Leo Cervantes

Restauranteur, Entrepreneur, and Author


At the age of 19,  Leo Cervantes began pursuing the American dream when he emigrated from Mexico City and moved to Bradley Beach, NJ.  Leo learned to speak English by interacting with his co-workers at a local restaurant where he started as a dishwasher.  At the age of 30, 11 years after beginning his journey,  he started his own business.  Today Leo is the founder and the chef/owner of CHILANGOS TEQUILA BAR & RESTAURANT in Highlands, NJ.  Chilangos, as it is affectionately known, has expanded to several additional locations in The Fords, NJ, and Hillsborough, NJ. 

This growth has not stopped Leo; he is a true entrepreneur and advocate for the community. Not satisfied with static locations, he launched the Chilangos food truck and his newest venture, NAKED TAMALES (2022).  In addition to being a restauranteur, chef, and entrepreneur, Leo took pen to paper and became an author with his best-selling book CHILANGOS IN THE HOUSE: the true story of a MEX-I-CAN.  His personal journey to achieve the American dream and inspire others.

Leo believes in supporting other aspiring entrepreneurs and not only advocates for Hispanics and Latinos across the state but puts his best forward for anyone reaching for that dream.  As a Highlands, NJ councilman, Leo maintains connections with the community and not only brings his vast knowledge and guidance to his four children as a father but shares this experience and wisdom with the community.