Rio Grill
Rio Grill

Rio Grill

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.riogrill.com/
  • Phone: (831) 625-5436
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm; Brunch: Sunday: 11:30am - 3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Southwest, Californian
  • Executive Chef: Cy Yontz
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Special Events: At Rio Grill, we will provide an unforgettable experience and take care of all the details for your next event. With the newly refurbished Santa Fe Room and Chef Yontz’s fantastic food, we will accommodate all your personal and corporate event needs.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Rio Road
  • Public Transit: Public Transit is just a few yards from the restaurant.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: The Rio Grill offers plenty of convenient parking.
A word from Rio Grill
Rio Grill, located in the Crossroads in Carmel, has been the place to meet friends, enjoy tasty, flavorful food and relax with a refreshing cocktail or glass of wine for over 28 Years.
Chef Yontz’ creative American dishes are some of the most flavorful, colorful and vibrant on the Monterey Peninsula and celebrate flavor in every mouthwatering bite!
In addition to the main dining room, Rio Grill has a comfortable lounge and full bar serving refreshing libations including the restaurant’s famous "Rio Rita.” The bar is lined with colorful caricatures of local faces and celebrities. Rio Grill's award-winning wine list features more than 160 labels featuring a ton of local wineries and an extensive selection available by the glass.
For more information on Rio Grill, please visit our website at www.riogrill.com. The restaurant opens for lunch every day at 11:30 and serves straight through until 10:00 PM. Rio also serves a great brunch on Sundays from 11:30 – 4:00PM.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerCalifornian
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Rio Grill reviews from OpenTable diners
108 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
83% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (46)neighborhood gem (46)good for groups (37)special occasion (36)vibrant bar scene (31)great for lunch (21)kid-friendly (19)notable wine list (18)hot spot (13)great for brunch (11)romantic (9)late-night find (5)Show More
  • shoesan
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    My husband and I had dinner here for the second time this year. We ordered the empanadas as an appetizer. Awesome! For dinner my husband had the skirt steak and I had the smoked chicken with chipotle sauce. Both were quite yummy! We absolutely love this restaurant and highly recommend it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very disappointed and won't be back
    Sprmom3
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    I have been to Rio Grill many times with my husband and his family and I wanted to share it with my sisters and mom on our weekend getaway. The HOSTESS was very pleasant and our table was ready as we arrived which was great. BUT...From the moment we sat down things didn't go well. After 10 minutes, we flagged down a bus boy and asked for some water. The waitress showed up a few minutes later and we asked for the wine list. We had brought a bottle which she opened and left on the table but did not pour. I had to pour for our group of 6. When the food arrived, the presenation was impressive. Unfortunately, the taste did not match the presentation. None of the meals were hot, except one. They may have waited for it to be done to bring out the others...I don't know. My sister ordered the duck and voiced concern that it looked undercooked. The waitress assured her that was how they serve it. She never returned to see if she wanted it cooked longer. We had to flag someone down again to get our waitress as the duck was inedible. (undercooked and fatty). She apologized and brought her a ceasar salad. When the second bottle of wine showed up, we continued pouring for ourselves. None of the meals were what we had expected given my previous experience. When, we were finished with our meal, we had to flag someone down again to take our plates. The buser did not refill our waters. They did comp. two of the meals (one of which wasn't eaten) and a dessert. (which was a very dry ollalieberry pie) Overall, a very disappointing meal and no one in that group will return to Rio Grill.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Still excellent
    UCgradVIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    My wife and I have been going there for almost 30 years, and the food is still excellent. I almost always have the smoked chicken with artichokes and potatoes, but my wife likes to try different dishes. This time she had the poblano pepper and it was really good, i wish the wine list were a little longer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rio
    Raps
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    We always have had a good experience here. It is our go to restaurant.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time......great time
    Richard
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    This is our first time dining at the Rio Grill, when we arrived we were meet by two very nice ladies,we gave them our name and told her our other dinner were running alittle late.we had a chance to get a cocktail from a very friendly bartender. As we were waiting to be seated we observed alot of people coming and going(Rio Grill seems very popular place to eat) our friends arrived and the lady seated us promptly. The food was great and the selection was prefect. It was alittle noisey inside but that was because everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves. We will return ............
