Gilbert’s El Charro Cafe

Tyler offers its residents no shortage of restaurants, yet one type of cuisine reigns supreme. Not surprisingly, it’s Mexican. From holes in the wall like El Lugar to major chains like On the Border, Tyler has definitely got you covered when a craving for an enchilada strikes. Despite the plethora of options available to the Tex-Mex enthusiast, it seems everyone has an opinion when asked who serves the best Mexican in town. Mercado’s? Don Juan’s? Chuy’s?  The answer to me however is clear, to get the best Mexican in town, go no farther than Gilbert’s El Charro.

El Charro has been serving Tylerites their favorites, including Tony’s Tacos, the Summer Plate, fabulous house margaritas and perfect chips and salsa for decades. The original location, located on Erwin, is the place to see and be seen on Friday nights despite the worn interior and sparsely decorated dining room. Their second location, on 5th and the Loop is much less bare-bones, but the food here never seems to taste as good to me as the original.

Gilbert’s El Charro #1
2604 E. Erwin Street
Tyler, TX 75702
(903) 592-9084

Gilbert’s El Charro #2
2623 E. 5th Street
Tyler, TX 75701
(903) 596-7222



  1. the old el charro has amazing everitas

  2. We go to the old one on Erwin. I always get the Summer Plate. It is delicious as ever but the toppings on the tortillas are smaller now. They are magical with refried beans.
    Their Margaritas are fantastic. I sometimes buy a pint of their picante sauce for $3 and bring it home!
    The music is too loud as always.

  3. Does anybody know where I can get the reciepe for their cheese sauce or queso?

  4. sarah ohara says:

    OMG! How I miss this fine old place! I worked for El Charro’s when I was seventeen when the sons,Rudy and Gus still worked in the kitchen! (I’m in my late fifties now!) and we ate there free…I would’ve worked there just for that! Over the years the food never changed..except maybe getting bigger servings! Nothing better than Gilbert’s Old Fashioned Tacos!!! mmmmm! The place just felt like home and tasted wonderful..always got more than your $$ worth! We were so upset to see it close. :(

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