Oyamel

4.6
8077 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Oyamel Cocina Mexicana combines Mexico’s rich regional culinary traditions with modern urban fare. Guests experience an array of antijitos—traditional Mexican snack or small plates—along with authentic tacos, ceviches and an impressive selection of cocktails and tequilas. This is like no Mexican food you have ever experienced. Under the direction of renowned chef José Andrés, Head Chef Omar Rodriguez takes traditional ingredients and techniques and elevates them to deliver dishes and drinks with exceptional creativity and refinement.
What 8077 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
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BN
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The place was buzzing with activity, definitely need a reservation to get a table! The ahi tuna Pacifico ceviche black bean filled plantain & carrot fritters Machuco (veg section) and chicken tamal with mole poblano (meat section) were less impressive. If you are a margarita fan, the Oyamel is must order .. amazingly good! The Oaxacan Qrange drink was just ok. Service was attentive and helpful. Will return, especially if I'm in that part of DC.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 5

It was my graduation dinner. It was great except my server was very rude to me and my guest.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Enchiladas muy secas , nada agradables.

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JA
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was great. The Oyamel pomegranate margarita on the other hand was not good. The salt foam was kind of gross and overpowered the whole drink. I had about two sips and gave up due to the nausea. The waitress tried hard, but her section was too big and she struggled the whole night.

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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Asst at the bar. Alex was incredible. Explained the menu and kept us entertained!!

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OT
New York Area
204 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Wonderful Mexican cuisine. Back room is best. Very busy.

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A
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Four of us dined at Oyamel before attending theatre. We all enjoyed our selections although they could have been slightly larger. Waiter seemed a bit frazzled and was nowhere to be seen when my husband wanted to order an additional dish. Due to time constraints he ultimately ended up not ordering anything more. It was pretty noisy, even though we were seated in the back room. I have been here many times before and I think lunchtime is a bit more relaxing.

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JM
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I've always enjoyed meals at Oyamel. For vegetarians, the quesadilla is spectacular, as is the guacamole. The dip for the plaintain/carrot fritters, which we tried for the first time, was disappointingly bitter, which is why I only give 4 stars for food this time.

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RL
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Took our colleagues to our go to Mexican in Washington DC and everyone loved it (we already knew). Food was fantastic. A little loud (some outbursts from bar area) to carry on conversation but all had a good time. We all had spent significant time in Mexico and thought food was authentic. Need more Mexican beer selection though

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LD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

We ate at Oyamel many time and enjoyed food. On our last visit, we decided that, while the food is still good, because the service has deteriorated and the noise level is so high, that won’t go back, nor would we recommend it to our out-of-town friends. It’s unfortunate, it’s used to be such a nice place to go to in Chinatown!

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DS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ceviche and salads were fabulous excellent service

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JS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

The food was excellent and the drinks were too. Super cute!

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M
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice food, fine service, ceviche a must and a pleasure to watch how it’s made in front of you, same as guacamole.

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

We love this restaurant -- was our choice for birthday dinner combined with Mother's Day. The team made us feel so special. Terrific in all regards!

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M
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 2

While the decor is lovely there are too many hard surfaces and the noise level makes it impossible to visit.
Certainly in this day and age you could correct this.

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M
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a combination of salads and hot plates. Each had its own character and the medium spicy guacamole was an excellent starter. Loved the tuna seviche and the steak! Three different desserts put just the right finish on a memorable meal!

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LM
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great Pozole Verde, I'd go back just for that.

We also tried the enchilada, frijoles, and quesadilla de chicharrones. everything we tried was good and definitively had that gourmet authentic Mexican flavor that I was craving for.

I also asked for a crab taco (special for mother's day) that was recommended by our server, but they sent it to my table 10 minutes after we were done eating and had already ordered dessert. I didn't let my server know about my missing taco because I understood they were really busy for mother's day and I just wanted to enjoy the moment with my family, but to have already taken my dessert order and send the taco without saying anything (pretending they didn't forget about it) was not the service I'm used to getting at decent restaurants. Having said that, they were happy to take the taco out of my check and the rest of the service experience was excellent.

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F
Washington DC
39 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

First-rate Oaxacan food, not Tex-Mex. Attentive service, even during Mother’s Day crush. Drinks menu looked good, but it was lunch—too early to imbibe; I’ll go back after 5.

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JB
Baltimore
20 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful, Friendly service. Service was very knowledgeable about the menu. We had great food and everyone enjoyed!

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S
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food is good, not great. Everything is a small plate, which is expensive. Location is great for Theater and Verizon Center.

