Cafe Frida - Columbus Ave
Cafe Frida - Columbus Ave

Cafe Frida - Columbus Ave

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.cafefrida.com/
  • Phone: 2127122929
  • Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Regional Mexican, Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Miguel Espinoza
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Catering: Up to 1,200 guests (off premises catering)
  • Entertainment: On special ocassions.

Getting there

  • Public Transit: Subway 1 to 79 st Subway 2, 3 to 72 st Subway C to 81st Bus M7
  • Parking: No
A word from Cafe Frida - Columbus Ave
The authenticity in our Mexican Regional Cuisine is a ritual of flavors, aromas, colors and textures dedicated to your soul. Our knowledge and passion for the tequila culture has been awarded by the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico since 2006, making us one of the few restaurants in the world of having such honor. Come and enjoy the warmth of Mexico!
Continued
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Cafe Frida - Columbus Ave reviews from OpenTable diners
43 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.9
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (24)good for groups (12)fit for foodies (10)kid-friendly (8)hot spot (8)great for lunch (7)vibrant bar scene (6)special occasion (4)late-night find (4)scenic view (3)romantic (3)great for brunch (2)great for outdoor dining (1)notable wine list (1)Show More
  • BobK2
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Authentic mexican fare. Very good drinks and nice selection of entrees. Even though it was a bit cramped, we enjoyed the friendly, neighborhood atmosphere. A must try if you re around the Museum of Natural History.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food, bad service
    CindiVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Waiter took forever to come to table. When my food came I told the waiter one of my side dishes didn't come out. He said he'd check on it, but never came back. Side never arrived.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food & Staff make the place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I have now dined at Frida twice, both times with a group of 6-7 people, and I cannot say how much everyone enjoyed themselves. The food was enjoyed all around (the guacamole, lamb, and enchilada suizas in particular), and our waiter and waitresses really made our dinner relaxing and fun. I'd note that the space is not large, and is more conducive to smaller groups or one-on-one dinners, however, we were made comfortable despite this. To top the evening off, when we mentioned to our waitress that it was our friend's birthday she arranged for a cake, candles, a song, a sombrero and a shot/toast. My entire party left discussing when we could return next.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Experience!
    BeyondBianca
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I highly recommend anyone to come here! The food is delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mexican Independence done right
    macbny5
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    I was looking for a restaurant to celebrate Mexican Independence Day and Cafe Frida was the perfect choice. My husband and I shared the tuna ceviche which was lovely. My chiles en nogada were excellent and the mezcal cucumber cocktail was outstanding. He had the steak tampiqueño and fell in love with the frijoles de olla. Dessert and coffee were equally good. And those mariachis!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not pleasant
    uwsdiner72
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    The service from the moment we walked in was ABYSMAL. After our table was cleared and re-set, the hostess pointed at it and said 'You can sit there'. She made no effort to leave the hostess stand, welcome us, anything like that. We sat for a while. Finally our waiter came by and mumbled something. We ordered guac and drinks, the waiter said nothing and walked away. The guac (which was good) arrived quickly, but the drinks took forever. Our entrees (average) came, we ate, and the only time we saw our waiter again was when I asked him for the check. I then had to walk my credit card up to the manager. Yikes. We will NEVER go back there and won't go to any of the other restaurants this group owns. We should have gone to Shake Shack.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Very good Mexican food
    Stuart
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Interesting menu selections beyond standard Mexican fare. Good service at a reasonable price. Outstanding margaritas!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unsure about my dinner
    JenronVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I have been a customer for many years. I have been to your Columbus Ave. location and frequented your Uptown location when it was opened. I was with another person on Saturday night and both of us felt that the food and presentation was not as good as times before. I had the Chile Rellono and my friend had one of the specials which was similar to my dish but there was so much sauce over the peppers that it overpowered the dish. Both of us later on that evening had upset stomachs. When I arrived the two hostesses were not welcoming and rolled their eyes like they could not be bothered. Overall I love your restaurant and always recommend it. I do hope to return and look forward to a better experience. It would be a shame if it was not.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice mexican place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Nice place with interesting variations on mexican fare. Very tasty. Good service. I would recommend it, just make sure you make a reservation. Even with a reservation we still had to wait a little while as it was a busy time for them.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food at a good price
    SemperEJ
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We were very happy with our meal. Everything was flavorful and delicious. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food .
