. (I'm originally from the North Shore anyway and miss Rockport and Boston restaurants) Worcester needs better places !! Harlequin(Beechwood) is nice though. Nancy Chang is too. 111 Chophouse is way too crowded, as Sole is-but Block 5 food is great, but too crowded and over-rated really! Le Mirage is sad and has a boring menu-And oh, for Mexican food, have you guys tried Taco Bell ??? Worcester has 3 of them? (LOL).

                                1. I second Tacos Parilla Mexicana. They're cheap, tasty, and authentic - you'll be clued in by the actual hispanics eating there. The Java Hut is a great place to go for coffee, as is Espress Yourself (bad name, I know, but still delicious, and you won't forget it) on the corner of Richmond and Pleasant St.