Best genuine Mexican food in the US
After living in Mexico City for 3+ years, we believe El Naranjo has the most outstanding Mexican food outside Mexico. This includes Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, L.A. And NYC. This is a classic.
6/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Top notch Interior Mexican
We ate here last night with friends who have traveled extensively in Latin America. We all agreed this was top notch and may be the best Mex-Mex restaurant in Austin now. The waitress was efficient; food was cooked just right, and the moles and sauces perfection. The only reason I didn't give this place 5 stars was the incredibly overpriced wine list. There were very few bottles in the $30-$40 price range, and the markup was in the neighborhood of 300-400 percent. I have eaten at comparable restaurants in Austin and have not seen this level of markup. Otherwise - a great place!
6/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
We started with Queso Fundido with Chorizo and fresh Guacamole...both were outstanding and just the right portion size for our group of five foodies. Next, we tried the Mole Sampler so that we could try 3 of their mole sauces. They were all divine, but the Friday night special was everyone's favorite.
Everyone at our table was so ecstatic with their orders for dinner. Between the chile relleno, fillet, sea bass, pork and gazpacho/salad with hibiscus dressing, we were ONE HAPPY TABLE! We simply tried everything on the table and could not decide what was best.
Service--divine. Drinks--fantastic. Visit from the chef--thrilling! A must-go for Oaxacan Mexican dining in a charming, hot area of Austin.
6/27/2013 4:00:00 PM
Authentic and fabulous
We ordered the Tacos Dorados and they had a tantalizing flavor with a kick of spice. They were rolled and crunchy like flautas, and absolutely fabulous. This was my second time here and I am looking forward to working my way through their expansive tequila menu. It's always quiet as I don't think the word has gotten out yet, so go check them out!
6/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Really great food!
We eat Mexican food from Texas to California and this has to be one of the best in the US. You will be happy with the selections of specials as well as menu items. Great food and wonderful service will bring us back again and again.
6/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Everything we had was tremendous. Our server was very knowledgable and helpful.
7/4/2013 4:00:00 PM
The food here is delicious! I take all my out of town visitors here and they rave about it. The staff is very accommodating of our toddler-in-tow. They happily prepare him grilled chicken, veggies, beans and avocados. He's thrilled, we're thrilled and we can't wait to return. Also their happy hour specials are great and they participate with upromise. It doesn't get any better than that!
7/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
food great, waiter too 'informative
Hi We really enjoyed our vist and the food was great. The waiter, was a little over the top. I know he thought he was being attentive, but we were there to enjoy a birthday meal as a family, not get an educational session. He really went on and on, and on and on. I'd ratchet it back a bit-- or suss out the guests and see if they're really interested.
7/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
I didn't know anything about Rainey St. and what a cool spot this was until I after I arrived and couldn't find parking. It is obviously a hot spot right now. The restaurant is now one of my favorites and just make sure you get there early to get a spot somewhere on that street. Great ambience, Great Service and Great FOOD! Will be coming back to visit.
7/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Been here 3 times now and I have never been disappointed.
7/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
I do love Mole!
We had a great time. The service was excellent and our server was very well informed. We enjoyed everything we ate from the Queso Fundido appetizer to the wonderful Mole w/duck. The mole was rich and complex with just the right level of heat. The corn tortillas were perfect and the bread is amazing and is served with butter slightly flavored with orange zest which was a lovely treat. We look forward to visiting again.
The restaurant is light and airy with a lot of blonde wood, light walls, occasional touches of orange. It was an inviting and relaxing space.
7/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food and ambience
Our first adventure to Rainey street was a hit. We found street parking and walked a block to El Naranjo. It's a tiny cottage renovated into a modern elegant restaurant. The foyer/bar area is cramped but we pulled up a stool and a friendly bartendar gave us prompt attention. The food was outstanding. The waiter suggesed the mole trio, which was a great intro to all the sauces, but it made us very full and we couldn't eat our entrees! I want to go back.
7/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
We had a fantastic dinner at El Naranjo. The tuna ceviche was so delicious, as was the guacamole. The chilli rellenos were so tasty. Everything about our dinner was great. The only (small) problem is parking in the neighborhood.
7/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
I thought the food and service was fantastic. would recommend it to all my friends
7/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Everything was so good, the people, the service and specially the food. They have the best "tres leches" !
8/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
Giving Fonda a Run for my Money
Similar cuisine and cloned cocktails, El Naranjo feels like Fonda San Miguel's sophisticated, baby brother. Unique combinations left our group slightly worried during ordering but no worries - it was all creatively delicious. Well priced, well done, well served. BTW - chef came by twice to make sure we were happy.
8/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great interior mexican
I took a client and good friend to El Naranjo for lunch. We had a great time and truly enjoyed our meal. The food is always so flavorful and the service impeccable. We are looking forward to going back for tequila tasting night!
