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Date
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Time
7:00 PM
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El Parador

4.6
985 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Top Tags:
  • Authentic
  • Special Occasion
  • Neighborhood Gem
El Parador Café was founded in 1959; it is the oldest and most authentic Mexican restaurant in New York, celebrating its 50th year in business. Carlos Jacott launched the original establishment, first located on 2nd Avenue and 31st Street. The restaurant has been lauded for having the best Margaritas by The New York Press and the best Ceviche by The New York Times.

The torch has now been passed onto Jose "Alex" Alejandro, a 1994 graduate of The French Culinary Institute, who continues to grow the restaurant’s following by offering an excellent menu, world class bar & lounge and warm atmosphere.

El Parador is dedicated to culture and hospitality. Many of the customers, dubbed “El Paradorians,” first met each other at the restaurant.

The wonderful ambiance and cuisine has made El Parador Cafe NYC's favorite Mexican Restaurant, voted #1 by Open table and, once again, named a Bib Gourmand winner by the Michelin Guide for great value.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Mexican, Traditional Mexican, Tex-Mex
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday thru Saturday Noon to 3 PM

Tasting Menu at the bar, Monday-Saturday 3:00PM-7:00 PM ($6 Margaritas, Sangria and Beer; Special selection of appetizers)

Dinner: Monday 3 PM to 10 PM
Tuesday Thru Saturday 3 PM to 11 PM
Closed on Sundays and mayor holidays
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Phone number
(212) 679-6812
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Bonifacio Junior
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Between 1st and 2nd Avenues
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Parking details
There are public lots located on 34th Street and street parking available on 33rd, 34th, and 35th Streets and 2nd Avenue.
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Public transit
6 train to Park Avenue/33rd Street, the M34 & M16 1st Avenue buses, and the 3rd Avenue bus.
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Special events & promotions
The restaurant can accommodate parties up to 120 people for special events. The downstairs lounge, La Cueva, is a rare find in Midtown East.
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Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wine

Specials

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Mon 9:00PM - 10:00PM
Tue - Thu 9:00PM - 11:00PM

What 985 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 5 days ago

My wife and I haven't been to El Parador in at least 15 years and the first time we went to El Parador was in 1971. Our favorable memories of the restaurant were reaffirmed on our recent visit. Just wish we lived closer to the restaurant.

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3.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Very nice atmosphere and decor. Food was good not great. We had fajitas and the steak was not as tender as it should be. Also the grilled octopus was a little tough and maybe overlooked. The drinks were excellent and our waiter was very attentive.

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3.0Dined on May 15, 2018

Good Mexican food, service a bit chaotic but they are nice people. Sangria very watery (too much ice) so not as good as expected.

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3.0Dined on May 14, 2018

The food was very different. I am a vegetarian. They had a lot of variety. Need to spice up the food and have some hot sauces.

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4.0Dined on May 13, 2018

I was looking for a different dinning experience. This place was top rated on Open Table. I decided to try it as we were celebrating a friends Birthday. I felt the prices were a bit to high for a place like this. The Lamb was under cooked. Overall it was okay.

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4.0Dined on May 10, 2018

Long wait with a reservation.

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5.0Dined on May 3, 2018

Very tasty with great service!

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4.0Dined on May 2, 2018

A very cozy restaurant that has a wonderful atmosphere. The waiter was very attentive and the food was good. We shared the chicken fajitas and there was definitely enough for the two of us.

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4.0Dined on May 1, 2018

Lovely Mexican food, yummy frozen margaritas! It was great receiving corn chips & salsa shortly after sitting down

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5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Visited NYC from London to meet friends who live in New Hampshire. Really busy, energetic place with great food, best Margaritas (outside of my own and my own are spectacular!!). Really good
Fun and deserves its special local reputation fully. If you like Mexican you must go!!

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4.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Love this place.

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5.0Dined on April 27, 2018

Fun evening. The food is always consistent. This is a neighborhood gem.

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2.0Dined on April 27, 2018

The food had hardly any flavor. Not what we would expect from a Mexican inspired restaurant. The wait staff were pleasant but not as attentive as they could've been. The manager walked right passed us numerous times and only welcomed his usual clientele. We could've become usuals if given the opportunity to feel welcome. He did say goodbye as we walked out...again, felt more like a thank you for leaving. I guess we didn't fit the restaurant's "type." So sad, too bad.

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5.0Dined on April 24, 2018

El Parador has been a mainstay forever....and that's how long I've been going there. Traditional Mexican dishes and some new additions. Mole, lobster tacos, ropa vieja, paella, taco tray.... I've never had a bad meal there. Also, their margaritas and sangria will cure what ails you. I'm picky about my margeritas but, they make them to my specifications.

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2.0Dined on April 13, 2018

Had high expectations- service and food were ok. Disappointed with the food mostly. Bland Mexican is not what we expected. Skip the mole and cheese enchiladas.

