Locally Owned and Operated. Faithfully Serving the Collegeville Community Since 2001.
What They Do
- Fresh Food
- Friendly Staff
- Community Events
Operating in Collegeville since 2001, Tortugas Mexican Eatery is more than just another restaurant. Its traditions of family and food bring this hidden gem to life.
Tortugas Mexican Eatery story started with the Hvazda family. Cathy Hvazda was inspired to start a second Tortugas mexican restaurant after observing her sister’s success at the original Tortugas Mexican Village in Princetown, New Jersey. Tortugas, meaning turtle in Spanish, was a nickname for Cathy’s sister, referring to her cool and calm demeanor.
After considering many locations, Hvazda opened her own Tortugas Mexican Eatery here in Collegeville, her hometown. It was the first mexican restaurants in the area.
“We have been busy since the day we opened.” Hvazda states. “We really did well right from the beginning.”
At the heart of Tortugas is delicious food, showcasing a combination of both traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex Cuisine.
The most popular dish and the employee’s favorite dish on the menu is the creamy chipotle chicken, a grilled chicken breast on a bed of rice with a spicy cream sauce. They also offer vegetarian, seafood, steak, and other chicken dishes. Chips, salsa, guacamole, taco shells, and sauces are all made fresh everyday.
Tortugas also offers combination platters, giving customers the opportunity to mix-and-match tacos, burritos, tamales, tostadas, chimichangas, enchiladas, and tamales. However, unlike other mexican restaurants, customers are able to create different variations by choosing fillings and sauces for each item.
“We have a good following.” Hvazda said, “Customers come in, know their favorite dish, and know exactly what to order.”
While Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest for Tortugas, Margarita Mondays is a close third. Every Monday, Tortugas offers complimentary Margaritas with alcohol (one per person). Customers can bring in their own tequila on any day to add to house made margarita mix offering lime, strawberry, or mango flavors.
The employees are a key reason for Tortugas long term success. Many waitresses have worked at Tortugas for over ten years, often first starting out as bussers. David, currently the head chef at Tortugas, has been cooking at Tortugas since the beginning.
“I have always liked to cook.” David states, “My whole family has cooked for many many years.”
David’s father and brother previously worked at the Tortugas Mexican Village in Princeton, continuing the family tradition in to Montgomery County.
After owning Tortugas for 16 years, Hvazda recently sold the business to David. She currently works at the resturant part time, helping to manage and waitress.
With a friendly staff and delicious food, Tortugas has built a name for itself around the area. They have won the Reader’s Choice award from the Pottstown Mercury for Best Mexican Restaurant several years, most recently in 2017 and 2018.
Tortugas is an active member in the community. Every year, they support the annual Taco 5K Run hosted by Valley Forge Running. At the end of the route, Tortugas serve tacos and margaritas for all the participants. During the holiday season, they also host a Holiday Canned Food Drive benefiting the Daily Bread Pantry in Collegeville.
Tortugas also host their own events. During mexican holidays such as Cinco De Mayo and Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), Tortugas employees dress up to celebrate and serve specialized margaritas.
Just like their turtle mascot, Tortugas Mexican Eatery is a steady force in the restaurant scene in Montgomery County. Check them out online at their website or catch a meal at their Collegeville location.