    MMcg
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Definitely a place to return to on a regular basis. Great guacamole.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • So-so food
    FrequentdinerVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The main element I remember about the evening was noise. Frida's is so loud one has difficulty hearing anyone else at the table. The mojitos were excellent. The food was not. The guacamole was just ok, a small portion for the price. The pork carnitas tacos were not particularly seasoned and were served plain - no lettuce, tomatoes, or any other accompaniment. When I asked about it the server said, that's how we serve tacos here and brought a miniature container of yellow salsa. My husband's enchilada suizas were just ok. Not recommended.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great options
    modi
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Sometimes it's tough to find vegetarian options but Cafe Frida had plenty. The molotes and chili relleno in particular were great.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Plates are small
    Diner1
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Beware, the plates are very small. I'd say order double of anything you want. Our table of 5 was shocked at the portions. Also, food is ok, nothing special. Great drinks though.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food great service
    Bd1901VIP
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    Our experience at Cafe Frida was great! Although a World Cup match was on, our server was very attentive and patient with us as he described several dishes. The guacamole was delicious. Would recommend to friends.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Gaucomole in the City
    CWrightVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    This is a must go to place if you like good authentic Mexican food. Everything was cooked perfectly and tasted great. Haven't had Mexican food like this outside of Mexico.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 27 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 511 reviews are from the Cafe Frida - Columbus Ave reviews archive.
  • Great lunch deal
    TruefoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    The food is always good here. They have a big screen tv for World Cup which made it even better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gigi
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Very good Mexian food. Not spectacular but very servicable. Excellent Guacomole.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not what it was - stick to simple
    LeoM
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Cafe Frida - particularly the Amsterdam location - was our favorite Mexican restaurant in the city. Now it is but a pale echo of it's former self. The impressive salsa list is down to three, they no longer have the huitlacoche queso fundido, and the quality of every taco and entree we tried this visit - particularly the steak - has gone downhill. On the positive side, the salsas that are left, the guacamole, and the margaritas - particularly the la tentadora - are still great. But very sadly Cafe Frida has become a place to go for drinks and snacks.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad food
    Mary
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    We ate here over the weekend, there were 5 of us and no one liked the food! It is bland, ordinary and dry. The burritos don't come with salsa, they are nothing special in terms of taste, just a tortilla with dome beans cone thrown in, couldn't find much spinach either! The chimichangas tasted old and were unappetizing! No one liked their dish ! The waitress was completely unhelpful, service was slow and I felt bad I suggested it to visiting famy upon a friend 'a recommendation! We will never return!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Quality Mexican
    YummyyyVIP
    Dined on 5/13/2014
    You won't regret going to Cafe Frida. Every dish is delicious and you can't go wrong here. Great waitor with a sense of humor. Thank you for another great meal!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • used car salesman
    EddyVIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    My friend and I had dinner here the other night. The service wasn't friendly at all and our waitress tried pushing things on the menu we didn't want. They also charge for chips and salsa. Not sure if they always did that but regardless this place really isn't that great. Will try my hardest not to go back there.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fire decorator, bartender & CHEF!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    First of all the Christmas lights in the window (snowflakes) in May (!) were just tacky, like Curry Row! The new fuchsia paint color was equally as bad. The music was no longer Mexican, it was Hip Hop and extremely loud. And I was disappointed to see that you still have those same ugly and uncomfortable bucket chairs that you cannot hang a bag, purse or jacket on. We ordered Margaritas on the rocks which I promised my friend were great but they were watery. And at $11 each for well tequila they are a total rip off! We both ordered enchiladas mole which were as awful as the presentation, thick spongy pancake-like tortillas-horrible, very little chicken and the mole sauce was mediocre at best! Really, really disappointing!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yummy Shrimp Tacos
    Charlottesmum
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    My 6 year old daughter loved the quesadillas and I thought the shrimp tacos we delicious. Husband had a soup and salad thigh he said were also outstanding. We will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bianca
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    Although I had made reservations and we arrived on time, we had to wait more than 40 minutes for our table.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not worth the time
    Suzanne
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    Ok food, nothing special. Tuna tacos had lots of vegetables, little tuna. Ceviche too had lots of vegetables, little fish. Noise level was horrible with some kind of racket as music. Do not recommend.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Will come back for more
    Larry
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed each dish we had here. The "fondue" was a fabulous mix of four cheeses melted on a hot skillet. Served on homemade white corn tortillas that were the best we have ever eaten. Also best ever was the mole chicken enchiladas. Everyone has their own secret mole recipe. This one is so far my favorite (better than any I have had in Tucson or Mexico). The plantan macho for dessert was a great way to end the evening. It's big enough to split so we did. We would definitely come back here again and highly recommend it to anyone staying or traveling through the upper west side. Get a seat facing the street for fun people watching!
