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Mama Ninfa's

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Mexican Restaurants, American Restaurants, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants

2704 Navigation Blvd, Houston, TX 77003


Today: 10:00 am - 11:00 pm

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59 Reviews
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foodie anonymous


Provided by Citysearch
Beware of the Seafood

Took friends to Ninfas for dinner and was very disappointed. Ordered the seafood ceviche as an appetizer and beef taco carbon as an entree. I noticed that the seafood ceviche tasted a liitle strange, but I assumed it was just the marinade. I had eaten the tacos carbon before with no issue. Little did I know that I would be in for the worst night ever. I had stomach pains at night and all the next day. My husband had the appetizer as well and had some stomach issues. This was one dinner that I regret. Avoid the seafood and you should be fine.

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Provided by Citysearch
Houston's Worst Mexican Restaurant

Drove a long way to eat at the original ninfa's mexican restaurant on navigation street only to get the very worst service...not the first time it happens but since I had guest's from out of town that had heard of this FINE DINING MEXICAN RESTUARANT I chose to give them another chance to hopefully impress me. I once again had the same lady take our order and once again was overcharged by $30. Got home tonight and when I looked at the bill I noticed I had been overcharged yet again. It would have been fine if the Beef Fajitas were good ..but they were not. The Beef Fajitas were dry and overcooked and extremely hard to chew, it felt like chewing on plastic! The Tortillas De Harina were not even cooked...one side only and the other side was not...you could still see the lard and flour thru the middle of them. I was so embaressed with my Out of Town guests that are Professionals at eating at a Fine Mexican Restaurant since they live in San Antonio and own a very prestigious Fine Mexican Restaurant. It's a shame that Ninfa's is not the old Ninfa's that once had good food or for that matter even good service. If you do decide to go even after reading this honest review make sure you drink several margaritas so you won't notice the overcharge on the bill and the bad food and service. Good Luck, you will need it!

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Provided by Citysearch
Not Like It Use To Be

Poor Mama Ninfa is probably turning over in her grave.
When her empire collapsed, she could often be found back where at all started on Navigation.
Even with a bum leg, she would still do the meet and greet stuff...it made you feel special, the food mybe because of her larger than life persona made the food glo as well.
This corp version with a just good enough taste isn't worth the trouble of getting there.

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Love this place!

such great food and atmosphere!
all the reviews say it's not what it used to be, but to me its still wonderful!
highly recommended!

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El Pinolero


Provided by Citysearch
Catering to a different palate...

In a nutshell, the ""original"" Ninfas of years past is LONG GONE. Over our last few visits (breakfast and dinner) the quality of the food and service leave MUCH to be desired, especially when ""authentic"" mexican or tex-mex is always around the corner. Let's say that: the salsa has lost its kick, the staff is spotty in its service (to say the least), mexican hot chocolate has been replaced with cappuccino, and they'll happily bring out substitutes when ingredients run out the door. Surprisingly, 'gringos' and others love to frequent it. Are they not tex-mex connoisseurs? or are they led there by a somewhat lively atmosphere? or did they come in from the Woodlands for a game and got caught in downtown?

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electric avocado


Provided by Citysearch

Those looking for authentic Mexican dishes need to look elsewhere. Seems almost everything here is drowned in melted cheese. The prices are high and the service is overwhelmed by the large crowds. Unless you are absolutely looking for something in melted cheese , then best go somewhere else.

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Provided by Citysearch

It is crazy how the original just tastes so much better than the rest! The service is outstanding as well! I will drive 20 minutes out of the way just to get their wave margarita! Such a quality restaurant!

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Provided by Citysearch
Ninfa's Decline in Quality

I've been going to Ninfa's on Navigation for over 40 years. In the early 80's a friend and I even had a table next to Carol Burnett and a few of her guests in the small dining room one night. Ninfa's used to have the best pork tamales ever. However, they changed the recipe a few years ago and the tamales became just so-so. Tonight, they had changed the recipe again, and all I got was a couple of corn meal rolls with a little melted pork fat and juice for flavor...where's the pork??? I'm very, very disappointed at having driven 25 miles into town for a really bad meal.

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Provided by Citysearch
Great food!

Great food for a weekend afternoon! A picture of margaritas (just like in mexico!) I want to go now!!

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Provided by Citysearch
great margaritas

great place to get margs and good food

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Provided by Citysearch

I used to go to Ninfa's on Navigation every Friday for margaritas and fajitas. I've been a customer of theirs for over 20 years. However, this past year has been dissappointing. Their level of service has dropped off. The quality and consistency of their menu offerings has also suffered. I don't visit them as much anymore.

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Provided by Citysearch

Ninfa specialty fajitas (not on menu) and the margaritas are always a treat! Makes you feel like your in Mexico while you are instead in the middle of the big city!

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Provided by Citysearch
I Love It!!

This was one of the best dining experiences I have ever had, at any price. Very unique, authentic flavors. The chef came over and visited our table and asked for our preferences. We had a chicken mole special, some great tamales and a large grilled platter with bacon wrapped shrimp, quail, ribs, fajitas and sausage.

The margaritas are great (no wonder they were picked as best in city) and it's the best Michelada mix in town.

Bravo Ninfa's!!!

