The famous guacamole. Photo courtesy of Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

How to Make the Rio Grande’s Famous Guacamole at Home


You already know and love the Rio, which has been a Boulder staple since 1989.

Chances are, you’ve had a few of their margaritas (yum!) and many of their different entrees. But their guacamole really takes the cake.

In honor of National Guacamole Day on Sept. 16, the Rio has graciously decided to share the recipe for their most popular appetizer: their classic five-minute guacamole.

And we’re not lying when we say it’s popular. Every week, the Rio goes through nearly 5,000 avocados across their five restaurants along the Front Range and in the mountains!

And when you make this delicious green concoction in your own kitchen, you’re really making a piece of history.

You see, the Rio’s guac recipe hasn’t changed since the 1980s. The Rio first opened 34 years ago in Fort Collins and has been thriving ever since.

And as for its guacamole, why mess with perfection? As the old adage goes, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!”

Avocados. Photo courtesy of Pexels

The recipe hasn’t changed, no, but the Rio has freshened up the presentation here and there. Today, the Rio’s famous guacamole is served on new plate ware and with new accompaniments to keep things interesting.

The recipe exemplifies the Rio’s approach to food and drinks more broadly.

“Source high-quality ingredients,” says Eric Whisenhunt, the Rio’s food and beverage director.”Prep them as freshly and as close to serving as possible. Season them simply, but appropriately, and let the ingredients shine. This is our core philosophy across most of our menu, and it’s the secret to our three-plus decades of success.”

Avocados. Photo courtesy of Pexels

If you haven’t been to the Rio lately, it’s time to pay a visit. The restaurant recently underwent a $500,000 renovation at its 1101 Walnut Street location in Boulder. The restaurant is open for dine-in service as well as takeout, delivery and catering.

In the meantime, you can try your hand at making the Rio’s delicious guacamole at home. Here’s what you need to make it happen.

Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant’s Guacamole Recipe

Serves 10-12 as an appetizer


  • 6 Haas avocados
  • 0.25 fl oz lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Optional: cotija cheese and pico de gallo for topping


  1. Carefully pit and spoon avocados into a bowl
  2. Squeeze in lime and add garlic and salt.
  3. Mash them together with a potato masher. A few lumps are OK as long as they are not hard unripe avocados. If you don’t have a masher, use a fork.
  4. It is sprinkled with cotija cheese and plated with pico de gallo – a mixture of diced onions, jalapenos, tomatoes and cilantro.

Pro tip for leftovers: Prevent browning by pressing plastic wrap against the top of the leftover guacamole before storing.

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