Our Vision

The company is guided by a single vision, “We will glorify God by honoring the vision of our founders, valuing family, preserving our culture and offering a world-class experience.” As we work to honor that vision, the entire team operates under this credo: “We are in the business of feeding minds, bodies and spirits while exceeding the needs, desires and expectations of our guests each and every time.” La Familia Cortez Restaurants strongly believes one of the main ingredients to our success continues to be our special connection with the community outside of the restaurants.

  • January 1941
  • 1951
  • 1955
  • 1966
  • 1968
  • 1979
  • 1981
  • 1981
  • 1989
  • 1991
  • 1995
  • 2015
  • May 2019
  • November 2019
  • 2020
  • How It All Began

    La Familia Cortez Restaurants began when founders Pedro y Cruz Cortez purchased a fledgling three-table café, Jamaica No. 5, in San Antonio’s Market Square for $150. With family recipes and a dedication to customer service, he and his wife Cruz worked side-by-side to make the venture a success.
  • Mi Tierra

    Pedro purchases the Toyo Café in El Mercado and renames the restaurant Mi Tierra Café. From day one, he keeps Mi Tierra open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to cater to the various schedules of his customers.

  • Panadería

    Pedro buys the property next to Mi Tierra and doubles the size of the restaurant. He is now able to add a panadería to Mi Tierra, featuring baked goods and Mexican Candy made entirely from scratch. “Panadería” is added to the restaurant’s name, creating Mi Tierra Café y Panadería.

  • Urban Renewal

    Pedro becomes a strong activist for the community as he works to save Market Square. He and his business neighbors speak to everyone who would listen, including the San Antonio City Council, multiple mayors of San Antonio, other governmental entities, the San Antonio Conservation Society, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and more.

  • Christmas Year-Round

    Since the family is caught up in preparations for HemisFair, they completely forget to take down the Christmas decorations. Jorge takes notice of the joyous expression on the guests’ faces when they walk into a Mexican restaurant that feels like Christmas in July. Since that summer, Mi Tierra has kept the twinkling lights glowing in the spirit of Christmas year-round.

  • La Carreta

    Pedro and Cruz decide to open a second restaurant, La Carreta Mexican Steakhouse, across the highway from Market Square.

  • La Margarita

    After traveling to various cities throughout Mexico in search of something different and memorable, Pedro’s son Jorge decides to expand the family business and opens La Margarita Restaurant and Oyster Bar, offering “Sizzling Fajitas” and seafood.

  • Pedro’s Passing

    The family is deeply saddened by Pedro’s untimely death at the age of 66. Mi Tierra closes its doors for half a day so its team members could attend Pedro’s funeral. The children decide to honor their father by continuing to operate the family businesses and finding ways to expand Pedro’s influence beyond the walls of Mi Tierra.

  • Mariachi Bar

    Mi Tierra Café y Panadería’s newest addition, the Mariachi Bar, opens in a space next to Mi Tierra that formerly housed a liquor store. This masterpiece was creatively envisioned by Jorge Cortez, and all local San Antonio artists were used in designing and constructing the bar.

  • Pico de Gallo

    La Carreta is remodeled by Jorge and rebranded to Restaurante Pico de Gallo

  • Manuel’s Passing

    Cruz and Pedro’s first born, Manuel Cortez, passes away at the age of 54.

  • Viva Villa

    La Familia Cortez Restaurants opens its latest concept, Viva Villa Taquería, under the project management of Cariño Cortez, Pedro’s granddaughter, who also serves as the opening chef for the new concept.

  • Cruz’s Passing

    Cruz Cortez, the matriarch of the Cortez family and co-founder of La Familia Cortez Restaurants passes away

  • Mi Familia

    Mi Familia, La Familia Cortez’s first full-service concept outside of downtown, opens in north San Antonio at the RIM.

  • Pandemic

    The COVID-19 pandemic forces La Familia Cortez Restaurants to shut their doors, marking the first time Mi Tierra has closed its doors in 79 years.

Our Comunidad

A Mexican immigrant who proudly proclaimed, “I’m an American by choice, not by chance,” Pedro strongly believed in the need to preserve San Antonio’s Mexican culture. His vision played a huge role in the revitalization of the restaurants’ home, El Mercado, and his legacy of cultural preservation is carried on through La Familia Cortez Restaurants’ passion, hospitality and of course, its cuisine.

The American Dream Mural

The American Dream mural was created by Jorge Cortez as a memorial to his parents, Pedro y Cruz Cortez, and the success of their own “American Dream.” Throughout the years the mural has grown, both in size and popularity, and has attracted visitors to Mi Tierra to view the mural. Today, the mural is a celebration to the achievements and success of Hispanic leaders in our community.

