2 Theater Square Suite 130
Orinda, CA 94563Neighborhood:
MexicanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.barbacoaorinda.com/
- Phone: 925-254-1183x
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: 11:00 am Saturday- Sunday
Dinner: Open until 9:00 pm Sun - Thurs and 10:00 on Fri & Sat
Bar: Open Late Night!
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service, Mexican
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wine
- Private Party Facilities: Contact us to see how we can accommodate your next event at BARBACOA.
- Private Party Contact: Rickey Dobbs 9252541183x
A word from Barbacoa
Welcome to BARBACOA restaurant! We serve the east Bay's finest wood-fired Mexican cuisine. The wood fire feeds the flavors of our roasted meats, fish and vegetables. A full bar compliments the authentic Mexican dishes and our margaritas, beers, wines and classic cocktails will be sure to have you coming back.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
Barbacoa - Best Restaurants in Orinda ›
Barbacoa reviews from OpenTable diners
30 reviews since April 30, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (14)kid-friendly (11)neighborhood gem (10)good for groups (8)romantic (6)fit for foodies (5)great for lunch (5)vibrant bar scene (4)hot spot (4)great for brunch (3)notable wine list (1)late-night find (1)special occasion (1)Show More
- It'll do in a pinchFoodSnobishDined on 7/12/2014But we'd never go again as a first choice. Service was friendly, but not responsive. Food was absolutely mediocre. Drinks were made with mixes. It's convenient if you're going to the movies, but don't waste your time if you're just looking for good food.Special Features:
- Friendly, Noisy PlaceDiscerningdinerDined on 7/10/2014Good food, a step up from your average Mexican fare. Fun place.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious mexican foodTheMoraga3Dined on 7/3/2014We loved the outdoor dining on a warm evening. Lively, but you can easily carry on a conversation. The food was delicious and they had something for my picky 9 year old as well. The server was very friendly and efficient. We will definitely go back.Special Features:
- Waited one hour for water & drinksAnickaVIPDined on 7/1/2014We sat for 40 minutes with only chips, no water. Waiters passed us by repeatedly. We asked the maître d for a waiter. It took another 10 minutes for someone to come by. The waiter apologized profusely, but did not get even our water or our drinks until we had been sitting there for over one hour. Our food arrived at maybe one hour and 20 minutes. The food is good, service was abysmal, even after we brought the oversight to management's attention. No offer to comp anything for our excessively long wait.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Children's PlaylandBamsquireDined on 6/29/2014Tried to have a quiet night eating out on the patio. Had never been there before and have now learned my lesson. Restaurant caters to kids who run all over the patio and above it on the second level walkway, screaming and yelling. It was HORRIBLE. Would never ever eat there again. If your babysitter falls through, you have hyper children and you still want to eat out, you're in luck... There is a place for you.Special Features:
- Excellent first date spotNicoLiscioudVIPDined on 6/18/2014Food = pretty darn good Server = KICKASS Ambience on patio = fabulousSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/15/2014We enjoyed the guacamole, which had large chunks of avocado and was tasty.
- convenient, tasty Mexican faredisappointedDined on 6/14/2014Very attentive wait staff served a generous portion of the namesake barbacoa pork--juicy and delicious. A favorite drink is the spicy halapeno margarita. Camarones tacos were also very good. We'll be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Love this place!!!Posey12VIPDined on 5/31/2014Good food, fast service and great company. On top of all that, they had music. No complaints.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Large group, eat early!!!OpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 5/26/2014I had called asking for an outside table and we had made a reservation for 10 people. Before we arrived they had given the only table outside that would seat 10 to another party. They said it would be a 45 minute wait outside. The inside was empty. Instead of sitting us by a window, they tried to seat us by the kitchen where the waiters would have to squeeze behind us to get the food. We had an infant and a toddler with us. I refused the table and they did move us. Plus for large parties this is not a good restaurant as they only have two cooks, so our food came out as prepared. I was almost done with my meal when the last person was served. I do not think you need reservations for this restaurant. They may not honor it anyway.Special Features:
- awesome bbq, no serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 5/2/2014We waited 20 minutes for our first round of drinks. Dinner took nearly an hour. Next round of drinks took so long we cancelled them because we were done eating. Food, though, was incredible.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good not greatOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 5/2/2014Really good margaritas, asada, chips and salsa. Rice had carrots and corn in it, as did the chile relleno, so neither were a hit. Would eat there again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 148 reviews are from the Barbacoa reviews archive.
