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Uncle Julio's Rio Grande Cafe

Mexican Restaurant$$$$
Ballston - Virginia Square, Arlington
  • Ranked #4 for Mexican restaurants in Arlington
  • This place is famous for their Mexican food. It's one of the most popular in the city!
  • Claudia M.
    "... place for a date, the swirl margarita's are awesome, great Mexican restaurant!"(3 Tips)
    "Get the Lucky Horseshoe margarita and special fajitas."(11 Tips)
    Tony F.
    "Try the Lucky Horseshoe."(2 Tips)
    Niku A.
    "... in the face. Get the strawberry margarita if you want something a lil less intense."(3 Tips)
70 Tips and reviews
  • margaritas
  • Mexican food
  • fajitas
  • tacos
  • lucky horseshoe
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  • Recent
  • Popular
  • Matthew K.
    Queso and Guacamole great . Waitress very kind but slow customer service
  • Tavon ..
    Tavon .August 10
    Nice happy hour atmosphere. The fajitas and the service were excellent.
  • Carmie R.
    Carmie RMarch 12
    Been here 5+ times
    Best fajitas around! Enjoy!
  • Zac N.
    Zac NAugust 2, 2016
    Cool place, flautas were very tasty.
  • Stephanie D.
    Stephanie DeDeckerJuly 30, 2016
    Best Mexican in Ballston - love the margarita and sangria swirls and be sure to try the fajitas
  • Nicole S.
    Nicole StahleckerDecember 2, 2015
    Table side guacamole
  • Frank E.
    Frank EscamillaNovember 23, 2015
    Not authentic Mexican food. Beans are gumbo-ish, rice is dry, fajitas are flavorless. Guacamole was the highlight of this visit. Comparing to Texas Mexican food so my standards are a bit high.
  • Lassine D.
    Lassine DoumbiaSeptember 1, 2015
    The food and services was superbe
  • Stan R.
    Stan RodiaAugust 11, 2015
    Best Mexican food in Arlington...
  • Lefteris H.
    Lefteris HFebruary 23, 2015
    I've loved this place since it opened 20 years ago! Best Mexican food and margaritas around!
  • Margaret P.
    Margaret PorterJanuary 20, 2015
    Best chicken tacos you will find anywhere!
  • Abdulaziz T.
    Abdulaziz TNovember 2, 2014
    Nothing is good here. The food is not fresh and VERY COLD. When you read this comment and you are at this restaurant, best recommendation is to runaway 🏃💨💨💨
  • Susan M.
    Susan MorrowSeptember 24, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Very slow service unfortunately. I would likely avoid unless you want to wait an hour to get a drink
  • Richard B.
    Richard BowersSeptember 21, 2014
    Shrimp and Lobster soup on Fridays, and Fish Tacos, are always great. We often come here for goodbye lunches and other office occasions, because of their ample and flexible seating.
  • Tyler M.
    Tyler MAugust 15, 2014
    The food was reheated and probably cooked that morning, at best. Can't complain about the swirl margaritas though!
  • Tony F.
    Tony FreeJuly 31, 2014
    Try the Lucky Horseshoe. Awesome margarita!
  • Jacqui B.
    Jacqui B.April 20, 2014
    Amazing margs!
  • Erica H.
    Erica HallApril 12, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Meltdown is yummy
  • Erica H.
    Erica HallApril 12, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    The swirl meltdown is the best and the mango passion rita. Pulled chicken quesadilla yummy
  • Suga B.
    Suga BabeeMarch 30, 2014
    Be sure to get a margarita! This place has great margaritas!!
  • Masha B.
    Masha BuFebruary 9, 2014
    Cactus is better
  • Erica H.
    Erica HallFebruary 2, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Chips and Salsa delicious drinks good
  • Michelle F.
    Michelle FeinbergNovember 15, 2013
    We ordered an appetizer and then our entrees shortly after and they came out way to fast. Wait til you're ready to eat before your order
  • Irene R.
    Irene RubioSeptember 26, 2013
    Deliciouuuus!!!! ;)
  • Stella
    StellaSeptember 2, 2013
    Make sure to check you received flour tortillas :)
  • Rajesh
    RajeshAugust 4, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Go. As a Texan I can vouch this place is the most legit Mexican food in the area. Get the Lucky Horseshoe margarita and special fajitas.
  • Pod F.
    Pod FaceJuly 19, 2013
    It seems pricey until you realize that a fajita platter for one easily feeds two and that's coming from a guy with a healthy appetite. You can also ask for extra tortillas at no additional cost!
  • Jessica H.
    Jessica HuffJune 2, 2013
    Great cheese and beef enchiladas, but the chicken ones are mediocre. Queso is your basic velveeta. Mojitos are excellent, sangria is syrup-y and gross.
  • Eric G.
    Eric GoedtelMay 24, 2013
    Yowza, the swirl is quite punchy, as someone said. Loved it and it came in a reasonable size (8-10oz)
  • Gary L.
