Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant - Boulder

4.3
446 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Visit us at our Temporary Location at 1701 Pearl Street while we are under renovation!
Step away from the Pearl Street Mall and escape to the Rio – for a little weekend spirit every day of the week. The Boulder Rio is seriously good, whether you’re bringing the family for dinner or just bringing your thirst for a good time on our rooftop patio(rooftop reservations cannot be guaranteed).
What 446 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.0
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
75% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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H
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Interesting interior and very basic food preparations. Expected a bit more overall finesse in a state with lots of great Mexican food.

PH
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always good food, service and lots of fun. Our favorite place.

MB
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This is a fun place for happy hour, and the renovations turned out great!

AS
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 4

When we arrived, the hostess said that we would have a 30 minute wait because the reservations we made through open table could not be honored - that the system could not tell that there were no reservations available - even though we received a confirmation. The hostess found a table for us sooner then they expected, which was great. But they must have been short staffed. It took 45 minutes to get our food and our waitress was swamped (Poor service but I don't blame her). I was taking friends out for my birthday and ended up feeling embarrassed by how late it got and how many issues we had. We liked the new decor and the food was good. Except that my husband's food came out cold and one of our guests got the wrong salad. We have been going to the Rio for years (since college) and I am sorry to say that we will not be in a hurry to go back.

MO
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The new renovation is relaxed industrial, very eclectic-fits Boulder vibe and style for a great social hangout with friends and family.

OT
Denver
35 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Always a great meal here and sat inside the “garage” to get some outside air.

OT
Denver
12 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

The Rio has the best queso in town and great margaritas (they pack a punch!) but the service was terrible. I had to waylay a waiter-in-training to get chips and salsa, which really should be brought out with the menus. Then we waited about 10 minutes to get a drink order in and the waiter forgot the glass of ice my husband requested. When we got our food it was not the right order and again I had to waylay someone to tell them the order was wrong. It got straightened out but obviously our REAL order had been sitting on a counter somewhere because it was warm but not hot. On the plus side -- and I do really appreciate this -- when the manager asked how everything was, I told her and she was apologetic and comped the queso. I'll continue to go there for happy hour but not sure about dinner.

OT
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had an excellent server who seemed to be more concerned with how long the kitchen was taking than we were. As such, she made it a point to discount our bill despite our lack of complaining (really, it wasn’t long. Maybe 45 minutes?). She was great! Wish I could remember her name.

e
Denver
29 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Love taco Tuesday and the newly refurbished Rio!!

MR
Columbus
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Mel with excellent atmosphere. Service was exceptional and food arrived quickly. Would definitely go back. Get a reservation.

J
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 2

The food quality and price of the food did not match up. Left feeling disappointed I chose the Rio as a place to bring my family to celebrate

OT
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Unfortunately with my request to sit near the bar with just a view of the little TV to watch sports for a friend’s birthday (where it is not all open seating) wasn’t doable. We were told if the wait to sit at the bar was too long they could try to find us a table. This place has great food & drink but is always busy so that’s why it’s (ideally) nice that this app is available.

SL
1 review
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Parking was a bit of a challenge, but the restaurant was very nice, friendly people and the food was very good.

CB
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Good as usual! The margaritas are truly the best of any in the world. The new renovations are great, same overall vibe as before, but cleaner and updated. Two suggestions prevented 5 stars... the new salsa bowls are much too shallow and small, and we dearly miss your Flautas and Flautitas off of the old menu.

K
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The real just reopened a couple of days before our dinner. The remodel looks great. The food and margaritas as always are quite delicious. They were crazy busy and did not have enough staff to cover it. The main problem was the bar. Drinks took forever. I ordered a beer that came in a can and it took almost 30 minutes to get to the table and she didn't bring me a glass. I love the restaurant they just need more employees to keep things moving along.

