Reviews

Star Rating:

***** El Aguila Real Mexican Restaurant is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 47 reviews!

  • *****

    This Mexican restaurant is probably the most authentic restaurant you will find in Des Moines. The service was good and over all this is probably my favorite authentic Mexican restaurant

  • *****

    Went to this place during lunch time hour at 11-ish am with a party of 6. We got seated right away. The staff was accommodating and made sure our drinks were filled often. I got Fajitas Texanas per recommendation of one of my party, who is a regular in this restaurant. And I was not disappointed. I attached a picture with this review. They have huge portions and I think it is quite affordable for the amount of food they give you. And I got the lunch version and not even the dinner version (my understanding is that the dinner version is bigger). It came with warm tortillas (5 pieces), your choice of meat (I got chicken) and mixed veggies, beans, rice, lettuce, guac, and sour cream. I was an amazing dish. I think the meat and veggies were cooked on a cast iron because they were not oily, they tasted fresh, crunchy, and not overcooked have that grilled kind of taste. I was pleasantly surprised. This restaurant has authentic Mexican food taste in my opinion. It was my first time visiting this restaurant and I would highly recommend it. I intend to visit this restaurant again in the future now that I have discovered this hole-in-a-wall restaurant.

  • *****

    Possibly the best value in town. We like to share the Special Dinner (basically one of the most common Mexican food items). Bit lunch is the best deal. The food is above the average Mexican restaurant.

  • *****

    Great place to eat really good food! We enjoyed lunch and the good people that waited on us. Worth the stop to have really good food!

  • *****

    Love the place. Add the menu to the wensite and it’s great

  • *****

    This is almost a weekly stop for us. At least once per pay period for each of us. We start with the hot salsa (you have to ask for it, although the regular is a delicious picante style) queso dip and guac. The margaritas are delicious and fresh tasting, arriving just minutes after ordering. We think we go here because the margaritas are large, cheap, and if you order it "Texas" there is an extra shot of tequila. We actually go here because the waitresses know us by site and we've never eaten anything we haven't loved. The most frustrating part is choosing just 1 entree. The burritos are amazing, the dinner deals are twice the food you are paying for, and my favorite dinner special is the arroz con pollo, having never in my life found onions caramelized so perfectly every single time.

  • *****

    El Aguila is right down the street from me and I love Iowa Mexican food so naturally I end up here embarrassingly often. Gourmet food it is not, but it is delicious and very reasonably priced.

    The service is somewhat hit and miss from time to time, which I hate to say, but that's just my experience--inconsistent. To be clear, it's never been so terrible that I'd never come back, it's just a little laggy or oddly time out.

    The menu is standard Midwexian fare, but like I said--so good. The lunch specials are hard to beat. I very much enjoy sipping on a Mangoneda when I come to El Aguila. It comes with a fun little Vero Mango sucker as a garnish--a Mexican candy that is sweet but with a spicy chili coating. You just have to take my word for it and order yourself a Mangoneda when you visit El Aguila.

  • *****

    One of my favorite Mexican restaurants in town! It has a very fun, bright atmosphere and the staff is helpful and friendly. My only complaint is that they do make you feel a bit rushed to order, but the service is fast enough that it makes up for it. The food is flavorful, well-portioned and very fairly priced.

  • *****

    The food here is fast and great. The staff is super friendly but not too attentive as to be annoying. We always get seated right away no matter when we come. They have GREAT margaritas - $9 for a Texas Jumbo size which 2 people share. Great flavors all around. The parking lot is adequate and I never have a problem finding a spot somewhere. The patio is nice in the summer.

  • *****

    Nice atmosphere and they got the glass pepsi imported from Mexico.. very good service and food. Carnitas in salsa verde

  • *****

    Excellent carnitas and great margaritas! Recent Visit Edit: Tamales taste like play doh with a surprise gross sauce drenched all over. Feels petty to see they charged you extra for wanting more than a teaspoon of pico.

  • *****

    My favorite. Fast, filling and very reasonable. Best and biggest margaritas.

  • *****

    Good food and quick service every time. I'm a fan of the Fajitas Texanas.

  • *****

    Delicious and easily accessible, and the interior dcor is neat.

  • *****

    Great Mexican food. Would give 5 stars but the service had been hit or miss when I go there.

  • *****

    Excellent carnitas and great margaritas!

  • *****

    First time we came to eat here and everything was great from the service to the food. We will be coming here again.

  • *****

    Eat here weekly. Average food for a good price. Friendly staff normally. Good margaritas. Cozy atmosphere.

  • *****

    Best local Mexican restaurant around. The cheese dip and margaritas are the best! Friendly staff is always attentive and remembers my family and I.

