About Rio Grill

101 Crossroads Boulevard
Carmel, CA 93923
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Rio Grill, located in the Crossroads in Carmel, has been the place to meet friends, enjoy tasty, flavorful food and relax with a refreshing cocktail or glass of wine for over 28 Years.
Chef Yontz’ creative American dishes are some of the most flavorful, colorful and vibrant on the Monterey Peninsula and celebrate flavor in every mouthwatering bite!
In addition to the main dining room, Rio Grill has a comfortable lounge and full bar serving refreshing libations including the restaurant’s famous "Rio Rita.” The bar is lined with colorful caricatures of local faces and celebrities. Rio Grill's award-winning wine list features more than 160 labels featuring a ton of local wineries and an extensive selection available by the glass.
For more information on Rio Grill, please visit our website at www.riogrill.com. The restaurant opens for lunch every day at 11:30 and serves straight through until 10:00 PM. Rio also serves a great brunch on Sundays from 11:30 – 4:00PM.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Californian, Southwest

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm; Brunch: Sunday: 11:30am - 3:00pm

Cross Street:
Rio Road

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(831) 625-5436

Website:
http://www.riogrill.com/

Parking Details:
The Rio Grill offers plenty of convenient parking.

Public Transit:
Public Transit is just a few yards from the restaurant.

Executive Chef:
Cy Yontz

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
At Rio Grill, we will provide an unforgettable experience and take care of all the details for your next event. With the newly refurbished Santa Fe Room and Chef Yontz’s fantastic food, we will accommodate all your personal and corporate event needs.

Restaurant Photos

smoked pork belly
Blistered Chiles
Buffalo Carpaccio
Duck Breast w/ Duck Confit Tamale
empanadas
Blood Orange Margarita
Grilled Flatbread
Empanadaditas De Carne
Fire roasted artichoke with aioli sauce
Olallieberry Pie
Chinese Chicken Salad
Dr. Pepper Braised Beef Short Ribs
Caramelized Banana Sundae
Smoked Pork Tenderloin
Bread Pudding
Braised Short Ribs
Beef Empanadas
Artichoke
Stuffed Poblano Pepper
Crispy Pork Shank With Red Pepper Mashed Potatoes
Papa Hemingway's Daquiri
Cream Of Broccoli Soup
Castroville Artichoke
Ice Cream
Red Chili Beer Braised Short Ribs
Smoked Chicken
Grilled Prawns On Penne Pasta
Russet Potato Skins
Onion Strings
Veal Liver and Onions

Private Dining

At Rio Grill, we will provide a memorable experience and take care of all the details for your next event. From the rehearsal dinner, to the wedding reception, Rio Grill is Carmel’s best restaurant for a special occasion.

Rio Grill Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.4

ambience

4.2

value

3.9

noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Californian
Monterey / Carmel
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Fit for Foodies (37)
Special Occasion (36)
Neighborhood Gem (31)
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Great for Lunch (30)
Good for Groups (29)
Vibrant Bar Scene (18)
Kid-friendly (14)
Romantic (12)
Great for Brunch (11)
Hot Spot (11)
Notable Wine List (10)
Good for a Date (8)
Casual (8)
Creative Cuisine (5)
Healthy (5)
Late-night Find (5)
Local Ingredients (4)
Good for Anniversaries (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Comfort Food (4)
Fun (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Business Meals (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Good for Birthdays (3)
Happy Hour (3)
Cozy (3)
Quick Bite (2)
Family Style (2)
Wood Oven (2)
Bar Seating (2)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Seasonal (1)
Authentic (1)
Private Room (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Fireplace (1)
Organic (1)
Modern Decor (1)
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830 reviews
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My favorite restaurant since the mid 80s ...

 
 (New Orleans)
·Dined 5 days ago

My favorite restaurant since the mid 80s. We go back whenever we visit the area and have never been disappointed. Loved the empanadas this trip.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Authentic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We picked The Rio Grill solely on review ...

vip
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined 5 days ago

We picked The Rio Grill solely on reviews in OT. Having just arrived in Carmel after a long day of travel, we were tired and hungry. We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the meal they prepared. I had the duck breast with duck confit tamale over apple jicama slaw with mole sauce. What flavor. The duck breast was cooked to perfection! My wife had the pork chop served with a spicy polenta, green beans and sautéed mushrooms. It was also excellent.

We would definitely return and recommend Rio.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

It's was a great local scene. Good food ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined 6 days ago

It's was a great local scene. Good food and service. I would definently go back!

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual, Fun
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Over and over, they never fail food that ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 19, 2016

Over and over, they never fail food that's tasty in an atmosphere that just feels right.

Tags: Casual, Comfort Food, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Wood Oven, Kid-friendly, Worth the Drive, Paleo Friendly, Fireplace, Handcrafted Cocktails, Organic, Neighborhood Gem, Healthy, Local Ingredients, Cozy, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our favorite restaurant in Carmel! We st ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 18, 2016

Our favorite restaurant in Carmel! We stop in every time we're in town and are always thrilled with the food and service.