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AL
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Oyamel was fantastic. Rave reviews about the food can be found in abundance online. But the service we received was outstanding. They accommodated moving our reservation time a bit earlier, because we needed to. Furthermore, we showed up even earlier than that because of a driving rain storm....'just needing to get indoors. They were able to seat us right away. To say nothing of everything Chef Andres has accomplished professionally and his humanitarian efforts, which are legendary.....it's just a great restaurant to visit.

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

Fun atmosphere, great location to the Smithsonian Mall and Metro station. Affordable and delicious.

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LM
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was overpriced for the portion size. About 5$ per small street taco. Service left something to be desired. Had to ask for my drink more than once. Water wasn’t refilled and definitely felt they were rushing to turn over the table. Good location but for 40$ a head I would expect to feel full. There is definitely better value for your money.

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SS
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every bite of food was delicious. It was one of the best meals I've ever eaten. The staff was very friendly, there is a great and diverse selection on the menu, and the decor is warm, playful, and tasteful. I highly recommend!

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CG
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous and delicious!

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SB
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Guacamole was amazing as were the margaritas. The black bean and chihuahua cheese plate was amazing and filling. The Suadero taco was smokey and perfect.

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RK
Montreal
41 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

They did not have the chapulines and do no longer prepare the guacamole at the table, quite disappointing considering that we were more than an hour in traffic to eat there. The waitress, Rosa, was really nice though - 5* for the service! - and everything she recommended from the menu was good.

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DN
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious food and lively environment, although the service got a little confused on timeline (aka, whether we had ordered our main course or received food yet).

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FM
1 review
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I wanted to try something different and this was just the place! It was great. I will definitely be back!

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T
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always terrific! Congrat's Jose on great food, great staff and a great atmosphere! Thank you,

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SM
Kansas City
3 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service and food.
The booths are uncomfortable. We even tried switching sides of our booth and it was still uncomfortable. There is a ridge or bar at the back of the seat cushion and the booth seats are too low. Other than that it was a wonderful experience.

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B
Los Angeles
64 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I have been wanting to come here for years and finally had a chance to eat lunch here. Restaurant is bright and clean and near all of the Smithsonians and Downtown DC. Service from the host to the wait staff were phenomenal and always were one step ahead on clearing plates, refilling drinks and politely asking if we needed anything else without getting annoying. Food also was great, although very overpriced. Everything is tapas style and the complimentary chips and fire roasted salsa was good as well as the fresh guacamole with a little heat added. For the tapas, unfortunately the grasshopper taco was out but the vegan and chochinita taco were wonderful tasing as was the ceviche. The smoked halibut dish was a little too salty for my liking and the octopus dish wasn’t all that soft and instead was a little chewy. All in all, it was a good meal.

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D
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing first experience at Oyamel. We had the tasting menu which was incredible. Every dish was outstanding. Dzenana (sp?) was our server and she was truly one of the best we’ve had. Her knowledge and passion about the food, every dish and her excitement at how much we were loving our meal was much appreciated. She added so much to our celebration. It’s noisy (of course, and it was Cinqo de Mayo). Awesome place!

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SB
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

I have eaten at Oyamel a number of times. This time the noise level was so atrocious that we were relieved to get out of there. Perhaps this is a deliberate policy to turn over the tables because patrons can't bear the noise.

The food was sub-par. I had the grilled octopus that had some sauce. The dish was bitter and unpleasant to eat. The guacamole lacked character.

I will not return and will recommend that friends not go there unless they enjoy being assaulted by ungodly levels of noise.

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L
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Oyamel. What more is there to say but Open Table review is making me write a 50 character review.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

It was a good experience overall. It was much louder than I expected, but since it was Cinco de Mayo, I understand. The food was good, but pricey.

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HH
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The air margaritas are heavenly. Very loud, so don't go if you're trying to catch up with an old friend.

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IB
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 1food 5service 4ambience 1

Way way too noisy. We couldn't hear one another and were so relieved to get out of there

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S
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 1

Very delicious food but we couldn't really talk to each other as the ambiance was very loud. We came here to celebrate a birthday and no one even wished my husband a happy birthday or acknowledged. Loud crowds make it feel like a cheap local bar.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 5

We received half of our order very quickly, but the remainder of our food didnt come for another 20 min, only after we asked two different wait staff twice. In the end we didnt receive one of the tacos we ordered. The food was delicious, it just seemed like the kitchen was a little behind and the staff were out of the loop.

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