Boulder >Restaurants >
Mexican >Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant
1101 Walnut St, Boulder, CO | Directions 8030240.016808 -105.280777
Sunday - Wednesday 11am -10pm
Thursday - Saturday 11am-10:30pm
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Central Boulder
Cheap and quality Margs! – I have heard about Rio Grande but for some reason I have never been in. They have pretty good Mexican food, but the best part is their Margaritas. They're really tasty and completely affordable. It's not a fancy sit down restaurant, it's casual. So only go if you want a fun-vibe place, not fine dining. I recommend it
Techno club for students – It was 7ish and the techno music was so loud I couldn't even hear the waiter. The food was AWFUL and the service was very bad. I think this place is great for college students who want to get wasted and party, as the bartender was clearly drunk, dancing like it was a rave. The place was full of families trying to have a nice dinner, it was embarrassing. I don't recommend this place to anyone. Bad food, bad service, horrible blaring techno music!
Go for the atmosphere – Plan to have a couple of margs and see & be seen, then go somewhere else for dinner. Very bland food.
Decent for a Tex Mex place in Boulder – First of all, this is Tex Mex, not Mexican. This should be considered when reviewing the food. It will not be "authentic" and will be seasoned much differently!
That being said, I've been here several times and have NEVER had anything that wasn't fresh and flavorful. I think the place gets a bad rap for not being authentic, but that aside - there are tasty foods to be enjoyed! I love the salsa and the blue corn tortillas. Although I'm a meat eater, they do a nice job with veggie fair here, better than anywhere in town for Tex Mex.
The margaritas also taste outstanding. I have them a lot, and they are 100 times better than Juanita's or other places around there (besides Tahona - they aren't even in the same class - they are fantastic).
Anyway I think it's an amazing lunch spot for fresh tasty eats and consistent friendly service. I've been going there for years and haven't had a bad meal yet.
Terrible, Bland Food – TERRIBLE, bland food; I cant even eat it when Im drunk.
The margaritas are good, however...but dont even bother with an appetizer at this joint.
A Boulder Classic – OK, so there's alot of differing opinions about the Rio. The truth- it is one of the best places in Boulder. Nowhere else can u go for the atmosphere, overall food quality and delicious margarita. As a long time regular I'm going to lay out a set of rules to keep in mind if u have never been there and respond to the 'naysayers,' which is bound to happen when u serve as many people as the Rio does.
1- the price. u can be in and out with a margarita and entree for under 20$. Try that anywhere else in Boulder that isn't a dive inside like Juanita's. 2- to the one who complained about a chicken bone in her enchilada. This isn't taco bell, they use real chickens, which have bones. Did u know that?
3- The trick to the Rio is keeping things simple. Its high volume and cheap, so u cant expect "Frasca-like" service. Also the waitstaff is mostly college kids looking to pay their bills and have a good time while they work. I have met so many people that come every week, alot of families, because they know the faces and love the prices. Anywhere else in town you will pay 8$ and up for a margarita that has less tequila.
Did you know the Rio's has 3 shots of alcohol? Hence the 3 limit. 4- The rooftop patio is one of the best on earth. Problem is there is no kitchen or bar on the roof so things take longer, plus they have a whole downstairs with hundreds of hungry, thirsty people. How to avoid that? Grab a drink downstairs and carry it up, or order extra when the waiter "finally" arrives. Be patient, u are lucky to be served in such a beautiful place! 5- Cinco de Mayo at the Rio trumps any other Cinco party.
Menu tips- Bobby Flay isn't cooking, got it?
-Guacamole is amazing. Simple, delicious, no unnecessary ingredients.
-Burrito de Carne smothered in Green/spicy or ranchero sauce. So good, especially w/ a margarita!
-Cheese queso appetizer
-Agave Martini on the rocks= Top shelf margarita for 8-9$!
Thanks Ian, stop by and ask for the manager on duty and say "Sullo sent me". You'll be pleased!
Great Margs and Nachos! – I've been here numerous times and have yet to have a bad experience. There margs are tasty, if you like them strong. Being a vegetarian I love the fajitas and nachos. Granted it's not the best mexican food out there, but it's got average prices and a nice atmosphere. Also seating area outdoors - perfect for the hot summer nights! Another good place is Tahona!
Chicken Bone in Enchilada – The margaritas are definitely worth going there, but the food is a different story. I refuse to eat there since I found a 3 in. chicken bone in my enchilada. Go for a margarita and chips and salsa, anything more than that is a gamble.
Great Food, Amazine Margs and Cool Staff – This place ROCKS! Literally, the margs are the best and the food is amazing. Their food is fresh and they don't use any lard in any recipe. Their salsa is heavenly and when you sit on the rooftop, sip a marg and eat a healthy Salad, nothing beats The Rio. The servers are laid-back and friendly. Tahona is a joke compared to this place
Centro is the place to go, NOT RIO – If you think that Azteca is actually good Mexican food, than you might like this place. Otherwise, if you own a tongue, please stay way. Cheap margaritas are ok, but if you want real good Latin food, check out Centro or Tahona Tequila Bar.
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