About Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill
Palm Springs, CA 92262
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!!!
Mexican, Contemporary Mexican
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Thursday 4-9 pm
Friday - Saturday 11 am - 10 pm
Sunday 11 am - 9 pm
Monday - Thursday 4-7 pm
Friday - Sunday 2-6 pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Catering Menu is available which also includes Party Platters to Go.
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.
Located on Indian Canyon Drive.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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