Ernesto's Mexican Food
Ernesto's Mexican Food

Ernesto's Mexican Food

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://ernestosmexicanfood.com/
  • Phone: 9164415850
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: M-F 11:00am-5:00pm
    Lunch: Sa-Su 2:00pm-5:00pm
    Dinner: M-Th 5:00pm-10:00pm
    Dinner: F-Sa 5:00pm-12:00am
    Dinner: Su 5:00pm-10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican / Southwestern, Regional Mexican, Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Jose Carrillo
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine Bar
  • Entertainment: Live Mariachi Music every Thursday and Special Events. Please view our Event Page for more information or call the restaurant for details.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 16th and S Street
  • Public Transit: Light Rail on 16th St. and R St
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Parking available on the side of 16th St. and 17 St.
A word from Ernesto's Mexican Food
Since 1991, Ernesto"s Mexican Food has proudly served Midtown Sacramento as it's #1 choice for Best Mexican Food. By using only the freshest ingredients, our chefs work diligently to ensure the authentic Mexican flavors our customers desire while simultaneously keeping their well-being in mind. Ernesto's offers a range of award-winning dishes the whole family can enjoy, including it's Signature Carnitas, Vegetarian options and "Great Margaritas". From it's colorful artwork to the rhythm of the salsa music that pulsates throughout the restaurant; Ernesto's has offered a beautiful display of true Mexican culture. We are honored to have had the chance to share the past 21 years with the Sacramento Community and we look forward to many more. The Ernesto's family wants to thank everyone for its many years of success!
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Ernesto's Mexican Food reviews from OpenTable diners
57 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4.1
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
78% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (28)neighborhood gem (20)good for groups (19)great for lunch (15)kid-friendly (12)special occasion (12)fit for foodies (10)hot spot (8)great for brunch (7)romantic (4)vibrant bar scene (3)late-night find (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Last minute pick
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    This was a last minute pick for my boyfriend and I. We loved it! Drinks, appetizers and our main courses were all very good. Our server, Jose was awesome. My boyfriend did mention his Asada chimichanga was a little dry but otherwise good! Glad we chose to try Ernesto's!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Great!
    TARFOURVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We Love Ernesto's. The Cadillac Margarita is the best we have found in California! Food is Great too!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Worth the Drive!
    dinthebay
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Drove in from the Bay Area. Good service, great food and drinks. Reasonable prices. Place was packed on a Wednesday night. Carnita meat very tender and delicious. Nice portions. I recommend the cranberry margarita and taking a trip to Ernesto's asap!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience/ good food
    chiquis
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    My siblings and I chose your restaurant to take my mom to dinner for her birthday because we saw that you had mariachis. We had no wait time to be seated. Our table was ready for us and our waiter was very attentive, friendly and fast. He made our visit an excellent experience. All orders were taken correctly and the evening was very enjoyable for our mom, which was the main reason for our visit.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Great Food
    TARFOURVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Cadillac Margaritas are the best we have had in California! Service was slow this time as they were having credit card machine troubles. Been there over 10 times and its still our favorite.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Rather disappointed in the service
    LoveNummies
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I have heard so many wonderful things about Ernesto's. While the food was good, the service left a lot to be desired. There were multiple missing items, meat served to a vegetarian, and long waits. We had an early dinner, but still found ourselves rushing out of there to get to a show. Our reserved table was not ready for us. Then we ended up with lopsided tables. I found it difficult to hear even the person sitting next to me as the overall noise in the restaurant was deafening. The server was very nice, but seemed to be very disorganized.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Family dinner in bar
    ladyham
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    My kids and grandson were visiting from out of town and wanted to try a restaurant we'd never been to before. We were happy with our choice. An early dinner in the bar was perfect for our active 14-month old grandson because it was loud and active, like him. Food was good. Everyone enjoyed their meals. We will definitely go back again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Family Birthday Bash!
    SacFamFoodies
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Ernesto's easily accomodated our party of 14 & made my daughter's 21st birthday party memorable. The staff was friendly and attentive - and the food was wonderful. Our family had a great time!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loud, and very bland.