The Mural


Frida Kahlo

Mexican Painter

Cheech Marin

American Actor

Carlos Santana


Eva Longoria


Vikki Carr


Robert Rodríguez

Filmmaker, Screenwriter, and Musician

Vicente Fernández

Ranchera Singer

Gilberto Puente


Dr. Carlos Orozco


Humberto Saldaña


Judge Juan F. Vasquez

Judge of the United States Tax Court

Ricardo Romo

Former President of The University of Texas at San Antonio

Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez

Texas Representative

Charlie Gonzalez

Texas Representative

Henry Cisneros

Politician & Businessman

Congressman Joaquin Castro


Secretary Julian Castro

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Heriberto "Berto" Guerra, Jr.


Jaime Martinez

Labor and Civil Rights Activist

Cesar Chavez

Civil Rights, Latino and Farm Labor Leader

William C. Velásquez

Founder of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project

Jesse Treviño


Leticia Van de Putte


Lionel Sosa

Artist and Marketing Consultant

José Olmos

Mi Tierra Manager

Esperanza "Hope " Andrade

Community/Business Leader

Congressman Frank M. Tejada


Elvira Cisneros


Master Sgt. Raul Perez Roy Benavidez

United States Army Special Forces

Eusebio Trujillo

Dr. Ellen Riojas-Clark

Leader in Education

Fernando Reyes

Businessman, Entrepreneur, and Community Leader

Max Navarro

Founder of Operational Technologies Corporation

Beatrice "Bibi" Peña

Mi Tierra's First Cashier

Henry Reed

Ralph Hernandez

Founder of The Little Red Barn Steakhouse

Dr. Gloria Rodriguez


Ruben Mungia, Sr.

Career Printer

Jose Luis Villagomez

The Villalobos

Frank Herrera

Attorney for the National Labor Relations Board

Cesar Millan

Best-Selling Author

Archbishop Patrick Flores

First Mexican American to become bishop of the Catholic Church

Father Virgilio Elizondo

Mexican American Roman Catholic Priest and Community Activist

Pedro and Cruz Cortez

Founders of Mi Tierra

Pedro and Cruz Cortez

Founders of Mi Tierra

Oscar Jung

Ricardo Montalvo

Pedro Infante

Actor and Singer

John Quiñones

Anchor of "What Would You Do?"

Henry Muñoz III,

Entrepeneur, Award-Winning Designer, Cultural Activist, and Well-Respected Philanthropist

Rosemary Kowalski

Founder of Rosemary's Catering

David Cortez

Second Generation Restaurateur
and Leader of the Texas Foodservice Industry

Jorge Cortez

Ruben Cortez

Francisco I. Madero

Mexican Revolutionary and President of Mexico 1911-1913

Roy Barrera Sr.


Emiliano Zapata

Mexican Revolutionary and Advocate of Agrarianism

Venustiano Carranza

Mexican Civil War Leader

Dr. Maria Hernandez Ferrier

Leader in Education

Diego Rivera


Pancho Villa


Leonardo "Flaco" Jiménez

Tejano accordionist and singer

Chef Raúl Salazar

Ricardo G. Cedillo

Co-Founder of Davis, Cedillo & Mendoza, INC.

Pete Cortez

Christina Cortez

Cruz Cortez

Deborah Cortez


Raúl A. Almaguer

Rosita Fernandez's Husband

Juan Ortiz, Campanas de America

Musical Director and Manager to Campanas de America

Selena Quintanilla Perez

Recording Artist

Francisco Villalobos, Jr.

Sandra Cisneros

American Writer and poet

Manuel & Maria Cortez

Cortez Grandparents

Manuel & Maria Cortez

Cortez Grandparents

José María Morelos


Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla

Mexican Catholic Priest

Freddy and Ninfa Garcia

Victory Outreach Ministry

Benito Juarez

President of Mexico (1861-1872)

Kenneth Lee "Ken" Salazar

Former Secretary of the Interior

Master Sergeant Cleto Rodriguez

Francisco Villalobos, Sr.

Raúl Jimenez

Restaurant Owner and Businessman

Teresa Champion


Willie "El Curro" Champion

Flamenco Artist

Jesús Garza

Claro Villalobos

Chef Florentino Rubio


Rosita Fernández

Mexican-American Singer and Actress

Michael Cortez

Dr. Alfonso Chiscano


Cecilia Abbott

First Lady of Texas and Leader in Education