Going into this, I want to qualify this review by saying this is a family favorite. We have spent many happy meals there together eating Mexican food and soaking up the sun by the river on lazy afternoons. It’s just that kind of easy and relaxing place. This is not a gourmet place, nor does it has aspirations to be. It’s just good food.

The first time The Brit brought me here I thought it was a joke. We pulled into what was a gravel parking lot looking onto a sort of shabby looking house.  I looked at him and said, “Where is the restaurant by the river?”.  He assured me this place was it. I gave him the doubtful “I don’t believe you look”, and got out of the car anyway. We entered the restaurant and I had the surprise of my life. The restaurant was lovely and rustic on the inside, but it was the outside patio that was the WOW. I couldn’t even guess from the outside what was on the other side at all.  I was transported to a whole other world.  Suddenly I felt like I was in the southeast of the US; maybe North Carolina.  Trees sweeping over a beautiful slow river; just lovely.

The Brit Comments: The restaurant is also conveniently close to the start of The Silverado Trail, so it is a great place to start or finish a wine tasting drive.

The Brit Comments: Three indicators of any good Mexican restaurant to my mind are these things:  The quality of the chips, the quality of the salsa, and the quality of the margaritas. One of these being far more important than the first two mentioned. Not only are the Margaritas excellent, but they have several other excellent cocktails. I also love that they put spears of pineapple in their iced tea. If those first three things are good, it is likely you will have a great meal.  At Compadres, those three things are always outstanding and plentiful so they have you covered.

I have ordered a variety of dishes here. From the wonderful Carne Asada, to the Chili Chicken Bites and Burritos. It has all been flavorful and filling. The portions here are large, so come hungry. But what I always come back to are their signature Puerto Vallarta street tacos. They come in twos or fours. They are small (although stuffed with meat) so two is not quite enough and four is too much. Somehow I manage to stuff myself sick every time. I eat a bite of each kind as I can never decide which I like best. They are all wonderful and have a unique flavor.  Everything tastes fresh.

The other thing I especially enjoy is from the brunch menu. It’s the Chile Verde and Eggs. I don’t know what it is about this combination but I just love it. The pork is always tender and perfectly spiced balanced with fluffy eggs and cheese. Then you have fresh onions and cilantro finishing off the palate with sharpness. Yummy!

The Brit Comments: The menu is large and diverse and despite many visits, I have not found a single favourite; which is a testament to the quality throughout the menu.

This place is a star for service, value and overall quality. It is one of our family’s staples and we just love it. It’s not a special place to dine; it is an everyday place to eat and enjoy.  For you die hard purists out there:  Is it authentic Mexican food?  No, but it is tasty and has lots of great flavors.  The spiciness of the dish depends on your palate and what you order.  They are happy to accommodate you if they can. 

One insider’s note:  Costco carries discount gift cards for this restaurant and you can get 20% off your meal if you buy from them.  This is a great deal.  They carry them at the Napa, Vallejo, and Fairfield stores.

The Brit Comments: Note that the gift cards cannot be used to cover tax or tip.


  1. agree 100%! The quality of the chips, the quality of the salsa, and the quality of the margaritas is how I rate a Mexican restaurant!

    • California Girl Reply

      Lori, it is totally the rule of quality Mexican restaurants! Good chips, salsa, and margaritas = a great place to eat.

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