    Likeitis
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Adequate at best. Everything was bland and sort of flavorless, even the salsa. I kept hoping to find a highlight but never did. The restuarant is pleasant inside and the service is okay but the noise level removes any points they get for atmosphere. All and all not worth a second trip.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • food ok, service horrible
    bakergirl
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    I will start with the good. My margarita was excellent. My wife said her food was good but not great. My carne Asada burrito was ok. The negatives: they charge extra if you want more than one bowl of chips an salsa, also none of their salsas are hotter than medium even if you ask for their "hot" salsa. I do love heat, so I ordered 6 fresh jalapenos grilled. I received 3. I asked my waiter where the rest were and he laughed and said they were big ones. I finished the 3 with half my burrito left. I cannot recommend this restaurant to anyone.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Busier then ever.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    I was dining at Ernesto's ten years ago, and it was popular then and it has become even more popular now. Lack of air conditioning, loud, very loud, cannot hear any conversation at my table. To busy for our waiter, he keeps us waiting for 15 minutes after we finished our meals. We had to ask the receptionist for take out boxes, and the bus boy for the check. Very disappointed, and the food is over prices.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Mexican Food Around
    TARFOURVIP
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    We are from Texas and Ernesto's is by far our favorite place to go!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Such a great birthday dinner!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Sat outside at Ernestos for my 50+ birthday celebration. There were 6 in our group. We had reservations and our outside table was ready and waiting upon our arrival. I must say the service was excellent and the food yummy. They even brought me a dessert with a sparkler in it while singing Happy Birthday. It was a warm evening and they kept our waters/ice tea's filled at all times. The only negative was that at times there were several flies pestering us. Outside of that it was a perfect evening. Thank you Ernesto's!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of my favorites in Sacto.
    jdwabbit
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    I love to return to Sacto. and visit some of my favorite places! Ernesto's is always on my list!! Love the food and Love the Vibe!!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Margarita Around
    TARFOURVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Try the Cadillac as it is great..........Chile Relleno is really good too. Never had a bad meal here. A little hard to find a place to park but its worth it.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Black beans???
    nonickname
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    I don't thing black beans should be served automatically. They are awful and everyone left them on the plates.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great Service
    collegekid
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    A really good find in Sacramento. It has everything for everyone. I met my roommates face to face for the first time here. Two of us are vegetarian while the other is not. It made it really easy to eat at Ernesto's with their menus that have a designated list for vegetarians. In addition, the service was impeccable. I'm a huge fan of the chips and dips and refills that are complimentary. Really affordable restaurant in addition to unbeatable service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Spot!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    We love Ernesto's! Great food, service and atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    My group and I were disappointed that the Mexican food was so Americanized and bland. Even the salsa had very little spice and flavor.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mariachi
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Disappointing. My family and I planned and reserved a fun night listening to mariachi band. My daughter specifically asked for a table so we could enjoy the band. They let her know that they walk around to all the tables. We drove an hour to see the band (there are several fabulous Mexican restaurants in our area, but no band). Unfortunately we were sitting outside and we never saw the band. We let the hostess and the manager know how disappointed we were. We let them know it was very clear we wanted to see the band. They both didn't seem to care. I don't think they care if we ever return. This was supposed to be a special event for my family. We left not liking the way they handled the misunderstanding.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food/excellent service
    luv2eatout
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    I loved the quality and taste of the food at this restaurant. I also liked the decorations throughout the place and the option to sit outside. Service was outstanding and I would recommend this restaurant to all my friends. One suggestion is to turn the music down somewhat as it was difficult to hear the conversation at our table.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food
    Polymath
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Thus far I have had their Veracruz Shrimp, Cowboy Shrimp, and Shrimp Chimichangas. All three had amazing taste and texture. Atmosphere is good, both indoors and out. The sidewalk area is cozy and on a very tree shaded street in downtown. The service is good. On Fathers' Day there was no receptionist at the front podium, thus we waited for around 5 minutes for someone to appear. Nevertheless, once the hostess appeared, we were taken immediately to our reserved table which had been held open for us even though the restaurant was crowded. Best Mexican food in Sacramento in my opinion.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Mexican food
    nonamepleaseVIP
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    I travel here for business occasionally and always look forward to stopping by Ernesto's for the best Mexican food anywhere! Food and drinks are always excellent. Noise level is low enough to actually carry on a conversation. Great food, great service and great price!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Irma Magallon
    Irma
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Had a great dinner, Mariachi friday is a great idea! Plan to be in soon. Our waiter Sergio was awesome!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So So Food this time
    FrankinFairOaks
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    Went to Ernesto's for lunch. Service was average. Our server didn't make sure we had salsa for our tacos, etc. when the food was delivered. 20 minutes later he came back and asked how everything was at which time we asked for some salsa. My steak quesadilla was a thick tortilla with steak in it and nothing else. So plain. Our tacos didn't have any salsa and no quac.... Oh well.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 32 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 19, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 32 reviews are from the Ernesto's Mexican Food reviews archive.
