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“A Hidden Gem”
Review of El Rancho Tapatio

El Rancho Tapatio
Ranked #55 of 918 Restaurants in Lexington
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Lexington, Kentucky
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“A Hidden Gem”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

My wife and I ate at here on New Years Eve. We have eaten at most of the Mexican restaurants in Lexington but this is clearly our favorite. Their location and limited advertising makes them hard to find. Its is well worth a visit. Their food is excellent. Their drink prices are very reasonable. I recommend that you skip the combos and go to the last half of their extensive menus. You will find ala carte tacos with many meat choices. The tamales and empanadas are fabulous. The guacamole is fresh with some avocado chunks.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Iceh2o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    47
    21
    3
    3
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lexington, Kentucky
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Mexican - Off The Main Drag”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

A coupon brought us to this small but friendly restaurant and we've been back many times since. The food is fabulous, the prices are more than reasonable, and the friendly service makes you feel like one of the family. The last time there they set us near the middle of the restaurant. When one of the managers felt like we weren't getting served fast enough (we hadn't noticed, having started on the chips and mild salsa) they took 15% off of our bill to make up for it.

I had my first experience with chorizo here and continue to order dishes that feature it. My wife loves the chile rellenos with cheese.

I agree with previous reviewers that mention the grocery/bakery next door - all a true "taste" of Mexican culinary delights!!!

Try to get there on mariachi night. The small but festive band livens up the restaurant so much you'll want to stay longer.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank VacaPoppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“My favorite Mexican restaurant”
Reviewed November 2, 2012

I love this restaurant. I can't get away from my usual order of chiles rellenos and a shrimp ceviche tostada, although there are many, many other good and some unusual dishes. The tres leches cake-- yum! The bakery/grocery next door is also well worth a visit. You won't believe the beautiful baked goods at giveaway prices!

Rancho Tapatio feels like a personal experience as well; the staff is wonderful and will soon recognize you if you go frequently. The place is kept spotless, to boot.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank FoodWoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Fresh, authentic food and good prices”
Reviewed October 19, 2012

I've visited this restaurant once, on the recommendation of a friend who frequents this place. Right away, even before sitting at my table, I liked it. Everyone on the staff was friendly and helpful. The place was almost full. I was waiting for two friends to arrive and felt well taken care of until they walked in.

I had a burrito; one friend had the fajitas and the other friend had the enchiladas. There is a great selection on the menu. We all agreed that everything tasted fresh and delicious. The best part, though, was the guacamole. Theirs is made on the spot, fresh and fabulous! I swear to come back and order several sides of it for lunch. Rather than being the expected creamy-with-avocado-chunks consistency, it is more like a chunky, diced salad in a cup with just enough creaminess to be able to scoop onto a chip. Trust me, it is to die for! It does contain cilantro, for those who need to know.

Our waitress was very friendly and helpful. We asked her why the name "tapatios." She told us that the owners and family are from Guadalajara, and that "tapatios" is the nickname that people from that area call each other. So, it's the "Guadalajaran Ranch," and do go there. It's the best Mexican food I've had in Lexington.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Angela H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, PA
Level 6 Contributor
164 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Fresh, reasonable prices and great taste.”
Reviewed September 22, 2012

Very simply, after biting into the free chips, I was reminded of a Mexican cooking class my wife and I took while in Mexico on a cruise. Same way with the fish tacos I ordered. If you want authentic, you probably can't do better than this place.

As for atmosphere, you can't get away from the fact that this is a storefront in a tiny, strip mall behind a Taco Bell off a main road. Parking can be a challenge, especially when the place it busy. Not much decor, but the place is pretty clean. Was there on a Friday when the mariachi band was there,which was OK, if a bit loud. I ate way too much, adding in a Michalada(basically a Bloody Mary with beer, very good, don't knock it until you try it) and a bowl of guacamole for about $20 not including tip. My colleague had a enchilada plate and two margaritas for under $15 not including tip.

Service was very fast, the food fresh and full of flavor. You'll probably pass 4 Mexican restaurants on the way here. This place is worth it.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank frompitpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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