Café Tola is a café specializing in coffee and empanadas built upon a literal labor of love.  Run by Victoria Salamanca with the help of her husband, Gerardo, you can tell Café Tola is their baby; it combines the handmade, extremely delicious empanadas made by Victoria with the artistic pop culture influenced art and toys collected by Gerardo.  The name comes from Victoria’s grandmother, whom she is named after.  Tola is a play on Victoria’s nickname, Tolita, thus creating the perfect name for a spot that encompasses all of her loves and passions.  The couple is currently working on Dona Tola, which is coming up soon in the Southport Corridor.  Dona Tola will feature slow braised stews and other Latin comfort food that exude stomach hugging feels. Tune in to learn about Victoria’s and Gerardo’s adorable relationship, what influences the art  and food behind Café Tola, and their secret aspirations to make “doggie” friendly empanadas. If you have a chance, check out Gerardo’s speak easy style toy store!


Inside Cafe Tola on California Ave

Mural outside Cafe Tola

Try This Week’s Recipe!

Queso Flameado Recipe

Queso Flameado Ingredients:

    • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
    • 1 cup sliced portabello mushrooms
    • 1/2 cup roasted, peeled and sliced red peppers
    • 1/2 cup roasted peeled and sliced poblano peppers
    • 1 bunch fresh cilantro to taste
    • 2 cups shredded queso chihuahua cheese
    • 1 oz. tequila to pour over ingredients once they are melted to set a flame and extinguish with lime
  • Queso Fresco crumbles

Salsa Verde Ingredients:

  • 1 cup charred tomatillos
  • 3 each charred jalapenos
  • Fresh garlic cloves to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Saute mushrooms til soft, then add peppers, poblanos and onion
  • Saute ingredients together then add cheese and Salsa Verde
  • When all ingredients are well incorporated, add tequila to create a flambe then extinguish by squeezing fresh lime over flame
  • Garnish with Queso Fresco crumbles
  • ENJOY!

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Did you make the recipe? Share your results in the comments below!

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