Oyamel
Oyamel

Oyamel

  • 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 202-638-0202x
  • 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
Oyamel reviews from OpenTable diners
557 reviews since July 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelEnergetic
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (382)hot spot (242)good for groups (199)vibrant bar scene (197)great for lunch (166)neighborhood gem (157)special occasion (151)late-night find (51)great for brunch (50)romantic (41)great for outdoor dining (36)kid-friendly (28)notable wine list (17)scenic view (8)Show More
  • Loved it
    IluvfoodVIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Excellent cocktails!! To go along with a great menu. Our server gave us great recommendations!! It was a great experience. We will definitely be going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lively and fun
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Delicious salt air margaritas, yummy food. Fun to share everything with a small group. lively and upbeat atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pricey but should be worth it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    This place have great food selections. As a non-meat eater, I there's a lot of selection to choose from the ceviche menu and a few from the tacos menu. My husband enjoyed every meat entrée that he tried in this place. I don't mind paying for pricey food as long as it's good but I was disappointed with the mushroom entrée that I got because it was way too salty. Their wine selection is not that good and is outrageously over priced.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Oyamel has great food. There's a lot of new tastes to try, like grasshopper tacos (amazing) and cactus paddles (spciy!). They also have extensive gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free offerings. As expected they push their drinks heavily, to the point that on our final bill there was a drink listed we didn't order. Our server spent the whole night being super knowledgeable and got everything perfect so when he said, "Oh, you didn't order that?" it seemed disingenuous. Who knows! Maybe it was an honest kitchen mistake. Just read your bill to be sure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful
    Disappointed
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    Perfect everything!!! Perfect prices and amazing food'
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Expectations
    Jenn25
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    There is only one word for Oyamel: great. I love this restaurant. I've never had a bad experience here. The food and service is always the same. This is and will always be one of my favorite DC restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • never better
    rufkdlk
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    they have some new servers and i think that's made a difference, still concerned about the limited menu and with small plates, not a lot to eat but going there is fun. Sergio is missed but hopefully he'll be back when his family leaves town. Still seem to have a lot of people just standing around, not sure what they should be doing but it doesn't seem like they're doing it. Gracias.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, romantic, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great evening out
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    This was our second visit to Oyamel. That is a compliment in itself as we haven't returned to very many restaurants in Washington. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is great. Tasty margaritas!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service, super swanky
    NovaDiner
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    I came here for dinner for the first time with a friend on 11/18 and had a great experience. I had a res and the host communicated well and showed us in promptly. We ordered the table-side guac and tacos: Carnitas Michoacan, taco pescado, and pollo a la parilla. Carnitas Michoacan were BOMB. Definitely recommend them. The service was excellent, friendly and very attentive. I never felt like I was looking around because I needed something. I will most definitely be back. Get the carnitas taco.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nunca enough
    rufkdlk
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    of this place, much as i like to complain that servers hide in the back, when surrounded by Oscar, Angel and Sergio, i feel no pain. Mexican christmas salad more of an appetizer but i'll be back. Think they should work on soup/salad combos, with such small plates, usually still hungry after.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place with exceptional and different food
    JoJo
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Great place with exceptional and different food The Guacamole being constructed att he table is a great bit of theatre - and delicious too!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • ejgirl
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    really cute spot, great decor and food, would definitely come again. guac was really good
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great spot but be ready to wait!
    Bob7
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Our server was phenomenal and taught us a lot about tequila. The food was good (though they wet rout of many vegetarian options that night) and the drinks were delicious. The only negative for me was that we had a reservation, showed up on time, but didn't get seated until 20 minutes after our reservation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • que sera sera
    rufkdlk
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    I'm not sure with such small plates why it's so hard to get service in the place, as the maitre d has to go round up servers, not sure why they pay them to stand around in this little alcove in the back. That said, the soup is reliable and i'm eager to try the mexican christmas salad next time i'm there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrific lunch
    marleg
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Perfect spot for an out of the ordinary lunch on your day off. Bottomless chips and salsa. Not your typical margarita. Pleasantly spicy food. Very attentive staff.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not so good Mexican food
    CeCe
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    My cousin selected this restaurant. I was really disappointed. I ordered the special of the day Sea Bass. The portion was extremely small and over priced. It was probably 2 oz of fish. It was very fishy and there were not any sides. The food was also salty. Everything was a la carte. The whole meal for one with one drink was $50. Luckily I wasn't starving or I would have gone to another restaurant. I don't eat a lot and I am not a big woman (size 6). The service was just ok. The waiter was not very attentive. The best part of the dining experience is the decorum. The restaurant has vibrant colors. Usually the restaurants in Open Table are good but this one was a real disappointment.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pleasant Lunch Time Experience
    Floydo
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    The food was very good and the service was quick and efficient. The waitress was very helpful in suggesting the number, and type, of dishes to have. The atmosphere was warm and friendly. The noise level was manageable so that conversation could be had at a normal level. All in all, it offered a pleasant, friendly lunch time experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Drinks. Food was ok.
