Uncle Julio's - Vernon Hills

4.3
950 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Uncle Julio’s is a Mexican from scratch kitchen serving only the freshest ingredients. Specialties include: chicken & steak fajitas, tender filet mignon, and bacon wrapped shrimp. Other favorites include: seafood fajitas, shrimp al pastor, red snapper, or ahi tuna served with homemade corn tortillas or bibb lettuce.

Uncle Julio’s menu also includes Tex-Mex classics such as tacos, enchiladas & tamales all with a selection of sauces made daily. Insider tip: order the tableside guacamole. It’s prepared for you at your table; if you like it spicy kick it up a notch with fresh chopped jalapenos.

Uncle Julio’s has a vast drink selection. Try our fresh margarita of the day, made to order with fresh fruit. If you prefer a frozen drink then the Swirl is definitely the perfect choice. The Swirl is frozen sangria & frozen margarita layered together dating back to 1987.

For reservations, please allow up to 15 minutes for us to prepare your table.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Mexican
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Hours of operation


Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(224) 513-0300
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Private party facilities
Uncle Julio’s is the new party headquarters for Vernon Hills! From large office gatherings to birthday parties and anniversary dinners, Uncle Julio’s has everything you need to make your next fiesta a sizzling success. Our private group dining rooms are perfect for parties large and small, and we of
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Private party contact
our Private Event Coordinator: (855) 219-3739
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Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking
What 950 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.1
service
4.2
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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H
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We made a reservation for a lunch for a ladies get-together after shopping. Uncle Julio's was ready when we got there - no waiting. We were seated and greeted right away. Our server had a new server working with him also. Our drinks and food all came quickly and correctly. We were not rushed to leave at all. We were able to all pay separately and we all liked the new payment method via tablet-like device. I would always recommend Uncle Julio's to anyone! Great location, ambiance, menu, drinks, personnel working there.

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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our food & service we’re both excellent.

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T
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

It took over 45 minutes to get our food. Then 1/3 meals was incorrect. It was comp'd but still was overall a disappointing visit. First & last time dining there.

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DG
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Our experience overall was good. Food wassd's great however service was bad. The girl that brought our food out practically threw a plate across the table to my friend and rolled her eyes at us multiple times. The manager came by after we complained and bought us a round of drinks which was nice - but doesn't make up for the girls poor attitude. I will return but hopefully have better service next time. The margaritas and steak were great though.

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DB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Wait was longer than expected but food and service were great.

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RM
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 4

Had a 7pm reservation through open table and did not get seated until 7:30pm even though we were told when we checked in at 7 that "we are making up your table right now". Only to be told 15 min. later that open table over booked them and that was the reason for the delay. Only to be told at 7:20 that we should have gone ahead and grabbed an open first come first serve table in the bar area (had kids with us). Only watch a group of 4 come in after us (we were 4 too) get seated before us. Very frustrating wait and experience. Asked to speak with the manager who was nice about it and accommodated us with a free drink, but he didn't show up on the scene to help manage his very young hostess staff until 25 minutes into this wait. Hostess staff could have saved us frustration by being honest at check in that it was going to be a wait despite our reservation. Also witnessed other people frustrated with the long wait and when they went to check status, they were told that their pager should have gone off and it clearly didn't.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Open table was a waste of time

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OT
Chicago
46 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

The tables were not very clean. Long lines at the entrance. Took a while to get some service.

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CB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food and great service here! Also wanted to say that I have dietary issues, and even though they initially messed up my order, they were so so accommodating and willing to make it right. Both the manager and chef came over to make sure my food was prepared correctly the second time. Restaurants are going to mess up, and it’s how they take care of any problems that indicate how well the restaurant is run and their focus on customer service. Will definitely go back

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KR
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food. Excellent drinks. Server very friendly, and helpful in making sure we got to a movie and time.

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MW
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 1food 4service 5ambience 3

Booked at 7:45 and not seated for 30 minutes. Crappy hostess but then had great service once seated

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RC
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

This is a good restaurant. They just missed the mark with serving cold food this time. Ordered a chicken dish with cheese (both were cold). This place has been “hit or miss” over the past few time we have been.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 3

The food is totally overrated and always has been. And it’s def not tasty what so ever!!!! Even with fajitas which you can’t go wrong with sucked as well. The chips and salsa even sucked! The only think this place has going is how nice the restaurant looks and that’s literally it!

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KG
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was great and the food fantastic! Love coming here!!!

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F
Pittsburgh
4 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 3ambience 3

This is the 2nd time dining at this restaurant, both of which were not great experiences. The 1st time we went the food was decent but the portion size and pricing was a little high. However, after leaving we found out that the waitress changed the tip on the bill to a lot higher than we gave, $19 more, thinking we wouldn't check our statements (tip was 20% already). We contacted the restaurant about the matter and they refunded the $19 the waitress added and kept the original tip amount.
After waiting a good amount of time we decided to try the place again since a waiter/waitress is not always the restaurants fault. Well, this time we made a reservation 15 minutes ahead of time since we live right down the road. Upon our arrival the worker at the front told us they could not accept our open table reservation but could seat us. They said they wouldn't accept our opentable reservation since it wasn't "30 minutes in advance" however can seat us. In my opinion this is so they wouldn't get charged by opentable for the visit and I have never in my life had this treatment from any other restaurant. I have been to many amazing restaurants and never feel the need to right a review but at this point I want to steer clear any individuals from wasting their money on such bad business behavior as well.

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CO
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Guacamole was very good, fish tacos and rice pretty bland. Margarita quite expensive. Overal an average dining experience.

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OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Good food. Reservation right on time. Teens enjoyed the chocolate pinata. Watched the -321 margarita cart. It was pretty neat.

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d
Chicago
85 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

always enjoy eating the food at Uncle Julio's. the chips and salsa were great, carne asada, fajitas, and enchiladas were very tasty. this chain has above average food and service, the food always tastes great. the chocolate pinata for dessert is big enough for 6 people, lots of fruit and mini churros, with dipping sauces and whipped cream.

will definitely be back.

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n
Chicago
35 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant! Excellent food and very reasonable prices

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j
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The best chips and salsa around! But...... We didn’t realize that with the chicken fajita’s, they leave the skin on the chicken breast. The chicken is cut into big fat strips instead of thin strips to put on the tortillas. Also, fajita’s typically have grilled onions and bell peppers with the chicken. These had 90% onions! Onions are cheaper than bell peppers. 3 of us had the chicken fajitas. Biting in to the fajita with chicken skin on the breast was like biting in to rubbery fat. After removing the remaining skin, the chicken was moist and flavorful. I also thought $18.99 for chicken fajitas was about $4 too high.... especially because there were hardly any bell peppers.

Our server was wonderful.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 3

Food was great, as always. However, one of the worst servers we have EVER had. Hopefully a 1 time thing.
Cannot say enough bad about the server

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SG
New England
15 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 5

Wasn’t as good this time around... service was slow because there was a shift change we waited almost an hour for our food. The drinks were good per usual. Recipes aren’t consistent based on the chef.

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P
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 4

3 out of the 6 meals in my party were served cold. Service was very slow and the food was average

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TA
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Went for my birthday. Their fajitas are the best. Sadly the guac cart was way behind so we didn’t get to check that out but got a chocolate piñata instead which are amazing!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Vegetarian options were limited.

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PM
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

My wife and I celebrated our anniversary with 4 members of our family at Uncle Julio's in Vernon Hills on Labor Day. We booked an early reservation (5:00pm) on OpenTable and were seated in the main dining area immediately. Our server, Bellanca, took our order almost immediately; we started with an order of the multi-ingredient guacamole as an appetizer with the limitless tostada chips: very good ($8.79). The two of us ordered the 321 Margarita - Mixed Berry, one with ($15.99) and one without alcohol ($9.99). We waited and waited. In the meantime, my son-in-law and I ordered the Chicken Tortilla soup ($6.99, large). The soup arrived but still no margaritas! The soup was tasty but those who sampled it agreed that it was too peppery. I reminded Bellanca that we were still waiting for our drinks; she apologized, saying that there was only one server with the equipment for making the beverage, and he was quite busy with other orders (!). As luck would have it, the 321 cart arrived along with our entrees. As far as the margaritas are concerned, I think that they are way overpriced, much too sweet and syrupy, and, in the alcoholic version, contain too much tequila - I would recommend forgoing it in the future once you have enjoyed the experience of its preparation (mashing the fruit and blending in liquid nitrogen -VERY cold). I ordered the Carne Asada ($23.29), a large, thin portion of grilled beef that was tasty but seasoned excessively with salt. My wife chose the Salmon Jardin Fajitas ($20.99), which she enjoyed. Our entrees came with tortillas, beans and brown rice, and a side of guacamole with tomato. Our group was quite satiated so we ordered just one Mini Cajeta (single portion of ice cream, $3.49) to share for dessert. So, in summary, our family enjoyed the experience of dining (again) at Uncle Julio's but there IS some room for improvement: in the cuisine, beverages, and service.

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AH
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Loved the chocolate lovers coconut. The food was mediocre .

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

We were spilled on. Asked for the manager and a fake manager came over. Not well run. I even received a message from open table saying I didn’t honor the reservation and I did. I mentioned open table as well. Poorly run and managed.

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SL
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

We had a reservation that we arrived on time for, but we were seated at the worst table...right by the kitchen with lots of traffic. Food and bowl was dropped by server at an adjacent table, then 5-10 minutes later the server let food and plates from our order fall off the tray next to our table. The manager came by to apologize, I expressed my disappointment in our table but she didn’t understand why...not sure she should be a manager. And our waitress was very busy, probably waiting too many tables...couldn’t even keep straight same three drinks for my children...Diet Coke NOT Dr. Pepper please. We won’t be returning.

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PR
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Food was cold and greasy and terrible service outside.

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S
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was good, salsa was excellent today. Music playing was way to loud for afternoon lunch.

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OT
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Good menu options and well prepared. The wait to be seated was a little long and the server attendance could stand improvement during the weekend.

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TG
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. Food and service are great. I do not like the system where I have a reservation, and get handed a pager to wait. Has happened several times.

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SG
New England
16 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Always good drinks and chips and salsa. Good service! The swirl is a MUST!

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NM
Chicago
45 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

New manager, always had good food, often unreliable service, they have stepped up their game.

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OT
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great meal for our anniversary- staff was really friendly and accommodating. Will definitely go back.

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DF
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

TOO NOISY! Need some sound-suppression measures! Couldn't hear the conversation across the table!!

We understood the server was new and had an ooops or 2. Manager stopped by to explain what happened. A free drink would have softened the delays and mistake.

A little overpriced for drinks! Really, $5.25 for a bottle of Modelo!!! Crazy!

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RG
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Bartender made the wrong drink. Prices are high for the amount of food you receive.

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K
Atlanta
19 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

It seems like it should be great, but it was a miss for us. The server was super personable, but that didn't really help the slow service in the end. Margaritas are super sweet! I sent one back for a less sweet version which was equally sweet and took 10 minutes to get. The food was very slow to arrive. The glazed salmon was tasty, but overcooked even though I asked for it not to be overcooked. The pork fajitas were dry. Everything lacked flavor & acid. The server never came ask how the food was, so we never got a chance to comment. It took a long time to get the check too.

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J
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food and service were just average. Do not like their salsa. Don't like that smoked flavor in my salsa. Chips are too thin also. Broke too easy.

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Tweets by Uncle Julio's - Vernon Hills