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/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), 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
Duck Breast w/ Duck Confit Tamale
Buffalo Carpaccio
empanadas
Blood Orange Margarita
Grilled Flatbread
Empanadaditas De Carne
Fire roasted artichoke with aioli sauce
Olallieberry Pie
Dr. Pepper Braised Beef Short Ribs
Chinese Chicken Salad
Smoked Pork Tenderloin
Caramelized Banana Sundae
Braised Short Ribs
Bread Pudding
Beef Empanadas
Artichoke
Stuffed Poblano Pepper
Papa Hemingway's Daquiri
Red Chili Beer Braised Short Ribs
Crispy Pork Shank With Red Pepper Mashed Potatoes
Ice Cream
Castroville Artichoke
Cream Of Broccoli Soup
Smoked Chicken
Russet Potato Skins
Grilled Prawns On Penne Pasta
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

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.2

ambience

4.1

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Great for Lunch
Monterey / Carmel
Californian
Monterey / Carmel
Best Restaurants in Carmel ›

fit for foodies (45)
good for groups (37)
neighborhood gem (34)
See All
great for lunch (31)
special occasion (27)
vibrant bar scene (19)
kid-friendly (17)
great for brunch (16)
hot spot (14)
notable wine list (12)
romantic (9)
late-night find (2)
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Newest
782 reviews
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food1
ambience4
service3
value1

have been to this restaurant many times. ...

Dined 5 days ago

have been to this restaurant many times. one of our favorites. never for breakfast. big mistake we ordered eggs and an omelet. awful . can't believe they even served the sausage we received. it was so fatty. should have been put in the garbage. did not complain. didn't. never go there again and it is just down the street from us. we tended to take guests there. never again. would not recommend to anyone. warn.

food4
ambience4
service5
value4

This is the 2nd time I have been in town ...

Dined on June 24, 2016

This is the 2nd time I have been in town for a golf tournament and chose this venue. Great bar, great menu and great service. We had 6 and they were very flexible getting us in earlier than our reservation.

Tags: good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Wonderful food, as always. The baked ha ...

Dined on June 23, 2016

Wonderful food, as always. The baked half chicken is one of my favorites.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The calamari is great, especially the di ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

The calamari is great, especially the dipping sauce. The Chicken is the best and again taking the bread and cleaning up the chipotle sauce.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
food3
ambience3
service1
value2

Theresa had a huge attitude that prevent ...

Dined on June 14, 2016

Theresa had a huge attitude that prevented us from getting the bread she promised, and she chose not to give us a dessert menu. We tipped her accordingly.

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Clean facility, pleasant and responsive ...

Dined on June 12, 2016

Clean facility, pleasant and responsive service, nice selection and not too loud. Would go there again without question.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Rio every time we come to Carmel1

Dined on June 3, 2016

Rio Grill never disappoints. Food is always delicious, with varied menu and seasonal specialties. Sometimes we dine in the dining room and sometimes in the bar. Fun but cozy bar. Dining room a little more formal (spiffy casual). Great cocktails too. And a couple TVs. We watched the Warriors game there (sound off). My only wish is that they had patio dining as well. Sigh. Oh well. You can't have everything.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Very dependably excellent. The pork bel ...

Dined on May 28, 2016

Very dependably excellent. The pork belly was something new - outstanding. It goes by a very oddly named "Candied Swine "Jolly Rancheros". The duck breast with/tamale and tortilla-squash chilaquiles, is a small symphony of complementary flavors. Highly recommended.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
food3
ambience3
service4

The service and reception were very good ...

Dined on May 27, 2016

The service and reception were very good. Hanger steak and skirt steak were good. Caesar salad was wilted, not good. String beans were under cooked. Hard not al dente.

food3
ambience3
service2
value3

Disapointing

vip
Dined on May 25, 2016

Rio is a standard in Carmel; it has been there a long time. The restaurant was not busy. Food was OK; service was terrible. 1st time that I have ever experienced this at the Rio Grill. Waiter acted like he was our "friend"; very slow and not attentive to detail.

food3
ambience3
service3
value2

Disappointing

vip
Dined on May 20, 2016

We have been going here for years but this trip left us very disappointed. I don't know if there is a new chef but our food was mediocre. The prices have risen drastically almost to price the locals out. There are so many excellent restaurants on the peninsula that are more affordable. We may really have to think about whether we will ever return.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food4
ambience4
service5

Very welcoming. Knowledgeable wait sta ...