    PGHotstuff9
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    The margarita was delicious, especially with the salt air. The food was ok. Definitely order the guacamole. Besides, I was not impressed. We had to wait 20 minutes despite having reservations.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • GPEL
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    We were a party of 6 coming after the theater on a Sunday afternoon. We had a terrific waitress. We had a large variety of small plates that were shared. The cactus was the only one that didn't get finished (cactus is a little slimy). Everyone was pleased and would come back. Only drawback is the noise level, making conversations a little difficult.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Everything we ordered was amazing! After visiting Zatinya in the past, we had high expectations of Oyamel. They were definitely met and even exceeded. Our young server was very pleasant and helpful. My margarita was tart deliciousness and my husband's Bloody Mary was nice and spicy. The complementary salsa starter came with the best tortilla chips that I have ever eaten. The jicama salad was wonderfully light and refreshing. We also had tableside quac, beef tacos and the brussel sprouts. We will need to return several times to even come close to trying everything!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Pre-Theater Brunch
    MKLR
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Oyamel has become our go-to place for brunch before Shakespeare Theater Sunday matinee shows. The tapas style brunch menu is great, with a truly authentic Oaxacan flavor (we lived in Mexico for several years and visited the state of Oaxaca with its excellent cuisine many times; where else can you find chapulines on the menu?). They also have great guacamole prepared table side and wonderful brunch mimosas (if you're a fan of spicy, try the blood orange-chili combination).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mexi..can..I get the check please?
    RinoWinoVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Crowded, noisy, tables shoved tightly together, slow service, over eating on the chips and salsa.......basically every experience you would have at any Mexican joint within 50 miles of DC. However the tacos are delicious and there are a few other standouts we had on the menu. Nothing I need to revisit. Long story short......if I am in the neighborhood around the lunch hour I would swing in for a beer and a couple of tacos. But there is no reason I need to go out of my way to seek out this place again. I can get the same experience at a handful of "Mexican" restaurants around my neck of the woods.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Date Night spot!
    thewheelbarrow
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We went here after seeing it on a Buzzfeed list for hot chocolate. It's tapas style and food comes out as it is ready. The food is delicious and simple. We didn't drink but the bar seemed a very happening. We almost went again for lunch the next day it was so tasty.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful Evening
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Enjoyed our dinner at Oyamel very much. Our server was terrific and the food was exceptional. Thank you for contributing to a fantastic evening with family / loved ones.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Birthday Celebration
    GinMartiniGirl
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    From the moment we entered the restaurant all aspects of the service was outstanding! Guacamole is a MUST and the chips were so hot when served that we had to let them cool down! All food (sunfish ceviche, pork beef or fish tacos, crispy brussels sprouts, hangar steak, shrimp) was excellent . The only dish that was a tad disappointing was the mushrooms because they were markedly salty. We felt we ordered too many tacos although they were wonderful we would keep the order of tacos to a minimum and order more of the other dishes as they are easier to share. The one real downside to the dinner was the noise level is quite high, even though we were seated in a booth we had to yell to hear each other speak.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Second time going.. delicious food, and drinks! The service was great, and employees were very knowledgeable
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • These butterflies aren't free, but
    wolczo
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    ...we were impressed by the quality and panache of Oyamel. Although very crowded on a Saturday afternoon, we were seated within 10 minutes of our reservation time. Our server was well versed in the offerings, and made several recommendations that we took to heart. We were not disappointed. The guacamole, chips, and various small plates (cactus salad, shrimp, mushroom tacos, etc...) we ordered ranged from good to outstanding. Except for a couple of minor hiccups, this might be a 5 star review. Two warnings: the restaurant can get very crowded, and quite noisy. Also, don't be fooled into ordering too many plates, especially if you start out with the table-made guac. The servings may not be large, but they can be pretty rich.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Sunday Brunch
    SundayBruncher
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Enjoyed a terrific brunch this past Sunday. Food was amazing, server provided great recommendations. Will definitely come again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Food, Poor Service
    HeartInStomach
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Came here for a birthday on 11/7/14 with a total of 5 people (including myself). The waiter never introduced himself and the entire time we had to have someone else search for him every time we needed something. The food & drinks were good, but the service would be a deterrent for a return visit.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    very disappointing...slow service, cold dishes....
