Pepe & Chela's

Open Monday at 11:00AM
1001 S.W. Tyler

Topeka, KS 66612
(785) 357-8332
Javascript is required to view this map.

The Aliva family has been feeding Topekans since 1986. Everything is made fresh daily, from the chips to the chile rellenos -- with food made from both Avila family recipes and other dishes created to entice customers.

In May 2009, the restaurant completed a new outdoor patio, adding 26 seats where diners can enjoy the weather on nice days and evenings. The patio features outdoor music and lights.

Average: 2.3 (60 votes)


Cuisine: Breakfast, Coffeehouse, Dinner, Lunch, Mexican

Price Range: $ - Inexpensive

Payment: American Express, Cash, Master Card, Visa

Reservations: Reservations Accepted

Features: Bar, Catering, Patio, Private Party, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible


Chile Relleno entre ($9.45), three steak tacos ($9.45), Mi Amiga’s Quesadilla ($8.75)


Monday: 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday: 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM


The worst dining experience I've ever had.

→ Comment by iliketoeat

01/26/2013 1:32 pm

I've been going to Pepe and Chela's since they were in their old location 20 years ago. It's never been great but always satisfying untill the last couple of years. The food has gone downhill and the servers are the rudest most disrespectful people I've ever met. I will never go back.

Not the same place I rated two years ago

→ Comment by redapronbaker

12/23/2012 2:14 pm

I posted a review of this place in 08/2010 and was a devotee of their fajitas but after having eaten here recently, I wonder what happened. I never see the same servers twice anymore and the vibe of the place has gone from family owned restaurant to indifference. In addition, I've seen the owner berate the servers and that doesn't make me want to support the establishment. I hope things improve.

Not impressed...

→ Comment by ShaeShae_11

04/30/2012 5:04 pm

I ate here for the first time today and was not impressed. The food was ok but way overpriced. I ordered a small chili con queso for $3.25 expecting a nice size bowl...NO i got this tiny little cup that had maybe a half a cup of sauce in it. I can make way better mexican food at home for a much cheaper price. I prefer to support the small family owned Mexican restaurants here in Topeka rather than the overpriced places that people rave about!

BTW, La Siesta is the oldest Mexican restaurant here in Topeka! Family-owned for 57 years!

Best refried beans and rice in town.

→ Comment by jSpicoli

12/09/2011 8:32 am

The pan fried chicken tacos are still as good as they've always been. Very consistent over the years.

The service is usually excellent, but it can be terrible when they hire someone new to the restaurant business or someone who flusters easily. That the house is packed daily is evidence of the good food and service.

It's hard to go wrong with Pepe and Chelas.

Pan fried tacos!

→ Comment by Food4Me

03/23/2011 5:51 pm

Good mexican food. especially love the pan friend tacos...they're the best in town.

Fajitas! Fajitas! Fajitas!

→ Comment by redapronbaker

08/31/2010 8:13 pm

The fajitas are wonderful - lots of peppers, carmelized onions and thinly sliced chicken to sate my gargantuan appetite. I also love that they supply 4 tortillas and heaps of toppings. What makes the place extra special is the staff that treats regulars with personalized care. My husband and I have never had a bad meal here and have happily exposed family and friends to the best Mexican restaurant in Topeka.


→ Comment by notapickyeater

07/27/2010 6:56 pm

We walked in, saw the hostess, watched her walk by without saying, "I'll be right with you." Waited 5 minutes for her to finally come back to seat us. Didn't wait too long for our waiter to come by and get our drink order. Waited a little long for him to bring us the drinks and chips and salsa. I ordered a Coke and got a Diet Coke. For those of you who drink REAL Coke this is a big mistake. What made it worse was that we waited about 12 minutes for him to come by and refill our chips and to get me a REAL Coke but he never showed so we flagged down the waitress of the other table. She then promptly brought more chips and salsa and a real Coke. We then sat and watched as the table next to us were served their meal. They were seated TEN MINUTES after we placed our order. Still, our waiter, has not come by. We kept seeing him running around but yet never with anything for us. We then watched for another 5 minutes as he helped the booth behind us and never once asked how we were doing or if we needed anything. So we left. I will say the chips and salsa are tasty. Coke, even the real one, not so good. The iced tea tasted like a dirty dish towel. BOOOOOOO Pepe and Chela's!!! The only reason we went there was because Lupita's was closed due to a family emergency.

Oldest mexican restaurant

→ Comment by Sweeney

12/07/2009 9:10 pm

I believe that La Siesta in Oakland is the oldest Mexican restaurant in Topeka. It was open when we moved here 22 years ago, and I remember when Pepe & Chela's opened up on 10th Street west of where they are now.

P&C's mexican food is just OK - it was beter before they moved into the big new building. Their chicken mole is terrible, and no other place here ever charged for chips & salsa as far as I know.

Authentic Mexican Food in T-town.

→ Comment by rudolph

12/07/2009 11:53 am

Ok, I have lived in Topeka most of my life. I should know what local mexican place consistently has good food and prices. While, i don't know exactly what the other posts are talking about, this place is awesome. I am not kiddin. You know when you travel and wonder where the favorite "local" place to go, well i can attest this is Topeka's place. You can taste the difference. Yes, it doesn't have the glitz and glamour of the chain restaurants, but that is exactly what makes the place great. I think they are the oldest local Mex place in town, and that is usually not by accident. Trust me, it is hard to beat.


→ Comment by JSM

12/28/2008 9:17 pm

I recently ate there and came away with the thoughts of overpriced, under portioned, and just not that good. There are far better Mexican restaurants to eat at in town and please don't try to con me into thinking that I am getting some great deal now that you are "Celebrating free chips and salsa", here's a hint if you didn't every other Mexican restaurant the chips and salsa are ALWAYS complimentary.

Not so good

→ Comment by litis05

12/27/2008 11:32 pm


I've been to Pepe and Chela's several times now the past several years. I figured by trying it several times I could really give it a chance. I wasn't impressed with it any of the times I went. The food was lacking in flavor. I also like supporting businesses where the owners are good, friendly, and honest people. That being said, that's why I don't go to El Mezcal either. El Charro is definitely the best, with some friendly staff and delicious authentic food :)

Great Mexican Here

→ Comment by eattopeka

04/20/2008 3:50 pm


Pepe's has been a fixture downtown for a while, and rightly so. Always full at lunch and for the evening rush. Menu's expanded from time to time. They have the "Savior" (as opposed to you know who's "Suicide"). Great queso, too. Take the family and enjoy.