we have what you're craving
Are you ready for some delicious authentic Mexican food? The Mexican vaqueros who rounded up cattle along the border during the late 19th century, perfected the art of cooking on the range. The rugged Vaqueros knew how to live life to the fullest. Unique seasonings and the richest recipes created a brand of cooking all their own.
At El Vaquero we continue that tradition. We combine the freshest meats and seafood, colorful vegetables, and unique sauces and spices to create a tasty experience with each dish we serve.
Enjoy the original Mexican flavor from the ranch to your table! Our talented Mexican chefs know what it takes to satisfy your cravings. From tempting appetizers and a la carte items to hearty combination meals and delicious desserts, you're sure to find something that offers you a great ranchero dining experience. You can also enjoy your same favorite Mexican dishes with our convenient catering service. These can be served as a buffet, a custom menu, or as drop-off or pick-up.
"When translated, 'el vaquero' means “the cowboy.” Besides its consistently solid food, El Vaquero has a warmth to it that some of its newer, more hip rivals may lack. So while superheros are the craze, some of us would rather be cowboys."
voted "Best Mexican Restaurant" in 2017 and 2018
our story began twenty-six years ago
Twenty-six years ago Columbus entrepreneurs and best friends Efrain Quezada and Fernando Morales (pictured above holding their "Nourishing The Community" Award in 2019) set out to establish and open a Mexican restaurant dedicated to the style of “on the range” cooking.
They opened their first restaurant, El Vaquero Mexican Restaurant on Riverside Drive in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Using distinctive spices and authentic original recipes to create those vaquero favorites, El Vaquero today has attached other dedicated and passionate owners to the enterprise with 17 locations including three in Greater Cincinnati, three in Greater Toledo, and one in Monroe, Michigan.
the best margaritas in town
We're known for our margaritas and select premium tequilas but we're just as passionate for our wines, specialty cocktails, domestic, craft, draft, and imported beers. Come join us everyday for Early Happy Hours (with appetizer specials) from 2 pm to 4 pm. Regular Happy Hours from 4 pm to 8 pm.
With a strong commitment to our employees, customers, and neighbors, we make it a point to stay active in giving back to our community. Local programs we continually support include Cancer Support Community Central Ohio, Ohio Asian American Health Coalition, The Ohio Commission on Minority Health for their Lupus Optimal Health Group, Local Public Libraries, The Switch: National Anti-Human Trafficking Network, Pelotonia, the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, and the UNITY Fridge program, among others.