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food but very noisy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The food is very good at Rio Grill, but the restaurant is a lot visited by large groups. For us it was almost impossible to have a conversation with my older parents.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Meets Expectations
    philwupdxVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Decent food, pleasant surroundings, and friendly service make Rio Grill a reasonable alternative to more touristy establishments in Monterey and Carmel. Don't expect cutting edge cuisine, even though the prices may suggest that. On the other hand, something must be working for Rio Grill to have survived for several decades!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Like clockwork
    MontereyBS
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    We're regulars here. The reasons we keep coming back are pretty simple: great food, solid wine list, attentive waiters, nice ambiance, friendly clientele. What's not to like?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved lunch
    Justlunch
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    Just dined here for the first time prior to a attending a meeting nearby and was pleasantly surprised at the diverse menu, the lovely decor and the excellent food! Try the artichokes if they are in season, it's a dish not to be missed! The service was attentive but not intrusive. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Inconsistent
    Menos
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    3 visits two fair one great meal. Mai Mai was overlooked. Salad wasn't inspired.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tasty pork
    CCDINERVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    2 of us for dinner on a a Sunday night...greeted by name by the Hostess, good service. Great He,ingway Daiquiri , delicious candied pork and pork loin. Sad the pineapple upside down cake no longer offered.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Another great meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    We make Rio Grill a regular stop on our twice a year visit to Carmel. Food is always beautifully prepared. Choice of comfort items and more creative dishes. Nice wine list. Bartender does a find job with cocktails. Place is always filled with a combination of residents and visitors. Atmosphere is lively and happy. Bonus is that food is excellent but no hassle to park due to its location. Not an easy accomplishment for dining in Carmel.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Exceptional evening
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Excellent food and great service. This restaurant has continued to maintain its high standards through the years and remembers its about the customer.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our Go To Place
    jslr2VIP
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    There are a number of excellent restaurants on the Monterey Peninsula, but this is the one we keep returning to. Been dining here for years. The food is good, the service usually impeccable and the staff are all friendly and approachable.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Heard good things
    KritiKareVIP
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    we enjoyed ourselves and really thought the margarita list and flavors were super creative. Our large party had a mix of dishes with consistently tasty dishes and textures.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • GREAT FOOD & SERVICE
    TominCA
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    The Rio Grill once again once again delivered a very nice evening. Food was tasty and nicely presented. Waiter was excellent. Only issue - the restaurant can be noisy when full.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Had hoped for better
    Richard
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Located in a strip mall, but very attractive on the outside and inside. Service was great and the descriptions of the food sounded wonderful. Our flatbread was soggy but flavorful. The veggie stuffed ravioli was tough and the sauce was extremely bland. Pretty presentation though.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good but not great
    biscuiitVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    The food was OK but not what I thought it would be from the recommendations I had received from others. The biggest problem I had was we were crammed into the restaurant. Even though the restaurant was loud, there was no privacy since the table next to you was no more than two feet from ours. Our waiter took a little while to acknowledge us but did great afterwards.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great repeat spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    We always done here when were in town. Love it! Price points are fair and the food is delicious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great expierence
    MomsBirthday
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Moms 78 bd & she enjoyed every moment, not so easy to do for her anymore. Strongly suggest reservations unless you like to wait.. Blue Skies!!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overpriced, low quality food
    Pilgrim
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    We ate dinner there. We all thought the food was very mediocre. It reminded me of the quality of somewhere between a microwave meal and cafeteria food. It was presented beautifully, no doubt. But it was disappointingly bland. Our server was nice and did a fine job.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Longevity say's it all!
