Tradicional 314 Serves Authentic Mexican with a Twist in Creve Coeur.
(STL.News) – Tradicional 314 – Mexican food is by far one of the most beloved cuisines worldwide. That’s why numerous Mexican establishments have been popping up in every state over the last few years. But not every Mexican restaurant is created equal—some go that extra mile to make sure that you are getting authentic Mexican food when you dine at their restaurants.
That’s why it’s no surprise that Tradicional 314, a hidden gem located at 810 N New Ballas Rd, is already one of Creve Coeur’s most popular dining spots. It is one of the most authentic Mexican restaurants in St. Louis.
“We want people to walk in the door and feel like they are in Mexico. That is very important to us. We also want them to hopefully try some of the dishes they have never tried or even heard of before,” Ornelas said.
This is the second location for owner Manuel Ornelas and partner/chef Marco Enriquez. Their first restaurant, Tradicional 636 in St. Charles, opened in 2018, and after three years of success, they decided to venture across the river.
“We wanted to introduce Creve Coeur patrons to something different—genuine Mexican dishes that are traditional and unfamiliar to St. Louisans,” says Ornelas.
Although Ornelas was new to the restaurant business before opening in Creve Coeur, Enquriez is a seasoned chef who has worked in several area kitchens over the last 15 years. Most of the Tradicional 314 menu is based on family recipes from Ornelas’ and Enriquez’s childhood years, highlighting the traditional dishes from their home states of Guanajuato and Veracruz.
“The recipes and flavors change throughout every region in Mexico,” Ornelas explains. “Both states that we come from have very different cuisines, so we like to combine recipes adding a little flavor of Guanajuato and a little flavor of Veracruz.”
Ornelas and Enquriez take great pride in using all fresh ingredients that are local to Mexico—tomatoes, chilies, avocados, and lots of corn. Their colorful Mexican dishes are prepared with diverse and flavorful ingredients using Jalapeño, Serrano, Poblano, Chipotle, and Habanero chili peppers and numerous fresh herbs and more to create their iconic signature taste. Traditional Mexican flavors like mole, adobo, and salsa are added for an extra layer of complexity and depth to the dishes.
“As soon as they try the food, I want them to say, this tastes like the real Mexican flavor,'” Ornelas said.
The expansive menu includes numerous variations of burritos, enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, and more, all created by the owners. The duo boasts that they bring their patrons a slice of Mexico in every dish or drink they make, and that is precisely what they do. Their rich homemade style and prepared-from-scratch food and drinks are exceptional.
Ornelas and Enriquez are also incredibly proud of the restaurant’s less traditional food options. After all, they have built their name on being authentic. Standard-filling street tacos, for example, are options with beef tongue, cheek, and tripe, which are not as expected.
“Diners say that our food is unique from other Mexican restaurants, and it’s true,” explains Ornelas. “There’s nothing wrong with Tex-Mex, but you won’t find it at our restaurants.”
The ambiance at Tradicional 314 is warm and welcoming and filled with illustrations of Mexican culture. You will find a colorful mural showing dances from diverse regions of Mexico and photographs depicting a Mexican rodeo and a Mexican movie starlet. The 2,800-square-foot restaurant offers seating for around 70 guests.
Patrons are not disappointed by the large selection of beers, regular and premium tequilas, and mezcals that make up the bar. You can enjoy a frozen house margarita or choose from one of 25 signature drinks made with fresh fruits—mango, strawberry, and cucumber habañero.
Ornelas says, “We love introducing our customers to new and fun drinks like the Mangonada, which is very popular in Mexico. It’s a smoothie with tequila, rum, and chamoy, a sweet, salty, and spicy sauce made of mango, lime juice, red chili peppers, salt, and sugar.”
Above the bar are two folk heroes: José Alfredo Jiménez Sandoval, a Mexican singer-songwriter whose songs are the basis of modern Mexican music, and Pedro Infante Cruz, perhaps the most famous actor and singer of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.
Next time you visit Tradicional 314, don’t be surprised if Chef Marco comes to your table to say hello and share a tequila with you or if Manny has a waiter bring out something he wants you to try. Both owners believe the key to their success is as much about the hospitality as it is their fantastic food selection.
“In Mexico, we believe in treating everyone well,” Ornelas explains. “When you visit a friend’s home, even if they don’t have much to offer, they will share their best with you. When you visit Tradicional 314, we want you to feel like you are part of the family. I consider the restaurant like my home, and I believe in the phrase mi casa es su casa.'”
Tradicional 314 – 810 N. New Ballas, St Louis, Missouri 63141 – Phone: 314-736-1651