El Mercadito Rincon Mexicano

El Mercadito Rincon Mexicano – Swing by to Enjoy Tacos, Tostadas, and More in Kailua-Kona
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

El Mercadito Rincon Mexicano is a fantastic place to go when taco cravings come your way. A hidden gem in Kailua-Kona, this little eatery sits far back in the food court at the Kona International Market. As long as you can make it past all the other eateries, you’re set to enjoy tostadas, tortas, and all your other Mexican favorites.  

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

When you want authentic Mexican fare served fast and in big portions, it’s time for a visit to El Mercadito Rincon Mexicano. Set in the Kona International Market, this popular restaurant promises to satisfy all your cravings time and time again. You just have to waltz past all the other eateries in the food court first, and then you’re home free to enjoy tacos, tostadas, and everything in between.

Upon making it to the end of the food court, take as long as you need to browse the menu. The writing is pretty small, so if you cannot read every last detail, ask for a paper menu instead. You’ll want to pour over their offerings before ordering because every last item is as good as the last. In the end, it really won’t matter what you get though. You’ll be quickly planning your return visit anyway, just as soon as you get a taste of what they’re serving up.

Although their eatery doesn’t look like much at first glance, pure magic happens beyond the kitchen door. They make every last item from scratch using the freshest, most flavorful ingredients around. Then, they plate it all up in big portions before serving it with a smile. The team puts just as much care into infusing every interaction with aloha as they do in making all their fantastic food. So, you can count on feeling right at home from the very start.

Once your food arrives in front of you, you’re welcome to chow down right then and there. The food court tables are pretty basic, but they get the job done. Upon getting that first bite, you’ll be focused on the food in front of you anyway. You’ll want to break away for just a moment, however, so you can go grab a bottle of hot sauce from the front counter. Their spicy sauce is second to none and never fails to elevate the flavors in every dish they serve.

You’ll undoubtedly want to keep eating bite after bite until you clean the plate. But their generous portions will likely have you feeling fully satisfied well before that happens. In that case, you can just ask for a to-go box for your leftovers. All their items are just as good later on, so it’s not a waste if you need to save a bit for a midnight snack.

Fan favorites on the menu include:

Tamales
Always a wonderful treat, the Tamales promise to satisfy your cravings for comfort food in an instant. You can get yours with pork, chicken, or cheesy jalapeno filling – but it’s really best to get all three. They’ll come with rice and beans as well, perfectly finish off your plate.

Ceviche Tostada
For bright, bold flavors in every last morsel, treat yourself to the Ceviche Tostada. They start this dish by whipping up their fish ceviche using fresh, local ingredients. Then, they spoon it over a crispy tostada shell, giving you plenty of crunch in each bite.

Veggie Quesadilla
Want to skip the meat without compromising on flavor? Get the Veggie Quesadilla, for sure. This filling dish starts with sautéed veggies piled high in a flour tortilla. Then, they top it all with cheese, fold the tortilla in half, and fry it on the grill until melty and hot. After slicing up the tortilla, guacamole and sour cream go right on top.

Save room in your belly for dessert or you’ll miss out on a shave ice experience to remember. Their shave ice always starts with the fluffiest ice around. Then, it gets topped with tamarind or hibiscus flavoring, depending on what you choose. After that, a creamy snow cap goes over the top to take the flavors to the next level. Although it’s big enough for two to share, you won’t want to give up a single bite after getting a taste of its pure deliciousness.

Insider Tips:
-Want to take a bottle of their spicy sauce home with you? Just ask to buy your very own at the front counter.
-If you’d like to get straight to noshing on your selections, call in your order before leaving the hotel.