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Inside Mexican Hotspot Rocio’s, Now Open In SE

Rocio Meza brings the flavors of her Mexican and Southern Californian roots to Creston-Kenilworth.

Earlier this month, Rocio Meza opened the doors to her eponymous 65-seat red, yellow, teal and tiled Mexican restaurant, brining some serious Southern California Street cred to Portland. Meza is the daughter of Ponce Meza, the now-retired patriarch behind Ponce's, which has been one of San Diego's most adored Mexican eateries since it opened its doors in 1969.

For months, Meza has been planning her Portland build-out with her brother, Ponce, Jr. and their business partner, Mikey Knab. They're now serving what Meza calls Mexican comfort food, which means lots of tacos, burritos and enchiladas.

Out of the gate, Meza says those burritos and tacos are the best-sellers, especially her tempura-fried whitefish tacos. The chile verde, which comes in pork and vegetarian options, is another hot order. Many recipes, like her rice and beans, have been in the family for decades. The goal is to offer up the same "simple food" that keeps them "coming back again and again," just like they did for her dad down South. To that end, the bars free-flowing tequilas, mezcals and margaritas certainly don't hurt.

Visit Rocio's from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday


2850 SE Gladstone St., Portland, OR 97202 (971) 266-8860