La Malinche

4.5
332 reviews
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$30 and under
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Tapas / Small Plates
Three brothers and a brother-in-law from El Salvador realized their long-held dream of opening a restaurant together in November of last year. Jaime Sorto, his brothers Hugo and Jose Bonilla, and his brother-in-law Jose Zelaya looked for a name that symbolizes their concept of two cultures coming together.
They chose La Malinche, the name given to a historical figure who has been at the center of controversy for centuries. The noble Mexican woman was enslaved and given to Hernán Cortés, a Spanish conquistador. She became his interpreter and confidante. Their son was viewed as the first mestizo, a child of mixed blood.
Many Mexicans consider La Malinche or Doña Marina to have been a traitor, but today, she is also honored as the symbolic mother of the country’s mixed-race people.
At La Malinche, all of the starters, vegetables, meats and seafood are served as Spanish tapas, called botanas in Mexico.
What 332 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.0
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JW
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Absolutely delicious food and a very nice atmosphere

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I
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent tapas! Many interesting combos and none disappointed! Always love the sangria (but not crazy about the white one)

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k
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful tapas- especially love the salmon. Service attentive, fast, helpful. We were all struggling to hear one another because of the noise level. We were a party of five quiet ladies and there was a large happy family party just behind us. Just not able to make conversation so retired for coffee at Panera across the street. Wouldn’t choose this time of day next time- brunch on a Sunday with more than a couple of guests. We were at the back of the restaurant. Might be quieter at small tables nearer the door. Great food though!

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EP
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A great tapas restaurant in downtown Silver Spring! Every dish we tried was delicious and they did a great job spacing out different dishes so we wouldn’t have too much food at once. The wait staff was attentive and helpful when we needed them. A nice small restaurant to get great tapas!

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PT
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

I had a reservation for 8 people for brunch. I set up my reservation on open table and spoke to someone on the phone. When we arrived we were told that brunch was only available until 2:01. This was never told to me when I spoke to someone over the phone even though my reservation was for 1:30. It also took them a long time to serve us drinks and one person never got their drink order. I've gone here several times and enjoyed their food in the past but this was a terrible experience since their policies and pricing has changed. Luckily we found a great brunch place down the street with excellent food and service.

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P
Baltimore
15 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place!! Love, love, love!!!!

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P
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food, excellent service. Looking forward to a return visit.

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b
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The prices were a bit high for food that was good, but not outstanding.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite Silver Spring restaurant.

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E
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Meh. Service was slow and it was not crowded. Food was just ok have had much better tapas at Jaleo or Zaytinia.

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AC
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My husband and I ordered a variety of five tapas. They arrived perfectly spaced out so that each one could be comfortably enjoyed. They all were delicious! The lamb chops were medium rare and very juicy. The fish dishes were also perfectly prepared. The staff was friendly and attentive. We plan to return often.

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ET
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 1

I had gone to this establishment once before and I was in a group of 18 so when the food was taking long i thought maybe they are just having trouble keeping up with the amount of people in our group. But this Sunday I only had a party of 4. I was very disappointed with the service. I ordered one item that from my previous experience was the item that they had trouble getting to us last time. This is why it was the first thing I ordered. When I brought it to the attention of one of the servers he said it will be out shortly. It had already been 45mins since I had ordered. Which really got me mad when I saw a table that got there after us get 5 of them delivered to their table. When we had only ordered one. I brought it up again to another server. We asked him what was taking so long and that we had ordered it 45mins ago. He said ok. Not the response I expected. If they forgot to order it just say so and bring it to us as soon as you can. Maybe an apology? We had to wait empty plated a few times which kind of takes the unlimited brunch experience away. I hope that this can change, the food is pretty good but their service needs to get better big time.

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AP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great poace to meet up with friends. Great food and service, noise level manageable.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a lovely place to celebrate Mother’s Day!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The restaurant looked nice and the food was delicious. The service was a tad slow but it didn’t bother us on a Saturday afternoon. A business lunch on a week day would be another matter. Great place for a weekend family meal. We’ll definitely go back.

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SH
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best place to go for brunch! All you can eat food and sangria for $35! You can’t beat it. Definitely one of my favorite places to go.