- Family friendlyOrindaDadDined on 3/3/2014Barbacoa does a great job at serving the needs of my family - it's a consistently good restaurant where all family members are happy. The food is good. I appreciate that their definition of Mexican goes beyond the usual burritos and tacos into more interesting fare, plus a wide range of adult beverages. They have a great kids menu and the place is generally kid friendly. Is it flawless? No. Execution can be inconsistent in the service and pacing. However, they made amends when they make mistakes. We'll be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- BAD serviceMattsmomDined on 3/1/2014We hosted 14 out of the country guest Sat night. The restaurant wasn't even very busy.....but I continually had to flag down our server to order items. It killed me to have a bill of over $400 and have such terrible service!
- Not good foodChristinaKDined on 3/1/2014I went with a group of 4 people and none of us were impressed with the food. The guacamole was probably the worst I've ever had. There were huge chunks of avacado and it looked like they forgot to finishing mashing everything up. I would not go here again.
- good Mexican foodjoelDined on 2/18/2014Nothing amazing - just good Mexican food with a few nice twists. Not cheap; not expensive. Chairs are super hard and uncomfortable.
- BarbacoacatleenVIPDined on 2/7/2014Food was good, and it came out as soon as we ordered it.... We were done with dinner in 30 minutes. Little too fast to me.... No time for the 2nd margarita.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fun night, supporting Cal AthleticsSandyPDined on 2/3/2014Barbacoa has something for everyone on the menu. It's a place that has a great bar, but is also perfect for families and young couples going on dates. In addition to great indoor seating, Barbacoa has GREAT outdoor seating, including two firepits and heating lamps for cold evenings. I highly recommend you check it out...free, underground parking and right off the freeway. Have dinner and catch a movie after since it's all in Theatre Square Orinda. :)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Getting BetterPeterDined on 1/27/2014Food has improved with new ownership and they are trying hard. Great location in Orinda and nice large patio area out front. Service still spotty due to high number of college and high school students.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fun and invitingPassionateonFoodDined on 1/27/2014Barbacoa was a fun place for a small group of ladies. Food is good, portions are fairly small. Noise level was tolerable but not quiet.Special Features:
- Best for drinks by the fire pitOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 1/25/2014There was nothing wrong with the tacos, beans or rice, but they lacked anything special that would warrant the higher-than-average price tag for Mexican food. We sat near the open kitchen, which meant that we saw and heard everything that went on "backstage". (I don't want to see open shelves of condiments, dish rags and detergent boxes at home - why would I pay to see them at a dining establishment?) On the other hand, the guacamole was excellent, and the prickly pear margarita was a sweet treat with a nice kick to it. In the future, we will make Barbacoa a stop for a drink with chips and guacamole by the beautiful outdoor fire pit, but I'm in no hurry to sit inside again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The food was good. The musicOpenTable Diner Since 2008VIPDined on 1/14/2014The food was good. The music in the dining room was much too loud and took away from the overall dining experience. We didn't complain soon enough and when we did they said if we had said something sooner they would have turned it down.Special Features:
- No Passion, No overdelivery, no masCDPEDined on 12/15/2013Some food items just on the plate so don't realize you're getting overcharged. Best items are hongos & quelites tacos. Drinks menu solid but pricey for 'Mexican comfort food'. Outdoor space=very good, espec for families. Biggest gripe with Barbacoa and Table 24 is feel that owners wringing every penny out of you. No attempts to overdeliver at either place. 1 example: Compare a 16oz and 20oz draft beer: 25% more beer costs you 40% more. Huh? Why scam people like that? May seem petty but if you look closely, you see corner cutting over and over. No passion for food at either place. Also, many of faux leather chairs coming apart--just prove lack of care. Service is just ok and servers don't appear to know the menu. Don't wanna come back.Special Features:
- Restaurant has a expansivefoodieVIPDined on 12/14/2013Restaurant has a expansive bar with bar seating for eating. Open area dining room close proximity to open kitchen. With that said noise level is quite high. If energy and noise is what you are seeking, great with kids, this is the place. If you prefer a more moderate noise level, you may seek another restaurant. Food was American-Mexican, good but not terribly authentic.Special Features:
- Don't botherKlbyrneDined on 12/6/2013Had read many poor reviews about the service here, but that turned out to be the best thing about Barbacoa. Food was very bland starting with a most unimpressive blob of guacamole - served cold in a soup cup right from the frig. Bucket of ordinary chips never refreshed. Salsa the consistency of catsup, although it did have the only bit of a spicy taste. Friend's tacos ridiculously small, rice and beans bland. My enchilada stuffed with plain boiled chicken - little taste or evidence of cheese or the promised tomatillo sauce. The worst thing was friend's margarita which had a strange stringent taste - almost like rubbing alcohol. Did not finish even half of the drink - it was that bad. Will not be back - a shame since it's a good location.
- When I say bad service, IOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 11/9/2013When I say bad service, I mean really bad service! Stay away from this restaurant. food is usually good, but they cannot overcome incompetence, poor staffing and bad management.