    Gary LaytonMay 11, 2013
    Chicken fajitas were horrible! They were supposed to be their speciality as well. Way overpriced; I would recommend going someplace else.
  • Lydia K.
    Lydia K.April 26, 2013
    $2 off all "on the rocks" margaritas until 6:30!
  • Darlene P.
    Darlene PowellMarch 18, 2013
    Try the Guadalajara
  • Sade R.
    Sade RauchJanuary 19, 2013
    It was really good we enjoyed ourselves
  • Betsy A.
    Betsy AlafoginisJanuary 12, 2013
    I love the frozen margaritas! And fajitas.
  • Michela
    MichelaNovember 21, 2012
    The shrimp and beef fajitas are to die for!
  • hadola
    hadolaSeptember 17, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    revamped menu has a spicy guac and decent skinny margaritas.
  • Morgan H.
    Morgan HaightAugust 30, 2012
    sit on the patio if you want decent service during happy hour, which is the only time it's worth it since this place is overpriced. Our waiter was awesome and gave us a free round of margs
  • Doug C.
    Doug CulverAugust 5, 2012
    The sangria is awful. Stick with beer.
  • Rebecca
    RebeccaJuly 7, 2012
    One of the loudest restaurants in the metro DC area. Be prepared.
  • Stephen M.
    Stephen MJune 26, 2012
    They went all Tex Mex. Not bad for the area. Go with Juanita's platter.
  • Svetlana P.
    Svetlana PiskounovaJune 16, 2012
    Fresh made tortillas are great!
  • Mary K.
    Mary K.June 5, 2012
    The shrimp ceviche is to die for!
  • Jules W.
    Jules WeissApril 5, 2012
    Chicken soft taco dinner & margarita- YUM.
  • Spicy Candy DC (.
    Their fish tacos are pretty amazing!
  • Andrea G.
    Andrea GrossmanMarch 2, 2012
    Get a margarita. The margarita/sangria swirl is tasty too!
  • Laura B.
    Laura B.February 3, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Best Mexican food in the area. Guacamole is super fresh and delish! Can't get enough of this place.
  • Anita B.
    Anita BarkFebruary 3, 2012
    Get the queso, then sopapillas for dessert! Yum!
  • Madison L.
    Madison Levin-EpsteinNovember 17, 2011
    Get one of the platters - best bang for your buck
  • VWS
    VWSNovember 15, 2011
    One of my favorite restaurants.
  • Claudia M.
    Claudia MoonenSeptember 7, 2011
    Great place for a date, the swirl margarita's are awesome, great Mexican restaurant!
  • Sarah O.
    Sarah OAugust 5, 2011
    The peach margarita is so so. Stick with the classic.
  • Patty L.
    Patty LeemanAugust 2, 2011
    Not Texas, but pretty good.
  • Guy S.
    Guy SmileyJuly 30, 2011
    Been here 50+ times
    Carne asada. Do it.
  • Naseem N.
    Naseem NaghdiJuly 7, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Best Carne asada!
  • Rosemarie F.
    Rosemarie FranzJune 25, 2011
    Food & service, meh.
  • Noah D.
    Noah DarlingJune 11, 2011
    On the bright side, they do free dessert to first time guests.
  • Bethany W.
    Bethany WillardJune 7, 2011
    The Guacamole and Chorizo Queso along with the Margaritas are divine! My favorite place to spend a sunny afternoon.
  • Nakia
    NakiaMay 1, 2011
    Try the "Jalisco" if you like fajitas...grilled shrimp is really good!!
  • Jonathan M.
    Jonathan MalkinApril 16, 2011
    Love this place!
  • Missy H.
    Missy HJanuary 2, 2011
    Been here 25+ times
    The Baja Gold sounds funky but it's delicious. Try it with Negro Modelo
  • Niku A.
    Niku AzamNovember 24, 2010
    The swirl margarita is a punch in the face. Get the strawberry margarita if you want something a lil less intense.
  • Acórea S.
    Acórea SimsSeptember 7, 2010
    Fantastic restaurant...and their margarita is the best! Check out the "Juarez" dish!
  • Jennifer E.
    Jennifer EsparzaJuly 26, 2010
    Julio's margarita is the best!
  • David B.
    David BeveridgeJuly 21, 2010
    Great fajitas, fun and fast.
  • Rob S.
    Rob StoltzMay 29, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    The food comes out in less than 5 minutes after you order which can be a good or bad thing depending...
  • Kim P.
    Kim PanianMay 18, 2010
    Go to Uncle Julio's and get the Swirl frozen margarita! After finishing your meal, ask to take home extra salsa - they'll give it to you for free! Read more
  • Oliver N.
    Oliver NelsonApril 18, 2010
    Frijoles makes you rip ass...great food though
  • Jason A.
    Jason AlexanderMarch 19, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    One of the best margaritas in town
  • Cameron D.
    Cameron DoolittleJanuary 28, 2010
    Brunch on weekends is a best-kept secret.
  • Brandon S.
    Brandon SorensenOctober 3, 2009
    Pork Tamales should be a dinner, not an appetizer
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