El Tepeyac Cafe,  Unique Mexican Restaurant in Los Angeles

Today’s El Tepeyac Café underwent a couple transformations before it was finally known as El Tepeyac, home of the world-famous “Manuel’s Special” burrito.  Before being known as El Tepeyac, the Rojas family founded a restaurant located in downtown LA in 1942 called El Tupinamba Café, which was the first restaurant venture for the family.  Then the Rojas family relocated to Lincoln Heights, where it opened another restaurant known as La Villa Café.

Several years later the Rojas family once again relocated, this time to Boyle Heights where El Tepeyac Café currently stands. After the untimely death of grandfather, Salvador Rojas, Manuel stepped in and along with his mother Rebecca, took the restaurant and built it to become a favorite neighborhood restaurant in East Los Angeles. In 2013, father and founder, Manuel Rojas passed and today’s owner is his daughter, Elena Rojas.  She carries on the family tradition which is now a 3rd generation legacy, soon to be 4th generation with Carlos “Chuck” Thome, who is Manuel’s grandson.

In 2009, El Tepeyac was nationally featured on the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food” where the show featured a long running tradition of the ‘Manuel’s Special Burrito Challenge’.  The challenge is one person eating the entire Manuel’s Special burrito in one sitting!  That is, 5 lbs. of burrito consumed by one person!  Many have tried but few have achieved it.

Another of the Travel Channel’s shows, the “101 Best Chowdowns in America” has ranked El Tepeyac at #23 in the entire country!  Organization’s such as,,, and others alike have rated El Tepeyac Cafe top stars over the years!