The Treasure Valley of Idaho is reported to have the best Mexican food in the state and perhaps in the entire Pacific Northwest. Finding good food is always a worthy goal while on an Idaho vacation.
The El Rinconcito, located in Nampa for the past 26 years, is one of the best choices for Mexican food in the region. A few days ago, my wife and I decided to visit the El Rinconcito on a weekday evening. We encountered good food, no crowds, friendly staff, lively music, and a truly enjoyable evening.
The modest building sits on 1st street just north of the new Public Safety building, currently under construction. The address is 824 1st S, Nampa. Phone 208-466-6963. They are located about 3 blocks west of the Nampa Post Office and a block north. If in doubt on directions, Google the address to get a map.
This family owned and operated restaurant is everything good if you are wanting to avoid chain organizations and patronize independent family operations. Most, if not all, employees are family related. With 26 years experience, they have tailored the menu and service to that expected of their clientele. Their very high reviews and ratings are well earned. Our server, Ilia, was very friendly, knew the nuances of various menu items, and provided very fast courteous service. The decor is very typical but authentic Mexican style. The music was lively and at a very pleasing volume. Conversations were not difficult because of extraneous sound levels.
Time for the food. Fresh crisp chips were served with a bean dip and salsa. The salsa was hotter than I enjoy but when mixed with the bean dip gave a near perfect blend of flavors. My wife ordered a Chili Relleno and I had the El Rinconcito special. Service was very quick. Portion sizes were very adequate to large, the dishes were well presented, and the food was excellent. It is easy to understand how they have been able to stay in business for 26 years. Prices are extremely reasonable with most dishes priced under $10 and the most expensive about $14. We will be returning here frequently.
We agree with many other reviewers, the Treasure Valley has great Mexican food. El Rinconcito ranks among the very best. A visit to El Rinconcito, whether it is just an evening out or a stop after a long day of traveling, will add sparkle to your day. It is a great place to visit on your Idaho vacation.