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.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

El Ranchero

$$ - $$$
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
21 Sturgis Corner Dr., Iowa City, IA 52246
+1 319-338-4324
Today
11:00 - 22:00
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Mon - Thu 11:00 - 22:00
Fri - Sat 11:00 - 22:30
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

26 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
Showing 26: English reviews
Lakeville, Minnesota
Level Contributor
50 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2016

I agree with everyone that says the food was great. If that was all I was using to judge this restaurant, I would rate it a 5+. Unfortunately, there were two problems that we experienced. One was that our waiter didn't seem overly friendly. He only came back once to check on us before the food arrived and then we... More 

Helpful?
Thank Terry B
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
183 reviews
100 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2015

This is my "go to" for a quick lunch. The food and service are great. The prices seem too low. I've never had a bad experience here and have visited over 25 times. Even if the parking lot looks full, we never have waited for a table. Of course, I'll be back.

Helpful?
Thank Dan K
Amana, Iowa
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2015

I have lived, and worked closely with many Mexicans, which means that I got some good quality authentic Mexican grub. I have lost contact with most of those good people, but if I want to remember them, and the taste of excellent quality Mexican grub...then I can just come here. I have eaten in this restaurant multiple times and NEVER... More 

Helpful?
Thank Acetriad
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2015

We highly recommend this restaurant. Located in Iowa City area- this restaurant always meets our needs and hopes! Great food, reasonable prices, and wonderful friendly service is always present. El Ranchero reminds us of Cheers with a Mexican accent! We are always welcomed by Alex the manager when we arrive and served by Flavio, our favorite waiter. However, all the... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank davids3187
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
164 reviews
127 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2015 via mobile

This is a no offending restaurant that serves typical Americanized Mexican fare staples. The fajitas are good but not great. The margs are inexpensive but lack zing and are too sweet for my taste. Ambiance is cozy and cute. Food and service need to be amped up to get five stars.

Helpful?
1 Thank musthavebeachsun
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2015

This place looks a little sketchy on the outside but don't let that scare you away. It's clean inside, food was great, margaritas were good and cheap, and workers were helpful and friendly. I'd go back.

Helpful?
Thank Andy B
Fairfield, Iowa
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2014 via mobile

Best quality food and intense margharita! Never dissappointed, consistent great food, great service !!! I come once a week from Fairfield and love it!!!

Helpful?
Thank Time4metofly
Iowa City, Iowa
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2014

I had lunch there about half dozen times with my co-workers, they love this place, and so do I. I have promised my family I would take them there, and finally I had chance to do this. My kids love this place! Food is delicious, and served quickly. I think this is best Mexican restaurant in the town

Helpful?
Thank Hao G
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
44 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2013

I used to frequent this place when I lived in IC 8 years ago. Sadly, the food is not as good as it once was. Chips and salsa are still tasty and they have big beers and margaritas but, the actual food is not the best. My chicken enchiladas were very dry. I think I can make better mexican food... More 

Helpful?
Thank Amall
st louis, mo
Level Contributor
42 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2013

Recommended by the Hampton Inn down the block, and we were very pleased. The margarita was splendid. My husband had a lavish taco salad, and I had a delicious "quesadilla fajita." The waiter recommended the steak filling, and he was right. The tortilla was fresh and thin, and the filling (grilled steak, onions, tomato, and green pepper) was delicious. Just... More 

Helpful?
Thank speeder

Travellers who viewed El Ranchero also viewed

 

Been to El Ranchero? 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
    4 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
US$5 - US$15
Cuisine
Mexican
Meals
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Seating, Waitstaff
Open Hours
Monday
11:00 - 22:00
Tuesday
11:00 - 22:00
Wednesday
11:00 - 22:00
Thursday
11:00 - 22:00
Friday
11:00 - 22:30
Saturday
11:00 - 22:30
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 21 Sturgis Corner Dr., Iowa City, IA 52246
  • Location: United States  >  Iowa (IA)  >  Iowa City
  • Phone Number: +1 319-338-4324

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from El Ranchero 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?