Dined on May 20, 2016

Very welcoming. Knowledgeable wait staff. Wonderful and interesting food selections.

food5
ambience3
service4
value3

This is one of our favorite places to go ...

Dined on May 18, 2016

This is one of our favorite places to go for a special occasion. The food is consistently good and the staff friendly. The only down side is that it can be noisy.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Loved it, service & food fab Love the kitties

Dined on May 15, 2016

Everything was amazing but you have to have the empanadas yummy Service is 10 stars

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, great for lunch, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service3
value4

We got there at 8:15, on a Thursday ...

Dined on May 13, 2016

We got there at 8:15, on a Thursday night, it took forever to get water, drinks and finally dinner.

Tags: good for groups
food2
ambience2
service2
value2

What. Has happened to the Rio Grill?

vip
Dined on May 13, 2016

We ha be been coming here for many years. Lately there have been Bar Affairs to get early Drinkers in the bar with TGIF prices. The noise level has gone through the roof. The last time We were here the food quality has decreased. It took 20 minutes to get the drinks. The Perennial calamari was overcooked and oily. The crab cakes were sent back because there was NO taste of crab. The baby back ribs were the only item that was recognizable. Wines were $15 a glass and up. Ribs have gone from $19 to $24 a pop with NO improvement in taste. We have been coming here since Cindy Pawlcin opened the place. Carmel is really hurting with Restaurants going downhill. Several parties left because of the noise level. We would have too Except we had been served.

food5
ambience3
service3
value3

Slow Kitchen Sunday night

vip
Dined on May 2, 2016

Arrived at 6 for our 6:30 reservation, so had a glass of wine at the bar. We had asked for a quieter table, but we were seated next to a party of 10. Should have said something right away, but we were prepared to give it a chance. Ater 45 minutes, we were still waiting for our entrees, when the air conditioning turned so cold that we got up and asked to be re-seated. We were quickly accomodated, and the new table was much quieter. As usual, the artichoke was great, and the smoked chick and artichoke very flavorful. My companion had the salmon and it was pronounced wonderful, too. The restaraunt was full of locals, and the kitchen had trouble keeping up the pace. But we left happy.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Been coming here for years....nuff said. ...

Dined on May 2, 2016

Been coming here for years....nuff said. Great food and service. Thanks!

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5

Great service from start to finish! Our ...

vip
Dined on April 30, 2016

Great service from start to finish! Our server was there when we needed her and not aggressive when we were enjoying our food. Fun cocktail list with interesting twists to some common drinks. The salmon chowder was delicious. The Caesar Salad had just the right amount of dressing with two white anchovies. Try the Grilled Prawn Wrap with brie, spinach, chile - ask for the sun-dried tomato aioli on the side as they are a bit heavy handed on the amount. The restaurant has a cute bar area with murals on the wall and the general restaurant area has interesting sculpture throughout.

food5
ambience4
service4

The duck was amazing! And don't forget t ...

Dined on April 30, 2016

The duck was amazing! And don't forget to try their delicious desserts. The flourless chocolate cake was unbelievable.

food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Consitently good

vip
Dined on April 26, 2016

We returned to Carmel for a visit and had to eat at the Rio. It is still quite good and innovative at a good price. I had the pumpkin seed encrusted salmon with a great sauce and fun potato side. They are attentive to allergies - gluten free and dairy free. Our waitperson was very knowledgeable and attentive. It is still a popular restaurant.

Tags: good for groups, neighborhood gem
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

We had incredible food, ambience and service.

Dined on April 23, 2016

We visited Carmel for the weekend and stayed at a friends home. Rio was his recommended "Go To" and we now know why!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

Beautifully presented meals that were ve ...

Dined on April 22, 2016

Beautifully presented meals that were very tasty and creative.

food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Great atmosphere, excellent menu.

