Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill
Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill

Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.rioazulpalmsprings.com/
  • Phone: 7609925641x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch & Breakfast

    Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am

    Dinner

    Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm; Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
    Sunday 5:00 - 9:00pm

    Closed Monday in June
    Closed Monday & Tuesday July - September
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Contemporary Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Ernesto Gastelum
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Catering Menu is available which also includes Party Platters to Go.
  • Private Party Facilities: The main dining room is available for groups adn private dining up to 80 people.
  • Private Party Contact: Daniela Saenz 7609925641x

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Baristo
  • Public Transit: Located on Indian Canyon Drive.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking is available in the parking lot adjacent to the restaurant, in front of the restaurant on Indian Canyon Drive or in the parking garage across the street off Baristo.
A word from Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill
Welcome to Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill. Rio Azul is not your typical Mexican Restaurant. They are Palm Springs only choice for traditional Mexican Cuisine, handcrafted with the best ingredients and served fresh and flavorful! The unique menu is certain to have something for every palate. Voted Best Mexican Restaurant 2012 by Palm Springs Life Readers & Best Margarita 2013!!! Prepare to be charmed by the colorful and deliciously vibrant atmosphere and wowed by the culinary creations of Executive Chef Ernesto Gastelum. Chef Gastelum’s cuisine is a magical combination of delicious fresh ingredients, and a philosophy of slow food preparation where everything is made to order and freshly prepared. As a result you have a dining experience that excites and delights your senses. Relax in our beautiful setting while Chef Gastelum and his team perfectly prepare your meal.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill reviews from OpenTable diners
39 reviews since June 4, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (21)good for groups (19)fit for foodies (11)special occasion (7)kid-friendly (7)hot spot (5)vibrant bar scene (5)late-night find (4)romantic (3)great for outdoor dining (3)great for lunch (2)scenic view (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Great, authentic Mexican cuisine
    reviewerrobertVIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Original, innovative and deliciious food along with attentive, knowledgable and polite service make this one of my favorite Palm Springs restaurants. Great selction of tecquilas as well.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious!
    CHobson
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Rio Azul was recommended to us, and we were not disappointed! The food was really delicious, we had great service, and the Cadillac margarita was great. I especially liked the salsa and the vegetable burrito!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First Visit Impressions
    Deano
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    I had seen Rio Azul on the Open Table listing in our community, but we had never tried it, there being several very good Mexican restaurants here. We went early after another event in the afternoon. It being around 5:00 pm, the restaurant was not very full. We were welcomed warmly and seated in a booth of our choosing. The decor is Mexican, but with a deep blue ceiling, tan walls, & restrained wall treatments. The food, when it came was well prepared exactly as ordered & very flavorful. The menu was quite varied and offered choices I had not seen elsewhere. We ordered entrees we had eaten elsewhere as the menu was new to us. However we look forward to a return visit & some adventure from the menu.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing!
    RavesVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Awesome service! Amazing shrimp and fish tacos! Salsa and chips are fresh and delicious
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not run of the mill Mexican
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The menu had some interesting creative choices and the food was was very tasty. My only complaint is the serving portion sizes were way too large. The staff were extremely hard working but a little too efficient - bringing the entree before the appetizers were even half finished, trying to clear plates while we were still eating... They were well intentioned but made me feel rushed even though there were plenty of open tables. I think this place would be fine for larger groups but not romantic dinners for two.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Authentic Food
    PammyLuvs2eatVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    We were visiting Palm Springs and looked up restaurants in the vicinity. Rio Azul was offering 1000 points for dinner so off we went! We were not disappointed! The food was some of the best Mexican cuisine we have ever had. The enchiladas, chile rellenos and tacos were superb! Loved it so much, we returned the next night and were treated to a fabulous harp player singing songs of Mexico. We will definitely return on our next getaway to Palm Springs!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Quality food
    Codym
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    There are a lot of decent hole in the wall diners out there with average food but this place is a real gem. The food is really fantastic and is a must-do when we visit palm springs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome authentic food
    Tavo4
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Rios azul was pretty good. Our food tastes authentic, from the rice and beans to the desert that was home made. Service was awesome. Our server was polite, respectful and very helpful, he suggested the right items and they were delicious. Margaritas are amazing. DEFINETLY will return to eat here and suggest everyone try this place out.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It was all good here...
    MacNRobVIP
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Such a welcoming venue... good food... bartenders are cool... EVEN the other patrons were cool...
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Mexican Food
    ScottG
