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Carlos O'Kelley's Mexican Cafe

££ - £££
Mexican, Southwestern
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1411 Waterfront Dr, Iowa City, IA 52240-4435
+1 319-354-5800
11:00 - 22:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Thu 11:00 - 22:00
Fri - Sat 11:00 - 23:00
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21 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
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Time of year
Showing 21: English reviews
Dubuque, Iowa
Level Contributor
71 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Looking forward to the grand opening in a few months! Nice building with easy access is on it's way.

Thank travelingtaster123
Keosauqua, Iowa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2016

This is a typical Mexican restaurant, but I've had better. Salsa was average and food was pretty good, but average.

Thank sjbburn
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
78 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2016

We visited Carlos O’Kelley’s yesterday (5/19/2016) between 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM for dinner. I often have either the Chipolte Chicken Burrito, fajitas, or just some ala carte tacos. On this particular occasion, we had my mother with us who was visiting from Alabama. We are frequent dinners and thus we have expectations where, on this particular visit, were not... More 

1 Thank Charles S
Wayland, Iowa
Level Contributor
42 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2015

We go here often! Everything on the menu is really way above average! One of our favorites is the Chimichanga Dinner! We also like the variety of non-Mexican style entrees offered. Awesome cheesy potatoes! And we love the Cilantro Rice & Black Beans option! Pops says Carlos O'Kellys has the BEST Salsa around and they serve unlimited hot chips &... More 

Thank PapanGramma
Washington, Iowa
Level Contributor
60 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2015

Great family resturant. Free chip and salsa. Portion size is good and tons of options. They also offer american food and nice selection on the children menu. Staff help was great. The building itself could use a little TLC ( mostly cleaning) but good food.

Thank Farmgirl11515
Burkburnett, Texas
Level Contributor
188 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2015 via mobile

After skipping 2 other restaurants because of cleanliness issues, we figured third time was charm. Service was good. Upholstery on booths could use a redo. I had suiz pollo burrito and spouse had ground beef enchilada. My burrito was tasty with an interesting cream sauce. The enchilada was a bit bland. If we lived here, we would return for another... More 

Thank r t
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
70 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2015

I've heard that their service has gone downhill (visiting from AZ) but we went at 3 pm to grab queso dip and were delighted with the tasty dip and great service.

Thank ArizonaTraveler_11
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
170 reviews
133 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2015

This is a typical chain restaurant that hasnt been update since the early 1980s. The drinks are mid range and do not pack any type of alcohol punch and the food is average. Its really a no harm no foul place. You get nothing special, and yet its reliable and consistent in its quality and character. Service is hit and... More 

Thank musthavebeachsun
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
484 reviews
253 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2015

We have been eating here for a long time, (decades) but tonights meal was not the quality that we remember from the past. Maybe we are mistaken but it seems that they have changed their prep, food quality was really poor, nothing special. We should have spoken to the mgr. but did not, it was edible but we would not... More 

Thank Bountiful-IA
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviewed 18 September 2014

I kid, a little, but this staple is to be avoided. Can I eat it? Yes, as everything is drowned in butter and cheese, and I can enjoy that every once in a while. But, the beans and rice are just awful. So much so that if I'm there by chance, I get mashed potatoes (yes, they have that as... More 

Thank BEEz1984

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Mexican, Southwestern
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff
Good for
Open Hours
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 23:00
11:00 - 23:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 1411 Waterfront Dr, Iowa City, IA 52240-4435
  • Location: United States  >  Iowa (IA)  >  Iowa City
  • Phone Number: +1 319-354-5800

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Carlos O'Kelley's Mexican Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?