8/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
fabulous as usual
always a delight to eat at el naranjo. prefer lunchtime dining for quieter ambience and more reasonable prices.
food is always fabulous. authentic interior mexican food. beautiful presentations.
8/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Best authentic Mexican restaura
Best authentic Mexican restaurant in Austin. The service was also outstanding guiding you through the menu.
8/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
We loved it. We are a group
We loved it. We are a group of women who go out once a month and try a new place and we have been doing this for over 20 years without ever repeating a place. In most cases, something is disappointing but at t El Naranjo, we loved all the food.
8/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
The food was outstanding!
The food was outstanding! We went with 5 people, everyone loved their meal and the apps were superb! Best guacamole I have ever had!
8/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent food and service!
El Naranjo was the perfect spot for our party of 12. We were seated in a semi-private room and treated to excellent service. The food was delicious and well-prepared, and the servers were friendly and knowledgeable. The Rainey street location and ambience made for a perfect outing.
8/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Love this restaurant. They
Love this restaurant. They serve food from Oaxaca, Veracruz and other regions in Mexico with perfection. The changing menu, outstanding service and atmosphere all appeal to us. Things look and taste beautiful. Chef Iliana de la Vega is always present to greet, stop by the table and carefully oversee the kitchen.
8/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Was my favorite restaurant
Was my favorite restaurant in Oaxaca, now my favorite in Texas.
8/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Loved food...great for vegetarians
The atmosphere, services and food at La Naranjo was amazing. We had a great time. I had the vegetarian chile relleno and loved it. Both our wine bottles were also very good. Everyone in our party of 6 really enjoyed their meals including the mole, and presentation was also very good. If I could make any suggestions, it would be to add a vegetarian appetizer. I found the chile with cream appetizer a little rich. It would be great if there was another vegetarian appetizer that had less cheese/cream. Will definitely be back for more at La Naranjo.
9/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
This is Mexican cooking at
This is Mexican cooking at its best. The restaurant originates in Oaxaca and the chef makes a speciality of southern Mexican cooking. A rang of Oaxcan moles are othered. We ordered a Chile Enogada and a Pescado Tikin-Xic, both of which were some of the best dishes we have enjoyed at any restaurant, including many of the best restaurants in Mexico. We dined early and benefited from the Happy Hour with excellent Margaritas and Appetizers.
9/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
The balance of flavors is unparalleled. Additionally, there is a subdued boldness that leaves one in near ecstasy. Multi-layered, broad and deep. The restaurant's singularity makes it a primary destination. Thanx.
9/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
I had heard that El Naranjo had great food. I was not expecting the upscale atmosphere and cool vibe there. Just another reason to enjoy the restaurant. Our waiter, Jonathan, was excellent, giving just the right amount of service to be helpful and attentive. Of course, as I'd heard from friends, our dinner was excellent. We especially enjoyed the cactus paddle salad that Jonathan had suggested and the tres leche dessert which WAS the best I'd ever had (as he said it would be!). We'll be back.
9/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
Awesome food and great vibe, but don't show up starving because it takes them a while to get the (very, very good) food out to you. Might have been because the day we were there, there were two large parties taking a lot of the wait staff's attention.
9/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Highly Recommended Cuisine of Mex.
Four of us went to El Naranjo for a second visit. Just as good as the first. For those who like a variety of central mexican dishes, this is your place. I am not the first person to go to run and try Mexican, but my first visit sold me on El Naranjo. This visit I had the sea bass with a wonderful sauce (non-spicy) - it was truly delectable. My last visit I had the classic mole' - it was a delight. The rest of my party was also highly complimentary about their selections as well.
The service was also prompt and our waiter was both highly knowledgable and very helpful. We haven't tried outside yet, but the atmosphere inside is clean and a slightly funky version of elegant, with the lights not too bright. Very nice place.
9/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
I made a bet with a friend that my beloved Lakeway neighborhood Oaxacan restaurant was as good as hers. I lost. The food here is spectacular. I will still frequent my local favorite, but El Naranjo beats it on every level!
9/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
Our second visit to this restaurant. The food was again very good. Homemade corn tortillas were fresh and not gummy like so many corn tortillas. I was disappointed in the queso, which was just melted cheese with no seasoning, perhaps traditional, but boring. We had the special chili relleno - filled with ground beef and pork, plus peaches and some other fruits, traditional almond sauce. It was delicious - but at room temperature. Don't know if that was how it was supposed to be served. Our waiter explained the menu items in excruciating detail, but didn't mention that. He was annoying.
9/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
A friend from San Antonio and I made reservations for 8 pm, not knowing how traffic would be. We actually arrived at the El Naranjo an hour early and they were able to accommodate us. Our waiter, Kevin, was fabulous. He was so animated and really passionate about the food and the wine.
While there weren't a lot of people there when we first arrived, the place was pretty full soon afterwards and it did get a little loud, but we were having so much fun we didn't really care.
The food was fabulous as always. This is one of my new favorites and I'm looking forward to starting tasting my way through their tequila menu! This is a real gem for our community.
