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

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

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.1

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

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

fit for foodies (46)
good for groups (42)
great for lunch (36)
See All
neighborhood gem (34)
special occasion (23)
vibrant bar scene (22)
notable wine list (18)
hot spot (18)
kid-friendly (18)
great for brunch (14)
romantic (6)
late-night find (2)
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Newest
771 reviews
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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

Disappointing

vip
Dined 7 days ago

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

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.

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

The server Sarah was especially warm and ...

Dined on February 14, 2016

The server Sarah was especially warm and friendly and attentive and the food better than usual there

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always Enjoy Rio

vip
Dined on February 14, 2016

Always love coming here. The food is consistently good. It's a festive setting, particularly considering its mall locale. It's our 'go to' restaurant.

Tags: good for groups
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Always Good, But Rarely Quiet

Dined on February 13, 2016

As always, the kitchen does a superb job preparing delicious food, and quickly too. Their pork chop is the best I've ever had, and the smoked chicken was great too. If you want a refreshing salad to start, the beet salad is wonderful and big enough for two to share. The servers are helpful and attentive. The restaurant was packed the night we were there, full of happy dinners. Consequently, the noise level was off the charts. That makes it good for kids; they won't even be heard.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Consistently good food and service. Alwa ...

Dined on February 8, 2016

Consistently good food and service. Always a pleasure to dine at the Rio.

Tags: kid-friendly, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

always a favorite

vip
Dined on February 7, 2016

after all these years rio still rocks! love the burgers, artichoke, smoked chicken, ribs all the cocktails and the wine list. great place never disappoints. server Sarah K is the best as is the hostess Alexis always makes us feel welcome. Thanks Rio for always filling our tummys and hearts.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value1

Avoid Happy Hour

Dined on February 1, 2016

We went there for happy hour on a Sunday. Order "bbq ribs" and received a plate with 2, yes two small ribs. Ordered "habanero deviled" eggs and received one very small deviled egg. Ask for the beer and the only beer served was "Rolling Rock". I've not seen Rolling Rock since the late 1980's when we lived in Ohio. We won't be back for happy hour. The food though, is excellent.

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Outstanding and perfect

Dined on January 31, 2016

We went for a birthday brunch and it turn out it surpassed our expectations. The service was very kind and extremely professional (all the little things stand out). The food was excellent. Something new, personally -- seasonings and overall flavor of the food was perfectly combined. We are most likely going back soon.

Tags: great for brunch, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience2
service3
value3

A little disappointing.

vip
Dined on January 31, 2016

Have been to Rio many, many times but this time was disappointing. Very very busy - this is pretty typical, but there was a large loud party that made it even more chaotic than usual. I suspect the food and service suffered a little because it. Will most likely go back, but this visit didn't measure up to Rio's usual excellence.

food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Always a fabulous experience

Dined on January 24, 2016

Love the menu Service is always on point Delicious food Artichoke appetizer is a must Chinese chicken salad is a favorite Banana Carmel dessert is to die for

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Excellent for a casual dinner

Dined on January 24, 2016

Excellent restaurant for a casual or special dinner. Food is just great, all with a Mexican flavor. The service was superb. Our waiter came back several times to make sure our dinner was just as we ordered it, and even went back to the kitchen to inquire about an item. The wines were on the expensive side, but our choice was very good. A great place for dinner.

Tags: good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list

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