Barbacoa
Barbacoa

Barbacoa

  • 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

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Brookwood Road
  • Public Transit: Orinda BART
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Orinda Theatre Square has ample underground parking in its three story garage. We will validate for all visitors who dine with us.
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
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Barbacoa reviews from OpenTable diners
22 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating3.5
  • Food3.6
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
63% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (11)kid-friendly (11)neighborhood gem (9)good for groups (6)great for lunch (4)great for brunch (3)fit for foodies (2)hot spot (2)vibrant bar scene (2)romantic (2)special occasion (1)Show More
  • Children out of control
    Kreach
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Lovely outdoor dining except for the large packs of children running around playing hide in seek and screening at the top of their lungs. Their repeated shrills were like nails on a chalkboard making the evening horribly unpleasant and while not the establishments fault, until parents get their children under control it is more suited for only like minded families.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It'll do in a pinch
    FoodSnobish
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    But 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:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Friendly, Noisy Place
    Discerningdiner
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Good food, a step up from your average Mexican fare. Fun place.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious mexican food
    TheMoraga3
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    We 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:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Waited one hour for water & drinks
    AnickaVIP
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    We 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:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Children's Playland
    Bamsquire
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Tried 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:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Excellent first date spot
    NicoLiscioudVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Food = pretty darn good Server = KICKASS Ambience on patio = fabulous
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    We enjoyed the guacamole, which had large chunks of avocado and was tasty.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • convenient, tasty Mexican fare
    disappointed
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Very 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:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place!!!
    Posey12VIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Good food, fast service and great company. On top of all that, they had music. No complaints.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Large group, eat early!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/26/2014
    I 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:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 11 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 20, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.9
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 150 reviews are from the Barbacoa reviews archive.
  • awesome bbq, no service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good not great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Really 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:
    Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Family friendly
    OrindaDad
    Dined on 3/3/2014
    Barbacoa 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:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • BAD service
    Mattsmom
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    We 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!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not good food
    ChristinaK
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    I 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • good Mexican food
    joel
    Dined on 2/18/2014
    Nothing amazing - just good Mexican food with a few nice twists. Not cheap; not expensive. Chairs are super hard and uncomfortable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Barbacoa
    catleenVIP
    Dined on 2/7/2014
    Food 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:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun night, supporting Cal Athletics
    SandyP
    Dined on 2/3/2014
    Barbacoa 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:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Getting Better
    Peter
    Dined on 1/27/2014
    Food 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:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun and inviting
    PassionateonFood
    Dined on 1/27/2014
    Barbacoa 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:
    great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best for drinks by the fire pit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    There 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:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food was good. The music
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 1/14/2014
    The 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:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • No Passion, No overdelivery, no mas
    CDPE
    Dined on 12/15/2013
    Some 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:
    vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Restaurant has a expansive
    foodieVIP
    Dined on 12/14/2013
    Restaurant 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:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Don't bother
    Klbyrne
    Dined on 12/6/2013
    Had 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • When I say bad service, I
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    When 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mediocre Mexican
    LafayetteFoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    My 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!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great service
    anneVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2013
    We had a great evening dinner at Barbacoa. The service was really good and the food yummy.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointing
    Luv2dine
    Dined on 9/7/2013
    Came 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:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Paid attention to special request
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/31/2013
    I 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:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good casual outdoor dining
    JoJo
    Dined on 8/30/2013
    Good spot for a margarita, some chips and mexican food. Sitting outside on a warm summer night is great.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not going back
    AndarVIP
    Dined on 8/10/2013
    This 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Outdoor Dining
    Cathy
    Dined on 8/8/2013
    This 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:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Post movie drink and snack.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    The 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:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mex, Beer, and Game!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 7/19/2013
    Best 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overall good
    Chocolatepiemom
    Dined on 7/17/2013
    This 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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyable eating outdoors
    KhatonVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2013
    This 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:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/28/2013
    Food 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Barbacoa adds to Theater Square
    KatorindaVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2013
    Barbacoa 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:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate