Rio Grill

4.7
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1431 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Californian
Rio Grill, located in the Crossroads in Carmel, has been the place to meet friends, enjoy tasty, flavorful food and relax with a refreshing cocktail or glass of wine for over 28 Years.
Chef Eduardo Coronel’s creative American dishes are some of the most flavorful, colorful and vibrant on the Monterey Peninsula and celebrate flavor in every mouthwatering bite!
In addition to the main dining room, Rio Grill has a comfortable lounge and full bar serving refreshing libations including the restaurant’s famous "Rio Rita.” The bar is lined with colorful caricatures of local faces and celebrities. Rio Grill's award-winning wine list by Wine Director, Gabe de la Vega, features more than 250 labels featuring a ton of local wineries and an extensive selection available by the glass. The restaurant opens for lunch M-F at 11:30-4pm with brunch on Sat & Sun from 11:30 – 3pm. Dinner nightly from 4pm-9:30pm with Happy Hour M-F & Sun 4pm - 6:00pm!
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What 1431 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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GM
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always enjoy Rio Grill. Ribs are delicious. Good wine selection even by the glass

CT
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the appetizer special crab cakes and butter lettuce salad with crispy quinoa and grapefruit to start. Both were fantastic. The blood orange-mimosa vinaigrette was fruity with perfect acidity. The crab cake was crispy outside and moist inside and served with a delicious mango coulis. I had the duck breast entree with tortilla-squash chilaquiles, and duck confit tamales with a red mole sauce; my husband had the single serving of the same tamale. The duck breast was tender and the accompaniments were amazing. The red mole made the dish; it was flavorful, but not spicy. The restaurant has an appealing children’s menu. Our 4.5 year old had steak frites. The steak was juicy and tender and the thin crispy fries were a big hit. We were too full to order dessert. But there were several that appealed to my sweet tooth (e.g. fruit-based, chocolate cake, creme brûlée, homemade ice cream). I vow to save room for next visit. Until then, I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers. The restaurant is quite lovely decorated with art and service was quick, friendly, and efficient.

SR
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was wonderful - very creative dishes that are done consistently well. We go here every time we visit Carmel and are never disappointed.

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Everyone in my party really liked their food. Our waitress was very nice and attentive. It was for a birthday dinner and they decorated the table with some colorful streamers. We would go back again.

DC
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been here four times over the last ten years. Every time, the food is delicious, the service is great and the ambiance is relaxed and fun. Love it!

L
Central Coast
45 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We’ve been to Rio Grill a number of times, usually with a group of 8 to 10 people. This time there were just four of us. Our server was a very pleasant young woman who made us feel very welcome. Our cocktails were timely delivered and very well made. The food was truly outstanding! My wife and I each ordered the pork chop entree and it was perfectly prepared and presented. Our companions’ meals drew raves as well.

While the restaurant was busy, it wasn’t packed so we lingered a while over dessert and coffee, and at no time did we feel rushed by our server. Overall, we had a great time and vowed to return to Rio Grill on our next trip to Carmel.

CP
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

We have been to Rio Grill at least twice a year for many years. Although our experience has been uneven, we have generally enjoyed the food and have usually found the waitstaff to be attentive and pleasant. However, our recent dinner at Rio Grill was very disappointing.

Our server was quite negligent and clearly did not care. When we would try to get his attention and ask a question, he made impersonal, but sometimes snide, remarks. We are very easy going and happy people, so we know it was not our behavior that caused his inappropriate attitude. It was 45 minutes between the time we were seated until we received our main course. (We did not order an appetizer.) The restaurant was not busy at all, so the delay was probably not the kitchen. I believe it would have been longer if we had not caught the server's attention and asked about our food. We spent about 2 hours at the restaurant and had only a main course and dessert. Much of that time was spent waiting for our server to show up.

While the standard menu that Rio Grill has not changed in years usually results in a consistent meal, the specials are less consistently good. This time, I ordered a special: Fettuccine with crab in a lemon, white wine, and butter sauce. These flavors should let the flavor of the crab shine. However, there were other ingredients that had strong or spicy flavors that overwhelmed the delicate crab flavor. Part of the problem was that the crab was basically tiny shreds of crab meat, with only a couple of small "pieces" of crab.

We probably will not return to Rio Grill, although we live in a town nearby.

