While we’ve taken a break from our yearly ranking of the best bars in McAllen, we felt that we could still be a service to our community by sifting through the hundreds of restaurants and finding the very worst that local McAllen cuisine has to offer.
When coming up with this list, we figured that we’d set some ground rules and tiebreakers to ensure the integrity (ha!) of our list remains unquestionable.
First, we took out any national chains such as fast food franchises or dinner staples like Chilis or (shiver) Applebees so that we may only focus on local establishments. Next, restaurants without ratings would not be considered for this list. To settle any tiebreakers, if two restaurants have an identical rating, the restaurant with the higher total number of 1 to 3-star reviews would be considered the worse of the two.
Abstract: From our exhaustive 10-minute research, we found that the range for “the worst” ratings hovered closer to 3.0 to 3.9. There were no local restaurants in our results for “restaurants in McAllen” that were rated any lower than a 3.0. It’s also worth noting that Google’s review algorithm is fairly forgiving meaning you REALLY have to suck to rank lower than a 3.5.
Without further adieu, here are the 10 worst restaurants in McAllen for 2019:
10. Kurai Sushi & Chinese Buffet
Google Rating: 3.9 (7); Sushi; 4037 W Expy 83
Our Take: It’s the Valley. Our sushi game (or our Asian restaurant game, really) is not exactly the best.
Featured 1-Star Review: “The food is NOT as good as it used to be… crumbs and more crumbs… the “orange chicken” its just piece of chicken breaded like 3 times … (but yet they did rise up the price) Not coming back sorry but NOT sorry!” – Daniel B
9. Polito’s Mexican Restaurant
Google Rating: 3.9 (44); Mexican; 2433 N McColl Rd
Our Take: Polito’s is a Mexican buffet nestled near Pecan. That’s about all I know about this place.
Featured 1-Star Review: “Buffet was not good at all and they were adding new food over the old scraped food at the bottom. We had to wait ten minutes before they added anything on the buffet table because everything was gone. I would definitely not recommend.” – Celena Miller
8. Paprika Seafood and Mexican Kitchen
Google Rating: 3.9 (50); Mexican; 1518 N 23rd St
Our Take: Again, I have legitimately never heard of this restaurant, but it’s the Valley. Every Mexican restaurant is literally a drop of water in the ocean. Apparently, there’s something going on between this restaurant and a neighboring taco stand.
Featured 1-Star Review: “First off, even though they blocked the drive thru of Ms G’s it doesn’t stop me from going through their parking lot to get to Ms G. Decided to order the shrimp cocktail, no flavor, and the menu is all over the place. I know you’re trying to sabotage Ms G but it ain’t gonna happen. She’s my ride or die.” –Ashley A
“Never coming here again. Owner doesn’t like competition so the block the order window of the next door business with Employee cars. Totally classless.” – Ricardo Ramirez
7. House of China
Google Rating: 3.9 (566) and 3.9 (570); Chinese; 2001 S. 10th St and 4008 N 10th St
Our Take: John Sun’s House of China has the distinction of not just one but TWO restaurants with the exact same mediocre rating. Don’t get me wrong, John Sun is probably rolling in cash and sometimes I legit wonder if he ever uses his local celebrity to his advantage. “Hi I’m Joawn San and I wan a table dance now.”
Featured 1-Star Review: “If I could give this place ZERO stars I so would. There was a few empty trays so we had to wait for fried rice, broccoli beef…no biggie. Our server however NEVER came to our table other than to throw down some napkins and forks. The hostess was fantastic! She brought us our drinks, got us refills, took dirty plates we were done with. The biggest thing was upon eating dessert I found mold on a little cake after I had just ate one of those small squares. My fiance took my plate to the front to the Asst. Manager Miguel Munoz who’s reply was Oh then took the plate to the kitchen. The whole rest of the time we were there he NEVER came to the table to apologise ask if there was anything he could do nothing. Upon leaving the lady at the register asked if everything was alright. My fiance was like no she had mold on her food and the manager couldn’t even say he was sorry. So the girl at the register caught the mangers attention and asked him if she should give me a discount and he said oh yes give them 10% off. So our bill went from 27.98 to 25.98…… I will NEVER go back there. Be mindful of what y’all are eating.” – Kimberly Golden
6. Little Tokyo Restaurant
Google Rating: 3.8 (69); Japanese; 2200 S 10th St (La Plaza Mall)
Our Take: It really shouldn’t surprise anybody that a food court option is on our list or that they actually DON’T serve anything remotely Japanese.
Featured 1-Star Review: “Never coming back. Just witnessed the manager or owner slap one of her employees. The employee even said she was even bullied by him.” – Sendy Quintanilla
5. Korea Garden Restaurant
Google Rating: 3.8 (93); Korean barbecue; 3424 N 10th St
Our Take: If you’ve never had Korean barbecue, you’re missing out; just make sure this isn’t where you try it for the first time.
Featured 1-Star Review: “worst Korean food ever. Dumplings were under cooked and raw at places. Server didn’t care about the compliant. I ordered beef Bulgogi done table size. It had no flavor. Poor quality vegetables.
Way Overpriced for the quality of food and ambience” – Shashi Singhal
4. La Siberia Restaurant
Google Rating: 3.8 (204); Mexican Cuisine; 1700 N 10th St.
Our Take: This is the place that took over the Whataburger on 10th with a ghastly color scheme meant to melt your eyes.
Featured 1-Star Review: “Very poor service especially for the price. We were the only one’s in the restaurant and were treated as if it was the busiest place on earth. Served chips in a small bowl for maybe one person when there were four of us. My nachos were so soggy and the wings smelled like they were drowned in Tabasco.” – George Orive
Google Rating: 3.7 (337); Mexican; 4300 N Col Rowe Blvd
Our Take: From my own experience, I can tell you that their server scheme is the most chaotic I’ve ever seen with everyone working at a dizzying pace and nobody actually getting any help.
Featured 1-Star Review: “Bad experience I will never go back there. They were disorganized, unattentive, and the food took way to long to be served, I understand if they were busy but it was after 1200 and it was slow.“ – Joey Juarez
2. Polo Restaurant/Rodriguez Restaurant
Google Rating: 3.3 (4); American; 721 S Bicentennial Blvd
Our Take: Another restaurant that I had no clue existed until today, which would make sense since they’ve changed their name.
Featured 1-Star Review: “New name…Rodriguez Restaurant…Plate of eggs and ham for $ 10+ dollars….ROBBERY !!! Stay away from this rip off place. Super caro…..por un plato de dos huevos con jamón mas de 10 dólares….ROBO descarado !!” – Rey De Luna
1. Carlos Y Jose Mexican Restaurant
Google Rating: 3.3 (326); Mexican; 721 S Bicentennial Blvd
Our Take: I’ve passed by this place a few times, never ever considering walking in for food. Now, I feel like the Hand of God was keeping me safely away.
Featured 1-Star Review: “$39 for two people?! The worst part is that it sucked!! wifes order was discusting fried shrimp was a mushed! You can tell it was reheated! They dint want to make a steak burger because it took to long and they probably had to actually make it! One server was really nice and older women!” – Hugh Mireles