Oyamel
Oyamel

Oyamel

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.oyamel.com/
  • Phone: 2026281005x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday & Monday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Tuesday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 12:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Jose Andres; Head Chef, Omar Rodriguez
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Catering on a whole new level José Andrés Catering elevates catering and event planning to new heights in the Washington, DC area and beyond. Now you can experience the inspired creations of celebrated chef José Andrés at your own party or venue. Visit us for more information at www.joseandrescatering.com, or call us at (301) 913-0003.
  • Private Party Facilities: We offer a private dining room that accommodate up to 50 guests and cocktail reception up to 75 guests.
  • Private Party Contact: Felicia Perez 202-638-0202x
  • Special Events: Our Butterfly Bar can accommodate groups of up to 20 guests. Oyamel also features a lovely private dining room that accommodates 50 guests. For large parties, full or partial buyouts of the restaurant, accommodating 175 guests, can be arranged.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: D Street
  • Public Transit: Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter on the yellow and green lines; Gallery Place/Chinatown on the red, yellow and green lines.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: There are ample public lots in the Gallery Place/Chinatown/Penn Quarter area. Metered street parking is also available.
A word from Oyamel
Oyamel Cocina Mexicana combines Mexico’s rich regional culinary traditions with modern urban fare. Guests experience an array of antijitos—traditional Mexican snack or small plates—along with authentic tacos, ceviches and an impressive selection of cocktails and tequilas. This is like no Mexican food you have ever experienced. Under the direction of renowned chef José Andrés, Head Chef Colin King takes traditional ingredients and techniques and elevates them to deliver dishes and drinks with exceptional creativity and refinement.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMexican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Oyamel reviews from OpenTable diners
594 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelEnergetic
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (386)hot spot (233)vibrant bar scene (196)good for groups (177)special occasion (168)great for lunch (163)neighborhood gem (162)late-night find (66)great for brunch (62)romantic (45)great for outdoor dining (37)kid-friendly (33)notable wine list (15)scenic view (8)Show More
  • Delicious Home made Mexican food
    Want2bchef
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    What can I say about oyamel. It is my favorite Mexican place. The ambiance is great. It's lively and fun. The food is outstanding. Especially the guacamole and salsa.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great menu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Lots of great tapas to try- friendly staff, I can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never Again
    phillyborn315
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    I've been to a lot of tapas restaurants in many different states and this was the worse. I can tell it's a popular place with the 20 to 30 something crowd but I wasn't impressed. I left hungry and felt my money wasn't well spent.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pre Theatre Dinner
    FoodnDrinkGuy
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Food was good but not great. When foods were delivered they were given to the wrong people at the table. It became confusing since many of us had ordered tacos and they all looked alike. Server took drink orders for 4 people and came back with 1 drink. It was not what I have come to expect at Think restaurants. I am hoping it was an off night.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth every penny!
    NOVAPickyEater
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    My fiance and I have been here before, but our most recent experience was especially nice. We had reservations at 9pm and were greeted and seated right away. Our waiter was exceptional and suggested a few dishes, which were delicious. The food was brought out promptly, but not rushed, it tasted incredible, and the presentation was stellar. I don't like scallops but the Los cayos jarochos literally melted in my mouth. The staff was friendly and informative and the atmosphere was relaxed yet upscale. There was an old black and white Spanish movie projected on a screen that we found particularly entertaining. We absolutely loved everything about our experience and will definitely recommend to friends!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    tables are a little tight but a very good experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great!
    Jeanne
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    We had a wonderful experience at Oyamel. The food and service was great! We split several tapas and it was more than enough food. Definitely worth making the reservation as we had to wait for our table, even though we had made a prior reservation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love This Place
    flhx07
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    I absolutely love this place. Every time I have friends in from out of town I try to bring them here. The guac is amazing, great margaritas (especially the spicy Don's), and great atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • MichaelBVIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    The grasshopper tacos were unusual but delicious, and the horchata (i.e., a creamy rice drink w/ Mexican cinnamon) was the best that I've ever had! Two caveats: (1) The noise level is deafening (both in the bar & the dining area); so, if you want to have a conversation, plan to shout at each other the whole time you're there. (2) The drinks (wine & cocktails) are very overpriced, except during happy hour (M-F, 4-6); so, go early to do your drinking and then have dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • bravo oyamel
    rufkdlk
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    the food is small plates so you do sometimes leave thinking "where do i eat?" but the service, particularly Sergio and Angel, are first rate and the desk staff always makes sure there is a server which everyone should do. I like the caesar salad and black bean soup or the chicken soup and tamal verde. Wish they had soup and salad combinations, also manager and chef said they have churros but not on the menus. Desserts not too tempting but i'd go back in a minute. Jose Andres should be proud of this place, the food and its incredible people. They are all first rate in my book. Mucho gusto.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious and fun
    JTuc
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Loved getting to pick a bunch of small plates and share with my husband. Every item was delicious. Great decor, service, and food. Affordable too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • partridgepegVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    We started with a "Tequila Bloody Mary" that set the tone for a great lunch. The ceviche appetizer was great as well as the snapper for an entrée. The "blackened shrimp" was the tastiest version that I have ever experienced. And, even though I thought that the tapas menu seemed a little limited, the tapas on the menu were very tempting. Our server, Sam, was on top of his game, and we really enjoyed his recommendations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • When the rain came
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We initially sat outside. I was surprised how efficiently the staff moved us indoors before the rain started (table of 5). My hats off to the red haired manager on Saturday the 6th. I'm former military and I can sense when operations are well run. Also, food here is just the best.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • bramptondiner
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    BEST MEXICAN FOOD EVER- without a shadow of a doubt. This place is unreal. The freshly mixed guacuamole at the table was delicious. Every plate was a different flavour and every plate was better than the last. The braised beef tacos are a must have. You must eat here!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Creative Mexican Food
    bridgetteL
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    This was our first time eating at Oyamel. The food was excellent. Especially the ceviches. We had the tuna and ono ceviches and both were so fresh and very creatively prepared. Oyamell has the same small plate concept as Jaleo so we tried a number of different items. The tacos were good. The best were the cochinita pibil and the beef. The fish and another pork chorizo combo were OK. Chicken mole was good, not quite as good as in Mexico, though. The drinks were amazing. Margarita of the day and the house margarita were both very good. Service was OK. Our waiter was not very friendly. He wasn't at all helpful picking selections, etc and seemed kind of annoyed with everyone. But the rest of the staff were very attentive and friendly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Simply fantastic!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    This was our third visit to Oyamel (we do not live in the DC area). We decided to avoid the tacos this time around and explore the rest of the menu -- which turned out to be an extraordinarily wise/lucky choice. The tamales (1. corn; 2. chicken) are the best we have ever had! They are fresh, light (yes, light), and deliver maximum flavor. We will never return without ordering them! The seared sea bass was world class. The chocolate/cinnamon dessert with Mexican shortbread was memorable, with every ingredient maintaining integrity and providing pungency. That's not all we had but, collectively, the entire experience was phenomenal -- not an adjective we use very often.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic Anniversary Celebration!
    TheHoneymoonContinues
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    The team at Oyamel went the extra mile to make a simple dinner out for our wedding anniversary a very special night. From the smile-filled welcome upon our arrival to the affable hostess who showed us to our table to our server who was all-around phenomenal, we had an exceptional evening and could not have been happier with the experience. Both the cocktails and the food were spot on and danced with flavor. We were even treated to a complimentary glass of sparkling wine in honor of our wedding anniversary - a nice touch which was very much appreciated. All of this was executed with ease by the Oyamel team during a very busy Friday night dinner service. We will certainly be returning for another Oyamel experience very soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Variety
    Scuba
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    If you like to try many different things, then this is your type of restaurant. I went there with my girlfriend and we decided to order 6 total plates to split, trying as many different things as possible. We had ceviche, shrimp, meatballs, a quesadilla, and a couple tacos. Everything was great. Although the meatballs didn't stand out as anything unique, they still had great flavor. Everything else we had, though, was amazing. The ceviche has bold flavors, the shrimp was perfectly spiced, and the tacos were both constructed with a great mix of ingredients. We also tried a couple of their specialty margaritas and were not disappointed. I'd suggest ordering a few things that stand out to you and letting the waiter pick a couple.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious variety!
    cinnamoncake
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    It would be downright foolish to dine here alone because there are so many amazing options on the menu that it isn't something that can be truly plumbed by yourself! The style of food is small-plates, so plan on ordering maybe 2-3 plates per person. I highly recommend getting the guacamole, which is mixed up fresh by your table by the friendly servers. It is wonderfully rich and buttery! Personal favorites I enjoyed were the ceviche with scallops, the chayote with a poblano sauce, and the pork belly gordita. Also, your server will probably have a cocktail suggestion: listen. The noise level gets a bit chaotic at peak dinner hour, but service is excellent and the food came out fast!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OK but underwhelmed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    This restaurant's advertising and pedigree outstrip its food offerings. While OK, it was not great, and there was too much cheese on both the ceasar salad and the enchiladas, the two main courses.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent and plan to go back.
    Blue
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    Great food, service and atmosphere. This was a very unique and pleasant dining experience.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Favorite Meal
    diznut
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We had a blast - the waiter Marco was informative and friendly the food was different and amazing and the decor and atmosphere was do much fun - there are so many restaurants to choose from - make this one of them!!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worst Service
    karls
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Our waiter was not attentive. He didn't approach the table until 7-8 minutes after we were sat and when he did approach he was clearly hurrying us along to tend to a "more important" party. If this is what Jose Andres dining is, I will not be a patron at any of his restaurants any time soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A new experience
    scottgraham727
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    The tapas style paired with Tequila matching's (instead of wine) was a style i had never tried. Refreshing and fun. The Margarita pitcher at the start offered a nice debut to the soiree we were 4 adults and 3 children and it was a fantastic time. Fresh and clean was how i could describe the menu .(definitely use the sampler menu and you wont go wrong). The story of each plate was clear and defined and the local tradition of the Mexican style shines as you sit in this upbeat fun and vivacious resto.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favorite Brunch Spot
    MKLR
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Oyamel is a favorite of mine for brunch before Sunday matinees at the Shakespeare Theater's Sidney Harman Hall and Lansburgh Theater. It's usually easier to get into than Jaleo and the Oaxacan specialities are pretty authentic. Great guacamole, great mimosas, excellent brunch tapas menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Won't be back
    DCBoomer
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    This was our fourth visit to Oyamel, and will be our last. The first time we went it was great, but things went downhill each subsequent visit, culminating in our experience the other day. We had friends come in on the Metro and chose Oyamel because it is near a station and near to what they wanted to do. They had never been to Oyamel and we hoped we could give them an experience closer to our first visit than our last. No chance. We had absolutely terrible service - botched drink orders, botched dish delivery timing, no apologies - and were served small portions of ho-hum food. I felt bad for our friends - they got the brunt of the bad service - and spent the rest of the lunch apologizing for taking them there. Won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • LivingInAnExperienceEcon
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We had an incredible dinner at Oyamel. We celebrated my birthday a few days late with some friends and this place really hit the spot for a fun, energetic spot for a 27 year old to have a great dinner with friends. It is awesome for groups. Everyone ordered 2-3 tacos for themselves and we ordered brussels, beans and cheese and guacamole for the table. Awesome experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service was Meh
    Fedtraveler
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Was seated in the back room in the far back corner (party of 6). One waiter in section so food and drink came out slow, and bussers kept bringing us the wrong meals. Overall, food was OK, although things started tasting the same after a while because a lot of the plates had the same base sauce and the spice level on some dishes really overpowered the subtle qualities of some foods (I'm looking at you, red chilies in ceviche). Was nice to go to once, just to have grasshopper tacos (which was underwhelming and tasted like the free salsa they give you when you are seated), but not necessarily a place to keep coming back to.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Restaurant In a While
    LindaVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I visited DC for a day and decided to try this place. I'm so glad I did. The ceviche bar was excellent; I've had so many options before. There were many original food options such as grilled cactus and Hawaiian Ono. There were basics too like many taco options and guacamole if you're feeling less adventurous. Overall, the food was fantastic. I would come back to DC just to eat here again. To be honest, I never really respected DC's food scene, but I'm a convert now!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Beautiful space
    Katerina
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The food and drinks were delicious. Service was lacking, and the dining room very cold (AC) and loud.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loud!!!
    anthonyjay
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    It was so extremely loud that I honestly do not remember my food. I took my mother there and we had to yell. We could not even have a conversation while sitting 2 feet away. It was uncomfortable. Prices were a bit high for the quantity of food that you receive. I will not return most likely.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Really Enjoyed Oyamel
    tm2000VIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Recently enjoyed dinner at Oyamel for the first time. The salt for the Oyamel margarita is in the foam that is served on top of the drink and was an interesting change from the usual salt rimmed glass. We shared a number of excellent small plates, including the crispy brussels sprouts (excellent), swiss chard (under salads, but is a sauteed dish - excellent), fish and brisket tacos (very good), guacamole made tableside with chips and salsa (excellent) and a fried squash blossom quesadilla (this was a special, but was pretty bland). We had a great waiter and enjoyed the decor of the restaurant. The only downside was the noise level, but, hey, it is a very lively and fun place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazingly delicious
    Jnchorn
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    The food here is some of the best I've ever had. They develop layers of flavor like I have not experienced. Check them out you won't be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, Medeocre Service
    Genevieve
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    I visited Oyamel for the first time this past week. We were having a little girls night. We were sat 15 minutes before our reservation, which was great. However, once we sat down, it took 5+ minutes for our server to acknowledge our presence and we had to flag him down in order to get his attention and water. Once he realized we were there to order multiple pitchers and a ton of food he was a bit more attentive. I don't think he was weeded, we had a pretty late reservation. The food was phenomenal! There were so many fun dishes to try. My sister ordered a taco with sauteed crickets, and it actually was not bad! I will definitely be going back to Oyamel despite out snotty server.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Vegetarian Options
    kennyavaVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    We had an out of town guest who is vegetarian. Oyamel had great selections of tasty dishes. The server was very knowledgeable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • outstanding food but noisy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    outstanding food, unusual for mexican in its variety and nuanced flavors. Inside space is noisy and the night we were there the servers could not keep up
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great
    Eap2067
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Service was excellent, good was amazing. Everything on my plate tasted fresh.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always pleased
    JBurellaVIP
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    I am always pleased to take friends here, to enjoy the table made guacamole, the kind and knowledgeable servers, and have a salt air margarita. Ahhhhhh! Mmmmmm! :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delightful Lunch
    CharlieF
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Could not have enjoyed our lunch at Oyamel more. My first time there and I will go back as soon as I can get the family downtown!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Anniversary Meal
    claw
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    We went to Oyamel on our 46th anniversary. It was also the last day of restaurant week in DC. We had the 5 course sampler menu and thoroughly enjoyed every course. The sauces were excellent - the mole certainly the best I have ever tasted. The margaritas are unique with the salt foam, very good. The service was outstanding! Everyone made the celebration very special.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic