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
623 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelEnergetic
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (396)hot spot (236)vibrant bar scene (208)good for groups (185)special occasion (178)great for lunch (173)neighborhood gem (161)great for brunch (71)late-night find (67)romantic (43)great for outdoor dining (42)kid-friendly (34)notable wine list (16)scenic view (9)Show More
  • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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
  • Loud!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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
  • nice place if u like spicy foods
    MMarlington
    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.