Rayuela
Rayuela

Rayuela

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.rayuelanyc.com/
  • Phone: 2122538840x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday- Thursday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm; Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - midnight; Sunday:5:00pm - 10:00pm
    Brunch: Saturday and Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm
    CLOSED MONDAYS
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Latin American
  • Executive Chef: Alex Ureña
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Headquarters Estilo Libre Latino cuisine, Rayuela’s playful yet professional environment is a unique alternative to celebrate with family and friends. Our versatile space is ideal for birthdays, graduations, rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions and corporate functions.
  • Private Party Contact: Loyda Gisela Guzman 8777138534
  • Special Events: With a versatile bi-level setting, Rayuela’s dining room is transformed into multiple scenarios offering various options for private and semi-private events. SEMI PRIVATE arrangements are ideal for parties of up to 35 guests offering a 3 course sit down dinner.
    LA MAGA ROOM offers a more intimate private setup with a capacity of up to 50 guests sitting and up to 60 guests standing up. LA MAGA ROOM is curtained off and perfect for every special occasion from intimate cocktail receptions to corporate sit-down dinners. Large windows provide for scenic views of the vibrant LES nightlife or a channel for livening natural light during brunch.
    Our SECOND FLOOR DINING ROOM can accommodate up to 90 guests offering a sit down dinner, and up to 160 guests in a stand up format.
    Cocktail receptions are held at the OLIVE ROOM with a capacity of up to 35 guests. Please contact our events department to book your event at 212.253.8840

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Between Rivington and Stanton Streets
  • Public Transit: The F train to 2nd Avenue and the F, J, M & Z to Essex St./Delancey St.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: 2 hour metered street parking is available.
A word from Rayuela
Rayuela introduces the first-of-its kind Estilo Libre Latino (freestyle Latino) cuisine, which respects yet redefines Latin American and Spanish cuisines. While the basic structure of traditional dishes will be maintained, the actual ingredients may be unconventional and may come from over a dozen Latin American countries including Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, as well as Spain.
Continued
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Rayuela reviews from OpenTable diners
71 reviews since June 4, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (40)neighborhood gem (28)special occasion (26)fit for foodies (25)good for groups (25)great for outdoor dining (21)great for brunch (13)hot spot (13)late-night find (13)vibrant bar scene (9)great for lunch (8)scenic view (5)kid-friendly (2)notable wine list (1)Show More
  • Third visit
    romantic
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    We had some barbecued chicken that didn't taste grilled or barbecued. Paella with rabbit and beef was very salty. Haven't given up on the Restaurant yet. The oysters where fresh.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    This was our first time there, and we will definitely return. I have already recommended to a few people. The funny thing is, we went there to take advantage of the restaurant menu, and we wound up ordering off the regular menu.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pretty Place, Pretty Good Food
    njlinkVIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Such a nice environment and interesting Latin American menu. Although our server was very unresponsive, the manager was quite attentive. Before 7.30, reduced-priced drinks are at the bar for happy hour.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    We enjoyed the guava sangria- bartender last night very nice. Cute place and pretty accommodating.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 351000
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    The restaurant is well designed and feels peaceful. The outdoor patio is especially nice and quite private. The food was decent but far too oily. Dessert was very disappointing, tiny and bland. They also put candied walnuts in the salad which cheapened the dish and was not noted in the menu description.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place
    amp0809
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Food was delicious! Sangria was amazing!!! Hostesses, bartender, wait-staff were all incredibly friendly and professional. I'm so glad I happened upon Rayuela! I will definitely be coming back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Amazing service!
    DeeG
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Great food and ambiance. Highly recommend for couples, group outings, birthdays etc...
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect Date Night
    Eatinggood
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Had a wonderful romantic evening with my wife on our date night. Service was great and food was very good. We selected the restaurant week dinner menu.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OMG. Yum!!!
    PharaohNYC
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    I used to live down the street from this place and always talked about eating here, but never got around to it. MY LOSS! Decided to go for Restaurant Week and I couldn't believe how delicious everything was. The meals were delicious and beautifully presented (best ceviche I've had in a restaurant) and the staff was great. Super friendly, smiley and attentive (not to mention, attractive). I'll be back soon! Thinking of having my 40th birthday bash there now.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    opentableopentable
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Restaurant week deal. The hip loud jazz was fun at first, but by the end of the meal it was certainly getting on our nerves. Menu was very music interesting, but food fell way below expectations. Service was outright disinterested and painfully slow.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Snails Pace
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    My Husband and I dined here for Restaurant Week. After reading the numerous reviews that complained about the service, we decided to try it for ourselves. The food was good. My husband especially enjoyed the Cod. The ceviche was tasty. The service was another issue. We waited 15 minutes before a server came over to take our orders. And then it was only because she passed our table and realized there was nothing on it. The main course took another 15 minutes to come out. It almost seemed as if this was a new restaurant trying to find its balance. The one good thing was our water glasses were never empty. Overall, a good place to eat if you have a few hours to kill.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    morphina
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Problems Encountered: 1.We were a party of 3 & the Rayuela was empty(only 2 tables occupied). Host gave a pathetic table close to kitchen. Got it changed later. 2. We were served by a newbie who couldn't understand English & had no clue of menu/drinks. We ordered for drinks, we got 2 & waited for the 3rd which was at the bar for 10 mins(Server forgot) 3. We specifically told our server to get the Main entrees together, which didn't happen. 4. Food: Guacamole was good, pork belly was cold & the Paella was mediocre. 5. We signed our check & left. Our Table server ran on the street to get us back b'cuz she put in the wrong value. At least, I would expect them to give us a 10% discount on the bill for embarrassing us on the street & restaurant.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food great.Service disappointing.
