El Rio Grande
El Rio Grande

El Rio Grande

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.arkrestaurants.com/
  • Phone: 2128670922
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Daily: 12:00pm - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday-Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm; Friday and Saturdays:4:00pm-11:00pm Brunch: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican / Southwestern
  • Executive Chef: Fermin Ramirez
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Delivery, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Catering: No catering event is too small, we can customize an event for your needs.
  • Private Party Facilities: We can offer private events in various formats including sit-down meals, buffet or cocktail parties.
  • Private Party Contact: Diane Giovannone 2128670922

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 3rd Avenue
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking is available after 7:00pm and there is a parking garage located directly under the restaurant on 3rd Avenue.
A word from El Rio Grande
Great Tex-Mex restaurant featuring the best margaritas in New York City as voted by City Search. Authentic Mexican cuisine with a flare for grilled fish. *Please note: Reservations are not available for outdoor seating. Thank you.
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El Rio Grande reviews from OpenTable diners
42 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food3.8
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance3.5
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (18)great for outdoor dining (17)neighborhood gem (12)great for lunch (9)vibrant bar scene (9)fit for foodies (7)great for brunch (6)hot spot (6)kid-friendly (3)special occasion (2)Show More
  • Still Awesome!
    tjl322
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    First time back since the late 80's when the Swordfish Fajitas were all the rave. Well, 25 years later they still are...spectacular!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Watch those margaritas!
    CarrotTop
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Doesn't matter what you order, it'll be delicious. Margaritas you can only muster two at the most, but they are probably the best in town so it's worth it. Nice atmosphere, service is ok.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great margaritas, good food
    AnneVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    I've been going to this restaurant for at least 20 years and have always enjoyed the food and drinks. It always seems festive, even on a work night.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just OK.
    EatingUpNYC
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Food was good but drinks were disappointing. Service took a little while but wasn't bad.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • JudiVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Bad service at brunch however the food is good as usual.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Disappointing
    HonestDinerVIP
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    I am a great fan of tex-mex cuisine and perhaps spoiled by many great joints in the South, from California to Florida through Nevada and, of course, Texas. While on a business trip to NYC, after reading very positive (and now, in retrospect, perhaps false) reviews, I gave El Rio Grande a try. What a disappointment. Watery margaritas, convenience store-like chips, even more watery salsa, tiny fajitas, and what appeared to be microwaved tortillas. For about twice what you'd pay for the same food at the best place in Las Vegas or Houston. Avoid at all costs.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious, Fun and Convenient
    kdawg
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Conveniently located in midtown, right near Grand Central. They have amazing margaritas and a delicious menu. Service was great as well - very attentive waitstaff.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Food
    Travel77
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    The food was great, took a little while to get it but was worth the wait.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved It
    dshinn
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    El Rio Grande was recommended by a native New Yorker and it more than lived up to its reputation. Away from the tourist areas, the location gave a real sense of New York life with adorable brownstones and really clean streets. The outdoor dining was beautiful! We had lunch and shared an order of guacamole and a chicken quesadilla. Both were outstanding! The pomegranate margarita was also outstanding - not too strong or weak. The hostess and servers were very friendly and accommodating. This is a restaurant I will definitely be returning to!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • onedimpleVIP
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    Have been a customer since its inception and it continues to be one my favorate restaurants in my neighborhood. Food is excellent, as well as the service and ambience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Just Ok TexMex
    GTownBoyVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Not a big fan of this restaurant. Service was good but I don't like frozen vegetables as part of any meal I eat. Tortillas hard as a rock and probably the worst Mexican food in Manhattan. The outdoor seating area is great but I would stick to just drinks and some tortilla chips. Even the salsa tasted like it was from a can. Sorry I could not be more positive.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Girls Fun Brunch
    girlsfun
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We had a large group of ~10 females for lunch time, service was good, food was good. I liked the chicken nachos the best.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • happy hour begins at noon!
    Cali
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    The bar food is pretty good - especially the jalapeno shrimp. Love the fact that happy hour begins at noon.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 29 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.9
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.5
    • Service3.9
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 145 reviews are from the El Rio Grande reviews archive.
  • Great after work spot
    DNYC15
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Came here the other night with some friends after work. It was a great scene and really lively! The food was good, not great, but the ambiance made it worth it!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • right in the neighborhood
    StevenGVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    this is the second time we have eaten here - once inside during the winter and this time outside in the early evening. Everything was terrific. The food was great, the wait staff attentive and enthusiastic, just nice way to spend a Fathers Day dinner - we have not found any place in the neighborhood that matches the place.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great restaurant
    HmanVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Great Mexican food! Also for those with gluten intolerance they have corn tortillas and will replace flour to corn on any dish!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • sometime you just want to have fun
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Lets face it.. El Rio Grande is not for foodies or trendies.. but if you want good solid food and drink.. pleasant and efficient service and just a good time with a minimum of hassle or pretention.. I can't think of a better place the recommend.. sometimes you just want to have fun! the maragaritas are great.. not with organic tequila or handmade sea salt. just good old fashioned get a little buzz
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good margs, awful food and service