V
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best breakfast brunch. Baker's Bacon quesadilla was great

DC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

The overall experience was good but the food was only ok. I've dined there several times although not recently. Always remember Rio Grill as some of the best food on the Monterey Peninsula. Our dinners (all of them) fell well short of that.

S
Orange County
48 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Nice little hidden gem. The chicken is delicious and a standard every time we dine here. The cocktails are also delicious.

S
Orange County
16 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The chicken is a favorite of everyone in our family! Service is good and the cocktails were fantastic!

EB
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food was prepared well and served quickly. The waitstaff was attentive and quick to respond

WA
Orange County
16 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

I come here every time I visit Carmel. Usually the food is good but this trip must have caught the kitchen on a bad day. They were sold out of their “famous” artichoke appetizer and it was still early in the dinner time. The fish stew was a real disappointment, fish selections were poor and the shell fish were extra small with many of them not having any meat at all. My wife had the pasta which was good as I ate half of hers.

I’ll be back as I know I’ve had better meals here.

SF
Savannah
4 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

They were out of the Artichoke :( which we really like. Everything else was great.

d
Miami
73 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Pork shank and skirt steak were very well presented and prepared

w
San Francisco
122 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

For the first time in over 25 years, the wood-smoked chicken came out dry, without sufficient sauce. The artichoke was great. The tamale again was dry. The blueberry cobbler was like a little--tiny--pie and had way too much crust for the amount of berries. So, a little disappointed this time.

d
Central Coast
36 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

when it comes to consistency in good vibe, fantastic food and excellent value... Rio Grill can never be missed! All this greatness comes with great service and as locals, we KNOW we can rely on the Rio Grill!

SG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great time as always at the Rio!

JP
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Food as Always..Enjoyed my Pork Chop with the Blue cheese Butter and Mushrooms
Yummy..we all enjoyed Everything.
Service Was Great 👍

G
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Best sea bass I ever had. With bison hash. Omg. Even good the next day for lunch!

AR
Central Coast
8 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Unbelievable. The food and service was over the top.

SS
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food doesn’t disappoint! Great flavors, cooked perfectly, the bread pudding was awesome.

T
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent knowledgeable and friendly service. Good food, some imaginative sides, mains could be better. Good wine choices and great advice. First class cocktails.

OT
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is always good and waiter very efficient

P
Phoenix
27 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Service was slow. I had to ask twice to have my water glass refilled. Pork chop was just okay. My husband’s $40 steak was quite well done and he ordered it medium well. This is a place I would expect to get it right. Also, the last three times we have come here they have been out of artichokes. Isn’t this artichoke country? I’d recommend this place for lunch, not dinner.

C
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitstaff was fantastic. The food was delicious.

BS
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was absolutely delicious, waitress was personable but also gave us our own space. They set up rose petals in a red heart drawn on the table for our anniversary. Would 100% go back and recommend to everyone, there is no way to be disappointed there

k
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Rio Grill is one of our favorites that we visit every time we are in the area. They just do it right...food, service, ambiance and most importantly their interaction with customers is sincere.

C
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great dinner, great waitress!!!

G
Los Angeles
320 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous meal as always. Fried calamari, artichoke, chinese chicken salad and great bread. Never disappoints

AK
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything but the desserts. Nothing like they were before.

E
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Always delicious food, most dishes spicy and all flavorful. I have never had a bad dish here. Good drinks too.

OT
Phoenix
28 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great food and friendly service. The grilled artichokes and deviled eggs aps are awesome.

LA
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So nice to have respectful and honest service
The food was fresh and very delicious

y
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The steak salad, which I always get, wasn’t as good as usual. It was a lot of lettuce and not much of anything else. A lot less steak than it usually comes with.

SB
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Chinese Chicken Salad ever! My friend had the flank steak salad and it was delicious. Great wine selection and a really fun place for a girls lunch

R
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Rio Grill is our "go to" place at the crossroads. The artichoke
is to die for. They accomodated our dinner request for a lunch
menu salad. Quite nice. great memories not disappointed. Andrew

T
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always accommodating

SG
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The service and the food was above average. First time customer but will definitely return when back in Carmel.

CO
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Great experience. I took my parents and a friend there before an event, and they were amazing. The food is consistently good there and the staff is very friendly. The head chef even came out to meet us and tell us how he made his mushroom soup. Keep up the good work!

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