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Provided by Citysearch
Just average, but prices are WAY ABOVE average

I've been a Ninfa's on Navigation customer since the 70's, and I've seen the food, the service, and attitudes go down hill over the past 10 years. The food is average TexMex at best, the prices are very high relative to similar dishes in other TexMex restaurants. The wait staff is HORRIBLE; slow, poor, inattentive, and arrogant. They always push the ""high dollar"" margaritas so you'd better make sure you tell them exactly what you want. The place is DIRTY, the floors are always greasy and slick. Restrooms are deplorable, stay out of them. We've been in small groups most of the time (a friend always picks Ninfa's) and they stick us with ""gratuity"" added to our bill because we're a party of 6 or 8. The service is NEVER to the level of the gratuity. I suggest you go to many of the other TexMex restaurants available in Houston for 25-30% less. Bring back Mama Ninfa!!!!

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good food, good margaritas

We always go eat at ninfas and eat the special alavery (sp) and awesome margaritas each time before we go to the Astros games.

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Provided by Citysearch
Best Mexican food

Aside from my abuela's cooking, this is my favorite place in Houston for Mexican food. I love, love, love it!

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Provided by Citysearch
Awesome Food, Poor Service !!

A very kind hotel driver recomended this place to us as one of the kind restaurant, so it seemed like a good idea until we met Jose L. our waiter who I think he knew we were from out of town, well long story short , when we place our order for individual drinks (original margaritas) he in fact got us 2 pitchers with some sweet syrup shoots, we just said oh well, but suddenly unrequested appetizers arrived to our table at that point when we ordered with him our main meal things only got worst specially because we follow his recommendations and got food for 12 people when in fact we were only 5, which at the end got 20% grattuity added,service overall was ok, I noticed that you only get water if you ask for it, go figured that one...
I will be having second thoughts about coming back there again unless I get the guy on the video to wait on me.

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Provided by Citysearch

If you end up with ""Ernesto"" for your waiter, turn around and leave immediately. My family went out for a nice meal and ended up with probably the worst restaurant experience ever. We didn't even see our waiter until he showed up with another table's food. We sat their waiting for him to notice the NINE new people in his section for about 20 minutes before my husband finally flagged him down and told him we were ready to order. He NEVER asked about beverages, forcing us to beg him twice to bring us glaaes of WATER!!!! Thank goodness the food arrived quicly, though he never even asked what kind of dressing I wanted for my salad, so I had to use the green salsa. Once the food arrived we literally never saw him again. IF GRATUITY IS GOING TO BE MANDATORY FOR PARTIES OVER 6, THE WAITER CAN'T BE INCOMPETENT!!!!!

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Urban location...suburban prices.

I've been a few times over the years (usually not by my choice), and with each visit it seemed to go a little downhill . Last time we were in a group of eight, which I knew would be a mistake, but I figured my family members from the suburbs knew of the place and wouldn't be scared to eat there. The dining room was so cramped, we could hardly get up to use the bathroom...which would probably be a good thing since the bathroom was so disgusting I felt like I was at an old truck stop. The floor of the dining room was so slippery with grease that I nearly fell. Service was not good. Food was average....I mean...it's just tex-mex. The prices last time I went were WAY more than what most Mexican food places in that area charge. The prices would be expensive even if it were a fancy place in the 'burbs! It's pretty obvious why. The parking lot was filled with high-end SUV's and I didn't actually see any Mexicans eating there. This place is purely a ""ghetto-chic"" trandy place for out-of-towners to get the Tex-Mex food they know from the suburbs. If you're wanting to impress your friends by taking them to a Mexican place in a neighborhood where they wouldn't normally go to, try any of the countless other places in the area. Don't be scared...just pick any one of them and simply stop in...most of them have more authentic food, and WAY better prices. I mean, really, $18 for some beef rolled up in a tortilla and some refried beans and rice?

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Provided by Citysearch
Awesome place

The flour tortillas are hand made at the restaurant which is a nice plus. The perfect margaritas are the best in town in my opinion. I love getting the taco al carbon plate- just so that I can have one beef fajita taco and not eat too much. We live by the warehouse district, so it's really close by our location. They added an outdoor patio, which is nice- although the arrangement of the furniture isn't optimum. The cost adds up, especially with the drinks- but that's anywhere you go.

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General Info
Maria Ninfa Rodriguez Lorenzo established Mama Ninfa's, a 10-table Tex-Mex eatery on Navigation in Houston in 1973. She created original items, as well as tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tamales and fajitas. Mama's is recognized as developing an avocado and tomatillo sauce that is copied in other restaurants throughout Texas. The company has locations spanning the Houston area with party rooms and catering available. It also has fajita party packs that are offered as take out and include a variety toppings and fillings. The menu features margaritas, jalapeno poppers, old style Tex-Mex, lunch-sized portions, seafood, burritos/chalupas and desserts.
Extra Phones

Phone: 713-224-2727

Phone: 832-494-2670

Phone: 713-228-1171

Fax: 713-229-9758

TollFree: 800-263-3490

Regular Hours
Mon - Thu:
Mexican Restaurants, American Restaurants, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, Caterers, Family Style Restaurants, Latin American Restaurants, Restaurants
Payment Options
Price Range
South Central Houston, Second Ward

Ninfa's on Navigation

Ninfa's Navigation

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation

Other Information

Good For Groups: Yes

Good for Kids: Yes

Attire: Casual

Cuisines: Caterers, Family Style, Mexican, American, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, Latin American

Wi-Fi: No

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Alcohol: Yes, Full Bar

Parking: Street, Lot, Valet, Private

Bike Parking: Yes

Good For Family: Yes

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Price Range : Above Average

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