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“Excellent Restaurant”
Review of Oyamel

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Ranked #53 of 3,228 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown / Chinatown
Cross street: D Street
Transit: Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter on the yellow and green lines; Gallery Place/Chinatown on the red, yellow and green lines.
Description: Oyamel combines Mexico's rich regional diversity with the modern urban atmosphere of Mexico City. The liveliness of the dining room is matched by the creativity of the menu and cocktail list, featuring antojitos-Mexican small plates-ceviches and tacos, plus unique margaritas, and an impressive array of wines and tequilas. Originally opened in 2004 in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Oyamel moved to its current home in the Penn Quarter in March of 2007.
Tyrone, Georgia
Level Contributor
306 reviews
154 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Excellent Restaurant”
Reviewed March 1, 2014 via mobile

I love this restaurant. If you want to truly experience the food, I highly recommend the Oyamel experience. This includes 10 delicious tapas. From fish to tenderloin tapas and desert. This is a way to truly sample their menu. Ensure you make a reservation as this restaurant is always packed. Also, try one of their mixed drinks wonderful combinations. Restaurant can be noisy but the wait staff knows the menu and don't forget to try the guacamole...this is one of their signature appetizers.

Visited February 2014
Thank Cordon J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,635 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Very Good”
Reviewed February 26, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

This is my lunch time trip. The grasshopper tacos are very good contrary to belief. This is also a good date place

Visited February 2014
Thank Ray W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
60 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Can't Go Wrong.”
Reviewed February 25, 2014

I"ve been to Oyamel a few times, and it always impresses. It is an excellent way to get really outstanding food in setting that in not intimidating. I would say the prices are a great value for what you get, which is meticulously prepared authentic but high-end Mexican food.

Most recently, our service was a little slow (but picked up when we noted we were in a hurry), and our "spicy" guacamole had hardly any spice at all (but was still good). The corn tortillas are outstanding. I grew up on the Mexican border eating homemade corn tortillas -- I love them -- and I love Oyamel's.

For two people, I would recommend getting the guamole and 2 other apps and 2-3 tacos and dessert -- save room for dessert! Everything is so good that you can't go wrong. Order whatever appeals to you, enjoy it, and come back another time to eat something else. It is all good.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank fude4thot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
318 reviews
229 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“The. Real. Deal.”
Reviewed February 22, 2014

I had a fantastic meal with friends at Oyamel.

First: Table-side Guacamole, deliciously fresh with just enough spice, enough for 3-4 people for an app

Second: The salt-air margarita, a salty foam on the top made this a really fun but all the while delectable cocktail. I'm not one who like a lot of salt on my margaritas but this wasn't overwhelming and was downright delicious.


Brussel Sprouts: With Pumpkin seeds and peanuts, these were some of the best I've ever had. They weren't overly sweet and had a little smokiness and the seeds/nuts added a crunch that makes it hard to stop eating

Quesadilla with Pork Belly: I couldn't eat this fast enough

All-in-all its a great place, especially to get a cocktail and share a few plates of something different for a change

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Aaron P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
53 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Guacamole Lovers Delight, skip the tacos.”
Reviewed February 19, 2014 via mobile

I love the guac at Oyamel! They make it fresh at the table and you decide the amount of heat. Everything I had was delicious and would recommend the fruit salad, to take the bite off some of the spicier dishes. The server suggest we order 3-4 plates each to share, which would have been way too much since we had the guacamole and there were only two of us. If we would have shared a meat, veggie and the fruit plate I think we would have been fine. Go hungry with a socially comfortable group and you can try lots of different dishes! This is by far the best authentic Mexican Restaurant I have been to outside of Mexico in a very long time. Enjoy.

Visited February 2014
Thank Fred4Life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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