Cafe Rio Copycat Recipes – All the Best in One Place


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Our Cafe Rio Copycat Recipes have been a huge hit, so we thought we would compile them ALL in one post! Our salad, beans, rice, soup, burritos and more!

Cafe Rio Copycat Recipes

Cafe Rio Copycat Recipes

Here they are! All our Cafe Rio copycat recipes all in one easy to find post! You will find quite a few Cafe Rio copycat recipes floating around out there, however, we are proud to be the home of the ORIGINAL Copycat Cafe Rio Recipes (If there is such a thing as an “original” copycat. I guess that’s kind of an oxymoron). When I first posted the sweet pork recipe back in 2007 I couldn’t find a copycat recipe anywhere (at least one that looked somewhat accurate)! So, I created my own. Eventually we started coming up with more and more recipes until we got ourselves quite the collection.

What is Cafe Rio

Before I get ahead of myself, for those of you who have never heard of Cafe Rio allow me to elaborate. Cafe Rio is a quick-serve Mexican grill where you can create your own burritos, salads, enchiladas, and more. It is similar to Chipotle but served enchilada style (not wrapped in foil and hand-held).


Cafe Rio shredded pork, beef, and chicken

Most of the menu items at Cafe Rio or Costa Vida begin with some kind of meat. Your meat choices consist of sweet pork, shredded chicken, grilled chicken, shredded beef, or grilled steak. The most popular meat at Cafe Rio is the shredded sweet pork. This is made with enchilada sauce, brown sugar, and Coca Cola.

Our Mexican Shredded Beef is very similar to the shredded beef the serve at Cafe Rio. In fact, we like our recipe better because it has more flavor. Any time we make Cafe Rio recipes using the shredded beef we will use this recipe.

You can find our Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken recipe in our first cookbook but we will be adding it soon to the website! Keep an eye out for it!

Cafe Rio Burrito

Cafe Rio burritos (click HERE for full recipe) are made with a giant homemade tortilla and served with lettuce and pico de gallo. They are filled with:

  • Your favorite meat (see above)
  • Cilantro Lime Rice
  • Black beans or pinto beans
  • Enchilada sauce (red, medium green, or mild green)
  • Mexican blend shredded cheese

Once your burrito is assembled, you can make it “enchilada style” by adding more enchilada sauce, topping it with more cheese, and heating in the oven until the cheese is melted. Add shredded lettuce and pico de gallo to the side and you are ready to go!

Cafe Rio Salad

Copycat Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad with chopped lettuce, shredded pork, cilantro rice, black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, and tortilla strips served in an aluminum tin

Cafe Rio Salads (click HERE for full salad recipe) also start with a large tortilla. Add a little cheese to the tortilla and place in the oven until cheese melts. Then add:

Cilantro Lime Dressing being poured over a salad


If you are making enchiladas for your family, it is more practical to make enchiladas family-style. We just call them Family Style Burritos. You can assemble a bunch at once and then serve! This is our favorite way of making them. If you are wanting to stay authentic to Cafe Rio, you can make them individually by assembling them with your favorite meat, enchilada sauce, and cheese wrapped in a flour enchilada-sized tortilla. The beans and rice are served on the side along with lettuce and pico de gallo.


The tacos are served with your favorite meat in a small flour tortilla and topped with lettuce, pico, and cheese. The rice and beans are served on the side. You can order (or make) these with softened corn tortillas as well.

Cafe Rio Soup

The tortilla soup at Cafe Rio is one of my very favorite soups EVER (full recipe here)! It is so easy to make! You just get a bowl and add:

  • shredded chicken
  • pico del gallo
  • guacamole (or avocado)
  • pinto beans
  • cheese
  • seasoned chicken broth
  • tortilla strips
  • cilantro and lime (for garnish)

If you can’t find the recipes here on our site try looking in our first COOKBOOK [HERE].
Here are the recipes you will find:

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. Just had the pollo asada at the new Cafe Rio in Meridian by Costco. OMGoodness, amazing! It’s my new favorite besides the sweet pork

    1. That is great to hear! I am so glad that you all loved it. Thanks for letting us know!

  2. 5 stars
    I gotta try this restaurant! These recipes are so delicious and easy! I gotta try this restaurant to see what else I’m missing! But LOVING on these delicious recipes!! Those enchiladas are SO good! And LOVE the soup!!

  3. We just made the sweet pork salad with the dressing and cilantro rice and it was so delicious! Thank you for sharing these recipes!

  4. I see the Cilantro lime vinaigarette recipe. Do you have one for their house dressing? It is more of a ranch type dressing?

  5. Oh my gosh! You guys saved me! I lived in Utah for a year, and I miss it so much! My favorite place to eat out was at Cafe Rio, but here in Denmark there is nothing that can compare! So I’m so happy, that now I can cook my favorite food here! Thanks a lot guys!

    1. Thanks Lisa! I think you will LOVE these recipes. They taste just like the food at Cafe Rio. They are some of the most popular recipes on our site. I’m glad you found us. Erica’s husband lived in Denmark for two years. He loves Danish food! Please share your Danish recipes with us! We have a few on our site, but would love more!

  6. I am not seeing a link in the top right hand corner of your website here to order your Café Rio cookbook. Can you please help me out?

    1. The Cafe Rio recipes are a part of our current cookbook. There isn’t a separate one for Cafe Rio recipes. Hope this helps!

  7. Hi, I was hoping to make both the sweet pork and the cilantro rice tonight; however, it says that the links are not working! Have you moved these pages?

    1. They should still be there.. if the links are broken try searching for them in the search box above. The recipes are for sure here on the site!

          1. Hey Amber! I got them all fixed tonight! They are definitely all working now, try refreshing the page and they should all work! Thanks for letting us know about the broken links.

    1. In the top right-hand side of our site you will see an image of our book. You can click on that and link you to Amazon where you can buy it! Thanks for your interest!

  8. I saw the guacamole recipe, you mentioned barbacoa. I love that place. Have you come up with their salsa verde and chips recipes?

  9. It was mentioned on your site that you can buy a cookbook with all the Cafe Rio recipes. How do I go about ordering one rather than print each recipe out? Thanks, Shelly

  10. I cannot access any of these recipes. I keep getting error messages. Thanks for any help getting them back on the web!

          1. It’s still not working 🙁 i’ve used these recipes a number of times and never had a problem, now I cant access them! These are the only cafe rio recipes that are actually good!

  11. Do you know about how much the beans, dressing, and pork this will feed? I am planning on cooking this for a group of about 25 people.

  12. There are three recipes I would love to see on here, since they are part of our favorite Cafe Rio dishes (perhaps I missed them though): Shredded Roast beef, green mild enchilada sauce, and the red hot sauce. Thanks for what is already here!