Food & Drink

You can eat as much as you want at this charming and traditional Mexican restaurant

What can be a little adventure for some is a typical day for others, but no matter what your experience will be, there is always good food involved when you visit Cositas Ricas. Right at the corner of S.C. 90 and Sea Mountain Highway sits the Big Barn Center of Little River and where Fiorentino’s Italian Café once was is now this charming traditional Mexican restaurant.

Cositas Ricas has been around for over a year and in that time has become a very popular spot for local workers to have lunch, both as dine in and take out. Its popularity is easily understood with just one visit, as the eatery is a buffet for Mexican cuisine. For a majority of visitors, the 10-15 dishes offered every day are as comforting as they are filling.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day the restaurant opens, and the hard-working and efficient team keeps the buffet filled while also visiting the floor to refill drinks or tidy up. Despite the busy lunch crowd, the restaurant is kept impressively clean. Though there is a television hanging on one wall, it is generally ignored in favor of good conversation, shared not just between guests but the employees as well.

Much of Cositas Ricas’ success has no doubt come from the local population, with information spread by word of mouth. While a tight-knit community made of people who support each other is certainly a good thing, this also means it can be a little intimidating for first-time visitors. The buffet spread isn’t listed but guests not familiar with traditional Mexican food are encouraged to ask, English or Spanish.

Black beans and Mexican rice are staples to the lineup, and warmed tortillas are included so hungry customers can choose any number of fillings. There are also delicious fried quesadillas, carne asada in spicy red sauce, plus vegetable dishes with zucchini or cactus. All this and more is available for about $10, before drinks and taxes.

Toward the end of the week, Cositas Ricas extends its hours into the late afternoon and evening to offer menu items. The already mouthwatering spread of traditional food is made even more extensive with the menu, which includes burritos, sopes, tortas, and fajitas. The most expensive menu items are meant to be shared between family members.

Cositas Ricas offers a few Mexican sodas but also has regular fountain drinks. Many guests stop by for their jugos, or fresh fruit juice. Children have their own menu at this time as well, and desserts include flan, fried plantains, churros, and of course ice cream.

As a restaurant that feels like a big family reunion, complete with boisterous company and unending good food, every visit to this Mexican grill can feel fresh and new. Whether you grew up eating food such as this or want to try something new, you’ll be welcome at Cositas Ricas.

If you go

What: Cositas Ricas

Where: 4335 Big Barn Drive, Little River

Hours: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Mon-Wed, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Thu-Sat

Information:, 843-734-1211

Price: $6-9 starters, $7-35 entrees