9/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
El Naranjo serves a high quality interior style Mexican food. It is really closer to what you would find in Spain. They have special moles, soups and sauces. The Bacalao (Cod) was excellent and the Duck was quite good. They both had interesting spices which had flavors that stayed with you long after the bite. The service was great although the place was a little noisy.
9/17/2013 5:00:00 PM
Hospitality and haute cuisine
Proprietors could not be more welcoming; fine service and menu and exceptional food.
9/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
We love this restaurant! We have eaten here several times and each and every time is a pleasant dining experience. The soup of the day is always delicious no matter what it is. This time it was black bean, last time, it was a chilled variety. The chayote squash salad is always yummy. The stuffed poblano pepper with vegetables wrapped in puff pastry, so good!!! And their desserts! The flan is amazing. I tried the green tea ice cream, very flavorful. Glad I restricted myself to one scoop, and not three, I would have eaten all three scoops even after being full after a fantastic meal.
And the homemade rolls with spicy butter and their house made condiments, we look forward to those. Love the little woven basket they come in.
9/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Everything we had was excellent! The soup of the day was black bean soup, which was the best black bean soup I've ever had. It's a family recipe of the chef's. Highly recommend!
10/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
What a great variety of interior Mexican mole recipes, unique for this Iowa born boy.
10/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
What a Treat!
When your wife has a passion for cooking... even to the point of teaching cooking classes for 10 years... it is hard to impress her at a restaurant. So, when her birthday comes up and its time to give her a treat that will mean something to her, taking her out to dinner is risky business. El Naranjo was her choice and a pleasure to share with another friend also celebrating a birthday.
My lady knows Oaxaca... having attended a cooking school there a few years ago. She loved the authentic approaches and the special twists here and there to make our dinners stand out.
Usually her response to "So, Honey, how is it?" goes something like... "I can do better." But, not at El Naranjo!!! Thank you. We will be back!
10/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
We took a group into this
We took a group into this restaurant and every one thought of food was very special. Some of them even asked all we found to special restaurant. The food is quite characteristic for central Mexico.
10/30/2013 5:00:00 PM
Favorite dishes: The mole
Favorite dishes: The mole of the day which was dark was great, the rajas con crema was rich and tasty, the smoked salsa was excellent. Also enjoyed the cocktail with cognac and orange in it
11/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Always a treat to visit Chef Iliana and her little piece of Mexico so cloae to the capitol. And the Pan de Muerto? Better than Mexicos...
11/2/2013 5:00:00 PM
Fantastic and surprising flavors!
The amarillo mole with duck is brilliant, with bright flavors and perfectly cooked duck, and the darker mole is a combination of flavors I've never seen before. It was earthy and chocolatey and I loved it.
11/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
Interior Mexican Delight on Rainey
The best black bean soup I ever had. Thick, toasted tortilla strips, avocado chunks, spicy. Life is good. The sauteed mushrooms were exquisite. Umami and wonderful spicy sauce. Then the fresh fish tacos came out. The fish was spicy and fresh. The coleslaw crispy and accompanying black beans full of earthy flavor. We will be back for dinner!
11/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
Everything was very good except chili rellenos were kind of doughy and mushy. Delicious ceviche and margaritas. Great, pleasant service. Nice atmosphere. We will go back for sure.
11/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
Still a gem
We took family to dinner over the holiday and the food was great as usual.
Give the Mexican Martini a try (with Corzo Silver) and the Langhe Nebbiolo with the Mole Poblano.
11/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
This is Mexican cooking on
This is Mexican cooking on a new plane, especially with mole sauces, which are done here better and in more variety than anywhere...this was true when the restaurant was located in Oaxaca, and is all the more true now in Austin.
11/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Absolutely the best mole I
Absolutely the best mole I have ever had and I am a little bit of a mole fanatic. I had the weekly special mole and it was incredible and my wife had the special Chile Relleno and she loved it as well. Highly recommend this restaurant for real interior Mexican restaurant.
11/29/2013 4:00:00 PM
Wonderful Find in Austin!
Took out of town guests here last weekend! El Naranjo is located in a funky Austin neighborhood where old homes serve as little gastro pubs and restaurants that line the street for blocks. The area is eclectic and very active with people laughing, holding hands, bar hopping and meandering from place to place. Give yourself a few minutes to find a parking space. When you arrive, start with their Habanero Margarita - amazing! The food is authentic Oaxacan cuisine and if you like Mole, they have multiple varieties to choose from. This is the real thing. You just cannot go wrong with anything on this menu. We had the Tres Leches for desert and it was incredible - the best we have ever tasted. Highly recommend this place for any occasion!
11/29/2013 4:00:00 PM
Fantastic Brunch Spot
Homemade Pan Dulce! Need I say more. Very authentic delicious mexican food. Service is great, the restaurant is so nice. You must try it.
11/30/2013 4:00:00 PM