Rosa Mexicano - First Avenue

4.2
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2410 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mexican

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Casual
Our flagship location has remained a perennial favorite of New York for 35 years. Having opened its doors on First Avenue in September of 1984, it received a glowing review shortly thereafter from The New York Times - and the rest is history. Old world charm enhances the dining experience through authentic Mexican colors and rustic folk art – many of which were collected personally by our founder Josefina Howard. Enjoy our fresh corn tortillas made on the comal in the dining room and surround yourself with the sizzle of steaks on the open fire grill.
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Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Treat your loved one to fresh guacamole, delicious drinks and authentic Mexican food. Fall in love with our Valentine's Day specials or feel free to order from our regular menu.

Friday, February 14, 2020

What 2410 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.0
service
4.1
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 11 hours ago
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Horrible service. I will not return to this place.

DH
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Steak with mushroom sauce better than ever. The manager Caroline is phenomenal.

DH
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Good food, good drinks and a lot of fun. Would go again and do recommend.

TR
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food4service3ambience4

I like the food, it’s always consistent. The prices are high for a Mexican restaurant, but the food quality is consistent and the portions are good.

They have a great happy hour at the bar, but you don’t get the same happy hour specials at the table, which to me is a problem. If you’re there to dine during happy hour, they shouldn’t make up the margaritas just because you’re having dinner. They should really rethink that rule. Doesn’t make me feel good as a customer to know that I’m probably spending more money on food than someone at the bar is and I’m being penalized for sitting at a table.

Doesn’t make me feel warmly about the restaurant.

E
New York Area
79 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Rosa Mexicano prepares excellent meals and presents them in a lovely way. Their staff is highly professioinal and friendly.

L
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Not for a special occasion. The one in Colombus Ave is wayyyyyyy better. I didn’t like mine and my husbands experience. It was our anniversary and the tables were wabaly, the tables were to close to other tables. The waiters were nice but the customers were so rude it was so uncomfortable.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience4

It was very busy and had to wait for our reservation for 30 minutes. Cramped when waiting. Service was very good though

NY
New York Area
82 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Our Rosa was back on top tonight. The service, from the lovely hostess to our attentive, polite, server was excellent. The food was authentic, fresh, hot and tasty. The guacamole was extra fresh and tasty, so too, were the kale and zoodle side dishes. The steak/ chicken with peppers were delicious as was the stuffed pepper ( good as a vegetarian option). Really good meal tonight with very attentive service. We are glad to have the quality food and service that Rosa is known for back!

J
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience2

The Rosa Mexicano we usually visit is under renovation so we went to this one. It was ok, but we probably won't be back.

E
New York Area
80 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and impeccable service.

TV
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a good choice, great food, drinks and location!

VH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Table was not ready at time of reservation. Waited over 20-minutes for table. Once seated seemed as if the menu had limited items from the last time I was here. The wrong meal was brought to the table for me. I insisted my husband eat his meal so not to get cold. By the time he finished my meal still did not arrive. When I brought this to the attention of the waitress there was no apology, no explanation, or how she would fix the problem. I will NOT be returning to this restaurant.

NB
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Used to be an old favorite when I lived in NYC. Haven’t been in years, but was so disappointed by the whole visit. The only positive note of the visit was the guacamole and pomegranate margarita are still good. Although, the margarita now comes in a massive unnecessary giant glass that looks like you requested a super sized drink. The mixed greens with season vegetables salad had no seasonal vegetables. The kids grilled fish taco was bad and needed to be sent back; the fish smelled terrible and was old fish. The service was all over the place and we regularly had to request for someone to find our server. In addition, the restaurant is in desperate need a deep cleaning. The worst part was it was expensive for what we ordered. I will not be coming back nor recommending this place to anyone.

CC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Rosa Mexicano on 1st always offers a great experience. The food is fantastic and the drinks, well they are well crafted. The pomegranate margarita is especially delicious. Food came out hot and fresh and was delicious. The wait staff and host were very nice. I recommend reservations to get in easiest and guaranteed!

IL
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience1

Will not be back ... nothing like other Rosa Mexicano locations

E
Phoenix
18 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Delicious!

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JP
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Still love Rosa Mexicano! I used to frequent Rosa Mexicano as a 20-something year old living in NYC, and loved it then. Now 25 years later my husband and I (who now live in MA) brought our teenage daughters and I was pleasantly surprised that it has maintained the great atmosphere and food that I remember it for.

a
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Interesting choices, well prepared. And the special Christmas cocktail, a blood orange, cranberry margarita was just terrific.

RM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience3

We loved Rosa Mexicano.
Something changed for the better. The food got so "much tastier". The waiter was lovely and fast.
All of us had a fantastic experience this time.