A
Denver
12 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I have lived Boulder for over 40 years and have seen the Rio evolve since it opened in 1986. What was once a great place for a margarita and good food is now an awful place to go. The margaritas have gotten smaller and the glasses are mostly ice with very little drink inside. I had a pulled pork burrito which was the worst I have ever eaten and to top it all off the noise level was insane. Maybe the Rio needs to review its practices and go back to a time when they cared about their customers more than their bottom line.

OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 2

Was very busy and very loud. Not evenings space in remodel location. Food was also not as good as before

r
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

They got a talented interior designer. Looks so much better now. And, the food/drinks were delicious!!

DD
Denver
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

The new remodel isn't an improvement. Servers have to struggle past people standing by the bar. People at the bar stand next to other patron's tables. The noise level is worse.

BJ
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 2

Food took an hour and half and then came out ice cold, waiter didn't care.

R
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The new RIO hit it out of the park! The Decour is great. Same great service. And they’ve amped up the food. Our group was all 30 year RIO vets. Everyone said their food was better than ever. Comfy seats and tables that don’t wobble! I guess I’m in for another 30 years.

EM
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Service was horrible. I will never go back they were so rude we got horrible service

DR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

As a 23 year loyal customer, the remodeling was very nicely implemented! Indeed, I recommend the Rio Grande to anyone and everyone!

CM
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The new renovation is amazing! Very clean and put together! Same good food as appears.

R
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

The restaurant overall was okay.




Thank you

l
Denver
12 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The Rio margs are still the 'thing' to go for. Excited to see their remodel back in the old location next week.

P
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My family and I have dined at the Rio Grande, ever since arriving in Boulder in the early 90's.
Always a great restaurant, good food, and excellent service. House frozen Margaritas are always good.
I am glad the restaurant is remodeling and I am looking forward to the new "looks"

CM
Denver
10 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Went with the whole family and had a good time, even at its temporary location on Pearl Street. The food was great starting with the chips and salsa and the guacamole. The Margaritas were great as usual. The steak fajitas were very good and my family members enjoyed the steak tacos, the quesadillas and the fish tacos. It's always a fun place to go.

KW
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 5

The waitress was visibly upset with our large group. She would roll her eyes when we made orders. There were multiple food items on the menu that were sold out. We also had to go through ten different tequila options on the menu before finding one that wasn’t sold out. Overall, had a poor experience which is a shame because the Greeley Rio is always top notch.

MW
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Food was yummy, waitress seemed in a hurray to get rid of us, so we left her table and sat in the bar for dessert. Which is the only reason for not giving a perfect score.

A
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Rio is currently at its temporary location as they move to their new location/ complete renovations. While the food and drinks are as always very good, it is very noisy and tight for space. I would suggest making a reservation before going for sure since space is very limited.
Overall the food experience is still very good and the staff are really nice. I just wish they can get out of the temporary location soon enough.

JP
Denver
8 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The food is very good, as are the drinks and service. But this restaurant is way too noisy!

TF
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

We were sitting at a booth so somewhat blocked from some of the noise. It was still so loud that it next to impossible to talk without really raising our voices. Food was average. Margharita was very good. I had Fish Tacos and my companion had Shrimp Enchiladas.

OT
Denver
8 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was quite good (the new tacos were awesome!) but felt it was expensive for what we got. Service was decent, albeit slow at times and small stuff like not bringing new napkins after we used all of ours to clean up a water spill. The margaritas are still good and potent as ever. Overall, a standard Rio experience and we'll be back, but not in a hurry to do so.

r
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Chipsnand salsa!!! Margs!!! Whooooo! I mean, what else do you need to know?

T
Denver
16 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been going to the Rio for many years and we usually go at least 2x or more/month. I have never, ever had one bad meal there. The service is consistently excellent, servers are cheerful and the host desk staff are always accommodating. We love it and so do all of our friends!

h
Denver
21 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The Rio is always a great time, with good food and reasonable prices. Great at any time of the day.

R
Denver
8 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The temporary location cost them a lot of seating, so the wait can be longer. But the food was better than ever, and the service is sill great. It was fun eating in the same location we did maybe 30 years ago. Always my favorite!

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

No complaints. Have always loved the Rio

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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