El Alma Cafe y Cantina
1025 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78704Neighborhood:
MexicanPrice: $30 and under
El Alma Cafe y Cantina
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.elalmacafe.com/
- Phone: 5126098923
- Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday: 11:00am -3:00pm;
Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm;
Sunday - Monday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm;
Tuesday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm;
Friday - Saturday: 3:00pm - 11:00pm;
Monday - Friday: 3:00pm -7:00pm;
Saturday - Sunday: 3:00pm - 6:00pm;
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Executive Chef: Alma Alcocer
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
- Catering: For catering please call (512) 391-0936 or email us at email@example.com.
A word from El Alma Cafe y Cantina
El Alma Cafe y Cantina is vibrant, homespun take on the authentic flavors of Mexico. Chef Alma Alcocer prepares food as she would cook for you in her home.Continued
"It"s fun, flavorful Mexican food that is very approachable. It's a casual, authentic representation of the food I grew up eating." - Chef Alma
"It"s fun, flavorful Mexican food that is very approachable. It's a casual, authentic representation of the food I grew up eating." - Chef Alma
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
El Alma Cafe y Cantina - Best Restaurants in Downtown ›
El Alma Cafe y Cantina reviews from OpenTable diners
49 reviews since June 27, 2014
- Ambiance3.9Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (29)great for outdoor dining (29)fit for foodies (18)great for lunch (16)good for groups (14)hot spot (12)great for brunch (10)scenic view (9)special occasion (7)vibrant bar scene (4)romantic (4)kid-friendly (3)late-night find (1)Show More
- El Alma in the 04OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 8/30/2014We're new to living off south 5th and passed by it several times before giving it a try. Was very impressed with interior Mexican cuisine. Reminded me of our vacation in Tulum. Staff was very attentive and the food was awesome.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Parking set a bad toneDineoutDined on 8/28/2014Food and service were fair- delicious plantains, good ingredients but bland. Parking is awful. We had a good time, but I think it is overrated.
- Good food, robotic serviceHelloDined on 8/28/2014The food was good but Chad the waiter was a robot. No hello, thanks, or goodbye. Just a "do you want a drink" and "what do you want to order". At first we thought he was the bus boy as he filled the water glasses with not even a word. Then he says "do you a drink" with absolutely no emotion in his voice. He was efficient, I guess, but did not make us feel particularly welcome.
- Too hot to eat outside!JupieVIPDined on 8/27/2014Although the outdoor seating looked awesome, it was too hot the day I visited. Very energetic and busy! Food and service were both awesome - Highly recommend the duck mole!Special Features:
- Pleasantly surprisedFantasticVIPDined on 8/10/2014We love to find new places to eat and this one will stay on our radar. Driving up to it, it doesn't look like much but once you walk in you are hooked. The winding staircase against the natural rock wall with fountain leads you up to the quaint deck. We stopped in for brunch and had one of the best Eggs Benedict dishes EVER! Egg cooked perfectly with a delicious lump crab cream sauce! Great margarita too and our waitress gave us a free guacamole salsa (supposed to check into Facebook) but we are not on Facebook. Overall, great meal, nice deck top view, cool vibe & great service. What more can you ask for?Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great spot!BeeCaveDinerDined on 8/9/2014We hadn't been to El Alma before but we'll definitely be back! Our group of six ordered five different dishes and everyone loved what they had! Each one presented beautifully and tasted fantastic. I had the Duck Relleno and will make a special trip back just for more! Our experience was wonderful!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very happyAliGDined on 8/3/2014Our table was waiting and ready. The mimosas are the best!!! They made a quesadilla for my niece & the guacamole was really goodSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Tex Mex Sweet SpotFoodbitchVIPDined on 7/25/2014There's Tex-Mex and then there's fancy Mex and then, in the sweet spot, is El Alma. I came with a bachelorette group and though we were a bit overdressed, the pricing, taste and quality of the food was more upscale. The look of the place is festive yet classy. Service was great except that two of our friends called ahead to send tequila shots and a bottle of champagne to our table. The folks at El Alma took both credit cards, charged them, and never sent anything out to us. The first girl called and got credited, but the second one didn't realize the champagne never came and probably wouldn't ever have been credited had we not told her the bottle never came. :-/ That was disappointing, but otherwise a tasty, festive meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- We love El Alma!vajaja777Dined on 7/19/2014This place is great. The perfect place to have lunch after a swim at Barton Springs or a pre ACL show dinner & drinks. The service is great; friendly and efficient staff. The food is fresh and tasty and the drinks are yummy! My favorites are the Palomita and the chili-lime margarita (i forgot the name). The outdoor patio is nice too (when it's not 100 degrees)!