Dined on April 16, 2016

We enjoy dining here and certainly will/do recommend it to friends.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

When you can't decide where to go - Rio Grill!!

Dined on April 11, 2016

It seems we're often puzzling over where to go for dinner in Carmel. There are so many good restaurants here. Often one person wants one kind of food and someone else wants something entirely different. Several times, we've looked at our own personal list of favorite restaurants and said, "Oh! Rio Grill! Let's go there" and everyone agrees. We've been able to get last minute reservations, even when it meant sitting at the bar. The decor is bright and cheerful. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the food. And the food is delicious.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for lunch
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Nice brunch away from crowded downtown

Dined on April 10, 2016

Good brunch options and accomodating friendly service. Fresh food. Good portion size. Plenty of parking!

Tags: great for brunch, good for groups, great for lunch
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Solid

Dined on April 10, 2016

Rio Grill is very good, not great. EXCEPT for the smoked artichoke appetizer, it is phenomenal. Had a steak, requested medium, err very little pink and somewhat dried out. I cook much better at home. Not what I want to get from an expensive place.

Tags: great for brunch, special occasion, great for lunch
food3
ambience3
service2

Ok neighborhood place but not that great ...

vip
Dined on April 9, 2016

Ok neighborhood place but not that great.

food4
ambience3
service3

Great food and service--but it is so LOU ...

Dined on April 2, 2016

Great food and service--but it is so LOUD you have to yell at each other

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Service was excellent and food was fabulous.

Dined on March 31, 2016

Had artichokes and deviled eggs for appetizers. Artichokes were so tender and tasty. Skirt steak was cooked perfectly and the smoke chicken is a must have. It was simply perfect!

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food2
ambience3
service3

This was always my favorite place for 30 ...

Dined on March 25, 2016

This was always my favorite place for 30 years but I am afraid things have gone downhill 😢. Montrio is still amazing so I would recommend their sister restaurant in Monterey. So sad for the Rio.

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great experience

Dined on March 22, 2016

The food was deliscious. Service was friendly and attentive. We got the empanadas appetizer which was very tasty and o got the prawns entree which was deliscious definitely recommend

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We go to Rio Grill every time we visit Carmel!

Dined on March 22, 2016

We especially love the grilled artichoke, but everything is great!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

We love this place. We always bring out ...

Dined on March 10, 2016

We love this place. We always bring out of town guests here because the food is consistently delicious and creative. Wonderful service too. Best burger and fries in the area, but wonderful salads, steaks, appetizers. Really, you can't go wrong with anything.

food5
ambience5
service5

My family had a great time and the food ...

Dined on March 6, 2016

My family had a great time and the food was awesome!!!

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Love

Dined on March 5, 2016

Love this place, wouldn't come to Carmel without having dinner here at least once.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
food2
ambience3
service2
value2

Mediocre at best

vip
Dined on March 5, 2016

As a local, I have been here before but this restaurant has gone downhill. Poor service and the steak was so filled with gristle that it was impossible to cut/eat - took it off our bill. 2nd entree was lukewarm. Rest of meal was uninspiring. Really a shame - used to be a nice place to go.

food3
ambience4
service4
value4

not up to the usual standard

vip
Dined on February 21, 2016

We have been coming here for over 30 years, and have always enjoyed it. However, the food was not up to the usual standard for the Sunday brunch this week. We always get the fire roasted artichoke, but this time it was tough. The other dishes were not up to the usual standard either.

Tags: special occasion, great for lunch
food2
ambience3
service3

Neither of the main courses were very go ...

Dined on February 16, 2016

Neither of the main courses were very good. Burger was very average & the tuna was a huge lumpy piece of fish w/o much taste. The appetizers were good.

food5
ambience4
service3

Food was great! We started off with the ...

Dined on February 15, 2016

Food was great! We started off with the empanadas and those were very tasty. Shortly after we received our main entrees. I had the pork shank which was a mountain of meat with a delicious basil sauce. My date had the skirt steak and she said it was one of the best meals she's ever experienced. Service was decent, he never asked if we wanted a refill on our drinks although the bussers were always there to refill our waters. All in all it was a great experience especially since it was Valentine's day. Would highly recommend this to anyone and will definitely be returning.

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