La Palapa Grill & Cantina

4.5
35 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Mexican
La Palapa Grill & Cantina is committed to providing only the freshest and highest quality of Mexican cuisine in a distinctive Hacienda decor setting, a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, with exceptional prices, live Mariachi style music on weekends, and the real flavors of México. We have created a unique restaurant concept around original recipes. Beyond tacos, enchiladas and burritos... we offer a tour of authentic Mexican gastronomy; from our delicious ceviche and mouth-watering mole, to our more traditional tamales and equally delectable quesadillas.
Our bar is without a doubt the witness of fun nights under the Maryland sky, and the best host of good friends and great times.
La Palapa Grill & Cantina, family owned and operated, is your festive neighborhood restaurant and bar.
The Flavor of Mexico in Historic Ellicott City.
What 35 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
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
76% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
R
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We've been coming here for over 12 years for the best mole on the East Coast. It is everything you need: rich, dark. with a perfectly smooth consistency and a hint of sweetness. And... it is served over the most tender chicken, sliced thinly and easy to use to pick up that delicious sauce. They have an excellent ceviche appetizer of shrimp and tilapia, served artfully with a zing and a good dose of chili. Standard Mexican fare served alongside these rarer finds. Their beef tamale appetizer is awesome comfort food. The temp in the restaurant can run a little warm or cool. For the best ambiance, ask to be seated near the fireplace. It's a bustling restaurant at peak times and even then the noise is tolerable. A valuable gem, a short trip from Baltimore.

Report
Helpful
B
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Came here for birthday celebration, service was great , food was very good, and the margaritas were tasty!

Report
Helpful
T
Baltimore
24 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

First time there in many years. Our server was wonderful, warm and knowledgeable. The food- fajitas and special (duck with mole)-was very good and the stuffed poblanos were excellent. Timing of courses was off, entrees arrived just after appetizer. Very nice.

Report
Helpful
s
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first (but not last) visit after a pottery date. I’ve heard so many people rave about La Palapas and they did not disappoint. We sat under the covered deck, our waitress was wonderful, and our food and drinks were delicious. I would highly recommend going out of your way to eat at La Palapas. Can’t wait for our next visit in 2 weeks. 😊

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

Generous food portions

Report
Helpful
MC
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great place to grab a beer and good food.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on March 1, 2019

Glad to know we are your go to list for food and drinks! Thank you Michael.

Report
Helpful
N
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome ambience, friendly server, quick service, and delicious food! Loved our margaritas, too.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on March 1, 2019

Nicole, thanks for stopping by to show us love! We hope to serve you soon!!!

Report
Helpful
VR
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

Food was ok. But the service was terrible. The hostess sat us right in front of the kitchen door even after making a reservation ahead of time. When asked to move, she moved us the the table next to it, the table was wobbly and completely ruined our experience. When it was time to order drinks, I asked several times if they can make a mojito without sugar, and that I have diet restrictions. Inspire of all the reassurances, I still got a drink with sugar. Even though it was repalaced, I still ended up sipping a sugary drink to find out.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on March 1, 2019

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your visit. We are very sorry to hear we did not provide you with a great experience. Were you able to talk to the manager on duty that evening? We will look into this immediately and make the changes needed. I hope you will give us another opportunity and join us in the near future.

Report
Helpful
C
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Valentines dinner! Always great food and great service!

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on March 1, 2019

Thank you for sharing your special night with us. Glad you had a great time. Hope to see you back soon!

Report
Helpful
P
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were treated wonderfully! My friend and I only get together 2-3 times a year and we have so much to catch up on that we were there longer than the average diner. The waitress was very pleasant and understood, being attentive but not pushy! Overall a very good experience.

Report
Helpful
NL
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Restaurant was much better before it was closed and then reopened. Food has declined in quality. I had enjoyed the food at La Palapa Grill & Cantina in the past.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

Hi Nia, Sorry to hear your recent experience was not how you remembered us. I can assure you that we are using the finest ingredients and strive for perfection. Were you able to speak to manager on this visit. We apologize if we dropped the ball and hope you will come back and give another opportunity.

Report
Helpful
R
Pittsburgh
21 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Bad weather the day I went, so it was pretty quiet but I'd certainly go back.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

Thanks for stoping by despite the weather. Sorry we didn't impress you on this visit. We know we can do a much better job and are you happy you will be back to give us another try.

Report
Helpful
PC
Western NC
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Meal and drinks were delicious as always. We truly enjoyed our evening out.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

Muchas gracias Patricia!!!

Report
Helpful
C
Baltimore
9 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The poblano Chipotle chicken special was so damned good! The overhead lights in the corner were terrible though.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

Hi Chris, Happy to hear you enjoyed the dinner special! We apologize about the lights and will look into it immediately.

Report
Helpful
EC
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This is my family's favorite restaurant....when I don't feel like cooking, we all say Lapalapa Tonight!

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

Wow, thanks for sharing! What is your go to meal when you visit? We look forward to serving you soon!!!

Report
Helpful
KW
Baltimore
16 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I always order fiesta fajitas every time I dine here. Service is great as usual. Busy weekends which is expected.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

Our fajitas are our number one selling menu item. Glad to hear they are your go to and you enjoy our service. We look forward to serving you again soon.

