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Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
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3642 Shannon Rd, Durham, NC 27707-3769
(919) 489-8000
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Open now
All hours
Tue - Thu 11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat 11:30 am - 10:00 pm
More Info
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97 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
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Time of year
Showing 97: English reviews
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
40 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Overall, I had a good first time experience at this restaurant. Their menu is a bit different from your standard Mexican fare, so be prepared. I have to say that I am not a fan of Tonali's tortilla chips. Usually, I can make a meal out of the tortilla chips alone, at most Mexican restaurants. So, this was very disappointing... More 

Thank Docdearth2
Fairport, New York
Level Contributor
48 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Tortilla soup was excellent as were the lamb tacos. Reminded me of visits to Mexico A little on the pricey side but we're not in Mexico. Food superb. Service Friendly and Attentive

Thank thetuch
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2016 via mobile

I hesitate to write this. One of this restaurant's most appealing features is that it is both off the beaten path and not too well known. I have seen no local reviews and only located it accidentally. It is great. The ambience is warm and comfortable. The staff is not so good with English but terrific without fawning. The food... More 

Thank cda08
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2016

Excellent service. The decor is nice as well. Have eaten there twice. Food is very tasty. The presentation is nice as well. I have gotten the fresh fish of the day tacos and shrimp tacos. The fish tastes fresh and the sauce is seasoned nicely. Just the right amount of food for lunch. The chips are made there and are... More 

Thank Kathy P
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2016

Finding Tonali isn't easy. Forgetting it is impossible. I have lunched and dined there about once a month since they opened 10 years ago. Every meal has been delicious, and the service is consistently fine. Chef Andres Macias, his wife and their small staff are friendly and attentive. Every dish, from the most casual to the most elegant, is impeccably... More 

Thank j0hnn0rr1s
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2016

This place is superb! If you remember the old Magnolia Grill, it's as if this was their Mexican restaurant - it's that good! The food is as fresh and local as possible, and prepared individually and painstakenly. Family owned and operated and as genuine as it gets. The food is the star here. The space is very nice inside, but... More 

Thank Michael Patrick H
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
87 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2015

Given how reviewers have rated this place, we weren't sure what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised. Our meals had fresh ingredients with flavorful and interesting combinations; there was a lot of seafood on the menu, which you don't often see in a Mexican restaurant (e.g. blue crab and crayfish quesadillas). Both my husband and I were pleased with... More 

1 Thank RobinL270
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
61 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2015

Tonali is not your typical Mexican restaurant. The food is Mexican, but in the unlikely event that you see a taco or burrito it will be homemade and part of some wonderful dish--nothing like the standard dishes in the chain restaurants. All the food is homemade with wonderful flavors. There are seafood, pork, chicken and beef entrees as well as... More 

Thank Practicality
Level Contributor
110 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2015

We are not fans of Mex food. But family took us here. Liked what we had. Mussels were very flavorful. I had the salmon which was very good BUT THE PORTION OF SALMON WAS THE SMALLEST I HAVE EVER GOTTEN IN THE RESTURANT! The place is larger than it looks from the outside and very nice inside.

Thank JerryDEBO
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2015

Went for lunch with a group of girlfriends to celebrate a birthday. The decor was inviting and the restaurant was close to empty..only two-three other clients, which was nice for a group of chatty girls. Despite the almost empty restaurant at lunchtime the service very slow. Ordered fish tacos which was a serving of three small soft tacos. However, only... More 

3 Thank A G

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Reservations, Serves Alcohol
Good for
Families with children
Open Hours
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 3642 Shannon Rd, Durham, NC 27707-3769
  • Location: United States  >  North Carolina (NC)  >  Durham
  • Phone Number: (919) 489-8000

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Tonali staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?