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d
Washington DC
65 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Went with friend for lunch. Found out they had unlimited brunch when we got there. Unfortunately, everyone at your table has to order it for you to be able to order it. A bit overpriced for what you're getting; have to order a lot of tapas to get money's worth. Fortunately, most of the food is good. Service is hit or miss; waiters came by often to refills drinks, but we had to stop them to order more tapas. Overall, not bad; would return.

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C
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Food is excellent. The fried yuca and the sauce are delicious. The chimichurri on the carne asada is legit. The service lacked and the poor waiter admitted that he was stretched thin.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always quality!

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food. A little pricy. Service was decent and the staff were very nice. We got seated in the front window which was both strange and kinda neat.

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T
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

La Malinche has great variety. The service is wonderful, attentive staff and quick turn around for food.

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D
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is always fresh and well prepared. We sat outside and enjoyed the street scene without being disrupted by it. Attentive service too! My friends LOVED it. Plus, the drinks are good!

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FU
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Had a great brunch on Easter weekend. Drinks were strong and the food was fast and hot. Yummy

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d
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Was looking for interesting food in Silver Spring- this is a special GEM! The service was excellent, food outstanding and cocktails out of this world.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Small portions of tasty, beautifully-presented food and friendly, competent staff ... what more could I ask for? There’s variety for different tastes but not so much choice it’s overwhelming. The staff definitely work as a team which makes
the service that much faster. We’ve gotten so tired of giant portions of food. At La Malinche, we can each order something and share both instead of just one dish, and we come away satisfied, not overstuffed. We love it!

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EC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service with even more amazing food. The brunch tapas came out quickly and everything was so flavorful. Try the potato croquettes!!

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SS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Food and beverages are delicious for the unlimited brunch. However, the waiters do not smile and are not friendly.

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J
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a wonderful time at La Malinche. It was amazing! My friends and I were full after the meal. I would recommend this for anyone!

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JN
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

La Malinche is truly one of my favorite places to eat! The atmosphere is calm, it allows you to either dress up or down. The food is absolutely amazing everytime I’ve come. I always get the garlic shrimp as one of my entree's and then end it with the tres leches for dessert. The staff are all very kind and personable which also adds to the inviting ambience. I have brought so many of my friends here and I can’t wait till I go back!

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AC
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience! The bacon wrapped dates, the steak fajitas, and the empanadas, oh the empanadas, were amazing! Best empanadas I’ve ever had. Everything was delicious. Though I will say the calamari was the only thing we got that wasn’t amazing. Everything else was perfect!

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DD
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 3

Enjoyable experience; not rushed so could enjoy the varied dishes/flavors

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

It was my husbands birthday. Had great sangria pitcher. The food was really good. The cauliflower was ok.

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SK
Washington DC
147 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

This very busy Spanish restaurant offered pretty average tasting food in a pretty average presentation in a pretty setting. We will not go there again.

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AM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and cannot recommend this place enough, specifically for their $35 brunch.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Nice mix of plates, super fast service, and a great value for brunch. Will definitely be back again!

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DC
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service! Great food! Great staff. Great location!!! I’ve already recommended this location to 5 different households.

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DS
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Tapas as tasty as Jaleo in every way at 1/2 the price and 2-3x the amount of food. We each ordered three tapas and frankly, each portion would have bee the equivalent of a major entre in many dc restaurants. This is not a complaint! But even my 33 year old kids packed up leftovers for home, 6 boxes of them. We go back and order one tapa and a salad a glass of wine each and maybe one more tapa and wha a great meal for the price.

For the meal we had 15 tapas for the table and only the service was a bit slow. But the restaurant was crowded and the kitchen had a lot to do. Go to this restaurant. Try any meat or fish dish or veggie dish. Only the chicken croquettes were not outstanding but just good.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve returned several times and have enjoyed all my dining experiences at LaMalinche.

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y
Baltimore
62 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Pretty restaurant and very clean. We went earlier so it wasn’t crowded and we got seated right away. I ordered fajita and found the meat very tough. They were out of the dessert we wanted. Coffee was good. Basically, it was okay. If the meat had been better, it would have been a good day

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ES
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

five-star food, every dish is consistently excellent. service is always great from every member of the staff. perfect for celebrating special occasions but also they have a value-based lunch special.

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