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“Always happy at my Uncle's” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Uncle Julio's Rio Grande Cafe

Uncle Julio's Rio Grande Cafe
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Ranked #43 of 415 Restaurants in Fairfax
Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Kids, Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Always happy at my Uncle's”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2014

Service is always great. Food is always fresh and consistent in quality - never disappoints. Restaurant can be loud so conversations can be challenging but the meals and service are worth it. A favorite of mine for years.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jody S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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174 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    35
    79
    37
    16
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Dumfries, Virginia, USA
Level Contributor
46 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Que Pasa?”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2014

Now I love mexican food, but this place didn't do it for me. Let's just say it's "Foo Foo Mexican Food". A little over the top and just NOT that great. The atmosphere is very open and the staff look authentic, but I honestly had a hard time finding anythig I liked. They ended up creating something based on what I was looking for. The chips and salsa are good, and I liked the rice. Other than that I found it to be quite pricy. I'm still searching for a good Mexican restaurant close by - but I have to say, my favorite is still located at National Harbor!!!

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Tonya C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best mexican restaurant in Fairfax!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2014

Julio's Río Grande Cafe is our favorite Mexican restaurant in Fairfax and we eat there often.
It is the only restaurant that comes close to offering authentic Mexican food.
The service is always friendly and efficient.
The dishes that we recommend are the ones that offer a combination of fajitas and ribs or fajitas and shrimp. In addition their ceviche and tamales are worth trying.
My only recommendation is that they lower the volume of the music because it is too loud and noisy.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Fairfax16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfax Station, Virginia
Level Contributor
113 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Satisfy your Mexican craving”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2014

Varied menu that fits the small or large appetite. Full service bar for celebrations. The swirl drink is wonderful on a hot day (wait for summer!). Service friendly and prompt and always available to meet your dining needs. Plenty of available parking and handicap accessible. Great for small or large parties.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Jane M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryland
Level Contributor
68 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“From a Mexican in need of familiar food in the DMV, Uncle Julio's does it right.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2014

So I've lived in the DC Metro area for 9 years... I am a southern California native of Mexican descent. I always took good authentic Mexican restaurants for granted until I moved here. I learned that many of the restaurants and fast food places here there labeled as "Mexican" were actually Salvadorian inspired. The name Mexican is used because it's many are familiar and comfortable with that name when going out to eat Latin food. So for years if I wanted authentic Mexican food I had to cook it myself. Although I do love cooking and I do like being the host of many Mexican dinners and hearing tons of compliments ;-).... I do really miss eating Mexican food out and was tired of disappointment by trying new places only to find that it was actually Salvadorian or Tex Mex. A friend told me about Uncle Julios and I was initially turned off because any Mexican worth their salt would know that we refer to our uncles as "Tio" and I thought if they wanted to be taken seriously they would be called "Tio Julios"... either way I went to eat there with a friend because I was tired of hearing about how great this place was. When I initially walked in there were people making home - made flour tortillas... This totally excited my soul! The food did NOT disappoint. Of course this restaurant is a chain so with that being said it's not going to be the same as my grandmothers cooking, but it had the flavor profiles right. There are some Tex-Mex spins on a few dishes and I didn't mind that. For the most part, it was authentic and enjoyable. It's nice to know that when I want good Mexican and don't want to cook, I can count on Uncle (Tio) Julios! The drinks are VERY good. I saw that many complained about how noisy it was, but to me that's to be expected in a real Mexican restaurant. We are loud as a people. Honestly, I would've been happy if they had a Mariachi Band there, it would've made me feel right at home. Their Carne Asada plate is my favorite and I always ask for a side of home-made flour tortillas. The chips and salsa are wonderful. It's a great family place and a great place to go with a group of friends. If you are on a first date and want to talk.. .not a great place. But if you are an established couple and just want to have a great time with your mate then I think it's fine. I definitely recommend Uncle Julios for a great night out with good food!

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Alisha M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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