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Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

Mexican Restaurant and Tapas Restaurant$$$$
Penn Quarter, Washington
  • Stars
  • Stars
    The experts at Eater and Washington Post recommend this place
    • Eater
    • Washington Post
  • Tips
    Stephanie D.
    "Be sure to come hungry - another great job by Jose Andrés"(12 Tips)
    Earl B.
    "Also a must try - the grasshopper taco ... yes, grasshopper :)"(12 Tips)
    "Oyamel Cocina Mexicana in D.C. for a Salt Air Margarita"(8 Tips)
    Zlata Z.
    "Ceviche de chamoy is delicious and tender but very spicy - be aware."(31 Tips)
Tips and Reviews icon307 Tips and reviews
  • margaritas
  • jose andres
  • salt air
  • trendy
  • good for groups
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  • Popular
  • Recent
  • Behrad Eatsheart icon on user image
    Behrad EatsJuly 14, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    You really can't go wrong with any of the taco options here, but highly recommend the pescado Baja California, lengua guisada, carnitas estilo Michoacán, and pancita de puerco al pastor tacos.
  • Thomas L.heart icon on user image
    Thomas L.April 5, 2014
    One dish you have to try: Enmolada De Guajalote En Mole Coloradito It was amazing, and by ordering it without asking the waiter for advice, I got a smile and was told that it was his favorite.
  • Rachel A.heart icon on user image
    Rachel AlexanderMarch 20, 2017
    Keep a menu and try all different kids of tacos as you please. Churros are a sweet surprise with hot chocolate sauce to dip into. Tight squeeze but lovely decor and service is excellent.
  • Sandra R.
    Sandra RubinchikFebruary 15, 2016
    Don't fill up on overpriced guacamole and chips. There are so many yummy things to eat and try! The tuna ceviche, camarones (this pictured shrimp dish), and the shredded braised beef taco are musts.
  • Eater
    EaterFebruary 23, 2017
    Staying true to its Mexican roots, Oyamel’s “Chocolate Caliente” is a Oaxacan hot chocolate with sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, cloves and steamed milk. Order it for $4 a glass. Read more
  • Reserve
    ReserveApril 5, 2017
    Stop in to Oyamel Cocina Mexicana in D.C. for a Salt Air Margarita, made with Milagro Silver tequila, Combier L’Original liqueur and fresh lime topped with foam to give it a fun and tasty texture. Read more
  • Maxheart icon on user image
    MaxAugust 27, 2017
    Nicely decorated. Try the hand-made tacos all kind. Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo... is to die for! Classic hand made, in your face Guacamole. A strong selection of Mezcal. Kids frendly.
  • Althea S.heart icon on user image
    Althea StearnsOctober 11, 2019
    Scallop ceviche very good and super fresh. A little pricey for serving size. Brisket taco is flavorful and meat was tender, but corn tortilla fell apart. Most restaurants will use 2. No draft beer.
  • Yasaman M.heart icon on user image
    Yasaman MahdianAugust 29, 2018
    This place is better for drinking rather than dining. Food portions are small but their taste is great. Guacamole and tortilla is to die for!
  • Rosario D.heart icon on user image
    Rosario DiazFebruary 2, 2014
    I'm originally from Mexico and I can say the food here is delicious. The ceviche tradicional is more a peruvian fusion but is incredible. Tacos are made with real hand made tortillas. Try it!
  • Beti F.heart icon on user image
    Beti FajardoJuly 18, 2016
    Everything is great! Let the server surprise you with the best dishes. Also, ask for Mariano, the manager, he's very helpful to help you choose something that's gonna leave you speechless
  • Trish T.
    Trish TheDishAugust 18, 2014
    Blood orange margarita. Delicious. Brussel sprouts and shrimp were yum. Fosh taco was bathed in mayo. Dessert was not awesome (panna cotta). But I'd come here for the blood orange margs alone!
  • Erin M.heart icon on user image
    Erin MerchantSeptember 5, 2015
    In life, there are some things you don't always want in your mouth. That includes grasshopper and lengua. But here, you want them (in taco form) in your mouth all. the. time.
  • Washington Post
    Washington PostAugust 1, 2014
    Details stack up: The oiled rice alongside that chicken is some of the best around, and the bartender is conversant enough with his spirits to suggest the perfect tequila -- for dessert. Read more
  • Vicki D.