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    I've passed by this restaurant for a couple of years and finally decided to try it. 3 meals over 3 weeks proved that is been missing a treasure. Everything we've had had here has been fresh, tender and delicious. The staff is accommodating and attentive. The Bacon Jalapeño Margaritas are amazing, a concoction of genius! I applied for my frequent diners card on the last visit. This place is a keeper!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Simply, the best in favors
    PSPastry
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    What a gem. Totally fresh Mexican food with all your favorites. my only issue was, even though the harp music was beautiful, it was quite loud and we were in the back, knowing that would be an issue. other than that. The best!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not your ordinary Texmex Restaurant
    tomronVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Everything about our visit to Rio Azul was excellent! The appetizer list was enormous, and full of great choices. Main courses - ditto. And, nothing failed its' description!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    Good
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    The food is great, the service not so much. The hostess was far from friendly, and was almost to the stage of being rude. When you make a reservation a week in advance you would think that you would be able to sit where you reserved. The house margaritas were great.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Off the beaten path Mexican flavors
    Darcy
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Great service, great unique cocktail menu, and unique twists on Mexican dishes. The only thing I did NOT like was the chips, had a funny aftertaste and a bit stale maybe. But they brought new ones when I complained and really tried to please the customer in every way. Second batch was marginally better. Everything else was great do I would come back and skip the chips. Cochinita pibil and parrillada sampler were delicious! Flan was good but needed a sauce. Margaritas also great!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Large Party
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Rio Azul was a great place for the large party. We had 17 people and they took care of us. Everyone was able to talk and enjoy the wonderful food and drinks. I would recommend this place!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food and everyone friendly
    JimP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Great place to go have wonderful Mexican Food. Chips and Salsa excellent. Drinks are great too. Neighborhood gem.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Jimbos
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    We have been to Palm Springs on several occasions and always enjoy trying new restaurants. We had read the reviews on Yelp and decided to give Rio Azul a try. We made a reservation for 5:00PM but got hungry and decided to eat early. We arrived at 4:35 only to be told the restaurant didn't open til 5. The staff let us in and sat us at the bar. The waiter/bartender, Andres, stopped what he was doing and immediately greeted us and took our drink order. He made fresh guacamole at our table and made some excellent recommendations for our dinner. The entire experience was excellent and the food was outstanding. So much for trying new restaurants, we will be back every time we visit Palm Springs!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 22 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 4, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.4
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 57 reviews are from the Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill reviews archive.
  • Great for groups
    serviceisimportant
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    We went here with 11 people for a bachelorette party, and the server (Alex) was great. He got all of our orders right, was attentive, and made the bride feel like the guest of honor that she was. We ate and drank well (though some shared plates), and our dinner--tip included--was $325.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It' Been Better
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    The service was bad. We saw the waiter once. We had to send on plate back three times because they didn't get it right.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of the best for Mexican food
    psguyVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    The food is always very good at Rio Azul. One of the best restaurants in Palm Springs for authentic Mexican. I love the pork dishes. The margaritas are very good too. I always recommend Rio Azul to visitors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not worth it
    DonatoVIP
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    Disappointing food at a high price for typical Mexican dishes. Very unwelcoming door entrance. Thought it was very unprofessional for our server's friends hugging her and slipping money in her apron while she was telling us the desserts they offer. Their only redeeming quality is their flan.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Mexican Food @ good price!
    Cowhead
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Very good food for the three items we tried: table side guacamole (strongly recommended), chicken poblano enchiladas and chicke burrito. All ingredients were very fresh, food was hot and just the right amount of spice. I thought the prices were reasonable. Another " good deal" here is the margheritas .... House special $5 all the time, but you can "upsize" for $2 more .... Well worth it as the bigger one seems to be at least twice the size!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bachelorette party
    GettingMarried31
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    I picked Rio Azul for my bachelorette party dinner because i really wanted tacos. This place was really great. They could accommodate our group of 9 girls, and our server was the best in the world. She was friendly, fun, offered to take pictures of us, and told us of good spots to hit up that night. I would recommend them to anyone who's looking for a low key, mexican restaurant in Palm Springs.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • BestMex!
    MEnPSVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Love this place!We go there for dinner once a week,or more if friends are in town. The food is SUPERB! and the Wait Staff is even BETTER! LOVE YOU GUYS,HOPE YOU WIN!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cinco de Mayo
    cwgrl
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    We chose to eat at Rio Azul because it was Cinco de Mayo and it was rated the best in the valley. We had a reservation but weren't seated until at least 15 minutes later as they were clearly overwhelmed by the Cinco crowd. We sat with water and chips for another 15-20 minutes before our waitress came and asked us for our drink order. We insisted on ordering food then because we weren't sure when we would see her again. The food was delivered by another server or bus boy. I had to ask for more water on several occasions. Food was good, nothing special or out of the ordinary. Would recommend but it's certainly not the "best" as they advertise.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cinco de Mayo
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    Party of of four found excellent Margaritas and delicious dishes in a festive atmosphere with good service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Mexican Food!
    DiningDiva
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    Delicious food, great service, what more can you ask for? This place is a must!!!
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great little spot for a great meal
    Luv2dine
    Dined on 4/30/2014
    We were here for dinner about 8pm, sat at an outside table and had a delicious and enjoyable dinner. The table-side prepared guacamole was incredible. We have been here before and will be back again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great margaritas and salsa!
    kemevaVIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    we love the warm chips, salsa, guac and skinny margaritas! order the pollo a la plancha for a treat :)
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Palm Springs Visitor
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    Great service, good food. Was very quiet so good for talking. Did not live up to the reviews on the internet.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Feeling cheated
    CDL7
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    The place seemed dark, the eating utensils were real cheap (flimsy, fake metal) our table was stuck in the back right next to the kitchen and restrooms (they should have a screen separating the dining area). Very noisy and distracting. Crappy way to spend my birthday dinner. The worst part of all was the menu was way over priced for the tiny amount of food the serve. All 7 (men, women, kids) of us we still hungry after dinner. ONE tablespoon each of beans and rice. My tacos were about 3 inches long and had about 2 tablespoons of ingredients inside, if even that!
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Mexican Food & Margaritas
    1PDBankExecVIP
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    Finally found the best margaritas and fajitas in the desert! Server named Yoli is wonderful and so glad we tried something new instead of the old stand-by Mexican restaurants that continuously disappoint everyone. Great job Rio Azul!
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, very slow service
    traceyntVIP
    Dined on 4/14/2014
    waited and waited and waited for a server. had a 2 year with us that only has so much patience. Food was good, could use a little more seasoning. When we added salt/pepper much better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very Consistant
    ChazVIP
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    The food and service at Rio Azul is always excellent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of the best Mexican restaurants
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    The food has great, fresh flavors....love this restaurant. Far above other Mexican places in town. Highly recommend!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful food, great service.
    MomMD
    Dined on 3/30/2014
    The food at Rio Azul is amazing..very fresh and with wonderful flavors. We enjoyed the yellow pepper appetizer stuffed with vegetables and shrimp, the chicken enchiladas and of course the house margaritas. Service was very prompt and attentive, and we were brought a basket of tacos with fresh salsa as soon as we sat down, along with iced waters. The atmosphere felt authentic and it was busy on a Sunday night, always a good sign. All in all, we can highly recommend Rio Azul and will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Conference Lunch Break with Group
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    Our party of 6 needed to find a place for lunch during a conference. It had to be convenient and taste good. A search on my smartphone found Rio Azul. Their reviews and ability to take reservations for lunch sealed our decision. Initial impression, the restaurant was empty. But we were welcomed in and seated immediately. Our drink orders were taken and chips and the salsa were brought over while we read the menu. The salsa was so fresh tasting with the right amount of spice. They do a salt chile rim on your margarita that is so different and good! My fish tacos were some of the best that I have ever had. Our server Dani was amazing! She was friendly and took great care of us and brought separate checks without us asking. Fabulous place!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wait For It, Wait For It...........
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Our party of four arrived as a huge party of 40 people had been served and were finishing dinner. We understood when service was a little slow, but the large party all left, and we were still waiting for more than chips to appear at our table. Finally, after over 50 minutes most of our order arrived. The food was very good, and we all enjoyed our meal. We agreed that we would give the restaurant another try based on the delicious food, but if service did not improve, it would be our last visit. As we won't be in Palm Springs again until 2015' Rio Azul has plenty of time to continue perfecting their excellent dishes, and to get their service in order.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Solid Mexican in Palm Springs.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 3/24/2014
    I love to eat at Rio Azul when vacationing in Palm Springs. Having lived in Texas, California and now in Vermont, I have a real need for good Mexican food and this restaurant always satisfies. Excellent table side guacamole, fresh salsa with the right amount of heat, tasty margaritas and delicious main courses including chile verde, carnitas, enchiladas and poblano relleno. No room for dessert and always a bargain when the check arrives. I will be back next trip!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT!!
    Susan
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    Wonderful people, great food, staff always gracious and actually seem to be happy to see me. This is not short order Mexican, the owner is an actual chef. So enjoy
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate