Uncle Julio's Rio Grande Cafe - Arlington/Ballston

4301 N. Fairfax Drive , Arlington, Virginia 22203


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Uncle Julio’s Arlington/Ballston opened in 1991 and continues to be the best spot in the Arlington, Virginia area for great Mexican food, incredible atmosphere and unbeatable Happy-hour specials. The restaurant attracts a diverse crowd of local families and professionals as well as commuters from nearby Washington D.C. Uncle Julio's is committed to providing only the freshest and highest quality, Border-style Mexican Food.

With a distinctive Hacienda decorating style, the founders created a unique restaurant concept around original recipes that demand only the freshest ingredients tailored after Julio's family tastes. Ahhhhh, authentic. . . Let the aroma of handmade tortillas and sizzling fajitas lure you to dine at Uncle Julio's. The freshly made salsas, delectable enchiladas and slow-cooked ribs tempt you. Beyond tacos, enchiladas and tamales, Julio specializes in marinated and mesquite grilled beef and chicken fajitas, ribs, quail, frog legs, and jumbo shrimp. A custom margarita, created from your choice of more than 10 different tequilas, awaits your first sip. Festive surroundings, attentive wait staff and lively music enhance your overall experience.

The first Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican Food Restaurant opened in Dallas, Texas in November 1986. Uncle Julio's popularity grew rapidly, and with it came an instant craze for a drink Julio named The Swirl, which is a frozen concoction of layered margarita and home-made sangria. Uncle Julio's has grown to 19 restaurants located in Texas, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Virginia. Known locally as The Rio Grande Café, this location is a staple of the historic Ballston neighborhood of Arlington and is located just a block away from a nearby Metro stop. The restaurant has even gained fame among local celebrities. The Washington Post’s Phyllis Richman wrote about the location in one of her final reviews, “The Rio Grande Café is clearly riding the wave into the next century.” She also stated in the article that the branches feel like real Southwest, yet part of the neighborhood, with servers that behave as loving aunts and uncles.“

Call Uncle Julio's for your next home or office party. Uncle Julio's will not only bring the food, but also the kitchen! When you're ready, Uncle Julio's will show up and cook all the fresh mesquite grilled favorites you'd expect to find at your local Uncle Julio's. All Uncle Julio's locations offer tantalizing catering menus for parties of twenty-five or more. Call 1-800-244-7633 for more information.

Business Hours

  • Monday - Thursday: 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM - 11:30 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM - 11:30 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM - 10:30 PM



  • Attire: Casual
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Average Price ( Per Person ): Under $20
  • Family Restaurant: Yes
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Full Bar, Specialty: Tequila
  • Carry Out: Yes
  • Outside Seating: Yes
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
  • Has TV: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: No
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
  • Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express

Restaurant ID: 10

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