    Vicki D.May 5, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Everything is great! Wouldn't recommend the papas fritas (fries). Save some room for tacos. YUM! Sitting by the ceviche bar is nice if it's just 2 of you so you can avoid the wait for a table!
  • Mallie T.heart icon on user image
    Mallie TAugust 10, 2014
    Bustling upscale Mexican spot with great heat and flavor. Extensive menu can seem overwhelming, but you really can't go wrong. Amazingly good housemade chips, salsa and guacamole.
  • Stefanie S.
    Stefanie SpatolaJanuary 27, 2013
    Best dishes: tuna cheviche, brussels sprouts, camarones (shrimp), braised short ribs, chile en nogada (pablano stuffed pepper) and for dessert... de tres leches (amazing). Also get the fresh gauc.
  • Audrey A.
    Audrey AOctober 29, 2012
    Beef tongue taco is amazingly tender! The pork belly taco and fresh guacamolemolemole is good too. Check out their Day of the Dead menu (around Halloween) for Mayan twists using seasonal ingredients!
  • mishmashmargieheart icon on user image
    mishmashmargieOctober 21, 2013
    LOVE: colorful decor, energy; authentic Mexican dishes w/ an urban twist; attentiveness of staff. Try the tuna ceviche, chicken mole, mushroom taco, cochinita (pork) taco. Have jericalla for dessert!
  • Himanshu D.heart icon on user image
    Himanshu DesaiApril 3, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    This is one of DC's must try spots for Mexican tapas & creative cocktails. The host/hostess are super efficient at getting guests seated. Recommend a reservation if possible. Fantastic staff!
  • Erik C.
    Erik CintronAugust 24, 2012
    This place can fit right in manhattan it's trendy and bright colors made the place alive. The cocktails were great and Guacamole made in front of you. Little pricey, but great twist on Mexican food
  • Michael E.heart icon on user image
    Michael ErbMay 26, 2022
    Any of the tacos are delicious, you can’t go wrong. The Salt Air Margaritas are fun and delicious even if tequila isn’t your thing. Please note that this is a tapas style restaurant.
  • Wayne B.heart icon on user image
    Wayne BurrellJune 26, 2015
    This place is absolutely awesome! This is one of celebrity chef José Andrés' several DC restaurants and it didn't disappoint. The guacamole was FANTASTIC! I recommend the "de Res" braised beef taco!!
  • Derek F.heart icon on user image
    Derek FromsonAugust 12, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Excellent small plates. To start off, try the mouth watering, fresh guacamole that is prepared before your eyes at the table. Meatballs in chipotle sauce is a nice starter too. Save room for dessert.
  • Jastine K.
    Jastine KhoJuly 11, 2017
    Grasshopper tacos are worth sampling- was told the grasshoppers are imported from Oaxaca and marinated in tequila. My top recommendation though would still be the lechon quesadilla. Very delicious!
  • Ivana M.heart icon on user image
    Ivana MilojevicNovember 7, 2017
    Atmosphere was lovely (busy in the front room, nice and quiet in the back). Freshly made guacamole and tortilla chips were amazing and you must try Chile en nogada! Highly recommend.
  • Washington Post
    Washington PostAugust 1, 2014
    The tacos are delicious, the margaritas are the smoothest in DC and the house-made chips and salsa almost spoil my appetite every time I go there. Read more
  • Dennis H.heart icon on user image
    Dennis HansenAugust 9, 2016
    Oh my god the tacos! We ordered a bunch of different ones. Do not underestimate how full you'll feel after sharing 4 or 5 while also eating tortillas. The tequila cocktails are plentiful and good.
  • Sandybelleheart icon on user image
    SandybelleSeptember 29, 2015
    I enjoyed very much this place. I'm Mexican and I assure you that they've nailed it! The "Pastel de tres leches" is simply a piece of heaven on earth.
  • I B R A H.heart icon on user image
    I B R A H I MApril 25, 2018
    Taco pollo ... ok, Lengua Guisada taco ... amazing، Taco Suadero ... amazing، Bajapescado taco ... WOW
  • Derek F.heart icon on user image
    Derek FromsonMarch 13, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    José Andrés' Mexican tapas joint is a lively, vibrant scene. Don't miss the tasty mojitos, guacamole (made in front of you) and the traditional, yet complex chile en nogada, among other tasty treats.
  • Lindsey K.heart icon on user image
    Lindsey KimDecember 27, 2014
    Deliciously inspired dishes by Iron Chef José Andrés. Can't go wrong with the tacos. Also try the signature fries with mole sauce!
  • Kapil B.
    Kapil BhatiaNovember 28, 2013
    The Guacamela with tortilla chips are a must have. Excellent ambience, great vegetarian options and nice service. Will definitely visit again :)
  • Zlata Z.heart icon on user image
    Zlata ZubenkoApril 18, 2016
    Ceviche de chamoy is delicious and tender but very spicy - be aware. Oyamel margarita is very sweet. Go with the smoky ones instead.
  • Eater
    EaterJuly 28, 2011
    Authentic Mexican food is not one of DC's strengths, but José Andrés does it justice at Penn Quarter's Oyamel — with, of course, the chef's signature twists. [Eater 38 Member] Read more
  • Maryann J.
    Maryann James-DaleyNovember 24, 2013
    love this place, but some of the bartenders are clueless. asked if I could get a mocktail; the bartender said yes and then walked away. asked another bartender, and he showed me the sodas. ?!?
  • Dan P.
    Dan PullmanJuly 11, 2012
    Jose Andres and his team innovate at levels beyond expectation. The tapas program allows for broad taste experience. Do the tasting menu and let the servers be your guide. (4 of 4 petals via Fondu) Read more
  • Patrick M.heart icon on user image
    Patrick McDermottMay 15, 2012
    The guacamole is superb, with I believe green bell pepper and quest fresco cheese on top. The mezcal and other tapas are very good too, including the chalupas with duck… (3 of 4 petals via Fondu) Read more
  • Kate K.
    Kate KimMay 18, 2014
    The guacamole is a MUST! It is amazing with nachos. And try the apple basil lemonade - if it is that day's special.
  • Jessica L.
    Jessica LettweenMarch 24, 2013
    The chef's tasting menu is so worth it! We lost track of the number of courses, but was probably around ten, plus two desserts. Everything was delicious and service was great. Fun atmosphere.
  • Charheart icon on user image
    CharNovember 13, 2017
    Omggggg those tacos are amazing. The grasshopper taco is actually really good! They make fresh guacamole for your table too! Great date location ❤️❤️❤️
  • Christian W.heart icon on user image
    Christian WarzochaSeptember 9, 2017
    Got the chef dinner, pricey but delicious. Tons of food so take their advice and don't fill up on chips. Oyamal margarita was great as well.
  • Lianyheart icon on user image
    LianySeptember 9, 2016
    Most amazing ceviche shrimp, every plate we ordered was unique and flavorful and the dessert was amazing café de olla (a must try)
  • Washington Post
    Washington PostOctober 16, 2013
    This Mexican playground from creator Jose Andres is a trailblazer. Thanks to recent expansion next door, it's also more comfortable than ever.
  • Brent G.heart icon on user image
    Brent GatewoodJune 27, 2017
    Tequila selection is amazing. Food is wonderful. I had tacos and enchiladas - delicious. Friendly and attentive staff. Will be back!
  • Kory K.heart icon on user image
    Kory KoryJune 6, 2016
    Omg the quesadillas and the braised beef tacos de gaudero are great! I loved the chicken enchiladas with Verde sauce as well!!!!
  • Lisa H.heart icon on user image
    Lisa HanJune 17, 2017
    Guacamole home-made on the spot as you order. Awesome! Portions are a little bit small. Recommend to order two dishes per person.
  • Nela L.
    Nela LichtscheidlNovember 18, 2013
    This place can be a little pricey, but it's definitely worth it. I recommend going with a group of friends and sharing the bill. Get about four to five tapas and take in the zesty flavor of goodness.
  • Jerryheart icon on user image
    JerryMay 19, 2019
    The Saudero (beef) and Cabrito Pastor (goat) tacos were excellent!!! The meat was super-tender, and the flavor was truly authentic!!!
  • Jane B.heart icon on user image
    Jane BrowneJanuary 23, 2013
    Very popular an for good reason, fantastic tapas style Mexican. If going after six suggest you book . Staff are great an food amazing best Mexican in DC area.
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