Uncle Julio's - Arlington/ Ballston

4.2
432 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Uncle Julio’s is a Mexican from scratch kitchen serving only the freshest ingredients. Specialties include: chicken & steak fajitas, tender filet mignon, and bacon wrapped shrimp. Other favorites include: seafood fajitas, shrimp al pastor, red snapper, or ahi tuna served with homemade corn tortillas or bibb lettuce.

Uncle Julio’s menu also includes Tex-Mex classics such as tacos, enchiladas & tamales all with a selection of sauces made daily. Insider tip: order the tableside guacamole. It’s prepared for you at your table; if you like it spicy kick it up a notch with fresh chopped jalapenos.

Uncle Julio’s has a vast drink selection. Try our fresh margarita of the day, made to order with fresh fruit. If you prefer a frozen drink then the Swirl is definitely the perfect choice. The Swirl is frozen sangria & frozen margarita layered together dating back to 1987.

For reservations, please allow up to 15 minutes for us to prepare your table.
What 432 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
4.4
food
4.2
service
3.9
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Had dinner on a Sunday night at 6:45. Lots of families and at least one kid’s birthday party so it was loud and there were kids running around near our table. Food was fine, service was fine, but the tables were noticeably worn and in need of replacement. An ok place for a family meal but probably not good for a date night.

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A
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 1

It was wayyyyyyy too cold, very uncomfortable!! Richard was Awesome!!

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AD
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

The food is consistently good here and reasonably priced. The downside is how close the tables are together, the lack of ambiance (unless you can sit outside) and the noise level. It is ALWAYS extremely loud. Would be great if they invested in something that could lower the noise level.

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KC
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

It was a birthday celebration, I requested a birthday acknowledgement and nothing was done

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Sat down and ordered water and margaritas. Waiter immediately brought water and wanted to take order. We had not even got margaritas yet. Ordered appetizer and tableside guacamole was completed and half eaten before drinks came. Waiter again wanted to take meal order. Seemed like they just wanted us to eat and run. Food was good, but not a great overall experience.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 5

Service was terrible. Drinks didn’t come until meal came.

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Bundled thousands of sub primes into a synthetic (fraternity brother Chad from Moody’s gave AAA), closed w/ total amateur at 23MM, 400K+ commish. Margs were average.

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AG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

Too noisey, and crowded, the table are placed too close to one another. I could barely hear my guess speak. The menu seem limited compared to the Woodbridge location.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food is very expensive for the quality

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YV
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Celebrated sister's birthday...had a great time! Classic margarita was wonderfulI; staff provided great service; food was good: Juanita's platter (really good chicken enchilada), Agave Queso Chicken, and beef quesadilla were really good!!! We also had a good time with the delicious chocolate pinata!

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F
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

Nice place i just dnt like that i made reservation and was sat next to the bathroom wasn’t okay with that

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 3

Reservations mean nothing to uncle Julio‘s got there and still waited for 30-40 mins to be seated.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

Great food, but the service wasn’t great.

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YW
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my family first time visiting and we enjoyed ourselves and the food. It was extremely loud but it was tolerable.

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 5ambience 4

The table wasn’t ready when we got there and stood around waiting over 30 minutes before another option was given to us.

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DV
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great place to go eat in family or as a date! Love the food and the service! I suggest making a reservation ahead of time or you will wait 20mins maybe more to have a table! Great place overall!

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MM
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

Make sure you have a competent server who actually values that you enjoy your experience. Mine kept forgetting drink orders and his overall attentiveness of our needs was lacking.

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BE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a good experience. The only problem is the noise level in the bar area is very loud, everywhere else in the restaurant is fine.

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EH
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We booked our reservation through Open Table. It was Valentines Day and the restaurant was packed. We arrived 25 mins early approximately. I requested if we can be seated early. Was told that they were getting our table ready. 20 minutes later, we were still waiting. So we asked the waiter when that table will be ready. He said since we had a 7pm reservation, they have to honor that. Well why didn't they say that in the first place when we first checked in?!?

What really ticked me off was when 7pm rolled around, we didn't get seated. We finally got seated at 7:20pm. So what was the purpose of booking a reservation? I understand that it was Valentines Day and a lot of people were out that day to celebrate. That was the reason why I made the reservation.

Bottom line, the host have to be honest with their patrons. That way it manages our expectations. Nobody wants to wait 20 minutes after they were told initially that they getting a table ready. A patron who was waiting for his TO GO order was told that his order will be out in 3-4 minutes. He was waiting as long as I was awaiting to be seated.

The food was good. However, my salsa and my fresh guacamole appetizer was served on was warm bowl and plate. Sure way to spoil my cold food!!

Not a fan of this location. I will try other locations because the food is good. Customer service and quality of food reflects what rating you get. So it's a 3 out of 5 stars for me!

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CA
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

The food was good but the server was bothered that we had to wait for the rest of our party

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N
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Overrated. Drinks too sweet for a classic margarita.

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OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

The chicken fajitas were excellent. The classic margarita was tasty, too. The noise level was extremely high due to the open layout of the restaurant and tons of parties of over 8 people celebrating special occasions.

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CH
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

This was the WORSE experience that I have EVER had at Uncle Julio's. ANYONE who knows me knows that this was my FAVORITE place to eat and/or have drinks!

The waiter, me and my entire party, thinks he was HIGH... At first we didn't care because that didn't mean it would affect our service but BOY did it! Either that of he is really just a HORRIBLE waiter.

He took our orders and said YES to everything that the other members in my party asked him when asking to substitute. Including my order that they have to custom make for me since you all took it off the menu and that is the ONLY thing that I eat.

The food took FOREVER... I promise we ate probably 3 rounds of chips and salsa before he brought out complimentary guac and queso. (which was a nice thing if he hadn't brought it out after our 3 rounds of chips and salsa). BUT... we made no mention of anything as we didn't want to delay our food any further or risk any other horrible things happening to our food as we've heard confessions of people in the food industry.

When the food finally came out, almost EVERY order, except the quesadilla, was missing something or just plain incorrect.

He had SEVERAL other (employees, I'm not sure of their title) assisting him but got upset when you asked one of them for ANYTHING. We all asked for water with the exception of 2 people who were the only people who received refills without asking.

When the checks came out, he had sooooo many additions added to the bills. Almost every substitution had a charge, which was asked in the beginning and told no, and he got irritated when we asked for a manager to dispute those additional charges.

I had asked for tortillas to go and had to ask 3 times before he FINALLY brought them over and when I gave him my tip (out of pity but still 15% of my check), as it was separate from my check, he took it and kept walking. Not thank you, not a stop and apologize for the bad experience, just kept walking...

I am extremely bothered by that ENTIR

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PP
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was good took a little while to take our order but after our server got free it was good

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It was my mother in Law’s birthday.

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CV
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Had to wait 30 minutes past reservation time to sit down. The small bowl of queso was delicious but extremely overpriced.

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FB
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server, Christian was great. He was very attentive and provided us with great service.

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

Very pleasant. Our server was excellent. Her name was Evelyn. She was very attentive, refills were done perfectly. We didn’t have to ask for anything. We have been to Uncle Julio’s numerous times, but never this location. Glad we came here and we might just be driving the extra distance to get this same experience again!

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L
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 3

Had a 6:15 reservation and didn’t get seated until 6:45. Finally the manager came over to apologize but we were all pretty frustrated. Our server was great and the food was great, but the hostess stand was extremely frustrating. I kept seeing other parties that showed up after us get seated before us. The manager gave us some guac and cheese on the House, but honestly we should have gotten a free round of drinks for the hassle. 2 people in our party drove from Silver Spring, MD because we had talked us how great the restaurant was.....boy did I feel like an idiot.

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OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This is a regular place for us. Service excellent and food delivered quickly.

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JR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Crazy busy and people were very rowdy/impatient but that is not in the restaurant’s control. Good food & service as always

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FD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 4

Reservation was not ready on arrival; had to wait 40 minutes to be seated. Waiter was inattentive and unfriendly. Dinner arrived before appetizers, which arrived before drinks!

I don't expect fine dining at Uncle Julio's (though the food is quite good for the price) but I do expect a well-oiled machine. Why doesn't a restaurant with so much turnover and so many large parties employ a $15/hr busboy? I'm waiting for my check, watching my waiter bus a 12-top across the room. Always disappointing when you feel you spend the entire meal working-- to get a seat, to flag down a server, to correct wrong orders, to get the check... The frustration isn't worth the effort. Won't be going back for a while.

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SB
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

I was a first timer and I can definitely say I will be back!!! My waiter Carlos was amazing! And the food was out of this world! Everything tasted so fresh like it was made with love! The music was also nice. I can't wait to go back and give my body and my tastebuds another party!

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OT
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

My boyfriend and I were seated immediately when we walked in which was great, but once we were at our table at least 3 other parties were seated after us and were served drinks and appetizers while we were waiting for a server to come help us. That lasted for about 15mins until I got tired of it and said something to the hostess. After that it took at least another 10-15mins for someone to walk over to our table. They didn’t read the occasion description that I had put on my reservation so instead of my boyfriend being surprised for our anniversary I had to basically tell the waiter in front of him why we came there and ruined everything. The waiter we finally got was nice and the food wasn’t bad so those are the only two good things about my experience.

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AR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Uncle Julio’s never disappoints! The food was spectacular and the service was on point. It’s quickly becoming our favorite restaurant in the area.

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PL
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

a really good choice for mexican/latin food. its a little loud, but good just the same.

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OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

This is a great place to go for it's value!

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AD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

I love Uncle Julio's and think the food is very good and the value proposition is one i can live with. I've been a little disappointed recently with the service - they need to be more attentive to drinks/water in particular.

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M
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food was very good. Their fajitas are awesome. However the restaurant was packed on NYE, and it was a bit chaotic especially due to the large number of little kids in there. Our server was friendly, but they ran out of diet coke at like 7 pm.

Overall, I like the restaurant and go there frequently but it can be a bit too noisy and hopping for my taste on weekends and special occasions.

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PS
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing dinner, super tasty, the staff is friendly and the value is perfect! We had a very enjoyable evening ☺️

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