is savory authentic Mexican food prepared by Diego Gallardo of Acapulco, Mexico.
Diego was born in Acapulco. He grew up with his 5 brothers and 2 sisters, all raised by his mother, Maria. A single parent, Maria raised a tight family with strong values and traditions. Once he was able, Diego brought his mother and siblings to America.
Struggling to make ends meet, Diego worked as a laborer in the construction industry. Being of humble means, Maria packed lunch for her son each day. Soon, her food was legend among Diego’s co-workers. Maria’s cooking was always in demand.
Following Maria’s passing, Diego sought a way to honor her memory. His co-workers continued to rave about her food, the recipes for which she had taught to Diego. Soon, he realized he wanted to make these recipes for as many people as possible – by opening a restaurant in his mother’s honor. Maria Bonita (Beautiful Mary) was born.
A restaurant is a big dream. So in 1998, Diego set off and started with a simple lunch wagon serving Kailua and Waimanalo. He developed a reputation and a loyal following. and was soon able to start his first restaurant in Waimanalo. He later moved from Waimanalo to 15 N Hotel, in Downtown Honolulu, a favorite take-out location for busy Honolulu office workers.
Five years later, in 2011, Diego decided to expand and opened his newest location on Kahuhipa St, in Kaneohe. The Kaneohe location serves Maria’s traditional recipes, and is also Maria Bonita’s catering
kitchen, with facilities for private parties, and events.
Maria Bonita also serves its community by providing fundraising opportunities to local non-profit organizations.
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