  • *****

    Best local Mexican restaurant around! Been coming here for years and food taste just as good as when I was a kid! Staff is friendly and they have my order memorized! Plus the margaritas are to die for!

  • *****

    We loved this place! Best part is that it is close to where we live. I had the jumbo margarita, and by jumbo I mean humongous. Super fun. My fajitas texanas were delicious. The best part of them was the fresh guacamole. Probably the best Guac in town. A fantastic experience...we will be back again and again.

  • *****

    I love El Aguila Real. They have great food, great service, and they are even open on New Year's Day! You absolutely MUST try the Spinach dip. It is quite unique and truly delicious. If you have a big group of people, the Parrillada Mexicana, for two or four, is incredible.

    Don't be fooled, the two person portion easily feeds four people. It is a MOUNTAIN of grilled chicken, beef, pork, and chorizo. Also composing the mountain of goodness are generous amounts of onions, tomatoes and bell peppers. A plate of guacamole, lettuce, rice, and retried beans is also included for each person.

    The Don Juan Fajitas are great as well. You can't really argue with crab and shrimp fajitas! I highly recommend El Aguila Real. It is a Des Moines treasure that many people probably drive right by without even noticing. You should stop in. You won't regret it!

  • *****

    Food is fast and delicious. Not nearly as greasy as many locally owned Mexican joints. The enchiladas suizas are my favorite thing on the menu. I usually just get take out, but sometimes it's not ready when I get there and I wait around for a while, even though I called way ahead of time. Other than that it's great. The couple of times I dined in, the service was prompt. The ladies that wait don't seem that friendly all the time, but who cares? I'm not there to make friends, I'm there to eat good food.

  • *****

    Food is inexpensive delicious, and usually out in 5 to 10 min, margaritas are fantastic, and you can get them by the pitcher for a decent price! The interior is bombarded with culture, and I love the tables and chairs.

  • *****

    Delicious food! Whenever I want to get some fast service, spicy salsa and great Mexican cuisine, I choose El Aguila Real. I've been very impressed with the quick and attentive service--but even better is the expansive menu. I've never experienced potato enchiladas until I came to this restaurant. I also love the Camarones a la Crema I tried this evening. But they also have the Mexican staples and lots for tight budgets, as well.

    It's never been all that busy when I've visited. There has always been room for more! Don't miss out on this gem.

  • *****

    I love that they have such a great vegetarian menu. I have never been anywhere else that had a Veggie Chimi. And it is amazing! Enough for two meals, too. We order take out a few times a month and eat in at least once a month. I just took a few of my coworkers here for lunch. They all agreed that it was as good as I had told them it would be. I love living down the street from this gem.

  • *****

    I love that they have such a great vegetarian menu. I have never been anywhere else that had a Veggie Chimi. And it is amazing! Enough for two meals, too. We order take out a few times a month and eat in at least once a month. I just took a few of my coworkers here for lunch. They all agreed that it was as good as I had told them it would be. I love living down the street from this gem.

  • *****

    I love this place. Cheap. Super fast. And the white queso dip is amazing! Definitely worth ordering - or getting a Combo #4 which comes with it.

  • ******

    Favorite Mexican in DSM
    It's my favorite mexican restaurant in Des Moines. Cheap, delicious, and good service, what more could you ask for!

  • *****

    We have been planning to try this place for months. Tonight was the night, the air was soft and sweet, we had a coupon and they had a patio. It was a long walk though parts of the restaurant I don't think were intended for the public and they make you go back to pay at the front counter. But the margarita was tasty. I had the Yolanda and my spouse had her usual chicken enchiladas. Which was cool because they were listed as a beef enchilada, and they substituted for her. We will definitely be back. Maybe not on the patio. The air was sweet but I kept slipping down in the chair. And it wasn't the tequila, I swear! Comfortable chairs but very odd sensation to slide every time I leaned back.

  • *****

    Best mexican restaurant in town BY FAR I've heard complaints that the beef isn't flavorful but I've never ordered it. #17 all chicken is THE BEST THING I'VE EVER HAD. I literally eat it multiple times per week. And the Al Pastore tacos (obviously corn tortilla with onion and cilantro ) are to die for. The food is great. Staff is extremely nice and take out is so fast. Get in your car, call, and it's ready by the time you get there. Every time.

  • *****

    Been going here for years, first in Beaverdale, then to their other locations.

    The food is standard Mexican fare, similar to many other places around town.  As other reviewers have mentioned, the cheese dip is wonderful.  The salsa is hit-or-miss: sometimes it is good, sometimes no.  

    Prices are great and serving sizes are very good.  They've partnered with restaurant.com so you can save some money that way, too- but they only accept printed certificates (you can't use the restaurant.com mobile app).