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    After coming here a few times just for drinks at the bar I decided to try their food since the margaritas are good, though a little pricey. Had to wait a good 5-10 minutes for a hostess to even show up and help. When we did sit our waiter took forever to come to us and then he knocked over my full margarita all over me, which I was not holding against him until he charged me for the full margarita he knocked over and never replaced it. As far as food, the guac is good but all of the entrees people ordered at my table were sub par and over priced.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nostalgia
    BkwernerVIP
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    Used to drink margaritas with work friends, many Thurs nights in my twenties. We would often go to El Rio Grande only a few blocks from the office. Went back just recently after many years, for dinner with a girlfriend. The food was great, fresh guacamole delicious, service excellent (we loved our waitress!), and very generous portions. It was as good or better than I remembered. Only drawback, I'm old now. Had no patience for the loud bar scene. If you want a quiet meal, make sure to request the dining side, much quieter.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good NY Tex-mex
    Thegoodlife
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    Probably the best Tex-Mex food in NYC, consistently good with a wide variety of choices. Excellent and strong margaritas. Service was good and the delivery of the food was timely. Only negative is that they are like many, many NY restaurants and crammed way too many tables into a small space, making it crowded and noisy. When I made the reservation, i always ask for a quiet table with some leg room. Not sure you're going to get that here. Outside seating will help that. Been ther several times, always consistently good food and service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Confused staff
    NLMAJT
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Daughter and I went in @ 5:30 for dinner. Security guard wanted to card my daughter. Hostess saved us said, guard was mistaken. Guard continued to card people. I mentioned that we had reservations when the hostess came back near our table. She stated that our reservations were on the "other side at Mexico." I was clueless as I didn't recall seeing a different restaurant name when I made the reservations. Another hostess walked us through the kitchen to the other side and sat us down. Then when we got to the other side, one of the staff members assumed that we wanted to sit in "Dan's section." What? This was the most unorganized restaurant that I've ever been to in NYC. The food was good despite all of the hiccups.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food and a fun evening
    Travelgoddess
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    What's not to like, no complaints here, had a good experience.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing Food!!
    Foodie45VIP
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    The food is always delicious and consistant. This is definitely one of my favorite places.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Texas approved
    TinaT
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    I'm a Texas transplant and absolutely love food -- so I would definitely recommend this place as a NY tex-mex option. The salsa was real salsa and not just pico. We ordered the jalapenos stuffed with shrimp and it was delicious. Also, the enchiladas had fajita meat inside; rather than shredded meat -- all great! The margaritas were tasty too. Blood orange was my favorite.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • went too far on the noise
    cecileVIP
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    went too far on the noise level question it was soooo noisy unable to enjoy the meal
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • MEXICAN DELIGHT
    buddiesVIP
    Dined on 2/19/2014
    BEEN HERE SEVERAL TIMES AND THE FOOD IS ALWAYS CONSISTENT, PLENTIFUL AND FRESHLY MADE. GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • gr8
    ange
    Dined on 2/6/2014
    Food was delicious and drinks were superbly mixed!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food and drinks!
    Sav888VIP
    Dined on 2/6/2014
    It's hard to find a place that really knows how to make a great margarita. The jalapeno one was amazing! Food was great, service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Margaritas are a MUST
    Meltrose
    Dined on 1/14/2014
    Okay, this place is GREAT! Not only can you get yummy mexican food but you get the best Margaritas in town!!! Seriously, but BEWARE don't have too many or you wont remember getting home...lol so yummy and so dangerous!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good times, great margs!
    Amb123
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    We have been coming to Rio Grande consistently since moving to the City. Our most recent dinner experience was on New Years Eve 2013 (which was a fabulous meal and great way to end the year!!). The margaritas are so fun and the food is exceptional mexican fare!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing beef
    NicCar
    Dined on 12/14/2013
    When we arrived we were given a bowl of nachos with a selection of salsas,.When we were finished we were given a refill, thank god we didn't order starters,we would never have been able for dinner! The group at the table next to us ordered guacamole which the server made at their table, it looked so delicious I wished I had ordered it! We all (party of 4) ordered beef dishes: enchilada, burrito, skirt steak, tacos, and the beef literally melted in our mouths! It was so good! I had such an enjoyable meal I would highly recommend this restaurant,and the next time I am in Manhattan I will definitely be stopping by for some guacamole! Ps: when we got the bill there was no charge for the nachos and dips!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Margaritaville!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2001
    Dined on 12/13/2013
    An excellent margarita and 4-5 star Mexican food. Service was excellent and very friendly. A great spot for any occasion. Very family friendly as well.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Go for the guac!
    GershVIP
    Dined on 11/23/2013
    Excellent reasonably priced Mexican food. The guacamole is a must, it's a tad expensive but you get a large portion and it's outstanding. Frozen margaritas also very good with many choices of flavors. My date and I both had enchiladas which were very good (she had seafood, I had steak).
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun spot
    SweetMVIP
    Dined on 11/21/2013
    Great Mexican spot located near grand central. One Margarita is enough! They could work on the decor a bit more.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great guac!
    mer3q
    Dined on 11/18/2013
    Had a lovely dinner here. Great flavored margaritas and delicious fresh-made guacamole. Service was fast and courteous, food was excellent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This is our neighborhood Mexican
    Luv2doWIneVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2013
    This is our neighborhood Mexican place. The food and drinks are always good. The atmosphere is loud/lively.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • love it
    alan
    Dined on 11/1/2013
    been going to el rio grande for over 20 years and its always great...love the drinks food...miss the green dip with the chips...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, scenic view, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Reasonably Priced Good Food
    BeccaVIP
    Dined on 10/8/2013
    And that just about says it all! My server was very good also.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great for drinks, good for food
    123456
    Dined on 10/4/2013
    the food is slightly above average but the drinks are great. however, recently someone told me that the margs used to be $5 and now the price has doubled. they're still worth it, in my opinion. fun spot.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Easy
    NAR53
    Dined on 10/3/2013
    Been going here since it opened. Just easy, consistant and good.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic