East Lansing is home to tens-of-thousands of residents, all coming from different parts of the world. With this diverse population comes diverse cultures, claiming their E.L. territory and offering an open door into their country’s food, fashion and more. My favorite? The food.
There are some restaurants in this city that are so mouthwateringly authentic…and some, not so much. Since moving to E.L., I’ve struggled to find decent, genuine Mexican food—my absolute favorite type of food ever—so you can imagine how delighted I was to discover Fiesta Charra.
Located on the outskirts of E.L., Fiesta Charra is home to the most delicious and truly authentic Mexican cuisine in the community. Within their seriously thorough menu (I’m talking like 10 pages), customers have endless opportunities to sample classic Mexican dishes and drinks.
The restaurant itself is spacious and full of character and color. Mexican banda and mariachi music pleasantly pour out of the speakers, adding to the lively atmosphere. Staff members are always quick to kindly greet guests, especially when welcoming them back for the third time this week (I may have a problem). The staff is the most friendly and attentive I have experienced at a restaurant and are among the many reasons I often recommend this location.
As most Mexican restaurants do, Fiesta Charra brings warm chips and salsa to the table upon arrival. While their mild salsa is tasty, I recommend ordering the guacamole as well (it is creamy and amazing). Whenever I visit, I tend to order some form of their enchiladas. The traditional enchilada sauce is excellent, but I personally prefer their spicy green tomatillo sauce. With every bite of meat and tortilla, the Mexican spices overwhelm the mouth with their expected yet timeless flavor. Most meals are served with the house pico de gallo, which adds an element of freshness to each dish.
Fiesta Charra’s extensive menu ranges from chimichangas, tacos and fajitas to arroz con mariscos, carne asada and more. After you’ve finished your meal (or attempted to…their servings are quite generous), allow yourself to browse the dessert menu. They offer a variety of cakes, but I would recommend sticking to the more traditional Mexican desserts. Flan is a classic hispanic dessert, and the chefs at Fiesta Charra nail its creaminess and flavor. The churros are reminiscent of Mexican street food, coated in cinnamon and sugar, and simultaneously crispy and soft.
Whether savory or sweet, any meal ordered at this establishment will fulfill expectations and then some. Try pairing your meal with a jumbo margarita—the staff mixes a mean drink, and they are delicious down to the last drop. So many “Mexican restaurants” will serve artificially sweetened and watered-down margaritas, but Fiesta’s drinks are slightly sweet, refreshing and brimming with flavor that only tequila can provide.
Fiesta Charra is located at 5900 Park Lake Rd. in East Lansing. The restaurant is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Learn more at fiestacharraonline.com
Cassidy Johncox is a senior studying professional writing with a focus in editing and publishing. When she isn’t working, you can find her reading, writing or playing video games (…mostly video games).