Sistahritas brings Cali-style tacos to East Atlanta

Dishes from the menu of Sistahritas. / Courtesy of Sistahritas
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Dishes from the menu of Sistahritas. / Courtesy of Sistahritas

When Shayla Cottle moved to Atlanta five years ago from California, one of the things she was most homesick for was California-style tacos.

She had trouble finding them in her neighborhood, so she satisfied her craving by making her own. They were such a hit with friends and family that she realized she might be able to fill a void in southeast Atlanta and fulfill her longtime dream of owning her own restaurant.

In 2019, Cottle and her business partner, Kell Gill, started laying the groundwork for what would eventually become Sistahritas. The pair purchased a food truck in 2020, then found property at 1066 Fayetteville Road to use as a commissary kitchen.

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Street corn from the menu of Sistahritas. / Courtesy of Sistahritas
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Street corn from the menu of Sistahritas. / Courtesy of Sistahritas

The truck, which will stay parked at the Fayetteville location, made its debut on Juneteenth, serving some of the California-inspired dishes Cottle has been cooking for years, along with some new items she developed for a Southern audience, what she describes as “Mexican soul food.”

Cottle said her specialty is her street tacos, with a choice of chicken, beef or shrimp and served with cilantro and onions or lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. The corn tortillas are griddled with oil and covered in melted cheese before being stuffed with ingredients, making them “crispy, but not crunchy,” Cottle said.

Other menu items include a taco pizza, an homage to the signature item from Taco Bell, where Cottle worked as a teenager (she makes hers with black beans instead of refried beans); a vegan taco made with Impossible meat and spicy kale; “dirty fries” topped with carne asada; and a fried fish and shrimp po’boy taco topped with Cottle’s Cajun slaw and cilantro sauce.

Look for desserts like fruit basket nachos, which sees homemade tortilla chips dusted with cinnamon and sugar and topped with a fruit medley, as well as seasonal dishes like chili, which will make its debut when the weather gets colder.

Cottle’s overall plan is to build out the small building on the property to function as a takeout-only brick and mortar by next year. She also hopes to construct a bar at the back of the building. Eventually, she plans to host other food trucks, as well as live music and comedy, in the outdoor space next to the building.

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A dish from the menu of Sistaritas. / Courtesy of Sistahritas
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A dish from the menu of Sistaritas. / Courtesy of Sistahritas

For now, Cottle said, she and Gill are still continuing to make tiny tweaks to the menu and Sistahrita’s hours as they learn what their customers want. She’s leaning on her family, including her four adult children, for help as runners and kitchen assistants, while she gets the restaurant on its feet.

“We’re still learning,” she said. “A lot of this is trial and error.”

Sistahritas is open noon-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursday and noon-9 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, though Cottle stresses that could likely change and recommends calling or checking Sistahrita’s Instagram account for changes.

1066 Fayetteville Road, Atlanta. 404-386-8670, allmylinks.com/Sistahritas

Scroll down to see the full menu for Sistahritas:

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