If you live in the DC Metro area, you’ve probably driven past a Cafe Rio restaurant. This Mexican fast casual chain (started in Utah of all places) has 4 locations in Virginia (Fairfax/Chantilly, Arlington, Manassas & Burke). I’ve eaten at Cafe Rio dozens of times, but I needed to grab some quick food on a trip to the bank, so I stopped in for some tacos.
The menu at Cafe Rio features your classic Mexican staples: Burritos, enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, nachos & more. In terms of protein, you can choose from:
Fire Grilled Chicken
Sweet Pork Barbacoa
Fire Grilled Steak
Chile Roasted Beef
I’ve tried every type of tacos they have except the shrimp. The meats are a great alternative taste to the Chipotle style taco spots. But one thing about the meat is it is…wet. So when you lift up your tacos, liquid juices flow out (so be careful with your clothes). This really bothers me, so most of the time I stick with the steak which is dry (but costs extra). But when I don’t get steak, I make sure to de-liquify first.
The cost for 2 tacos with rice and beans (or double rice for me) is $9. They fill them with a decent amount of meat, probably the same as 3-4 chipotle tacos per 2, so they are pretty filling despite only getting a couple. The grilled steak or chicken adds $1 to the cost. Sometimes I add a 3rd taco for around $4. My favorite…the salmon, but it is only available on Fridays.
They also have a variety of hot sauces/taco sauces. My fave, is the Smokey Iguana Chipotle Hot Sauce. What is yours?
The only item I eat here are tacos, so you’ll have to go elsewhere to find reviews on the other food. It is worth it to stop by a few times and try all the meats to see which ones you like. I stop by typically about once a month to various locations. Maybe I’ll see you there.