  • fabulous
    AngelaM
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We were a party of ten and enjoyed great food and service. We didn't have to wait a moment to have water, chips or salsa refilled, the staff was attentive and friendly. The food was excellent and our whole party, even the kids and picky eaters, were satisfied. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mother's Day
    stocktonlady14
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    We brought our family for an early Mother's Day, and they really enjoyed your restaurant. Super service, and I enjoyed the carnation and free dessert!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • travelswithlinda
    travelswithlinda
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    We live in Washington State and only get to Sacramento about 4 times a year. Ernesto's is ALWAYS our first stop and sometimes we make more than one stop. Sure wish we had something like Ernesto's up here where we live (near Olympia but alas we do not). So until next time I will try and make it last. Thanks for finally taking reservations. Love, love, love, Ernesto's!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Cinco de Mayo
    grimoire
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    Went for Cinco de Mayo. Got a nice seat on the patio. Server was Sergio. Food was excellent. Carne Asada was delicious and compared well with the same dish I've had in Mexico itself. Ceviche was likewise perfect. Portions were large and prices reasonable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Mexican
    Stephen
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Ernestos, an old time favorite, keeps getting better. Terrific service, food, ambiance. Fri Marchichi night is fun!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • First Time Diner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    I was meeting a friend in a location where access to transportation and work would be a plus and, I found it!
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A fun place to celebrate a
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/7/2014
    A fun place to celebrate a birthday. The service was very accommodating. I asked the server to turn down the music, and he did so right away which I don't often find in other places. The Margarita was excellent! You can bring your own cake, without extra service fee.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun but noisy
    Lisa
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    Great dining experience. Food was very good but the restaurant is very loud with music Not the place to go if your looking for a quiet dinner :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wholey Guacamole!
    Vickie
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    Ernesto's food is very good in a not-authentic-but-delicious-anyway style. The guacamole is full of real avocado and generously served. Service is above average (they were slow to recognize when we were done and ready to leave that evening). Seating isn't bad, even outside on the busy street, However, the noise level is beyond the top of any acceptable scale. It was difficult, if not impossible, to hear the conversation at our table for two. And this table was at the back, fairly removed from the main dining area. By the end of our meal, my head was throbbing with the noise.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • LOVE Ernesto's
    Rubyrube
    Dined on 3/2/2014
    We hadn't been in years, and were all set to be disappointed just because things usually don't get better with time, but were very pleasantly suprised that they were just as good, if not better, than we remembered! The food was delicious, our drinks were top-notch, the service outstanding! It made us feel so bad that we haven't been more often over the years. LOVE this place!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Fun Dinner
    Dick
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    We had company in town and chose Ernesto's. The service was great, the food was good, and the atmosphere was lively and friendly.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The service was great for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/25/2014
    The service was great for the big group that we had. Overall, great restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yes
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    My fiance said yes when I proposed here so I love the place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and wonderful evening
    Davidw
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Well, where to start? Valentines Day, maybe the busiest night for any restaurant but it did not seem that way for my wife and I. Many people where waiting outside for 45 minutes or so and even though we arrived 15 minutes early, they seated us immediately. The staff was friendly and accommodating and the food very good. Oh, did I say the prices of all entrees very reasonable. We will definitely go back to Ernestos.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Quick food- too quick
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We had reservations for Valentine's Day and the restaurant was busy. Our server took our order quickly and our food came out too quickly- in about 10 minutes. It was bland and uninspiring.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic