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Date
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Time
7:00 PM
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El Parador

4.6
971 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Perfect For:
  • 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 971 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
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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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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5.0Dined on February 20, 2018

Incredible food! Our go to place.

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5.0Dined on February 17, 2018

Excellent décor, service and food. Will definitely go again.

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5.0Dined on February 16, 2018

Excellent service. Varied menu with creative presentation. Delicious appetizers, entrees, and desserts.

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5.0Dined on February 10, 2018

Was very happy with this restaurant. It was my mom's anniversary and they just loved it. Will definitely go again. Lobster salad and fish tacos were outstanding.

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1.0Dined on February 7, 2018

Food has deteriorated greatly. What used to be a gem of Spanish dining has transformed into downscale, flavorless Mexican. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. We have issued approximately 675 reviews on OpenTable in the past three years of almost 700+ reservations. This restaurant ranks in the bottom 10.

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5.0Dined on February 3, 2018

Not too big of a space, but very cozy. Food was delicious, portions above average, priced reasonably, and service was fine. Been there before and I plan to be back.

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4.0Dined on February 3, 2018

This place was great! I loved the décor and the staff was very friendly. They did take our chips and salsa away a bit early without asking, but overall it was an awesome experience. I would go back there again.

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2018

The food is "real" Mexican and very good. An old favorite.

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4.0Dined on January 26, 2018

Really warm good feeling Mexican restaurant . Didn’t rush us at all. Great paella

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5.0Dined on January 22, 2018

Came here for a birthday and it was awesome! Food was so delicious and portions were very generous. Our servers were excellent!! Had the best time and would definitely recommend for high quality mexican food in the city!

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4.0Dined on January 20, 2018

Went to dinner with friends on Saturday night and had a wonderful meal . Service and ambiance were excellent . Good neighborhood find

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4.0Dined on January 20, 2018

Highly recommend the stuffed jalapeños and corn on the cob. The cornbread was also exceptional. The chicken mole was delicious and it’s enough to feed 3 to 4 people. The service was good, the drinks were great. Overall a good place for a casual dinner.

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5.0Dined on January 19, 2018

This is the oldest Mexican restaurant in NYC and i love it. Love the ambiance, the food and the history.

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5.0Dined on January 18, 2018

Went for a birthday dinner and the service was incredible, and food was delicious!

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