Tags: Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Rio Grill is still a great place to eat ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 18, 2016

Rio Grill is still a great place to eat ! We have been going

since it opened over 30 yrs ago. This was our first time back

in 16 yrs and its still delicious. Only thing missing was the

roasted garlic they used to serve with the bread. Fabulous

pumpkin seed crusted salmon is not to be missed!

Tags: Hot Spot, Cozy
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

It was my wife's birthday and the hostes ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 12, 2016

It was my wife's birthday and the hostess brought over ribbons and our server Nick D was fabulous. We live in the Bay area, but will go back again to celebrate next year

Tags: Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our great experience started w the hoste ...

 
 (San Joaquin)
·Dined on September 11, 2016

Our great experience started w the hostess and our server, Nick. They were very friendly, very accommodating and provided terrific service. And the food was amazing. It was really wonderful because they knew it was my husband's birthday (Optional Open Table info) and we waited just a minute or two as they made sure our table was festive. Oh, and don't forget to order a dessert!! We'll go back for sure!!

Tags: Casual, Good for Groups, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

The food was pricey and not very good. I ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 5, 2016

The food was pricey and not very good. I had the iceberg wedge salad and hamburger for my entree. I could have easily made both of them better at home.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value1

Great meal that everyone enjoyed includi ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

Great meal that everyone enjoyed including kids. We will definitely come again

~Outstanding~

EMPANADAS-smoked tri tip, Hatch green chile, avocado crema

LUMP CRAB CAKES- burnt lemon aioli, watercress, fennel

CRISPY CALAMARI-orange-sesame dipping sauce-best we have ever had

~Good~

ROMAINE-Caesar dressing, asiago cheese, white anchovy, croutons

FLAT BREAD-house smoked Salmon, Sonoma goat cheese, red pepper jam

RUSSET POTATO SKINS-jack and cheddar, three salsas

Fresh warm sourdough bread

HOUSE SMOKED HALF CHICKEN-smoked chile butter, artichokes, potatoes

~Bad~

Nothing

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food5
ambience3
service4

Nice restaurant but our did not know wha ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 31, 2016

Nice restaurant but our did not know what he was doing. I asked how much extra was. He quoted a low price and charged a price. He apologized but made no adjustment on the bill. Otherwise a nice restaurant with good food.

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food5
ambience5
service1
value3

Great breakfast place. Hearty, yet supe ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 28, 2016

Great breakfast place. Hearty, yet super fresh food. Flexible to your requests. Wd go back in a heartbeat. Enjoy.

Tags: Family Style, Quiet Conversation, Outstanding Value, Comfort Food, Casual, Quick Bite, Healthy, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Great food , sauces very rich , left my ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 28, 2016

Great food , sauces very rich , left my feeling little quezzy but very good an tasty

Tags: Casual
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food5
ambience2
service5
value5

Fantastic, as always! Friendly people, ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 25, 2016

Fantastic, as always! Friendly people, good service and great food!

Tags: Good for Groups, Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries, Private Room, Modern Decor, Healthy, Good Vegetarian Options, Business Meals, Late-night Find
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food is consistently good, finally.

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 21, 2016

Food is consistently good, finally.

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food5
ambience4
service2

The tuna is not sushi grade so don't adv ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

The tuna is not sushi grade so don't advertise that it is! Very dry and over cooked Albacore..

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food2
ambience3
service4
value3

I love their potato skins. But too bad t ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

I love their potato skins. But too bad they only serve that for breakfast now.

Tags: Good for Groups
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

Although I dined there before, it's alwa ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

Although I dined there before, it's always fun to see what new items the chef has put on the menu. The sirloin was excellent and cooked perfectly to my taste (and to my dining companion's). Lovely food presentation and excellent service. In fact, we discussed the wines and were offered us a taste of the ones we were considering. We requested a quiet room as the front rooms can be quite noisy. Try Happy Hour, great drinks and appetizers, especially the fried artichokes. Enjoyable dinner. Lots of parking.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Food is good, but don't expect typical s ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

Food is good, but don't expect typical southweastern fare or cocktails. We've gone here over the years and not sure it is a repeater. The food is flavorful but at dinner time it is so noisy and pack it is difficult to enjoy conversation or food.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience2
service3
value2

The food at Rio Grill is outstanding!

 
 (Orange County)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

The food at Rio Grill is outstanding!

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food5
ambience5
service5

We saw that the table next to us had ord ...

vip
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

We saw that the table next to us had ordered the skirt steak entree and it was well presented. It's a dish that is easy to split for an up-charge, so we ordered it. What we got was a haphazard split of a meal, each plate looking like the food was thrown on it. It was a mess compared to our neighboring table.

