About Ernesto's Mexican Food

1901 16th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
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Since 1991, Ernesto"s Mexican Food has proudly served Midtown Sacramento as it's #1 choice for Best Mexican Food. By using only the freshest ingredients, our chefs work diligently to ensure the authentic Mexican flavors our customers desire while simultaneously keeping their well-being in mind. Ernesto's offers a range of award-winning dishes the whole family can enjoy, including it's Signature Carnitas, Vegetarian options and "Great Margaritas". From it's colorful artwork to the rhythm of the salsa music that pulsates throughout the restaurant; Ernesto's has offered a beautiful display of true Mexican culture. We are honored to have had the chance to share the past 21 years with the Sacramento Community and we look forward to many more. The Ernesto's family wants to thank everyone for its many years of success!

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Mexican, Regional Mexican, Mexican / Southwestern

Hours of Operation:

Lunch: M-F 11:00am-5:00pm
Lunch: Sa-Su 2:00pm-5:00pm
Dinner: M-Th 5:00pm-10:00pm
Dinner: F-Sa 5:00pm-12:00am
Dinner: Su 5:00pm-10:00pm

Cross Street:
16th and S Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(916) 441-5850

Website:
http://ernestosmexicanfood.com/

Entertainment:
Live Mariachi Music every Thursday and Special Events. Please view our Event Page for more information or call the restaurant for details.

Parking Details:
Parking available on the side of 16th St. and 17 St.

Public Transit:
Light Rail on 16th St. and R St

Executive Chef:
Jose Carrillo

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine Bar

Ernesto's Mexican Food Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.2

ambience

4.1

noise

Moderate

98% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Outdoor Dining
Sacramento
Best Restaurants in Sacramento ›

great for outdoor dining (36)
great for lunch (30)
neighborhood gem (26)
See All
good for groups (25)
fit for foodies (16)
special occasion (14)
kid-friendly (13)
hot spot (11)
great for brunch (8)
vibrant bar scene (4)
late-night find (4)
romantic (3)
scenic view (1)
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Newest
157 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

As always, super yum. We ate outside, a ...

Dined 4 days ago

As always, super yum. We ate outside, and the building blocked the wind. GREAT drinks. Super friendly service -and quick. Easy with our 2 kids.

Tags: good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience3
service3

Our favorite place to get authentic, fre ...

vip
Dined 4 days ago

Our favorite place to get authentic, fresh, Mexican food.

food3
ambience3
service4

Awful chips, great salsa. Awful enchila ...

vip
Dined on May 19, 2016

Awful chips, great salsa. Awful enchiladas but amazing beans. Good margaritas. It's not my favorite Mexican restaurant, but the ambiance and service was great.

food4
ambience5
service5

Great atmosphere. Great service. Wonderf ...

Dined on May 8, 2016

Great atmosphere. Great service. Wonderful time celebrating Mothers Day.

food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Absolutely an amazing place!

Dined on May 8, 2016

We love the food and the service has always been good. The food is outstanding and we would recommend it to anyone who loves Mexican food. My wife says the margarita's are the best she has ever had. The shrimp tacos on flour tortillas are to die for! Not a bad thing to say about Ernesto's! We are so happy we found it. We will be back every week to try something else so don't come or we won't be able to get a seat!

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service3
value5

Food was great. Space was an issue.

Dined on May 7, 2016

I want to start off by saying that if you only care how the food is, this place is WONDERFUL. The food was incredible, the service however, lacked. I made a reservation 3 days in advance for Ernesto's. When I arrived, 2 of 5 my party had already been seated (great!) At a table outdoors. However, there was not enough space for the 5 of us (I have a baby with a highchair). The server asked us if we wanted to be seated inside where there was more room, and went off to check with the hostess. We sort of fumbled around trying to not get in the way of other guests until the server eventually came back and said that we outdoors (we did not) and now having an issue getting us inside. Eventually, after another table left, we were pushed into a back corner table with no room without bumping into the person next to us. We were able to order our food, but had to keep asking for basic things to enjoy our meal (a straw, some water, SILVERWARE, napkins). The food and drinks were great, but I did not appreciate being stuffed away because I have a baby. It was very clear my party was an "inconvenience" and were not a priority. Perhaps I'll need to wait until my child can sit in a normal chair before I consider returning to be treated fairly.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience4
service4

Good solid Mexican food. Very reasonable ...

vip
Dined on April 17, 2016

Good solid Mexican food. Very reasonable prices.

food3
ambience3
service4
value4

A Mexican Goldmine!

Dined on April 16, 2016

Always a busy place. Sometimes it can get a little loud and hard to hear your tablemate. Food is always good and the prices are very affordable. I had a birthday coupon for a free entree! Thanks Ernestos!