    Service is generally speedy and good, but the waitresses aren't overly friendly... a couple of them tend to scowl more than smile.  BUT they do their jobs (take orders, bring refills, etc) very well.

  • *****

    My favorite Mexican in Des Moines. Generous portions, tasty food, very good service, reasonable prices. Chips and salsa are great. Salsa is tomato-ey and zesty and slightly spicy. Chips are clearly homemade and served warm. One of my favorites is the chile relleno; the best I have had. Rice and beans are flavorful and delicious. Crunchy pepper, stuffed with meat and cheese, delicious. Service is always prompt. Restaurant is very consistent, always a good dining experience. The only disappointment for me is that they use few veggies like tomatos and onions; they fill everything with excellent meat and cheese. Hard to complain about it, but it could be a bit healthier.

  • *****

    My favorite place in town. Within 30 seconds of sitting down they have chips and salsa on the table. Food comes in less than 10 minutes. They are pretty awesome there. I have eaten there maybe 20 times. Never any misunderstanding of anything. The owner is super nice and wait staff friendly. I recommended this place to anyone. I always go for #11 on the lunch special. The pork is the best!!!!

  • *****

    For some reason El Aguila Real does not pop up much on Tripadvisor or Google +, I just happened upon it. It does not look like much from outside but the interior is great. The food was lighter than Mexican usually is, I liked that, fast, tasty and affordable, way ahead of Tasty Taco.

  • *****

    My favorite Mexican in Des Moines. Generous portions, tasty food, very good service, reasonable prices. Chips and salsa are great. Salsa is tomato-ey and zesty and slightly spicy. Chips are clearly homemade and served warm. One of my favorites is the chile relleno; the best I have had. Rice and beans are flavorful and delicious. Crunchy pepper, stuffed with meat and cheese, delicious. Service is always prompt. Restaurant is very consistent, always a good dining experience. The only disappointment for me is that they use few veggies like tomatos and onions; they fill everything with excellent meat and cheese. Hard to complain about it, but it could be a bit healthier. • • • My favorite Mexican in Des Moines. Generous portions, tasty food, very good service, reasonable prices. Chips and salsa are great. Salsa is tomato-ey and zesty and slightly spicy. Chips are clearly homemade and served warm. One of my favorites is the chile relleno; the best I have had. Rice and beans are flavorful and delicious. Crunchy pepper, stuffed with meat and cheese, delicious. Service is always prompt. Restaurant is very consistent, always a good dining experience. The only disappointment for me is that they use few veggies like tomatos and onions; they fill everything with excellent meat and cheese. Hard to complain about it, but it could be a bit healthier. • • •

  • *****

    Easily the most consistent Mexican restaurant in Des Moines. I've tried a lot of things off the menu, and they are always solid.

  • *****

    We've been in the Des Moines area for about 2 years but only recently found this superb restaurant. The interior decorating is amazing. The food is the best we've had. The waitstaff are warm, friendly and knowledgeable. I give it 5 stars out of 5.

  • *****

    Amazing decor, generous portions, tasty food.

  • *****

    Great food, love this place

  • *****

    The most amazing Mexican food that my husband and I have ever had! Unfortuantley we did not discover this place until about a year before we move out of state. I loved their chicken tacos and queso dip. My husband loved the El Pastor tacos. And we both loved the rice!!! We have yet to find a great Mexican restaurant that can compare to this place and would not expect that issue in California.

  • *****

    Favorite Mexican in DSM – It's my favorite mexican restaurant in Des Moines. Cheap, delicious, and good service, what more could you ask for!

  • *****

    Still great food! Now during lunch you can enjoy their buffet for $6.25 (used to be $5.50). It includes fresh fruit, chicken and beef fajitas, tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. Mmmmmm.

  • *****

    My favorite Mexican restaurant! I think what establishes good Mexican is the sauces. The enchilada sauce, mole', and cheese sauce compliment every meal. The rice and beans are exceptional and only add to the experience. The price is fair and the portions generous enough.

  • *****

    My husband and I love this place. Quick, cheap, and yummy! I love their chili relleno and tamales right now. But pretty much everything is great. We used to go to it when it was in the old Long John Silver building. But they took over a larger location across the street that used to be a Chinese restaurant. New location - food just as good.

  • *****

    Wonderful vegetarian menu. Yes they charge for extra chips and salsa. However I'd rather fill up on my delicious entree than free chips. Ya get me? Seriously...tasty potato and spinach burritos. Yum! Food was hot and service was prompt.

  • *****

    Very affordable, good service, very nice Beaverdale neighborhood. My favorite is their fajitas texanas. Come hungry, because their portions are huge! It is not gourmet food but for the price hard to beat.

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