We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

Carlos' River Cafe

Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
1707 Nish Rd, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-1552 (Formerly Carlos' Riverside Cafe)
+1 815-444-9024
Today
10:00 - 21:00
Open now
All hours
Hours:
Sun 10:00 - 17:00
Mon - Sat 10:00 - 21:00
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

12 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
Showing 12: English reviews
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

We love Carlos' River Cafe. It's delicious. The inside is very small and they often have live music on Friday or Saturday nights. They do a great carry out business with really affordable prices. My husband loves the King Steak Burrito which is huge. I am a fan of the combos - a change to get a little taste of... More 

Helpful?
Thank Empowers13
McHenry, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2016

One of the better Mexican restaurants in McHenry / Crystal Lake area. I cant comment on the table service since I usually do take out , but the food never disappoints. Burritos , Tacos , Tortas and Chi-mi's all very good. Prices are reasonable and portions ample . It does get crowded at peak times and its not that big... More 

Helpful?
Thank GValez
Barrington, Illinois
Level Contributor
166 reviews
98 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2015

We are still regulars (see earlier review). Everything is still great and Carlos keeps making the place look better (see photos attached to my first review). He is opening up another branch in Algonquin-probably in September 2015. We will post a review when it opens

Helpful?
Thank travelingdoc42
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Level Contributor
39 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2015 via mobile

So, 3 days before a graduation party we were looking to do a taco bar for 65 people. The effort to do it all was becoming overwhelming so we called upon Carlos to see what the could do. This place is very close to home and we have been there several times before in a small family group...but never tried... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Jerry K
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2015

This place is no frills, but authentic and awesome. Homemade chips and fresh ingredients make a great meal. I usually stop off on my my way home from work to bring some tacos home. It is super cheap and the salsa is delicious.

Helpful?
Thank ghostpepper
Crystal Lake, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2015

This is one of our favorite restaurants. The food is made on-site with fresh ingredients. The staff is very friendly. We love the burritos and the horchata drink. Enchiladas are delicious as well.

Helpful?
Thank Ann M
McHenry, Illinois
Level Contributor
93 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2015 via mobile

Tacos tacos tacos. I love everything here but how do you beat 4 tacos for under $8? Everything is hand made and delicious. I highly recommend stopping by.

Helpful?
Thank John N
Island Lake, Illinois
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2015

GREAT Mexican food! This is authentic and there isn't a bad thing that they make. Everything is worthy of a try! Not expensive either!

Helpful?
Thank CharG G
Cary, Illinois
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2014

This is our go to place for great Mexican food. Whether you eat in or carry out, the service is always friendly and quick. The food is fantastic! The torta sandwiches, tacos, enchiladas, nachos, fajitas, are all so delicious! And oh my gosh the guacamole is awesome as is the salsa! Great place for families or to meet friends.

Helpful?
1 Thank Deanette P
Chicago
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2013

I'm going to keep this review very quick. Just try the food here. For McHenry County, there are not many good choices for good/great tasting Mexican food. Sure, lots of old establishments that people like. But this one, in particular, offers wide authentic selections and great prices. Its more a take-out kind of place - but there are a few... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank ajreina

Travellers who viewed Carlos' River Cafe also viewed

Crystal Lake, IL
Crystal Lake, IL
 

Been to Carlos' River Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    5 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 bubbles
Cuisine
Mexican, Latin, Spanish
Meals
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Seating, Waitstaff
Good for
Cheap Eats
Open Hours
Sunday
10:00 - 17:00
Monday
10:00 - 21:00
Tuesday
10:00 - 21:00
Wednesday
10:00 - 21:00
Thursday
10:00 - 21:00
Friday
10:00 - 21:00
Saturday
10:00 - 21:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 1707 Nish Rd, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-1552 (Formerly Carlos' Riverside Cafe)
  • Location: United States  >  Illinois (IL)  >  Crystal Lake
  • Phone Number: +1 815-444-9024

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Carlos' River Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?