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love it as much as ever!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    The food, the food! Many new choices plus all of my old favs, and the drinks are as good as ever, too!!! Wonderful, attenive service, too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Almuerzo rapido
    wannabefoodies
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    My husband and I had lunch from the almuerzo rapido menu. I chose two antojitos (shrimp, swiss chard) and one taco (bbq pork). The chard was served with cranberries, nuts, and a warm apricot habenero sauce which was divine. The dishes were small, but with that and some of the table-side guacamole I had more than enough food. The server was knowledgeable about the menu but seemed somewhat aloof (but perhaps that's just because I'm from the South). Overall a great restaurant and another success from Jose Andres.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth a try.
    Foodie1
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Food very interesting and very good. Noise level very high. Great Margarita.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • East Coast Mexican food exists!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    I'm from California, where finding great Mexican food is as simple as walking down the block. When I moved to the East Coast, I was shocked that this part of the country seriously lacks this necessary comfort food! Oyamel puts a gourmet twist on your typical, traditional Mexican food, and it is absolutely delicious. It is definitely comparable to the American Southwest, and I will definitely be back for more!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A gem in Chinatown.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The flavors in all the dishes are exquisite. A true gem in Chinatown. The dishes seemed very authentic and it shows that they were taken from Mexico instead of being a tex-mex cuisine. The Micheladas were great and the Tacos truly authentic. The only thing that made me raise an eyebrow was the Caldo Tlalpeño; not very authentic as it had green peas and the carrots were diced extremely large. It looked more like American Chicken Soup but the flavor was truly Mexican. I'd highly recommend this restaurant to anyone that is interested in eating authentic Mexican flavors.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Find the right time
    Foodeater
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    I like the food at Oyamel though a pre-arranged party with set menu with Oyamel works the best and ensure you get a really interesting mix of food. Otherwise I find a lunch a great option, since the place as a nice active, colorful feel. At night I can get too noisy and you really can't even hear your fellow guests speak. Not sure I would do that again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Usually great, but...
    MDDaveVIP
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    I caught the change of shift, and it took 10 minutes for my drink order to be taken. After I placed my food order (all at once so that I would not get caught waiting forever for my entre order to be taken), I was informed about a change in service personnel. My new server was more attentive, but she had several tables to handle. Service wasn't bad from that point on, but it was not great. As for the food, I love the menu at Oyamel, but the salt level was overwhelming. Yes, I had a wonderful blood orange margarita with salt...two in fact. I expect the chips to be salty as well. Then so was my ceviche, my "custom" guacamole made tableside but with pre-measured ingredients, and especially my Caesar salad. I loved the dressing, but too salty.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • not surprising
    rufkdlk
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    that just when i was about to write off service in this place, suddenly they're all over me so that was a pleasant change. Not sure about the menu and why it's always the same, i think a soup and salad combo would work great here, hey, if it works at Olive Garden...I think the food, while small, is very good and as i said, the service had improved. Also got a to go item for a colleague and that worked out great too. Very well pleased with Oyamel. Dean
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Relaxed and Entertaining
    TribePlatypus
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Like Jose Andres' Jaleo restaurant, Oyamel offers superb food in a friendly, upscale, but fun and relaxed setting. Oyamel offers small Mexican plates and waiter recommended 2-3 plates per person. High notes were the shrimp with black garlic and the duck confit gorditas. The highly recommended classic margarita with sea foam alone was worth the trip. The margaritas are also available in several other varieties like pomegranate or the fall seasonal pumpkin spice. Even the complimentary salsa was tasty and robust. A deft use of spice and texture brought many of the tacos and small plates alive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great
    HollDoll
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    The food is always fabulous and it's always fun to try a new cocktail!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.