    foodgloriousfood
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    I love to cook so we don't go out for dinner too often however, we love to go to lunch... The Rio has always served great lunches but we had never had dinner there so we thought we give it a try. I booked our table and viewed the menu online so I knew what I wanted before I got there. I Split several dishes with a friend so I could order old favorites and try new things. The wonderful sauces stand out the most for me; bold, blended, unexpected and delicious. I am Looking forward to my next experience at The Rio Grill.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was great
    TattaaVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    I loved the food and service but was disappointed with the location. I just assumed it was downtown in charming Carmel. When we pulled into a shopping center I was disappointed. I should have checked the location but not being from Carmel and visiting I just assumed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Victor
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    I chose the Rio Grill for our 21st wedding anniverary dinner. Though the tables were close, the table had a heart with an arrow drawn on it with rose petals placed within the heart. My wife and I loved it. The food and the cocktails were outstanding. As well as the service.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Dinner
    JJLsanmateo
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Food was good, service was so so, long time to take drink order > 10 min for acknowledgement from waiter. Food was good, potato was ice cold, waiter never came back to check. RIbs were warm hot sauce poured on was hotter than ribs, clearly not cooked at the same time.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Went for son's birthday
    FunLunchtimeVisit
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The food was good. Great place to bring a family. Waitress was very nice. All in all, not bad at all and would recommend for a fairly priced dinner.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great evening
    AnneVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    I've been to the Rio Grill on a number of occasions this year and it always has great food and friendly service. The most recent visit had a large group in the restaurant so it was noisy but not over the top. It's always busy, which is a good sign, and the menu has something for everyone. The NY steak was excellent, as was the mahi mahi and the desserts were great, ollalieberry pie and bread pudding.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It just didn't work for us
    LocalsVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Strange menu, I'm sure very creative, but when you offer pasta, why not just an excellently prepared pasta bolognese? Instead they go overboard with a tri-colored fusilli and a bison bolognese. Not very good. Smoked chicken instead of roasted chicken. Beautiful place, vibrant scene, well known, but after staying away for 10 years and wanting to try it again, our group of 5 was very disappointed. Our server was ametuerish, which didn't make it any better. We arrived at 6pm and it was a good 2 hours before we completed our meal, and it's not because we were leisurely about it. This place just didn't work for us. I think this restaurant group also owns Montrio in Monterey, which we enjoy tremendously and would recommend over Rio Grill.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great find
    Disapointed
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Not your typical Carmel restaurant. Lots of locals so you know itis good and it is. Must stop in Crossroads shopping center
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We ate here two nights in a row
    LindaOkoVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    After reading reviews I made reservations and, upon arriving, immediately apologized to my husband for booking us into a mall restaurant. I quickly got over my east coast snobbery. Every dish we had on both nights was packed with bold flavor. We were looking for great, local California-style food and each course made us swoon. We started both nights with the habernaro deviled eggs with bacon jam. Other highlights of our two dinner extravaganza included the empanadas, duck with tomale, penne with prawns (both magnificent) and of the three desserts we tried, the clear winner was the apple caramel bread pudding, although my husband is elbowing me to put in a good word for the Meyer lemon tart. If we lived here we'd visit frequently.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • RG Rocks
    luv2boys
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    This is the second time I've been to Rio Grill. It's quickly becoming a favorite when visiting Carmel. The food is fantastic and the bar area is really fun. But make sure you make a reservation. This place fills up and then likely you'll either wait an hour+ or be sent home. If you're lucky you could find a seat at the bar which is fantastic too. It's the same menu and very relaxed.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always a good choice
    diner1227
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We go to Rio Grill regularly- usually for dinner, sometimes for lunch. We have never had a bad meal there! The waitstaff is always very friendly and knowledgeable, the service is prompt, and they don't chase you out. The food is excellent and interesting. The portions are generous but not overwhelming. You can clean your plate and feel satisfied, not stuffed. If you like bland food, though, go somewhere else. Also, it is always crowded so is usually pretty noisy. People go there to celebrate. So be prepared for that, and go with the flow.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Must Try
    DesdeVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The menu is excellent, every time I've come I've left happy. Try the duck tamale!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Staff is professional and very prompt - the speed at which they move is a little intimidating. Must have reservations, especially on weekends. Food is truly excellent (not purely "Mexican") and quite a delicious variety is available.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Friendly and elegant eating
    Tishsreviews
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The food was extraordinary. The service was friendly and attentive. I'm glad that opentable recommended this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A repeater
    Lisa
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    We've come to Rio Grill each time we are in town for Pebble Beach and Monterey Car Week. They do a great job accommodating the infux of people in Carmel during this one week. The food is consistently full of flavor. If you order empanadas as an appetizer, order two because they are so good. Never been disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    We were seated without a problem, even though I made the reservation for three and one of our party did not show up. The server was there immediately, knew her dishes inside and out. Given that this is a restaurant that specializes in southwestern cuisine this will sound absurd, but I can't eat anything in the allium family. No garlic, onions, chives or scallions. Cooked is okay, but not raw. Most of the dishes have garlic in them but the chef was able to accommodate most of my needs and substitutions for those things that were made way ahead of time with garlic in them were fine. Server was attentive but not hovering. I got one of the specials, which was a grilled opi (fish). It was pretty dry. The roasted fingerling potatoes were good.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jf
    priamsend
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Found this place online and decided to try it out. I'm really glad I did, the brunch was unbelievably good. And Teresa our waitress was kind, friendly, and very attentive. I will go back next time I'm in Carmel!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wow
    MichaelVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Our server had us order the more expensive things on the menu. No help at all as to what was really good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great Steaks
    Colin
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    We were on holiday from the UK and had 2 epic steaks and our daughter had a bruschetta starter as her main. They were possibly two of the best steaks we have ever had and the cost of the meal was not too high bearing in mind the quality of the food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.