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  • Oyamel

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Oyamel Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.oyamel.com
  • Phone: (202) 628-1005
  • 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) 638-0202
  • Special Events & Promotions: 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 WinnerMexican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "Very good food. It was loud (open table would not allow me to select the loudest option), but we had fun with good drinks and food."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Delicious food and marguerites Service was attentive but not hovering. Excellent! Tab over $200 with tip for 4 people--only 3 alcoholic beverages, no coffee and no dessert. Somewhat pricier than I expected"
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Serving are small plates but the pork tacos are amazing!"
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "We choose to eat here every single time we visit Washington D.C. It has the best authentic Mexican Fusion menu I have ever encountered. Anywhere. And I grew up in LA and lived in Phoenix for 8 years. I love regional Mexican food, and this is simply the best I have ever had. I have never had a bad dish, ever. The service was perfect. We stay at the Ritz Carlton, and the service rivals that of the Ritz while being more personable. This last visit was for an anniversary, and every special request was accomodated with a smile. My spouse has a corn allergy, and they delivered a special menu from the chef to accomodate. And every suggestion by the waiter was simply perfect. One problem, you may not be able to eat Mexican elsewhere!"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Oyamel is one of my favorite DC restaurants! Great cocktail list, fantastic and unusual food, and everything tastes super fresh. I love their seasonal specials, and the free chips and salsa are very high quality. The mushroom tacos, and pretty much any quesadilla is a lovely option, as is the fresh guacamole. Ceviche is so good there! The dishes are pretty small, so ordering 2-3 per person is a good bet. This makes a meal a little pricey, but well worth it. Very recommended!"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Small plates were unique and delicious -- not your Mother's Mexican restaurant. Drinks were also fab. Bonus was that we got to meet Jose Andres who happened to be in the restaurant that evening. Service was first-rate!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Enjoyed a great group dinner. Fabulous food including guacamole and good margaritas. Very attentive and flexible waiter. Even have an allergy menu."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Food is consistently good. Tuna ceviche, chicharones quesadillas, and brussel sprouts, all outstanding. Service was a bit slow getting drinks and then whisked away our food without offering to box it up. Ask for the special habenero salsa if you like hot & spicy."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "The most outstanding thing about the restaurant was the decor. It was too noisy to have a table conversation; the tacos were soggy and skimpy; and the wait staff was quick to recommend we order starters before we really looked at the menu--a sure signal to me that the restaurant hoped we would rack up a huge bill without thinking. The entire experience left a bad taste in my mouth."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "We are fans of Zaytinya, so we were pretty excited to try Oyamel and it didn't disappoint. This place is tapas style, so you can order a bunch of different things and share. We started off with the margarita of the day and it was super tasty. The tableside guacamole was really good. It was a bit pricey at $13.50, but it was tasty and more than enough for 2 people. We ordered a total of 6 dishes plus the guac and that was more than enough food. I wish I would have saved some room for dessert because the menu looked good, but that means I'll just have to come back again."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "There is always a good vibe at Oyamel with great food and you can't beat the Oyamel Margaritas with the salt foam."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "My friends and I had a very nice time at Oyamel at Saturday Brunch. Our waiter, Sam, was very energetic, everything was "awesome," the food was good and we were comfortable."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Food was average. Service was good, but the menu is confusing and the waiter was hard to understand in the noise."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "we experimented a bit and didn't like the 2 "experiments" we ordered, though that is probably not because they were not done very well, but because they were just not to our liking. these were 2 salads - nopalitos (baby cactus, which i now think is pretty yucky), and a seasonal fruit salad (gazpacho something, surprisingly not very tasty). but, everything else was outstanding - the cocktails (La Rosa Ponche), the El Bajio ceviche, the 2 different pork tacos we got, the service, and the great restaurant decor. so, if you experiment, sometimes you don't like what you get, sometimes its a new favorite."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "We've eaten here on many occasions when visiting DC. Recently the space has been enlarged which has made it more attractive and improved the noise level and general ambiance. Our waiter Sam was appropriately attentive and things seemed smoother than usual. The food was interestingly flavorful and attractively presented."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "From the service to the food, everything was great. Ordered 8 dishes, loved them all. Try the margaritas."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Best dining experience in DC. A bit loud and pricey, but worth it for the fantastic food and service. They gave us the front window table for my wife's birthday. She loved it."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Decided to make reservations here due to all of the reviews on yelp and opentable... The food was over priced for the quality. It is obvious the owners are buying false "good reviews" for themselves."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Couldn't hear a word my friends were saying. The food was decent but pricey. Waitress was very sweet but she and the bus boys were driving us crazy trying to clear plates we obviously had not finished! The irritation of the combination of intrusive service and the inability to have a conversation detracted from the interesting food."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "The waiter came to the table get my order for the other party had arrived. When the other party did arrive it was 15 minutes before we saw the waiter again. He brought out our hot appetizers before the ceviche and all that was before the drinks arrived. When I mentioned that service have been poor, there was no apology, just an "oh". For the price, I certainly expected more! I will not be returning."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "I love Oyamel. I know I rate it kid friendly. I take my daughter here and they are great. They took my stroller and put it away for me.I give my daughter the papas con mole with all sauces on the side. She is 4 and loves to dip fries in sour cream. There are a few other things my daughter eats there. I love the food and the margaritas. They have great gluten free options and a little bit of everything. I love this place!"
