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  • Austin Warren

Authentic Mexican restaurant opens near campus

One of the things Berea College enjoy doing is going to somewhere that isn’t the dining hall to eat. While the free food at dining is a first choice for many students, even those students may grow weary of the selections offered at the dining hall. When this happens, they might seek out a restaurant near campus, such as Doña Maria’s Tamales.

Image courtesy of Doña Maria’s Tamales

Doña Maria’s Tamales is a Mexican restaurant at 204 Center St. adjacent to Marketing and Communications, where Happy Jack’s was once located, and just a short walk away from Papa Leno’s, near the central plaza of campus. Doña Maria’s Tamales offers Mexican cuisine that is based on notable dishes from Mexico City. From their namesake tamales and savory gorditas to succulent tres leches cakes, there are many options to choose from.


The restaurant is owned and operated by the Ramos family: Ramon and Maria Ramos, along with their children. Many of the items offered on the menu at Doña Maria’s Tamales are dishes that the family have been eating as a family for years, cooked by Maria Ramos herself.


For 14 years, the Ramos family has dreamed of opening their own authentic Mexican restaurant to push back against the common Tex-Mex establishments across the United States, and they have finally found a location right here in Berea. They were welcomed by the campus community, with plenty of their patronage arriving in the form of Berea College students eager to try a local restaurant close to campus.

Image courtesy of Aliana Cherpitel

The Ramos family takes pride in demonstrating the value of Mexican immigrants through their work and the care they put into their establishment, but they are also just proud to serve good food and introduce people to dishes they otherwise might not have been able to try, especially those who have grown up far from restaurants with authentic food from various cultures. Food brings people closer together, going as far as to bridge cultural gaps, and the Ramos family is doing just that at Doña Maria’s Tamales.


During the winter months, patrons of Doña Maria’s Tamales can expect other dishes, like traditional Mexican soups, to appear on the menu. The restaurant is open from 11am – 8pm Monday through Saturday, and it is open from 11am – 5pm on Sundays.

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