El Parador

4.7
1014 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Top Tags:
  • Authentic
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
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 1014 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Outstanding food. Seevice was a little spotty but then the place was full! Can’t wait to go again.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Brought a friend who is new to NYC. She loved the food and the service. Said the margarita was the best she’s ever had. Home run.

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4.0Dined on August 3, 2018

After all these years, El Pardor is still a charming restaurant with fine food and great margaritas! Great atmosphere and service.

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5.0Dined on August 2, 2018

This restaurant was even better than expected. My boyfriend and I went for a date night and loved the atmosphere, service and especially the food. The environment was comfortable and quiet. I would recommend to anyone who appreciates high quality Mexican food.

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4.0Dined on July 28, 2018

I loved everything about this place.

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4.0Dined on July 28, 2018

The food was good

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5.0Dined on July 27, 2018

It's been around almost as long as I have. For me, it's Mexican comfort food (and drink). Creative and subtle but not at all fussy. Margaritas and red and white sangia rock. They know how to mix drinks. Everything from the guac to the taco trey, ropa veijo or lobster seviche...great moles, short ribs, all delicious. Enjoy. Tell em we sent you.

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4.0Dined on July 26, 2018

An neighborhood favorite been here many times. Always good, and on this particular Thursday evening, the crowd was significant and lively (a good thing.) I've ordered many of the items on the menu over the years and today I tried "Pollo Parador" which was nicely flavored (it takes time however to be ordered and the time to table can vary depending on how crowded the restaurant is.)

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5.0Dined on July 24, 2018

We had a wonderful girls night/birthday celebration at El Parador. Food was delicious and the wait staff was very attentive and kind. Will definitely go back.

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4.0Dined on July 23, 2018

Stumbled upon this restaurant and was very pleasantly surprised. We enjoyed everything we got for dinner and really enjoyed the service.

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5.0Dined on July 21, 2018

I went here 3 years ago with my wife and was blown away by my dinner. My wife and I promised to go back the next time we could (not living in the city). 3 years later, it was my first choice while deciding on dinner with my brother, and I was not disappointed. I fully recommend the restaurant. Get the Pork!

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5.0Dined on July 17, 2018

Friend and i were 'catching up' after a few months, We wanted something different than the usual, and also wanted to be able to hear each other when we talk... service excellent, food delicious. dining room busy but not loud and noisy -- more like a quiet hum. Menu has many ecxiting choices. After dining one time, i Can hardly wait to come back!

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5.0Dined on July 16, 2018

Best kept secret in Murray Hill

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5.0Dined on July 14, 2018

It was a good dinner

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5.0Dined on July 13, 2018

Paella was so delicious. Even tacos were standout. Bean soup superb.

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2.0Dined on July 5, 2018

How the mighty have fallen. Used to be a wonderful experience - great food, warm and attentive service. Food ranged from terrible to barely ok, service mediocre, and all in all, a very disappointing July 4 birthday dinner.

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4.0Dined on July 4, 2018

The best ceviche i have ever had! The salaa was a nice surprise...served warm. The menu had inventive ways ro do old Mexican favorites. I would definately return my next visit to NYC

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4.0Dined on July 1, 2018

Very good meal! 3 apps (guac, meatballs & elote), 3 entrees (ropa Viejo, shrimp mojo, and chef's special), and a pitcher of sangria = $150, but the quality of food was great. Everything had great flavor and heat levels. Wait staff was very attentive and helpful.

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4.0Dined on June 30, 2018

Good choices on the menu, food cooked feeding, attentive waiters and a cool vibe.

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4.0Dined on June 30, 2018

Nice spot great for groups
Cocktails are nice
Nice spot if you go for a Friday night out and then movie time

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5.0Dined on June 25, 2018

Visiting NY for a few days this was the best food of the holiday. Thank you.

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3.0Dined on June 21, 2018

The lunch portions are TINY!!! Grilled mahi mahi tacos were literally two bites each, and with only two of them, wholly insufficient for a meal. Three forkfuls of rice and beans. We had to order more food after - a first at a Mexican/Spanish restaurant.

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Great for a date night. Has really nice 2 person booths. Excellent food and service as well.

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5.0Dined on June 8, 2018

We went for a friend's birthday with a reservation for four. One of the party was running late, but were seated without a problem and were very accommodating, managing to get the four entrees out at the same time. The waiters were considerate and sweet, sang happy birthday for our friend. Jalepenos rellenos with peanut butter were worth trying. Tacos were excellent, as was the enchiladas and tres leches cake to round it all out!

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5.0Dined on June 7, 2018

Food and service was exceptional on our last visit. The meals were fantastic and the service was so great!

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Best Romantic table in the corner I ever had!!!
Great professional service, friendly and allert.
The food we ordered was excelent.
Thanx El Parador! For a perfect, lovely evening!
Monique&Luut

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5.0Dined on June 1, 2018

I have been dining at El Parador since I was introduced to it in 1993. The quality of food and service has remained perfectly consistent during these past 25 years.

You walk inside and immediately forget you're in New York City.

The brown salsa, or mole sauce, which comes with the tortilla chips might be the best ever made.

I am not a drinker, yet will always have a frozen strawberry Margarita - the best I've ever had.

I've brought countless people to El Parador over the years, and never has one person been disappointed in the food, service, or ambiance.

Don't think you would either.

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5.0Dined on May 26, 2018

Nice local will return 6 of us

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5.0Dined on May 23, 2018

Energetic, upbeat, great and fast service team. Hosted a 6 person dinner and everyone had a great time.

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2018

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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