- Mediocre MexicanLafayetteFoodieVIPDined on 10/19/2013My husband and I tried this place 3 times, but are done trying. Would love to have a good Mexican restaurant in Orinda, but this is not it. Too bad... the restaurant has a very nice ambience, a beautiful courtyard dining area, and an active bar. If only the food wasn't so bland and ordinary and the wait staff so clueless. Interestingly, the nice ambience but mediocre food reminds us of another once-new Orinda restaurant, Table 24, also located in theater square. We gave up on that one after numerous tries due to tasteless food...and we just found out that both restaurants have the same owner! Makes sense. Wish Orinda could do better!
- Great serviceanneVIPDined on 9/13/2013We had a great evening dinner at Barbacoa. The service was really good and the food yummy.Special Features:
- DisappointingLuv2dineDined on 9/7/2013Came for a special event dinner. Out waitress and cooks got our order wrong twice. Once seated, we had to wait a good 20 minutes until our drink order was taken. Other tables that were seated after us, received their drinks and food before us. We had to flag the waitress down for more drinks. We won't be returning.Special Features:
- Paid attention to special requestOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 8/31/2013I was very pleased that the restaurant did read my request for low-sodium options and/or custom cooking food to meet that need. They offered several alternatives. Overall, the service was very good; margaritas great; chips and guacamole fantastic; main courses of standards prepared with a twist (e.g., good use of marinade on carrots + other interesting spices). Nice setting outside where they turned on the heating lamps as the evening cooled down.Special Features:
- Good casual outdoor diningJoJoDined on 8/30/2013Good spot for a margarita, some chips and mexican food. Sitting outside on a warm summer night is great.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not going backAndarVIPDined on 8/10/2013This establishment need a manager that keeps the very young staff alert and attentive to customers requests rather than horsing around in front of the customers. The bartender needs instructions on making classic martinis and manhattans with full servings rather than an odvious small pore especially for $9.00. The food is ok not spectacular and the atmosphere is reminiscent a Mexican Beach Town. No need to come back.
- Outdoor DiningCathyDined on 8/8/2013This place has a great outdoor patio for people that want to bring their dogs with them. Love the fire pit, outdoor heating units and comfortable seating. The server was quick to bring over chips and salsa, and they were good. We ordered margaritas and burritos, the burritos were great but they forgot the sourcream we ordered, the margaritas needed alcohol. The server was ok.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Post movie drink and snack.OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 7/26/2013The steak nachos were fine. The margarita was on the bitter side but the entrees we saw and smelled we're enticing. We will go back to try dinner. Lots of families eating and enjoying the open fire pit out front.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mex, Beer, and Game!OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIPDined on 7/19/2013Best place in LaMorInda to watch the Giants game, have some beer/magaritas, and enjoy very well prepared Mexican food. My favorite local spot.Special Features:
- Overall goodChocolatepiemomDined on 7/17/2013This was my second 3rd time to Barbacoa. I ordered the carnitas this time (last time I had the pork wrapped in banana leaf it was kinda dry, too) and it were tasty but extremely dry. Won't order them again. The chips and guacamole were excellent. My friend ordered tacos and they were delicious.Special Features:
- Enjoyable eating outdoorsKhatonVIPDined on 7/12/2013This is a wonderful place to come eat outside on a warm night. The music was loud so we asked to be moved and it was no problem. I had a habenero margie and didn't want it too sweet and the bartender made the drink perfectly. I liked the tacos better this time. The meat has always been good but they are usually dry. This time the tacos were moist and tasty. I would like it better if they served a few sauces instead of deciding which one to put on which taco. My husband had the spicy sause and I liked that the best so I used it on my tacos too. If you have tacos they are very filling and it makes for a very good and inexpensive meal even with 2 drinks.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not GoodOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 6/28/2013Food was tasteless & I had one of the restaurants specialties. My friends salad with added shrimp was pitiful. Restaurant has had good reviews, so I was really disappointed. It was a waste of money & my time.
- Barbacoa adds to Theater SquareKatorindaVIPDined on 6/27/2013Barbacoa is a very nice addition to the Orinda dining scene, especially Theater Square. I love the out door dining, the food has been good the three times I've eaten there (healthy, but not boring), and it is great to have an outdoor dining experience.Special Features:
- BIRTHDAY DINNERPhilDined on 6/22/2013Stopped in to celebrate my son's birthday. Nothing extraordinary about this place. Food was adequate and service was fair to good. Chips and salsa came with the drinks and salsa lacked much of a kick. Guacamole that was ordered as an appetizer provided a little more flavor. Main dishes was acceptable, but nothing special. Carne Asada burrito had sufficient meat in it but would have been dry without ordering it wet. Smores nacho chips for desert was good but even though we let hostess know of his birthday, nothing was said or offered.