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4.0Dined on April 13, 2018

4 of us had dinner. Each first course was just OK. The steak fajitas as a main course was disappointing-very few vegetables and tough cut of steak. Servers were nice and professional.

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5.0Dined on April 12, 2018

Excellent food, ambiance and service. Highly recommend for get together with friends, romantic dinner and/or a date. Also great straight up margaritas - strong and not to sweet.

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3.0Dined on April 10, 2018

The food was excellent, if you are vegetarian they have many options. I have the lunch special for $23. I choose the mushroom quesadilla which was excellent, very tasty. Next I had the pork tacos, they were tasty but nothing special. For dessert I had flan but it was just mediocre. It was more sweet than creamy, not what I'm used to. As much as I enjoyed the food I found the margaritas small but pricey, they were $11 each in a short glass. My friend is vegetarian and they make their salsa with chicken broth, but they do have a vegetarian option, just ask. All in all I would eat here again but will go during happy hour when the drinks are more reasonable.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

I am never disappointed whenever I come here for a meal. The Tamarind Margarita's are the best and food is always delicious. Highly recommend for delicious Mexican with a nice ambience.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

We've been going to El Parador for 50 year. Consistent and excellent as always

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4.0Dined on April 7, 2018

After living in the neighborhood for many years finally decided to pay this place a visit. Definitely one of the nicer Mexican spots in the area. The food was very good and prices reasonable. The service was pretty slow and I was underwhelmed by my cocktail but would definitely return.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Probably one of the best Mexican spots I've been to! Loved it!

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Wonderful experience. Double cut pork chops were top-notch. Great food, service, and ambience.

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

If you want to have superb traditional and contemporary Mexican/Spanish food, in one of New York's most authentic "off the beaten path" restaurants, go to El Parador. The food is amazing, the margaritas the best, and the atmosphere is warm, cozy and the service is incredible. It's low key and fun at the same time. People have been coming here for over 60 years and when the newest New Yorkers find it, they think that it's "their secret discovery." New York has some of the best dining experiences in the world and there are some new gems that open every month, but they don't stay with you like El Parador.

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5.0Dined on April 3, 2018

The best Mexican restaurant in NYC. My out of town guests loved every aspect of the dinner.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Enjoyed the red snapper special this evening in the clay pot. So nice to add the frozen margarita, and Christmas tree nachos. The staff at "El P" always makes me feel welcome.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

When our server came to our table w 2 glasses of champagne I was stunned! I don’t even remember telling restaurant that this was an anniversary celebration ( I guess I must have).
Anyway food was superlative.
As was the server.
I had last visited El Parador in 1972! My bad! I will certainly return.

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3.0Dined on March 26, 2018

Straight forward Mexican food. Liked the fact this was the oldest Mexican restaurant in Manhattan. Salsa and chips were fabulous. Margaritas small but good. Bathrooms in the dingy basement.

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5.0Dined on March 21, 2018

It great food

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3.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Even though our table was in the middle of the room, I felt our service was below par. We had to remind him to bring the guacamole - how long does that take in the kitchen? It was fresh but it was not mashed so there were big chunks - I don't mind chunky but this were clearly not mashed. We had to ask for water several times and also ask for him to even take our order. I am sure there are better Mexican restaurants in the area so I would try another before coming back here.

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2018

Armando is the consummate host!
He represents Alex and the family in welcoming you to their family-friendly, festive establishment.
We are so happy whenever we visit, we eat delicious, well-prepared nom noms, and drink delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
The pork dishes are magnificent, the homemade chips, salsa, and guacamole, amazing, the peanut butter stuffed jalapeños - wow!- and the margaritas, well, you’ll have to check those out for yourselves!
Do yourselves a favor and get to El Parador pronto!

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2018

Excellent service and wide selection of items on menu. Delicious from appetizer to dessert.

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2018

Special place. Great food & service. Much more elevated experience than it looks from the outside. Yet casual/comfortable. First time; will be back!

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5.0Dined on March 12, 2018

Amazing food! The salsa was incredible, and the tortilla chips were so warm and crunchy! We could not stop eating them. The enchiladas and ceviche were to die for as well!

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4.0Dined on March 2, 2018

Always good!

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5.0Dined on March 2, 2018

The finest authentic Mexican in America, bar none. Also, the finest margarita and chips and salsa. Really a hidden gem. Fine food.

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2018

Wonderful as always

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5.0Dined on February 26, 2018

Restaurant looked like it was in repair so everyone was cramped down in the basement. Uncomfortable but food remains outstanding. Just wished someone told us this.

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2018

The best of the best Mexican in a classic, old (in the BEST way possible) and established restaurant that should never be overlooked when Mexican is on your mind! I’ve been eating here for 12 years and haven’t been anything but amaZed and full and happy on my way out the door!

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4.0Dined on February 22, 2018

Wonderful evening with great food and service.
Best Margaritas too!

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