After a long day of taking classes and studying for exams, Los Mariachis is one of college students’ favorite places to unwind. Professionals and families love it, too. The restaurant started serving its Mexican specialties in 1998. Being a college town, the founders thought Morgantown might be a good place to run a fun and affordable restaurant, and they were right: Twenty years later, everyone still loves their margaritas and their cheese dip.

Los Mariachis is as much fun for the waitstaff as it is for the customers. Waiter Horacio García says the servers’ favorite part is the customers. “We get to serve people from the school, and just anybody who comes in, and we enjoy meeting these nice people.” Interacting with the customers and seeing their faces when they bring their famous margaritas or their delicious combination dinners is what they enjoy the most.

Another highlight of Los Mariachis is its birthday celebrations. The staff surprise a celebrating customer with a sombrero and the restaurant’s popular fried ice cream, while singing the traditional birthday song, “Las Mañanitas”: “The Little Mornings.” It was once Catholic custom to name a child for the patron saint associated with his or her birthday so the saint would become a role model for the child. The song is a traditional serenade that celebrates the person’s birthday and honors the patron saint of the day.

Los Mariachis is an upbeat restaurant full of laughter, colors, and delicious aromas and flavors. — DFR

1137 Van Voorhis Road, 304.598.3715,