DR
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

My wife and I have been to Rosa a few times. We generally love it. We had reservations and surprisingly were seated exactly on time even though the house was jammed. The Guacamole was good, not great. We ordered it medium. It lacked a little taste. Perhaps we should have ordered it hot. We both ordered their famous pomegranate margaritas. Mine was frozen, my wife's straight up. Both great. I ordered Carne Asada and loved it. My wife a shrimp dish that the waitress said was mild. It was hot and my wife was not too happy about that. The only real down side of the meal. We had the churros with chocolate and raspberry sauce. Excellent. The restaurant is moderately noisy, as expected, but we still could talk easily. In general a good experience. We will go back for special occasions as the restaurant is pricey.

JL
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The tortillas were poorly made. They were not warm and not properly made.

MS
New York Area
34 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, a great experience. Mole superior. As was the quest fundido (con chorizo, of course).

RC
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We brought in a reunion party of 11 and they were extremely accommodating to the larger group - even when we added another person at the last minute. The food was wonderful as were the drinks (great sangria!) pus the churro dessert was great! We would happily recommend the restaurant on 1st Ave to others looking for a great place to host a dinner party.

OT
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Good food and excellent servies

OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Very nice host. Helpful in finding us a better table in the back room!

G
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

Had not been for quite some time. Marguerites still delicious as is the guacomole. The rest of the meal was disappointing.

m
New York Area
110 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always good food. The Guacamole is great. I love the fried plantains with sour cream. Always ask for them. The Margarita traditional is excellent. And I had the Sonora Ribs and they were really good (might be a bit heavy for some people). I am Mexican and I LOVE coming to Rosa Mexicano to celebrate friends and family with food I relate to.

WL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were running 10 minutes late; I called to notify them and they were very understanding. The Sangrias and frozen margaritas were so good. Our waiter was engaging and helpful. Our overall experience was great.

JS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience4

So I asked for 2 orders of Guac for my large party - they charged me $16.50 X 4 = $66 for Guac! When I asked my server - she said I said a large order so she they put 2 avocados in my "large order" so basically I paid $33 for 2 avocados for each large order. Now that's a ripoff... Everything else was okay - nothing special but just be careful when you order. We still gave the standard 18-20% tip but I will not be coming back here for big parties.

JV
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The service was excellent and attentive. Steven was informative and hospitable. I had the three enchiladas and they were fantastic. My wife had the skirt steak which was perfect. We will return.

J
Toronto
7 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

super nice experience and great attentive service. the only real challenge was that we had to wait 20 minutes to be seated despite having a reservation for 8:00pm. AND there is no where to wait! the bar was full, so instead we were made to wait right at the entryway which is COLD...and we were hungry!

DM
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent. Service was fairly quick and very courteous. Noise was less than we feared

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Good experience over all however note that happy hour is not included if you are on a dinner table. Team had a good time for our holiday party! Food is good

SA
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent margaritas and delicious food! Not a huge Mexican food fan, but Rosa Mexicano exceeded my expectations.

NY
New York Area
82 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Rosa Mexicano
Our past reviews of Rosa have been very complimentary. Unfortunately, Rosa was just not itself tonight. Gone was the warm, welcoming atmosphere that began with unapologetically waiting more than 35 minutes past our reservation time. Very corporate, and bad business to have patrons wait more than 35 minutes past reservation time without any acknowledgement. A very corporately owned vibe with no owner on premises was pervasive last night. Granted, the place was packed with a too loud (no, not energetic nor boisterous, just obnoxiously (likely intoxicated) too loud) party was occupying the front room. We waited at the bar for our table where the pleasant bartender made us good margaritas (2 margaritas and one Diet Coke added $42 (including tip) to the bill). When we finally sat down, the service was pleasant and the food was good. There are virtually no substitutions available on the menu (omitting rice and beans and chips and opting for vegetables, cost more than an upcharge, we were charged full a la carte prices for the substitutions despite the very long wait and omissions.) The guacamole is notably made table side and is really good. The grilled shrimp were fine and the sides of zoodles and spinach were very good. The delicious vegetarian entree option is no longer on the menu.
Maybe we have been going to Rosa for too many years and miss the warmth, careful attention to patrons and family run vibe of the former Rosa Mexicano. Maybe the too long wait and too loud party threw us, but last night was certainly not the Rosa we have grown to love.

DH
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a great restaurant! The service was excellent. They have a new menu which is very diverse and interesting. All the food I have had here has always been delicious! The manager Caroline is wonderful!

CW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Girl’s night

OT
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience1

Guacamole was not up to their usual standards (medium spicy was bland); service was mechanical and slow. Not a good experience

c
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall4food5service1ambience2

Service was absolutely terrible, but the food was great. I’d go back again and just hope for a different server.

d
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall1food2service2ambience3

Service was non existent. I ordered a drink and it was brought over incorrect. I asked for the drink to be corrected. It took almost 15 minutes. Food was under cooked. Horrible experience. Menus sat on the table the entire meal. Waste of $ and i will never return.