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  • Rayuela

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Rayuela Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.rayuelanyc.com
  • Phone: (212) 253-8840
  • 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
  • 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
  • Special Events & Promotions: 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
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerLatin American
Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "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."
    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!"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "The food was great. Lovely ambiance with live music and the staff were super fun and friendly!"
    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"
    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!"
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "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)."
    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!😊"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Only had brunch...brunch was mediocre, but very lively spot."
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "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. "
    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. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Good food. Really cool vibe and nice bar area. Good for groups or a date. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Rayuela is absolutely one of my favorite places in the city. They have a fantastic brunch menu, the sangria is great ($15 for unlimited!), and the ambiance/decor of the restaurant is neat. Highly recommend it for both a small get-together or a large group. Staff are wonderful, friendly, and attentive. Food is presented very well and tastes great. I can't say anything bad about this place! "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "We went to Rayela for a sunday dinner. That night they had live music, a nice flamenco band was perforoming with a flamenco dancer, they were great and that improved the ambient a lot. For dinner we ordered the churrasco, ceviche, plátano relleno, mojito and I can say that we really enjoyed everything that was on the table. The restaurant was not loud and the personnel was really friendly. I recommend the place and for sure we are going back in the future. "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We visited on a Sunday night and they had live music, which was great. That, along with the amazing ambience of the space, and the good food made for a fun night. We started with cocktails and sangria, both of which were great, and sampled a variety of tapas and small plates. Most were good - and portions were big. My soup was salty, but the tacos and hamburgita were good, kale salad outstanding. The space itself is worth the visit - great lighting, and the bathroom is a work of art with it's beautiful shared sink area. Will definitely go back next time we're in NYC."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We have been here 3 times and the food is very good. The guacamole is a can't miss! The paellas are delicious and their margaritas are amazing! The service is always on target. This is a favorite lower east side restaurant."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Our dinner with 3 people lasted over 3 hours when the waiter forgot our drinks (twice), forgot to put in our dinner order, and then disappeared for half the evening. Manager/owner was aware of the horrible service situation and never came to the table to offer an apology. I will never eat here again. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "I've been coming here for years. This was the WORST service I've EVER had in NY. I never write reviews, but felt compelled to warn people against my former-favorite restaurant. Very sad."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "I was in NYC for the weekend to celebrate my birthday with a friend and choose this restaurant as it was close to our hotel and the menu looked amazing. Loved the atmosphere of the restaurant and loved the olive tree in the middle of dining space. It was loud, but expected that. The staff was friendly, but our waitress was a little slow getting to our table, but it was a busy Saturday night. We only got to order 4 items from the tapas section of the menu as I was getting over a stomach bug and had no appetite, but still wanted to try the food. I had few bites and enjoyed what I could. My friend enjoyed it and will put this place back on my list of restaurants to dine at for my next trip to NYC."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "My dining partner got the Paella Verde and loved it. It had a mix of clams, mussels and shrimp. I had the pork and it was severely overcooked and dry. We had the kale salad for a starter and while a good flavor, they could have conditioned the kale better. It was bitter and too stiff. I had to remove some stems. The brussel sprout side was fabulous. We chise a wine and they came back with the wrong vintage. When asked about that, they did find the correct one. We asked to be put upstairs because we heard it was not as loud. My partner wears hearing aids. When I went up to check, it was practically empty and stayed that way throughout our meal. They refused us upstairs saying it was not available. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Food was excellent as was the service. This place was recommended to me by a friend quite awhile ago and I am glad I finally was able to go there. Would recommend to others."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Had brunch there on Easter Sunday. The menu was interesting, and everything we ordered was outstanding. Service was awesome too. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "I specifically requested a table upstairs for 6:30pm on a Sat. I made this request in writing and on the phone same day twice. I was told they would make note of it. At no time was I informed that the upstairs wouldn't be open. I assumed it would be slightly quieter upstairs away from bar to be able to treat my father for his 68th bday and while we had a good time and enjoyed the food, when we got there the hostess had an attitude when I complained about being seated downstairs, she did not take any responsibiltiy and told me the upstairs wasn't open until 7:30pm. Meanwhile, all through our meal people were being seated upstairs starting at 7pm, etc. On a up note the food was good and our waitress/bussers were very sweet and attentive. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Food is great. Service is good. The noise level is ridiculous though. It's not the patrons though. It's definitely the music. It was way too loud. In fact, it was so loud, as soon as we finished eating, we did not want to stay another minute longer."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Fun Latin atmosphere, delicious food, great service, good drinks with knowledgeable bartender, friendly hostess with flexibility as our party was late and the size changed - just a wonderful overall experience. I will definitely return. Prices were not necessarily cheap, but quality and taste of food was worth it."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Delicious food, and excellent ambiance. The music was a bit loud but they happily turned it down. Struggled a bit with service but I think they were short-staffed that night."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Friendly service - much too noisy; music too loud, though we requested it to be lowered."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Dinner here for my girlfriend's birthday made me look very good.. The food was amazing, cocktails interesting and great...and service couldn't have been better. It was refreshing aside from the attention how appreciative and nice everyone was from the bartender to the hostess, wait staff and busboys - thanking us for being there, telling us how much they hoped we enjoyed our meal, etc...felt genuine."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Had a birthday dinner here on 3/15/14 and everyone had a great time. There were 13 of us who had the chef's tasting and another 6 who ordered from the regular menu. The food was spot on - even the foodies in the group were impressed. Our server Rodrigo was attentive to every detail and did so with a smile! Cesar and Dylan are the best bartenders ever! And Loyda and Jessica did an amazing job at helping me pull the event details together. Thank you all for treating my friends so well and for helping us start my birthday celebration with a fantastic meal in such a warm and inviting atmosphere. Looking forward to returning soon!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "A friend and I went to Rayuela for mojitos and tapas before a show at Rockwood Music Hall. I hadn't been to Rayuela for a long time and was a bit concerned based on the negative reviews I read but perhaps those apply more to brunch? Service was quick and very friendly, we were welcomed by the hostess and then by the bartender, quickly had good strong drinks and were installed in a comfy banquette. The interior is gorgeous, soft lighting, cool bar, tree in the middle. We tried the seabass and mixed seafood ceviches, and "apertivos" tapas like plates of shrimp and chicken. When my husband showed up later by surprise the waiter managed to bring out his order at the same time as ours. It's a bit pricey but a great pre-show spot!"
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "I went this past Friday to Rayuela for the last day of Restaurant Week, the ambiance was very modern and inviting. The food was even better, I normally hate ribeye but the one i had here wasn't fatty at all and tasted more like a fillet. I coconut shrimp ceviche was very good and coconutty and the dessert was tasty. Overall, I'd definitely comeback."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "My wife and I met here for lunch ( restaurant week) which is not normally something we can do because of work schedules. Overall, the food was moderate but the service was super slow. It took almost an hour to get our apps and another 30 minutes for main dishes. We had to ask them to bring deserts out with main meal and check otherwise we wouldv'e been late back to office. On a side note there was a group of maybe ten people and us, that's all. Atmosphere was nice and clean."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "I have eaten at Rayuela at least 5 or 6 times. The last two visits I found the wait staff not as proficient as in the past. Our group had to ask for bread,ground pepper,salt as well as milk for coffee at end of meal. The young man bussing the table was definitely out of the loop! On a previous visit our waiter was very indifferent and had an "attitude." However, when one in our party told the waiter her margarita was too strong he took it back and the bartender made her a new drink. As usual, the food was very good,especially the appetizers. I would have liked another fish selection other than salmon for an entree. I will go back bit hope the staff improves."
    Dined on 3/4/2014