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“Between three and four stars”
Review of Cactus Cantina

Cactus Cantina
Ranked #269 of 3,228 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $15
Cuisines: Southwestern, Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest
Manassas, Virginia
Level Contributor
337 reviews
213 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Between three and four stars”
Reviewed September 28, 2013

Visiting our daughter in DC, she took us here because it's near where she lives and goes often. I was surprised at how quickly we were seated, even on a busy Friday night. It's way bigger inside than it looks from the street.

The food is average. You get lots of it, but there really wasn't anything outstanding about it. More on the bland side than anything else. However, the chips are made on site and were very good. Also, the side of beans were terrific.

My biggest complaint was the noise level. We really couldn't carry on a conversation. At all. It was crazy noisy. Not considered when writing this review but of note: The people at the table next to us were allowing their kids to play tag around their table and after nearly colliding with a server, twice, they made a sad attempt at containing them.

Our waiter seemed harried for most of the meal. We had to ask for refills a couple of times and had to call for him when we were finished. The one thing I noticed was that most of the employees didn't seem like they wanted to be there; not a lot of smiling. The prices were unbelievably reasonable for DC.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Yorkiemom19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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311 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great kid's menu”
Reviewed September 27, 2013

The kid's food tastes the same as adult's, Kid's just means it is smaller. FANTASTIC outdoor sitting.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Lucas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
147 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Great Choice for Many Reasons”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

We have lived within walking distance of Cactus Cantina (CC) since it opened. Despite dozens of alternatives accessible on foot, by car, or via Metro, we continue to patronize it. Although it can be extremely noisy and the quality of the margaritas has fallen substantially over the years, CC is a reliable choice for mostly any occasion and is especially good for families and groups. The tortillas are made in house (within view of patrons), the tortilla chips are thin and non-greasy, and the salsa has consistently been excellent. This has become our "go to" first night eatery for out of town and international guests, who have all loved it (in spite of initial apprehension about "Mexican food," in some cases) and even come to expect/look forward to it. Our family and guests always order tacos al carbon (half grilled chicken, half beef grilled to patron's desired degree of doneness) for sharing. It is a hit every single time. Great choice!

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank carpathianarts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
61 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great after a long day of sightseeing!”
Reviewed August 16, 2013

We stayed near Cactus Cantina and ended up here for dinner after a full day of walking around the Mall. I had the fish tacos and my brother had the shrimp fajitas that were on the specials menu. Great kids menu and loud enough I didn't have to worry about them energetically reviewing their day!

Visited August 2013
Thank Kmonson01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McLean, Virginia
Level Contributor
119 reviews
98 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Below Average Food and Service”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

We visited this restaurant this week after not going for a couple years because we got fed up with the bad service and the lackluster food. Now, we remember why we stopped going. The wait staff are far from attentive. You can just tell the staff are not enjoying their job. The ambience is fun and it's a rare find in DC to find this type of Mexican food restaurant with outdoor dining but the food just doesn't stack up. I had the shrimp fajitas which were ok. My husband did not like his fish tacos. My son's beef fajitas were pretty good. The rice was as bland ad bland could be and my daughter's chicken fingers were poor. I also got a Sangria which was just fine. I would definitely skip it!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MBinVA_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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