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Always love Ernesto's

Dined on April 9, 2016

I've eaten here many times and they are consistently and reliably good. Excellent service and food is prepared fresh. I took my friend to lunch here today and merely mentioned it was for her birthday and they brought a delicious free flan with sparkler and sang happy birthday.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience5
service5
value5

Great casual spot

Dined on April 5, 2016

Perfect for meetings! Food was fresh and promptly served, great service, ambiance... I'll definitely be back.

Tags: good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience3
service3
value4

Ernesto's Birthday dinner

Dined on April 5, 2016

Food was outstanding as always went on Mon to avoid crowd and noise, very noisy. Drinks were not our favorite.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

We love Ernestos!

Dined on April 4, 2016

We love Ernestos!

food5
ambience4
service5

Really good food, nice large portions, a ...

Dined on April 3, 2016

Really good food, nice large portions, and very attentive service!

food2
ambience3
service2

We used to go here a lot. Food seems to ...

Dined on March 20, 2016

We used to go here a lot. Food seems to have gone downhill. Carnitas was not nearly as tasty, and service was not the level it should be.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Just as good as I remembered.

Dined on February 22, 2016

It's been awhile since I've eaten at Ernesto's and I was pleased to find it was just as good as I remembered. The food was delicious (as confirmed by my entire party). Our server was very friendly and checked frequently to see if we needed anything and to refill our beverages. Since it was a sunny day we ate out on the patio (which is why I choose the "moderate" noise level since the patio is on a busy street). It made the dining experience even more enjoyable and the noise wasn't loud enough that it impeded our conversation. I'll definitely be coming back again.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

Best Mexican food in Sac. Cadillac marg ...

vip
Dined on February 21, 2016

Best Mexican food in Sac. Cadillac marg is great!

food5
ambience3
service4
value5

Saturday Dinner

Dined on February 21, 2016

Made a reservation for 6:30pm and was seated on time. Staff was fast and friendly. The Green Iguana is one tasty drink. The Midtown Combo is perfect if you can't decide on another dish. The carnitas are awesome and the chicken enchilada is truly delicious. My date had the Veracruz Shrimp and she was kind enough to share a few bites. I plan to order this dish the next time we visit Ernesto's. The atmosphere was lively, as always.

food5
ambience5
service5

Love Ernestos but it is toooooo noisy. ...

vip
Dined on February 21, 2016

Love Ernestos but it is toooooo noisy. Not energetic loud and you can't hear a thing....

food5
ambience5
service5

Always fresh and exceptional

vip
Dined on February 16, 2016

Always fresh and exceptional

food5
ambience4
service4
value5

Great Carnitas and vegetarian quesadillas!

Dined on February 15, 2016

The carnitas were delicious. I had the carnitas enchiladas. I do wish I just got the carnitas dinner and made my own tacos however so I could have fully appreciated just the taste of the meat without the enchilada sauce. Albeit though, the sauce was quite tasty. My fiancee got the vegetarian quesadilla - it looked delicious, lots of veggies. The salsa was great and the bean dip with chips is vegetarian too. Its hard to negotiate where we go when one person is a complete carnivore and the other is a complete vegetarian to and we always have to ask. The server was able to answer right away as to what was vegetarian. That was great!!! Also, everything was fresh. Only complaint I can come up with is that I wish my margarita had been shaken a bit better. I'm a rocks girl and I go with shaken, not stirred. Would have been a bit smoother. All in all, worth it!

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

We were looking for authentic Mexican Cu ...

Dined on February 15, 2016

We were looking for authentic Mexican Cuisine for our Valentines Day dinner. Fortunately Ernesto's provided that for us. Although we arrived 1hr early the hostess accommodated our request to move our reservation up 1/2hr which gave us time to find a parking spot near the restaurant. The food was excellent. Our server Franco was most attentive to all our requests and made our dining experience most enjoyable. We will definitely become regular customers to Ernesto's!

food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Great resturant

Dined on February 15, 2016

This was my first time here and I thought the food was great and the ambiance was awesome

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

Nice neighborhood restaurant

Dined on February 14, 2016

Ernesto's is my favorite Mexican food place in Midtown, Sacramento! Almost everyone I know has been there and agrees! It's a great brunch and lunch restaurant. The service is good and the food is better. Not to mention great Margaritas! I highly recommend trying them. You won't be disappointed.

Tags: great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food2
ambience3
service3
value2

Rucusuave64

Dined on February 13, 2016

Drinks at the bar were excellent , very quick service. Ambiance is very energetic on Friday night, live mariachi and very reasonably priced menu , would recommend to family and friends.