Not only that, but the meat was so tough it was difficult to cut and eat. Why? Because they were passing off flank steak--a cheaper cut of meat--as skirt steak. Fraudulently advertising one and substituting another for an unsuspecting clientele.

We called them on the substitution and commented on how bad it was, and they removed the charge from our bill, including the up-charge (a total of $36!)

In spite of Rio Grill's popularity, going strong for over 30 years, I have to say the food can be inconsistent. And they have some of the worst deserts. Whoever makes them must be an untrained pastry chef. Save your money because generally they are not worth the calories.

Not much change to the menu over the years and repetitive dining there can get pretty boring.

Tags: Hot Spot
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food1
ambience4
service4
value1

Food was not very good and pricey. Servi ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

Food was not very good and pricey. Service was good. Very loud.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value1

Always wonderful!

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

Always wonderful!

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food4
ambience4
service4

The Rio is one of my favorite places to ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

The Rio is one of my favorite places to dine when in Carmel.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Food well prepared and generous portions ...

 
 (Palm Springs)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

Food well prepared and generous portions, service failed to deliver. The waiter was pleasant but his service was less then timely. No one came to the table for 15minutes and 20minutes to find the bottle of wine we ordered. Very unfortunate.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

Great restaurant. Staff was wonderful. I ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Great restaurant. Staff was wonderful. I had my 8 week old daughter and the hostess sat us down somewhere where I could put the car seat next to us. The noise level is pretty loud too, so when she cried, unless you were seated right next to us, you didn't hear her cry.

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food4
ambience4
service5

Yum!! We had the rib eye and chicken.

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Yum!! We had the rib eye and chicken.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Had their special!! Chicken fried ahi tu ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 8, 2016

Had their special!! Chicken fried ahi tuna!, served on a bed of soba noodles!!! AMAZING!!! This is my favorite restaurant in Carmel, have never been disappointed!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Enjoyed dinner with husband and daughter ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 8, 2016

Enjoyed dinner with husband and daughter. My husband could have used a few more conventional items on the menus. Missed the scallops that were on special a while back - they were excellent.

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food4
ambience5
service5

Best and most consistent dining experien ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

Best and most consistent dining experience in Carmel. Expansive food and cocktail menus with something for everyone, in addition to unique daily specials. Service is always friendly and attentive. Fun atmosphere!

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food5
ambience5
service5

We go often and enjoy it each time. Nice ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on July 29, 2016

We go often and enjoy it each time. Nice people, good food. Fairly priced!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

We have been going to Rio Grill for over ...

vip
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on July 29, 2016

We have been going to Rio Grill for over 20 years. Love the food and drinks but the noise level is really a conversation killer. Arrived for early dinner at 6pm and within a half hour the four of us were shouting at each other across the table. Sadly, we felt a bit rushed by our server, which hasn't been our experience in the past. Ribs and burgers are terrific, as are the duck entrees. We would only recommend this restaurant to people who enjoy a raucous bar scene and welcome a lively crowd.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience2
service3
value3

Great food as always. Service is perfect ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on July 27, 2016

Great food as always. Service is perfect. Love the iced tea.

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food5
ambience5
service5

We have eaten here many times, NEVER dis ...

vip
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on July 27, 2016

We have eaten here many times, NEVER disappointed

Given the opportunity,,,GO.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The Rio Grill in Carmel can't be beat. ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on July 25, 2016

The Rio Grill in Carmel can't be beat. Wonderful cheerful service and delicious food. My husband had the half chicken which was served in a divine sauce with new potatoes and artichokes. It was excellent! I had one of the specials, sand dabs served with truffled potato cakes and try-color carrots cooked to perfection! We had not been to the Rio Grill in many years due to distance. They are still doing an excellent job!!! We look forward to going back again soon.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We've been going to Rio Grill for 15 yea ...

vip
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on July 24, 2016

We've been going to Rio Grill for 15 years and love it. Always good.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We have not been here in 19 years...prob ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on July 24, 2016

We have not been here in 19 years...probably says I t all ...still serving incredible food. Apple cake - wow! Everything we had tasted delicious. My family loved it. Great new family vacation memories

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food5
ambience5
service5

It was a really nice clean place with So ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

It was a really nice clean place with Southwestern vibe and food was good but just not memorable. Service was exceptional and a few interesting things on the menu but conversation is challenging with the ambient noise. For the price, I think there are many better choices in the Carmel area.

Tags: Good for Groups, Kid-friendly, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

Not as good as it used to be. Same menu ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Not as good as it used to be. Same menu but something has changed. Service only so so - food okay but there are better places in town. Step it up, Rio. Stay good don't rest on your reputation or you'll lose it!

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food2
ambience2
service1

Asked for waiter's recommendation of sal ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 14, 2016

Asked for waiter's recommendation of salad, he brought me Caesar. Not impressed.

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food2
ambience3
service3

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