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 WinnerMexican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Oyamel reviews from OpenTable diners
624 reviews since May 1, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelEnergetic
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (391)hot spot (232)vibrant bar scene (202)special occasion (182)good for groups (181)great for lunch (173)neighborhood gem (155)great for brunch (73)late-night find (65)great for outdoor dining (44)romantic (44)kid-friendly (33)notable wine list (13)scenic view (10)Show More
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Delightful Lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    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
  • nice place if u like spicy foods
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    nice place, especially for people who like spicy foods . very nice decorations and interior, but a bit crowded. some of the food I have was very spicy (and the menu did not have and spiciness indication).
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing!
    Melsie
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Can't wait to go back! I loved everything we had. Best scratch margarita, guacamole, tacos with amazing sauces. Sad that we were too full to try the desserts!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quality Control
    bigpapa
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Everything but the service was A+. Went last weekend, apparently was still restaurant week for them (yet not for the rest of the City, wake up everyone else). Service wasn't terrible, but given that we sat around 8:45 on a Saturday, the waitstaff were pretty busy but unfortunately as the place cleared out, we didn't see an upswing in service. Have eaten plenty of times at JA restaurants, this is often the norm; unfortunate side effect of being as popular and busy are they tend to be.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Oyamel Restaurant Week
    DCdiner2
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Really enjoyed the restaurant week food menu and bar sampler!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent birthday dinner
    NSimon
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We loved the fact that the plates were small so we could share lots of different things. Sort of like Mexican tapas. Everything was delicious. The margaritas (especially the Don margarita infused with spicy Serrano chilis) we're spot on. We even tried the fried grasshopper tacos!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We have celebrated many occasions at Oyamel over the years, and is terrific every time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • extended restaurant week
    floridanariv
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Loved the extended restaurant week menu, food is consistently great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Oyamel is a must whenever we're in DC. Taco's are spectacular, especially mushroom (retain menu and reorder as your meal progresses). "House" margaritas better than the gourmet ones (and less expensive). Only negative: noise level can be excessive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious and different
    Kiki
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    From appetizers through dessert , all the food and cocktails were absolutely delicious. Also every dish had very different, complex flavors including unusual combinations of ingredients that all worked well together. Service was top notch too. I've been to Oyamel a number of times over the years and I am never disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food is hard to hear
    JohnC
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    We caught the tail end of Restaurant Week at Oyamel. The food was excellent and service was quick. However, the courses did not come out in the order we had anticipated (i.e., as listed on the menu). Yes, dessert came last. But one of us got the main before the soup. And as my wife was finishing her main, the waitstaff delivered her salad. If the waitstaff had explained this when we ordered, we did not hear it. In fact, it was difficult to hear anything at Oyamel. Too loud.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My go to!
    gibbs
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Awesome as always and service impecable. The standard friendly greeting from Stanley who always makes you feel like family. A Penn Quarter favourite!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    I would highly recommend Queso with chorizo which came with best tortillas I have ever had!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best dinner ever!
    LoveDC
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    We went during Restaurant Week and could not have been more pleased! Food, service, and ambience was perfect. Especially try the table made guacamole (we had spicy and while it had a good kick, it wasn't overbearing either), ceviche (scallops, bass), pozole verde, and tres leches for dessert! I cannot wait to return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A "Must" meal when we're in D.C.
    cookbikerun
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Oyamel never disappoints. I think we secretly wanted our son to go to college in D.C. just so we have an excuse to eat at Oyamel. We ordered 21 tacos between three of us and gobbled up every bit. The carnitas tacos are to die for!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We enjoyed Oyamel
    meander
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    First time visitors, we got lost in the extensive menu and were completely delighted at the gluten and dairy free menu. Our vegetarian daughter also found many things that she wanted to order. Our waiter was there to serve us and took good care of us though at times he seemed rushed and we felt a little rushed as well. The place was bustling. We loved the tacos and homemade salsa; the make-it-at-your-table guacamole was terrific, as were the homemade tortilla chips. We ordered a bevy of delightful dishes, our favorite being the ceviche tuna and our least favorite being the poblano chicken, good but not what we expected. There's tons to choose from ...try it, you'll like it!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First visit since they moved
    The3Cs
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    This was our first visit to Oyamel since they moved from Crystal City years ago. We ordered from the restaurant week menu and the food was excellent. The stand-out dish for me was the shrimp with black garlic. Other outstanding dishes were the scallops, the ceviche, and the tamal verde. All three tacos were also excellent. The only minor complaint about service was that the first two courses came out too fast, so that we had half a dozen dishes delivered almost at the same time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Continues to excel
    likegoodfood
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Oyamel continues to provide unique and outstanding Mexican dishes, unlike the run-of-the-mill Tex Mex places around town. If you can avoid the excellent but pricey drinks, the prices are reasonable.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dinerVIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Had lunch after a bisit to the museums on the mall. Great meal during Restaurant Week.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Cevices!
    Dew7
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Awesome Cevices, we tried almost all kinds! Service is REALLY slow and you may need to get up and search around to find your waiter, and when you do, they pretend as if nothing has happened! Took us 20 min to get our drinks AFTER we ordered. Overall service is poor but food is great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unnecessarily Spicy
    Unimpressed
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Having spent much time in DF and Southern Mexico, the picante heat was overpowering, by Mexican standards. Shouldn't need Crema Mexicana to eat quesadillas!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and drinks, lively
    giveitatry
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    I thoroughly enjoyed the food and the small plates were just the right size. They offer a nice range of choices. It is nice way to put together a multicourse meal. Not the stereotypical Mexican fare. The margaritas were delicious. As much as I liked the food, the place was too noisy to hold a conversation easily. We were there for dinner on a Saturday night so it was relatively crowded. The servers were busy, but service was still good. Not a place for a romantic, quiet, long dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    This is a fabulous restaurants. Vegetables dishes are great. Huge variety. Desserts are out of tis world.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious and excellent service
    thefoodxpertVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    It was Restaurant Week and we order the special menu servings. It was a whole lotta food and we could hardly finish but very tasty and delicious. From the tacos to the dessert. No disappointing course. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Little Overrated
    ArtFoodLover
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We went for lunch following a visit to the National Gallery. The ambience was very pleasant, colorful, fun. The place was bustling even at about 4:30 in the afternoon. We were expecting a lot from the reviews and reputation, but found the drinks particularly overpriced and underwhelming. We ordered the special cocktail - peach/basil margaritas. We were told it was made with fresh peaches, so at $12, we expected a very large, frozen or thicker concoction but this was mostly ice with not that much drink. I ordered the mushroom taco which sounded really good on the menu, but the flavor was lacking. The swiss chard item was very salty and had way too many cranberries and raisins in it. Overall, not very impressed.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Too Loud!
    Mpls104VIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The food was average and the service was very good, however the restaurant was so loud that we couldn't hear the server and had to yell to have a conversation. With everyone in the resaurant yelling, we couldn't enjoy the experience. It also didn't help that we had the worse table in the restaurant, next to the kitchen.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 1419
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Excellent food and service, as usual. One of DC's best restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • travelsalot
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    We are here during restaurant week and since we were in a group of four people we tried every thing on the restaurant week menu. It was all delicious. The taco course was good but they are not the best tacos I've ever had not the best tacos in the area. The chicken tamal with green sauce impressed me the most because usually I am not a fan but I really liked this one. Over all I liked the restaurant and would return, but it's pretty expensive for the portion size (we ordered one thing off the regular menu).
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but long lunch
    EpiskyVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The only negative was the lunch took too long. I have eaten at Oyamel several times. The cerviche for Restaurant Week was yummy and spicy. The chicken tamale was just okay. I wish there was more of the one tiny taco I had, it was very good. It is nice that for RW you get a dessert. I had the pan con tres leche.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding meal
    dhva
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    I had never been to Oyamel before, but had heard good things. When I made the reservation, I didn't even realize it was restaurant week. Generally speaking, I am disappointed with restaurant week menus, but Oyamel's was just outstanding. It was essentially a 5-course tasting menu with 4 solid options for each course (except 2 for desert). I found it difficult to choose between the options, but it seems as though I couldn't go wrong. The brussel sprouts were fantastic as was the ceviche. I enjoyed the energetic scene paired with good food. I would highly recommend Oyamel for a fun night out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • My DC favorite
    luckymeVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Outstanding ceviche, delectable tacos, devine drinks. Jose Andres is a genius.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, great times!
    FoodieFanatic
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    I'm a lover of ALL Mexican food and this place lived up to my expectations! The service was outstanding as was the food. Be sure to order the guacamole made fresh right at your table. And I wasn't a huge fan of ceviche but now I am! Try the Ceviche estilo Culiacán. It was incredible!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    DCFoodie
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Went here with my friend for lunch during restaurant week. The food here does not taste remotely close to authentic Mexican food. Food was prepared with ingredients to promote the idea of fusion but instead made the flavor taste way off. For example we ordered tees leches cake and it was flavored with coffee. Additionally, the cold gazpacho wasn't a soup- it was a melon salad. Not worth spending your money on a meal that tastes off in an attempt to be creatively mexican. I'm never coming back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Hola Oyamel!
    DCeat4livin
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Pleasant wait staff and especially enjoyed-the gaspacho, the pozole verde and the beef taco (chilorio de res). The gaspacho has a wonderful flavor that I was not expecting. You can actually make a meal of just the pork and hominy soup-so good. The beef in the beef taco was the most tender and flavorful I've ever had. The pescadillo sinaloa and the tres leches cake were also really good! However, we were very disappointed with the meatballs in chipotle sauce and the pork taco. The meatballs tasted like canned corn beef hash and the meat in the pork taco was not tender enough and waaaaay too salty. The sauce for the meatballs were delicious though and we used the tortillas they provided to scoop up that delicious chipotle sauce.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic Mexican, Colorful Vibe
    metamangoVIP
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Very little worthwhile Mexican food in DC, with the extreme exception of this exquisite restaurant! While presented in an upscale, funkier manner than normal, the food at Oyamel is absolutely spot-on authentic in flavors, types of dishes presented, and accompanying beverages such as tequila and mezcal, an my Mexican spouse was thrilled with everything offered. Oyamel is great at showing that Mexican food is nuanced, colorful and fresh rather than the glopped-up TexMex plate of refried beans, hard-shell tacos, and molten cheese normally dished up throughout the U.S. Service was seamless and the colorful setting and small plates make this great for a group outing. It's too noisy to have deep conversation, but makes for a lot of energy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Surprise w/ Every Dish
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Get the fish tacos. Add the watermelon cocktail- you 'll be in total bliss.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic