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“An overlooked gem in Durham”
Review of Tonali

Tonali
Ranked #92 of 765 Restaurants in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“An overlooked gem in Durham”
Reviewed September 29, 2012 via mobile

Tonali's chef never fails in making exquisite healthy tasty food that has Mexican flavors but none of the heaviness of beans and rice. Tonight we had lovely red snapper Vera Cruz style over fried green tomatoes and a delicious flan. Unfortunately its location in a small strip mall doesn't do it justice, and this restaurant does not seem to attract as many customers as its quality deserves.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lesliewnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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102 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    67
    25
    4
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chapel Hill NC
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Dont miss this great out of the way restaurant”
Reviewed September 21, 2012

Great family restaurant with carefully handcrafted meals that have a masterful blend of fresh fresh fresh local ingredients, textures, flavors and color. Clearly the chef is really back there in the kitchen. No waiting, friendly service and imaginative cocktails. The quince peach sangria was a treat. Dessert was light flavorful and press coffee is rich, dark and full of flavor.
My husband and I both enjoyed the modern mexican/central american menu, the service and the art on the walls. Location is out of the way on Shannon Road but this is a great place to get a table on a weekend night without a reservation. I suspect if it was in downtown Durham you would not get in. Go give them your business. Prices are moderate and well worth it for the high standard.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank AngusChapelHill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
187 reviews
123 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Fish tacos! Yum!!”
Reviewed June 25, 2012

I am never disappointed with Tonalis. The food is fresh and perfectly prepared. The fish tacos are absolutely wonderful. Great margaritas, traditional and some unique ones. The staff is pleasant and attentive. We feel quite at home here.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank Mary L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Not your refried beans Mexican Restaurant”
Reviewed May 16, 2012

When I take friends and family to this restaurant (the ones who haven't eaten here) have to be told that this isn't your regular taco/burrito/refriedbeans Mexican restaurant. The style is Oaxacan so they occasionally serve moles. Their soups are phenomenal! Recently, I tried their watermelon gazpacho that was fabulous. Last October they had a wonderful pumpkin soup on the menu. The food is fresh and (I assume) local. I love their vegetable quesadillas. I've tried many of the items on their menus and haven't eaten a mediocre meal here. The chef has nice touches like avocado oil on the gazpacho and chili oil on the pumpkin soup. If you haven't eaten here, you owe it to yourself to try it. No one I've brought here has been disappointed (even the picky eaters).

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank foodiefromNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
450 reviews
253 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 263 helpful votes
“Hidden gem”
Reviewed May 3, 2012 via mobile

Had tried to dine here several times but always caught them on their night off. Glad we finally were able to eat there. Wonderful, seasonal food. The wait staff were a little timid but pleasant. Nice sangria as well. Worth seeking out for fresh Mexican gourmet in Durham.

Helpful?
Thank TarHeel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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