El Parasol logoLocated just 24 miles north of Santa Fe in historic Española, El Parasol has received national recognition for its New Mexican comfort food. With décor that combines the varying influences of the traditional Hispanic culture unique to Northern New Mexico, with delectable cuisine and friendly customer service.


El Parasol taco truckThe El Parasol concept began in 1958 with Pedro and Lorenzo Atencio, ten and twelve years old respectively, selling their mother’s beef tacos and red pork tamales under a patio umbrella on the main street in Espanola, New Mexico. The boy’s business venture was limited to the summer months. Price for a taco was 15 cents and tamales were 10 cents. A good day’s sales totaled a whopping $20.00. Prior to this entrepreneurial endeavor, the one-woman cooking show starring Frances Atencio had played only to colleagues and close friends in addition to her growing family. The two Atencio boys ran constantly from car to car, grabbing tacos and tamales to deliver to the lined-up drivers as their Mom replenished the supply on the patio table. This was an original implementation of the “drive-up window,” although there was no window and no building.

Locals referred to this seasonal venture as “The Stand” and began to urge the family to establish a year around site. This run-to-the-car concept was expanded by Luis Atencio, a plumber by profession, to a small, self-contained recreational trailer, known as the Taco Wagon, converted into a kitchen, much like the modern day mobile food vending units. They expanded the menu from tacos and tamales to other popular items such as hamburgers, tostadas, burritos and homemade desserts between 1964 – 1969. Daughters Dorothy, Olga, and Maria joined Frances in the kitchen. People began to travel from all over northern New Mexico to buy the food. The family adopted the patio umbrella as the logo to remind locals that this was the original Atencio family business, where they could count on receiving exceptional food.

El Parasol

During the hectic life/work race of the 1980’s, the Atencio family renamed the original stand El Parasol, providing traditional New Mexican food from a 8×10 food booth adjacent to the restaurant. Family members, extending to the third generation have franchised five additional El Parasol locations.

Though El Parasol has expanded over the decades, one thing has remained constant: they still provide delicious New Mexican dishes to satisfied customers.

Varies by location

Highway 68 Travel Center
State Road 68
Ohkay Owingeh, NM 87566
(505) 753-8226

603 Santa Cruz Rd
Española, NM 87532
(505) 753-8852

Los Alamos
1903 Central Ave
Los Alamos, NM 87544
(505) 661-0303

30 Cities of Gold Rd
Santa Fe, NM 87506
(505) 455-7185

Santa Fe
1833 Cerrillos Rd
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 995-8015

298 Dinosaur Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87508
(505) 995-8226

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