Report
Helpful
k
Baltimore
87 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

great mexican food in a great location. enjoyed chicken mole enchiladas. had great service. love the chips and salsa.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

Muchas gracias! We love Old Ellicott City too. Happy to hear you enjoyed your experience. Thank you for the review!

Report
Helpful
K
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The only downside to this place is the parking, which is inherently a problem for any old Ellicott City business. As far as most of those places go la palapa has a better parking situation, as it has a small dedicated lot and proximity to the larger City lot. A great option if you like Mexican food.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

Glad to hear we are on your list for Mexican food. Hope to see you back soon!

Report
Helpful
K
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Overall a great experience however my food came out cold.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

We are very sorry to hear about your meal. Was the manager on duty able to resolve your problem?

Report
Helpful
C
Baltimore
10 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Solid Mexican place for the area. Great ambiance and staff. Always friendly and a good time. Fairly certain they don't read or have access to the OpenTable requests though since the hostess seemed surprised about it.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

Hi Chris, Thank you for the review! Happy to hear you had a good time. Sorry for the confusion at the host stand. We will address this situation immediately. Hope to see you back soon!

Report
Helpful
F
Washington DC
69 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious, and it came out very quickly. We sat near the fireplace, so it was nice and cozy.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

Muchas gracias! Hope to see you back soon!

Report
Helpful
EC
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Always a nice place to have a good meal

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

Thank you for sharing your experience! We strive to provide great food and service.

Report
Helpful
MB
Baltimore
10 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Not very authentic. I think they only really have a few different entrées but put a different sauce on top to make about 10 different entrées (shrimp dished in particular). Pretty rude and unknowledgeable wait staff most of the time.

La Palapa Grill & Cantina
Responded on February 2, 2019

Sorry to head about your experience. I can assure you that we do not tolerate anyone being rude to our guests. Were you able to speak to a manager while you were here?

Report
Helpful
PS
Baltimore
10 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

La Palapa was so charming. The pros? Loved the brick interior; design-wise, the place was perfect and unique. The food was to die for. My burrito was probably the best I've ever had. The cons? Parking was terrible. We weren't sure we would get a spot. Also, my $4.50 a la carte burrito somehow turned into an $8.50 burrito just by adding salsa, rice, and beans... something I thought were burrito standards. Disappointed in the upsell!

Report
Helpful
AB
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I visited this restaurant this passed weekend with my best friend for some authentic Mexican food and when I tell you I was blown away not only by the food, the service was excellent. The ambiance was just right, the live music was on point, and the drinks were endless. Totally coming back ASAP. I give 10 Thumbs Up!!

Report
Helpful
F
Washington DC
69 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were seated promptly upon arrival. Our server was Sylvia. She was wonderful and very pleasant. My one year old son fell in love with her so much so, that he couldn't stop hugging her before we left. Food was delicious and came out to us super fast. I ordered the crab and shrimp enchiladas. We treated ourselves to fried ice cream. It was so good.

Report
Helpful
JF
Baltimore
33 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

La Palapa ALWAYS is a great visit. Great food and great drinks. It’s a definite go-to.

Report
Helpful
D
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The food here is great. Outdoor seating is really nice, but the band can be annoying if you want to talk. The server didn't smile and seemed unhappy with the world, but not uncommon.

Report
Helpful
TS
Baltimore
11 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our second visit since LaPalapa re-opened after the most recent flood. Our family was treated great by all of the staff. The food was served in a timely manner and was delicious. We had salmon fish tacos that I will order again for sure and others had enchiladas and burritos that they enjoyed. My "fresh Agave" margarita was quite good too. We find it to be quite affordable and we are very glad it's back.

Report
Helpful
JA
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

So very happy you’re open again!!! We love Ellicott City!!!

Report
Helpful
WK
Baltimore
41 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

I met two friends Thursday at lunch and ordered the Mexican salad for $9. What I got was a medium plate of lettuce with slivers of avocado, tomatoes and cucumbers. I had to get up and get the attention of our waiter who was talking with the hostess and another waitress, to tell him that my salad was a $9 plate of lettuce and not much else and I was not happy. He gave me the excuse that it was the kitchen and not he who was the problem which I didn’t appreciate. Then he got me a few more slivers of avocado. I talled with the manager and she did get me extra avocado, tomato and cucumber, but my overall impression is that the salads probably don’t get the attention that the other Mexican dishes receive.

Report
Helpful
JN
Baltimore
25 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner was delicious. The Diablo shrimp were tender and perfectly cooked. All accompaniments were delicious and appreciated.

Report
Helpful
KB
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

So happy that La Palapa is back open! Definitely one of the best Mexican places in Howard County -- come out and toast their recovery! ECStrong!

Report
Helpful
TS
Baltimore
11 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

This was our first visit to La Palapa since it reopened after the flood. As always, the food and drinks were quite good. Our only real complaint was that our finished plates were not cleared off the table in a timely manner or at all after dessert. But, we all had a pleasant evening. The margaritas were good. I would recommend the Fresh Agave margarita with fresh lime juice. I enjoyed the Chili Verde very much.

Report
Helpful
DO
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A bit noisy inside, and the outdoor dining patio is still closed.

Report
Helpful