    Special Features:
    Scenic View
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • YUMMY HIBISCUS MARGARITA!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    VERY AUTHENTIC GUAC & TACOS, GOOD LOCATION AND AMBIENCE.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Off night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/21/2014
    Normally never a problem. Just a few things slightly off this night. >I called at 6:45 to make a reservation for 2 at 7pm. and hostess said I could try and walk in. I quickly went to open table and easily booked a reservation for two. > in general team was quite attentive however, it took a while for the waiter to initially come over to take our order > our entrees arrived 1 minute after our guacamole, so didn't really have time to eat..but yummy > fajitas delicious; carnitas tacos not so much..plain, dry > friend ordered a 3rd margarita(no judgement;)) from someone and it wasn't showing up so she asked the waiter again and it quickly came ; however, she was charged for 4 initially. It was taken off the bill without a problem.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good for a quick bite
    TantiNYCVIP
    Dined on 4/8/2014
    I visited Cafe Frida on Tuesday and left thinking, it was just "okay." The happy hour specials are a nice draw -- I got the $2.25 Tacos and $6 Sangria, but even those were just "okay." The guacamole was good, but a bit chunky and the rice and beans lacked quite a bit of flavor. I can't say I would never visit again, but it's definitely not on the top of my list of places to go.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Near Natural History Museum
    LongIslandLadyVIP
    Dined on 4/8/2014
    We have eaten here before. The lunch is reasonably priced - a good value. The tomato soup was spicy and delicious and the empanadas were great. The crepa for dessert was also very good. If you are at the Museum and looking for a good Mexican meal, I rev omen this place. The Margarita was also very good!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • No longer loyal customers
    celiac
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    This was a total mess, we are done with this company after visiting both locations more times than I can count. On this occasion I made a Saturday night reservation at Amsterdam and 97th St via a link on the restaurant website. Tho confirmed that day, we showed up to learn they'd changed hands, was no longer called Frida & the res was now at the orig location on Columbus Ave. No apologies, no offer to seat us, no attempt to keep us loyal, return neighborhood customers. As my party's host, I didn't have another option at 9:00 on a weekend night so we hoofed it down to 77th St, Food was fine, but still no apology so tasted bitter. This is unheard-of in any industry: you take care of return customers, not switch them up & ignore them.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious Dinner
    Guggs
    Dined on 3/10/2014
    The food at Cafe Frida is always reliable and delicious!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Mexican
    sharonVIP
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    Despite running late for our reservation, we were seated promptly. The seating was a little cozy, but we were able to admire our neighbors' food selections before deciding on our own. The trio of salsas is a great deal! The hot habanero salsa was too spicy for me, but my boyfriend loved it. I enjoyed the chicken fajitas and he enjoyed his mole chicken, and the margaritas were strong and delicious. We will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ok
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Cafe Frida was just ok. The gauc and margs were really good - it provided false expectations for the rest of the food. The enchiladas were bland yet the pepper and onion side was soo hott.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Really Enjoyed Cafe Frida
    tpad
    Dined on 2/12/2014
    Excellent Guacamole. Delicious Margaritas - loved the chili salt edge. Entrees were tasty. I look forward to coming back to visit and explore more of the menu. Thanks for a delicious meal served by fun and attentive staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Delicious Mix
    Rico
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    I enjoyed the menu options for the dinner because of the mix of traditional mexican dishes, and the more Mexican-American dishes as well, so there is a great spectrum for foods to eat. The drinks were delicious! My Lady enjoyed the hibiscus margarita and I enjoyed the Pacifico Beer. The best part was when a friend asked for the beer options, and the response was " we only have imported beers"..which made the experience even better!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I love to visit Cafe Frida.
    yk841pink
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    I love to visit Cafe Frida. Never disappointed from the food and the drinks!!! The wait staff is always very nice and the food is excellent and also the drinks are always amazing! I am so glad you opened UWS new location since this one is much closer to my house. cannot wait for the next visit!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was okay
    PaulVIP
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    The food is fine, not great. Nice mole sauce and Guac, that's about it. Marg's not amazing. The horrible percussive music coming out of tiny speakers was not appreciated and the too dark upstairs, where you have no idea what you're eating, was strange. But it looked reasonably popular on an early Saturday night, if that means anything.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great sport for post-museum lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    Cafe Frida is a great alternative to Shake Shack if you're looking for a comfortable place to have lunch with your kids after going to the natural history museum. I was delighted to be in a place that was kid-friendly but not stuffed full of other families with small kids. My kids are fine with spicy food, but if yours are not, no worries - they offered to make the dishes plain and were very accomodating about a few idiosyncracies.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.