Tags: special occasion
food4
ambience4
service5

Great service. Fast, friendly and helpfu ...

Dined on February 12, 2016

Great service. Fast, friendly and helpful

food5
ambience3
service4
value4

Food was really good.

Dined on February 12, 2016

The food was really good, service was good but the noise level was way too much. Any time we needed anything extra for our meal the service person was friendly and accommodating to what we asked for.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, special occasion
food4
ambience4
service4

Good food and drinks. We enjoyed the liv ...

Dined on January 30, 2016

Good food and drinks. We enjoyed the live mariachi. We sat down right away.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

great food, great enviroment.

Dined on January 23, 2016

Friday night Margaritas and mariachis. Great live music and Fantastic food. Friday evening is a must attend!!

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience4
service4

Shrimp Vera Cruz was outstanding. We ar ...

Dined on January 23, 2016

Shrimp Vera Cruz was outstanding. We are early so we missed the mariachis. Next time, we will plan on going to eat later.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always Enjoy Ernesto's

Dined on January 20, 2016

Four of us came here for a birthday celebration. I had the Carnitas which is always my favorite and the portion is big enough to take half of it home for another meal. They also brought us a generous slice of flan that was really tasty and not too heavy and not overly sweet. Service is efficient and friendly.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5

Why haven't you posted my review of Hawk ...

vip
Dined on January 3, 2016

Why haven't you posted my review of Hawks Sacramento Location? It wasn't very good and people should know it...are you holding back because it is new?

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great for family occasion

Dined on December 19, 2015

We went with 3 generations for an early dinner. Very attentive service. Kids menu had lots of variety including options for fruits and veggies as well as beans and rice sides. Adult plates were terrific.. Shrimp tacos, carne asana, chicken platter, and burrito. All with beautiful presentation and fresh ingredients. Parking on a side street a block away was available. A large outdoor patio area was enclosed for the December evening and looked very nice for a sunny day. Great value for a nice family occasion in downtown Sacramento.

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Mexican food in Downtown Sac

Dined on December 16, 2015

Really nice decor, friendly staff and prompt service! Cowboy Shrimp was excellently flavored, Carne Asada seasoning was off the chain good along with the cheese enchilada suiza. Definitely will be back to try more dishes.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

Not impressed, Dinner was okay

Dined on December 14, 2015

I love Mexican food, and am always excited to try new places. I hadn't been to Ernesto's in about 10 years, so I'm considering it as a new experience. The atmosphere was good, but the food was only so-so. It's not bad food, but I wouldn't consider it good. One of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the area is Carmelita's in Folsom. I expected Ernesto's to be on par with Carmelita's, but it's not even close in my opinion.

Tags: kid-friendly
food4
ambience4
service4

Ernestos

Dined on December 13, 2015

I recently took a group of business associates to Ernesto's. The group was larger than anticipated however they accommodated us with no problem. The food as always was very good. I am familiar with Ernesto's as my wife and I and her brother and wife both enjoy it and go up to Sacramento occasionally just to have dinner at Ernesto's. The only negative was that I requested a split ticket which they would not do. I think they could have done that for us however, I will continue to go to this very comfortable Sacramento restaurant.

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service4

Excellent food & Vibrant atmosphere

Dined on December 5, 2015

Great place for celebration & when you want excellent Mexican food. Not so great if you want to have a quiet conversation. It was my birthday celebration and I chose a Mariachi Friday to celebrate. They took my song request & was a lot of fun.

Tags: good for groups
food5
ambience4
service5

Always great!

Dined on November 28, 2015

Always great!

food5
ambience5
service4

Who wouldn't like Mexican food and some mariachi

vip
Dined on November 28, 2015

The food was great. I had a Chicken Tortilla soup that was incredibly flavorful and fresh. It was better than most that I've had. The service was good. I waited longer than I would have liked at the host stand before someone spoke to me and the server had a minor mix up, but everyone was friendly and the food was promptly served. Then there was the music. It was fantastic. The Mariachi band that they had for the evening was really good. Complete with violins and really good singers. Go to Ernesto's!

Tags: great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience1
service5

Great Food & Service

Dined on November 28, 2015

Everything was amazing except we couldn't speak to one another. It was already loud and then the mariachi band came out and played around the whole resteraunt. It ruined any chance of ANY dinner conversation.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

Has always been a lunch place to me.

Dined on November 18, 2015

I worked across the street when we did not have any restaurants to go to for lunch and Ernesto's moved in. Great food, but why I I have never been there but for lunch. It is what I view it as. It has changed for the better.

Tags: great for lunch

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