Rate this Restaurant
(0 votes)


If you are looking for a new take on authentic Mexican seafood, do not hesitate to visit the family friendly establishment, El Nopalito Grill. All of El Nopalito Grill's dishes are made to order, using the freshest ingredients and of the highest quality that allows us to serve our customers the best in top-rated traditional Mexican dining. We are regionally renowned for our seafood menu.

The Washington Post, The Gazette, and The Washingtonian have given El Nopalito's fine reviews. From the moment you walk in the door, the rich colors, festive sombreros, and paintings celebrating Mexico's indigenous culture catch your eye. The relaxed atmosphere and Mexican Music are inviting to everyone. We invite you to join us for a leisurely dining experience.

About Chef  Ismar Reyes-Cruz

Over six years ago, Ismar Reyes-Cruz started El Nopalito as chef-owner together with his brother Leonel Cruz with the aim of bringing a different take on Mexican food to the industry. To do so, he visited various regions of Mexico learning how to correctly prepare the traditional dishes he wanted to serve. He wanted to show that Mexican food has more to offer than burritos, tacos, and enchiladas.

Before starting El Nopalito, he developed his culinary skills through an array of experiences. Ismar started his cooking career as a prep cook for Omega Restaurant in Washington D.C. and worked his way up to fine restaurants and catering companies. He came to work with distinguished chefs such as John Louis Paladin of John Louis; Mark Miller of the Red Sage and Coyote Cafe; Janic Can of Le Pavillon; Doug McNeil of the Four Seasons Hotel and the Filomena Restaurant. Working for Ridgewell's Catering, Federal City and being executive chef of Washington Parties gave him the liberty to explore creative venues with different varieties of cuisines. He has used these experiences and many more to give El Nopalito\'s menu an authentic Traditional Mexican taste with a unique blend of his personal creativity.   

Business Hours

  • Monday - Thursday: 11:30am - 9:30pm
  • Friday - Saturday: 11:30am - 10:30pm
  • Sunday: 11:30am - 9:30pm

Editorial Reviews

Review - El Nopalito Grill
Admin | April 22, 2013

The place is packed at 6:45 on a Saturday night and the joint is jumping. Latin music fills the bright dining room which is divided into two parts and seats about 120, evenly divided between booths and tables. Television screens at two corners offer diversion and a small bar at the back dispenses five kinds of Mexican beer and margaritas. Large sombreros and colorful serapes act as accents and then some. When the Spanish-speaking staff serenades a fellow observing a birthday, they temporarily crown him with a sombrero.



  • Attire: Casual
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Average Price ( Per Person ): Under $10
  • Family Restaurant: Yes
  • Alcoholic Beverages: No Alcoholic Beverages
  • Carry Out: Yes
  • Outside Seating: No
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
  • Has TV: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: No
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Tapas/Small Plate, Seafood
  • Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express

Restaurant ID: 146

Login to post comments

Quick Finder

  • Advanced Search

Secure and accredited