    Diana
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Rayuela's food continues to be outstanding and always pleasantly surprising with the mix of flavors. We were really disappointed this time by the service and the seemingly inexperienced and inattentive staff. Hostess #1 did not know where the ladies room was and had to ask Hostess #2. We had to ask waitress to bring rolls and to bring our wine which was to be paired with each course. Plus, she never came back to check on us at all during our meal. Food servers twice tried to give us another table's food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • so good!
    goodeats
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    the food was great, the plating of the food was beautiful and the ambience was really nice. it's a dimly lit restaurant with beautiful decór and it gives a very romantic and intimate feel. definitely a place I'll visit again.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Find!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    This was my first visit. I tasted the seafood paella, churrasco, and drunken cake. All the dishes were excellent. The servers were nice but initially brought us the wrong dishes. They quickly corrected the issue. Overall I would return to try other dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FUN
    Sams
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Had a nice time, great ambiance. We were a group of 5 and sat upstairs in there great couch/booths that have curtains for privacy. The decor is great. The food was not bad, we went for restaurant week so weren't expecting the best food but it was pretty tasty, and great drinks. Will definitely be back to try their regular menu. Staff were a little slow with food and drinks.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • latina64
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    The food was delicious and the staff was very professional and friendly!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anticipated for a better experience
    Azpb
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    The food display was nicely done but the food itself was lacking. The pork we ordered was hard and chewy, our knife can't even cut through it. The seafood dish was too salty and the homemade whipped cream was obviously whipped too long. The appetizer, entree and dessert was a tad bit dissapointing. The service was also mediocre. The waiters gave us the wrong dish and didn't pay much attention to us.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Charming ambience and staff!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    It was not crowded but they accommodated our group of 4 on the small but charming outdoor deck that they were otherwise preparing to close. Despite being the last table, the staff were kind, attentive and seemed genuinely pleased to have us around. The ambiance may have been better than the food as it is very well decorated with a mixture of nature (there is a tree in the middle of the restaurant) and modernity. We were there for Restaurant Week but the oysters and paella were also particularly delicious. I would definitely go back for any occasion!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The steak is unbelievable
    Omyra
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    We sat the rooftop, which was very small, but cute! The inside is definitely nice. Would definitely go again!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Can't Complain
    MaxM
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Had a birthday dinner here -- 8:30pm reso on a Sat night. Place was barely half full when we arrived, but hostess asked us to wait by the bar until at least 50% of our party was here, which was a little ridiculous considering the bar had no seats available and our table was ready and waiting. Otherwise, food was delicious though portion sizes were tiny (made for a very expensive meal, which was to be expected with tapas). Pisco Sour was VERY disappointing, but caipirinha was great. Definitely recommend the two shrimp ceviches (especially the coconut) as well as the carne paella (LOTS of meat). The waiter was enthusiastic and attentive but not very helpful with food recommendations. Ambiance was FANTASTIC and perfectly private.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food great, service lacking.
    Nicole
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    This has been my favorite special occasion restaurant for YEARS. This was the first time that the service and food wasn't quite up to par. Bummed but will definitely give them another chance. Apparently, 2 servers didn't show up for their shift...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not happy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Don't get me wrong the food was wonderful but the service was horrible. Waited an hour for entree desert each. Things were taking soo long people actually started leaving. No one came by to ask if we wanted another drink or to see why we were just sitting there without any food for two hours everyone kept apologizing but food never came.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great place, but rude bartender
    MLoA
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Servers are pleasant and patient with giving you ample time to decide, as well as providing suggestions. The food is delicious too! The one negative comment I have is that as we waited to be seated at our table, we were told to get a drink at the bar. Once we were ready to go to the table, I asked if the drinks could be added to our bill. The host said yes, but the bartender said that we HAD to close the tab. I informed the bartender that the host had told us otherwise. As we walked away, he proceeded to mutter under his breath, "Well that's not how it works!" If it's not a policy, then why would it be allowed? Besides that, everything else was great!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sumptuous latin cuisine!
    RestaurantWeekEnthusiast
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    My boyfriend and I spend a lot of time on the Lower East Side, and felt loyal to this neighborhood when making our Restaurant Week pick. Even though we were originally going for Italian, Rayuela caught my eye and I quickly made a decision on it, and my boyfriend agreed! The food was delightful! We sat inside on the main floor, even though we did have an opportunity to dine outside. I took a look upstairs as well because I was curious about the decor, and I was not disappointed. The restaurant is bathed in earth tones and ambiance. There is a beautiful tree right at the center of the restaurant that extends to the second floor. The food was excellent. I had the yuca gnocchi, the paella, and the rum soaked cake. All delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service stood out
    JBakerNYC
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    My friend and I had a great experience at Rayeula. The staff was very friendly and the hostess and waitress went above and beyond in terms of letting us choose our seat and also modifying a watered down sangria I had. The food is solid, not overly dynamic especially for the price but it was good and hearty and filling. The paella was very good and light and the desserts were delicious. However, as mentioned the mojito a friend had and my sangria were watered down due to way too much ice and I sent mine back for a new one, which the waitress happily did and I appreciate.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great menu and decor!
    EBP4
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Rayuela does not disappoint! It has great selection of unique dishes on the menu, and the décor is perfect for a fun weekend night dinner.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sunday with Sangrias
    denverchowhound
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Very enjoyable brunch. Pleasant, casual restaurant, and we were the first party for a sunday brunch. Staff was very helpful and pleasant, and the restaurant has a nice vibe--neighborly, but also a destination spot due to their food. Everyone enjoyed their meals--there were 4 of us, and we all had different brunch items: eggs and beans, veggie omlet, salmon sandwich, and filled corn "pastries"...plus very good chips and guacomole, and a very nice plantain-based hummus. Top-notch coffee, and the Sangria's were very good, with "bottomless" fill-ups...of course, one does have to be careful not to over-imbibe! Our brunch was for a birthday, and we got a lovely chocolate "bombe" that was great---they really read the OpenTable requests!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mostly excellent
    econoinkerVIP
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    Some of the dishes were superb--well-executed and interesting (e.g., the mushroom croquettes). But the paella wasn't all that tasty, and the grilled scallops were a bit boring. I've been here before and had better meals, so perhaps this experience was an anomaly. Service was very pleasant, but somewhat slow.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent choice for dinner
    DannyG
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    The food was great. Lovely ambiance with live music and the staff were super fun and friendly!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still great food, great service
    LacreidVIP
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    I have had a soft spot in my heart for Rayuela for about five years. There is a lot of heart and a lot of creativity in their dishes, and it became a special place for us since the first time. The single best tasting plate of food I ever had was there (unfortunately it's been off the menu since our third visit): a saffron octopus appetizer. The service is always awesome, and the innovative Latin American dishes put together by the team are fantastic. The paellas were great, and
    Special Features:
    romantic, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous Food and Fun Setting
    luvSD
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    We went to Rayuela for Sunday brunch when we were visiting our daughter who was in NYC for a summer job. The staff was very friendly and it was a lovely setting. My Eggs Benedict were the best I have ever had and were made a little different than the traditional way. I don't know how they cook their bacon, but 2 of us ordered a side of bacon. It was so crispy and tasty and a huge portion. I can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    The only restaurant we have been twice in the city... Always a great experience with nice food, nice presentation, fabulous taste. Recommended for special occasion or just to treat yourself well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    The food was good, but not great. Price point was high for what it was. Would have had a much better experience if everything had been 15-20% cheaper. Did not feel the quality warranted the price.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best Brunch LES
    LUV2BRUCH
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    One of the best brunches i've had in new york city. Ambience was excellent. I asked to be seated in the patio, doesn't accommodate too many people but we got lucky. A must go to place for brunch. Definitely coming back to try some of the other dishes. The Arepa with eggs and chorizo was amazing!. The 2 hours for $15 sangrias were quiet tasty(Try all 3 flavors).
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Time!
    Tender
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Had a great time! However, my waitress Abbey could have been friendlier. She would have gotten a better tip if she looked like she cared to be there.. Otherwise I would def recommend this place. Had dinner a month ago and loved the steak!!! Mmmmm well done Rayuela!😊
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 35 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 4, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4
    • Ambiance4.4
    • Service3.9
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 1019 reviews are from the Rayuela reviews archive.
  • Great Ambience
    Lisyv
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    Only had brunch...brunch was mediocre, but very lively spot.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Brunch
    elt2192
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Went here for brunch with a friend Saturday. It was great! $15 for bottomless sangria, the Guava one was amazing. I also really enjoyed the selection of music that was playing. The guac was also great, but the service could have been a little better. They brought out the wrong order for my friend, so we had to wait a while for them to bring out the correct dish, and my plate was cold by then. I got a chicken sandwich, I forget the exact name of it but it wasn't that great. The table next to us got the French toast and it looked good, I wish I got that instead. Overall, I would recommend checking this place out for brunch because of the sangria.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was so-so
    Noe83
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    I really enjoyed the bottomless sangria for 2 hours... I think the money was worth it. The guac and green plantin hummus was awesome! When it came to our brunch mine was an epic fail. What kind of place serves an egg Benedict with a hard boiled egg?! The best part of a Benedict is the runny yolk which was what I was looking forward to. In addition there was not enough hollandaise sauce making my entire meal extremely dry. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed their meals but nothing really memorable.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • SteveVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Good food. Really cool vibe and nice bar area. Good for groups or a date.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate