About Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill

350 S. Indian Canyon Dr.
Palm Springs, CA 92262
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Welcome to Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill. Rio Azul is not your typical Mexican Restaurant. They are Palm Springs only choice for traditional Mexican Cuisine, handcrafted with the best ingredients and served fresh and flavorful! The unique menu is certain to have something for every palate.

Prepare to be charmed by the colorful and deliciously vibrant atmosphere and wowed by the culinary creations of Executive Chef Ernesto Gastelum. Chef Gastelum’s cuisine is a magical combination of delicious fresh ingredients, and a philosophy of slow food preparation where everything is made to order and freshly prepared. As a result you have a dining experience that excites and delights your senses. Relax in our beautiful setting while Chef Gastelum and his team perfectly prepare your meal.

Voted Best Mexican Restaurant 2012 & 2014 by Palm Springs Life Readers & Best Margarita 2013 & 2015!!!

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Mexican, Contemporary Mexican

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Thursday 4-9 pm
Friday - Saturday 11 am - 10 pm
Sunday 11 am - 9 pm

Happy Hour
Monday - Thursday 4-7 pm
Friday - Sunday 2-6 pm

Closed Thanksgiving Day

Cross Street:
Baristo

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(760) 992-5641

Website:
http://www.rioazulpalmsprings.com/

Catering:
Catering Menu is available which also includes Party Platters to Go.

Parking Details:
Parking is available in the parking lot adjacent to the restaurant, in front of the restaurant on Indian Canyon Drive or in the parking garage across the street off Baristo.

Public Transit:
Located on Indian Canyon Drive.

Executive Chef:
Ernesto Gastelum

Private Party Facilities:
The main dining room is available for groups and private dining up to 80 people. New outside patio can seat 48 people.

Private Party Contact:
Daniela Saenz: (760) 992-5641

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

4.0

ambience

3.9

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

90% would recommend it to a friend

Casual (24)
Authentic (19)
Good for Groups (19)
See All
Fun (14)
Good for Birthdays (12)
Comfort Food (11)
Good for a Date (10)
Great for Outdoor Dining (9)
Neighborhood Gem (8)
Kid-friendly (7)
Happy Hour (7)
Live Music (7)
Special Occasion (6)
Cozy (6)
Great for Brunch (6)
Outstanding Value (5)
Creative Cuisine (5)
Great for Lunch (5)
Spicy (5)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (4)
Family Style (4)
Hot Spot (4)
Bar Seating (4)
Local Ingredients (4)
Worth the Drive (3)
People Watching (3)
Scenic View (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Live Sports (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Historic (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Business Meals (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Good for Anniversaries (2)
Disabled Access (1)
Tapas (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Vegan (1)
Great Beer (1)
Fit for Foodies (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Dining Occasion:
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342 reviews
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 (Seattle)·Dined 4 days ago

Mother's 70th birthday with party of 10, 68 yr age difference, great service

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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined 6 days ago

Awful food after waiting 10 minutes to bus 5 dirty tables as none were ready at reservation time.

Tags: Happy Hour
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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined 6 days ago

Rio Azul is a favorite of ours and the place we usually go on a Friday night when we're in Palm Springs. We were there on the Friday of President's Day weekend. Although we had specifically reserved an indoor table, we still had to wait 20 minutes to be seated. I guess that is understandable given that it was raining and I'm sure they had to accommodate folks who would have otherwise been seated on the patio. The service was very good, and actually much better than on our last visit when we waited forever for our our food. Still, even with the unevenness of the service, we persist because we like the food here. My favorite is the carnitas, but others in our group prefer the enchilada suizas. Expect a wait and pass the time waiting with their skinny Margarita (fresh lime juice instead of sweet and sour mix) and then enjoy the food.

Tags: Outstanding Value, Good for Groups, Comfort Food, Casual
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 14, 2017

Wonderful authentic Mexican food. Friendly staff gray value

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food4
ambience3
service3
value5

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on February 13, 2017

Good Mexican food, not too salty, good value, great location near accommodations. Very nice service, great musician on the harp! Delicious enchilada Del Mar. not too noisy.

Tags: Live Music, Good for Groups, Comfort Food, Fun, Casual, Great Beer
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food4
ambience1
service5
value4

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on February 10, 2017

The wait staff here is the best. Super friendly and remembers us every time. The food is the best Mexican in Palm Springs.

Tags: Fun, Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Casual, People Watching
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Sacramento)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Our server was great and the food was delicious.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 31, 2017

Great margaritas and tasty, large portions. Did not need a reservation. Outdoor dining available. Would return.

Tags: Comfort Food
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 31, 2017

Delicious food, great location, easy parking, nice decor and comfortable seating.

Tags: Casual, Fun, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 27, 2017

Food is always great and consistent. The service is friendly and excellent.

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 22, 2017

The only issue I had was that I was able to make an online reservation when they infact were booked. They called me morning of to cancel. Later to call and inform they'd had a cancellation. Worked in our favor as I had guests in from OC, spur of the moment. Ended up being a great morning, brunch and drag show. Food was amazing. Service was top of the line. Just should know when a business is booked so a reservation cannot be made.

Tags: Good for Groups, Cozy, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Scenic View, Hot Spot, Great for Brunch, Comfort Food, Quiet Conversation, Authentic
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 22, 2017

It was our first time to eat here, and boy was it good. The margaritas were excellent. Chips and salsa perfect. I had pork tacos and they were the best I've ever had. Can't wait to go back.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Great for Lunch, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 21, 2017

We wanted to love it (and did at first). Nice people, nice atmosphere. The food was just okay, not outright horrible, but bland and a tad dry, without a lot of flavor. We were sad because we loved it when we arrived and wanted it to be our new spot in the desert for Mexican food.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 20, 2017

Love the staff here. Great neighborhood place with the best Mexican food in Palm Springs.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Brought friends visiting from New York for the Drag Queen Brunch. It was fun and the bridal parties there also made it more fun. We all loved it and the food was, as always excellent. See you soon

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Tapas, Authentic, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 15, 2017

I have always thought Rio Azul had the best Mexican food, but it was really off Saturday night. My carne asado burrito had very little meat and what it did have was tough and so salty my lips were glazed over half way through. The rest of the large tortilla was filled with rice and a few other ingredients. Definitely not worth the high cost. Also, with an open table reservation we were seated at a miniscule 2 top looking into the glaring fluorescent light of both the kitchen and bathroom, while 4 other groups of 2 were seated at 4 tops in the middle of the room. It will be a while before my return.

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food1
ambience1
service3

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Second time there, again excellent food, very tasty. Service was great, very friendly server. Jalapeño margarita as fantastic!

Tags: Good for Groups, Outstanding Value, Tasting Menu, Disabled Access, Special Occasion, People Watching
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 14, 2017

First time to Palm Springs and wanted quick bite with my 8 yo son.

Pros- friendly servers, really good fresh salsa, great food, fresh ingredients not too expensive and outdoor patio. I would have given a higher star for value but they charged $12 for a short glass margarita b/c I asked for Mezcal In lieu of house tequila.

Cons- bathroom toilet clogged and dark dated decor inside, patio is off busy street so kind of noisy.

Tags: Authentic, Kid-friendly, Casual
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 6, 2017

very good margaritas,we had fajitas that were excellent. reasonable prices and great service!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Historic, Authentic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Live Music, Bar Seating, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 2, 2017

We have eaten here many time and the food is always excellent , the service very good and it really is a real Mexican restaurant !

Tags: Authentic
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Great Sunday afternoon drag show. Definitely a must in Palm Springs. Go around 1130 so you are done breakfast by 12 and can enjoy the show and bottomless mimosas.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Great food and even better drag show by the Desert Divas! Super fun, hilarious and entertaining. Definitely worth checking out the Sunday Brunch Drag Show.

Tags: Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Great for Brunch, Sunday Lunch, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Orange County)·Dined on January 1, 2017

We had a reservation for New Year's Eve, and although crowded, the service was great and the food was excellent. We had a very fun time, and enjoyed the margaritas and atmosphere.

Tags: Fun, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on December 31, 2016

The Calamari were under fried and the hot wings were under cooked. Everything else was very good and Raul was great.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on December 29, 2016

All 3 diners were well pleased with their selections - flavor, quantity, presentation.

The only negative is one of which many restaurants are guilty, and which Rio Azul illustrated in spades: When an appetizer is ordered, and it takes a while for it to arrive, DON'T follow it within 30 nanoseconds with the main course. It's annoying, it interferes with the tempo of cocktails with the appetizer, and note to restaurant: you might even sell another cocktail.

Tags: Outstanding Value, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience4
service3
value5

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on December 29, 2016

Always busy when we dine here but standards never slip. Staff very helpful. Fresh Guacamole made at table is wonderful and can recommend.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on December 29, 2016

Our food was excellent and our server was beyond great however our reservation was not honored. They were 40 minutes late seating us. When I take the time to make a reservation I expect it to be honored. Because of this I doubt that I would go back during what could be busy times.

Tags: Good for Groups, Spicy, Authentic, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on December 29, 2016

I've been here a few times this time just what I paid for the amount of food was not what I usually get I ordered the tacos plate they've always been wrapped up with some type of a paper wrap this time I did not get that and the amount of sirloin steak I did not get it either it was minimal I wasn't pleased and my daughter's burrito came with sour cream when I just asked for a plain bean and cheese burrito and rice so my daughter did not get to eat with us while we were eating. And also I made reservations for 6:45 p.m. and we did not get to sit down to about 720 730 my bill amount was $77 and change just wasn't pleased this time

Tags: Cozy
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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 28, 2016

Great steak tacos. They made a sangria for me even though it wasn't on the menu. Great environment

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 28, 2016

Wonderful meal, large portions of excellent food and margaritas Family dinner left us happy and full

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food4
ambience3
service3
value4

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on December 28, 2016

We love this place. Best service and Mexican food in PS.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Austin)·Dined on December 20, 2016

Very unimpressed

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food1
ambience1
service2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Good vegetarian items & staff knowledge of what is vegetarian. Different seating options including bar, high table & outside. There is a bar area with tvs set to sports. The non happy hour guacamole is made in front of you but didn't have the kick I expected. Enchiladas were good. Good service.

Tags: Fun, Great for Outdoor Dining, Happy Hour, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Kid-friendly, Good for a Date, Live Sports, Good Vegetarian Options, Family Style, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on December 17, 2016

By far I think this restaurant serves the best Mexican food in all of Palm Springs.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 11, 2016

I've eared here dozens of times. Everything on the menu has been great. Best chips and salsa.

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food5
ambience1
service5

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on December 4, 2016

Took two hours to get our food. Wasn't busy.

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food4
ambience1
service2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 4, 2016

Reservation appreciated, we were quickly seated. Service was great, food and drinks were excellent. Obviously a local favorite.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on December 3, 2016

If the get busy they get confused and service suffers I took s long time for anyone to come to out table to ask for drinks Food was great

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food5
ambience4
service3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 28, 2016

Everything was perfect. Our waiter,Esteban was very helpful in selecting the house specialties that were cooked to perfection using family recipes. We had a seafood dish and pork tamale that were delicious. Not your typical Mexican restaurant. A cut above for sure.

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food5
ambience5
service1
value5

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on November 26, 2016

Poor service tonight. They were the extremely busy. We Waited 30 minutes for drinks. Food was excellent as always

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food5
ambience4
service3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 24, 2016

We were seated immediately but had to wait about them minutes to have our drink order taken. After our order was finally take with apologies for the wait service was greatly inproved.

Tags: Authentic
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on November 23, 2016

The best Mexican food in Palm Springs. There are many dishes to choose from on the menu. I recommend any of the pork dishes. I try to order something I never tried before when I go. Never disappointed.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on November 20, 2016

Great as always... Great food and the best Sunday drag show

Tags: Bar Seating, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Family Style, Kid-friendly
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 18, 2016

Love the margaritas and salsa and everything on the menu!

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on November 15, 2016

Unfortunately our server was buried and after two hours we simply asked the manager to pack up our food and we would take it to go. We were on the patio and despite available servers inside (Who were mulling around the host stand in plain eyesight ) there was only one server who unsuccessfully tried to manage all tables outside . Only one of our dishes actually came out after about an hour and a half and there were three of us This is my first negative posted review and I am hopeful the business responds with better training and increased guest satisfaction. Marguaritas and chips were delicious.

Tags: Casual
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food4
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 14, 2016

The kids meal was a great deal at $5, it was a lot of food. The kids really enjoyed the harp music! So soothing and sweet. The regular meals were a bit overpriced. Handmade guacamole was surprisingly bland. Overall it was an ok experience made much better by the harpist.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Casual
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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 13, 2016

Sunday drag brunch. Laughed so hard my stomach was sore all day.

Tags: Fun
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 13, 2016

Go see Sunday Drag Brunch if you are in town.

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food4
ambience4
service3

 
 (Orange County)·Dined on November 13, 2016

We went to the brunch drag show which was a lot of fun... food was really good

Tags: Local Ingredients, Hot Spot
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on November 11, 2016

We've been to Rio Azul many times, taking friends and recommending it to others. There was a noticeable price increase on both food and beverages this visit. The restaurant certainly didn't require reservations and the food was lukewarm and average. Don't know what happened in the past 5months, but we won't be back. Servers were wonderful!

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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

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