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“Lots of eye candy” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tio's Taco Restaurant

Tio's Taco Restaurant
3948 Mission Inn Ave, Riverside, CA
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Ranked #21 of 621 Restaurants in Riverside
Cuisines: Mexican
Description: This place is a piece of art! They have artwork and sculptures made of recycled matterials surrounding the restaurant. This is a trip advisor must!
Restaurant details
Description: This place is a piece of art! They have artwork and sculptures made of recycled matterials surrounding the restaurant. This is a trip advisor must!
Riverside, CA
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Lots of eye candy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

The food, service and prices were all great. What we enjoyed was after breakfast ( which was exceptional ) walking around a looking at all the exotic, strange, and some just weird pieces that had been constructed/created throughout the property. I guess it is called folk art, but it sure is interesting seeing all the work that went into the projects. Every thing from the sidewalks, all the way up to tigers and monkeys in the trees, has been turned into something to look at and wonder what the heck was going through the creators mind. I will be going back in the evening, just to see how the display looks under evening lighting, and for the food.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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18 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    9
    6
    1
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Riverside, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great seafood cocktails!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

We love coming here for the seafood cocktails. The campechana is amazing! So much seafood in a very large goblet. I've been so stuck on the campechanas that I haven't tried anything else there, besides the delicious aguas frescas and a banana smoothie (which was sooooo good!). The atmosphere is also completely different from any other restaurant I've ever been to. A bunch of junk art decorates the premises. It's worth checking the restaurant out just for all the stuff everywhere.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Very fun”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

This is such a fun place to stop at when visiting the Mission Inn. The food is average Mexican food, nothing to write home about, but the atmosphere is outstanding. After you order, take a seat outside among the "art" to eat your food. There is SO much to see. I think every bit of trash from the restaurant has been recycled to create the art seen on the grounds. It is amazing. I don't think you can see it all in one trip. The whole family will enjoy this stop.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
“One of a Kind atmosphere, delicious food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

We ordered the fajitas and they were fantastic. One of the best chile rellenos I have ever had. The art is worth the trip alone, even if you aren't into folk art. Wonderful place.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riverside, California, United States
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Unique "art" couldn't make up for the food.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

I have visited Tio's Tacos many times over the years since I was born and raised in Riverside. I have enjoyed taking friends to see the bizarre recycled art which crowds the restaurant and grounds -- all made from cast-off items: Bicycle parts, tin cans, beer bottles, broken tile, shells, you name it. It is interesting to see how the owners, over the years, have turned what others might consider trash into bizarre sculptures and figures.

But the quirky ambiance couldn't make up for the lack-luster food. I had remembered that the food had been fresh and flavorful on previous visits. But not this time. The salsa had a strange gelatinous texture instead of the chunky freshness I would expect. My husband had the steak taco platter and I opted for the chicken taco platter. Both meats seemed to have been prepared before hand and allowed to sit.

There was something odd about the spices used. Not sure how else to describe it. The refried beans were watery, soup-like and bland. The rice was also bland. Both were cold. My husband took his back and they popped it in the microwave. There was a salad of iceberg lettuce and a tomato slice, but no dressing. We let most of our meal go uneaten. I probably won't return.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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