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Oyamel is always fun. Terrific guacamole, great chips, and excellent salsa, which my friends and I nearly always order. Many unusual and intriguing small plates makes dining fun. Exotic drinks, some more successful than others."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Authentic Mexican is finally blossoming in the US and I couldn't be happier. Stumbled onto Oyamel years ago while visiting DC with my kids and now that both of them are in school down there, i include a meal at Oyamel as part of every visit. This wonderful place, along with Superica in Santa Monica in CA, are my two favorite places to eat Mexican "street food" in the U.S."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Jose Andres has built an empire but this piece of it needs some attention. The menu is extensive and interesting but the food just seems...old. The patatas mole are wilted french fries -- and not very many -- with some cheese and sauce on them. Not particularly interesting or good. There are touches that shine -- fresh cilantro, delicious brussels sprouts, but nothing tastes to impress or delight. I will give a shout out to our waiter who realized we were ordering all vegetarian dishes and pointed out that the refried beans were cooked with pork fat. Well done! And the restaurant is beautiful inside. If only the food aspired to be the same."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "This was just the kind of lively spot we were looking for to celebrate my wife's birthday. We enjoyed the selection of interesting, unusual small plates. Even though the place was busy, the service was good and food was brought to the table reasonably quickly."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The décor was very chic and inviting. We loved the butterflies in the ceiling, on the entrance door, and on the restroom door. The guacamole was outstanding. The idea of Mexican tapas was creative. Every dish was tasty and well-done."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Host was arrogant and rude. He couldn't find our reservation initially. We couldn't hear our server(she did a great job) so very frustrating to order and communicate. So loud that we really had a hard time carrying on a conversation."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "The food at Oyamel is always excellent and this is a fun place to visit. The queso fundido with chorizo is great and hard to eat. The tuna ceviche was equally good. I loved the chocolate dessert."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Food is excellent as is the service. Do yourself a favor and order the salt foam margaritas!"
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "The quality of the food at Oyamel has deteriorated over the years. It used to be a good place to learn about find Mexican cuisine, but my last meal was a disappointment. The cactus salad was so salty that it was almost inedible. The chicken mole and shrimp with onions were greasy. For the same price, Jaleo up the street does a better job."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Tapas style plates that were very tasty. Interesting menu choices, e.g., grasshopper tacos and tongue tacos! The guacamole made table side is a must. Our server was excellent. The only complaint was the noise level...hard to engage in conversation for those of us over 60!"
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Oyamel never disappoints. The food is always fresh and delicious. The atmosphere is upbeat and bright. The maitre-D Stanley is the consummate professional and always takes care of his guests. This is my go-to place for business lunches and drinks after work."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "Oyamel did not disappoint. The service was excellent, the restaurant was beautiful, and the food was delicious. The house margaritas were unique and tasty, as was the majority of the rest of the food. Absolutely begin your meal with the chips and guacamole--it is outstanding. My only complaint would be the mahi mahi taco. It was not nearly as flavorful as the rest of the food. Overall, the food was incredible and I will absolutely return."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Being from Indiana, this place was recommended by a local DC friend. It didn't disappoint. It's a small-plate restaurant, so we got to sample a lot of different items, which I love. My wife had "the best margarita of her life" here, and she's no rookie. She ordered the signature margarita with "air salt." It's not a cheap place. We spent about $100 for two, including two drinks. But we did sample a lot and left stuffed. We highly recommend it."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "I used to love Oyamel, however it is clearly on the decline. The food we order left a lot to be desired and the service was abysmal. I've noticed that things have been downhill ever since they expanded their space. Perhaps it has expanded beyond what the kitchen can handle. I really hope they can turn things around otherwise it's time to find another Mexican restaurant."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Try the Confit of baby pig taco and the ahi tuna ceviche"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Extremely loud, the food didn't meet the hype and the service forgot to cancel an order."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "By far the best Mexican restaurant I have ever eaten at. It was my second time and I had the same waiter as the year before. He was attentive professional and treated us so well. I really like the fact that the food is so great but it is also very casual. I do not feel like I have to be dressed up and proper to eat there. Walking around a museum all day knowing I could just walk in and sit down was really nice. I saw a woman with her two children, one an infant and one about 4 they were in and out in 30 minutes. That says a lot about a place that a woman would bring her infant and small child into a fairly busy restaurant with high end food. She could have taken them anywhere in DC at that time. I will be back again for sure."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Service is always prompt and food is always excellent and fresh."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "I'm not impressed by much food was awesome servers just kept coming and drinks did the job ."
    Dined on 6/20/2014