We're Here


Fresco breathes new life into Downtown food options

Posted at 1:15 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 14:15:22-04

From working in a bar, to owning a food truck, and turning that mobile eatery to a full-fledged snack bar, one Corpus Christi couple made their dream a reality, while also bringing diversity to Corpus Christi.

"We just saw that there was a need, honestly, for a variety of places especially downtown," said co-owner Oneida Cantu.

The menu at Fresco — located at 619 N. Chaparral St., near Starr Street — features a little bit of everything: breakfast, fruit cups, desserts. It also periodically hosts events such as art showcases and “pulgas,” – shopping events – which feature local vendors.

"We're here to try to be as inclusive as possible for everyone,” Cantu said. “Something that is a bit more family friendly, something that is a bit more affordable for everybody, that way everyone is included. We have a shelf where we have like free items, we also post free menu items, free food, and stuff like that just to make sure that you know there's always food for everybody."

Co-owner and chef Jesus Maldonaldo said the couple got their start in an unlikely place.

"We initially started at a bar, just making like random things in the back," he said.

And Cantu’s determination led them to a space of their own, one they poured their blood, sweat and tears into.

"She came cross this place; it wasn't for lease,” Maldonado said. “The Downtown Management (District) helped us get with the owners and rent this spot out, and it was like a good year of just me and her tearing everything up and re-painting and fixing everything to make Fresco what it is."

Cantu said the eatery prides itself on its fresh food.

"We have a carne guisada Frito pie that a lot of people really like,” she said. “We have a lot of rice bowls, quesadillas, fruit cups, smoothies -- so a good variety of things."

Fresco has been Downtown destination for the last three years.

"Hopefully we can make Fresco a staple of Corpus you know so anytime you think of Corpus or someone comes in this is a place that you know they have to try out."

Digital content producer Ana Tamez contributed to this story.