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Spot on Barton Springs RdnanainaustinDined on 7/18/2014This was my first visit to El Alma. The food was delicious and healthy. I ordered a salad with grilled shrimp added and it was perfect! Will definitely recommend to friends and plan to add this place to my list of good restaurants in Austin.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great place, but.... mosquitos!TLSCDined on 7/11/2014The food was great, especially empanadas and corn pudding/muffins. Bad part is though we sat up on the top deck (was pretty noisy inside) the mosquitos ate us alive! Maybe they can get one of those fogger machines or just spray & have fans going everywhere. I'll definitely go back, but I'll go pre-sprayed with deet!Special Features:
- fine interior Mexican cuisineOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 7/4/2014A terrific and high-moderate price dining experience for those seeking Interior Mexican with a hint of Northern fusion. The Guacamole is a must-try for serious fans of this dish, and the duck chile rellenos are a wonderful dinner. A companion had the duck enchiladas which he pronounced among the tastiest enchiladas he had had anywhere. We dined inside but visited the upstairs patio and it was actually quite breezy and comfortable-- even on a July evening-- and quite spacious. The tables are a bit close together and it's not a terribly intimate atmosphere but is still a good "date" restaurant. The service was quite good although our waitress seemed a bit harried (it was a saturday evening and quite busy) I'll be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- incredible food arrangements!hearthealthyDined on 7/4/2014We were thoroughly impressed with every dish!! Dont pass this place up if you have the chance.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 7/4/2014food was great....service was great and it was easy to get a table.....ill be backSpecial Features:
- reservation not helpfulUTCSprofDined on 6/28/2014My reservation was for 6:30. I thought that would be plenty of time to get across the street to a play at Dougherty Arts Center at 7:30. Wrong! I finally got seated at 7:00, got served at 7:15 and had to gulp down the food and hoof it over there. Luckily the play was late starting. I realize that they can't predict how long folks will stay at tables, but don't accept more reservations than you can reliably handle. The food was good and the waiter helpful in expediting service, but there simply wasn't enough time.
- The following 149 reviews are from the El Alma Cafe y Cantina reviews archive.
- Delicious!fireballDined on 6/20/2014I usually have Tex-Mex but grew up in Austin and love trying restaurants I've never been two when I come back into town. I came with four friends who were also first-timers. We made a reservation to avoid the wait which I was thankful of when we arrived. We sat upstairs on the deck but by one of the several huge mounted fans to counteract the humidity. The had string lights for a great ambiance. Amongst the four us of we ordered the sangria, the margarita verde, tacos (pork, carne asada, shrimp, veggie, and fish) and the empanada appetizer. We were in heaven and everything was so delicious. Our server, Holden, was awesome...friendly and efficient. Definitely a great place to try for authentic interior Mexican dishes. We'll be back!Special Features:
- Great Neighborhood GemCaptainDickDined on 6/20/2014This was our first, and not the last visit to El Alma. We picked it due to it's location across the street from the Long Center. The food was great! We were served by a lovely waitress who made sure we had everything we wanted. They were timely with serving as they knew we had to go to a performance across the street. This si a very popular restaurant so be sure to make reservations.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent interior Mexican foodTheloniouscoltraneDined on 6/18/2014If you are looking for Tex-Mex, go elsewhere. But, if you love the real thing, the type of food you would find in a nice restaurant in Morelia or Zacatecas, then this is your place. Service was good, but not at all up to the standard of the food.Special Features:
- downtown sights, taste, styleAustinFredDined on 6/8/2014El Alma is a friendly vibe spot with quality food, service and view of downtown. They take reservations and have reserved parking. They remind me of the early days at fonda san Miguel.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fresh, Inventive Haven of GoodnessOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 6/7/2014I love how chef Alma puts an innovate flavor and presentation twist on foods that are fresh and consistently delicious. El Alma is a little haven with healthful, tasty, attractively-presented options coupled with fantastic cocktails in a fun, eclectic setting. The highlighted specials are unique and quick to disappear, and I adore the Rio Ruby Martini. One of my favorite escapes.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Mexican foodAustinJoeDined on 6/7/2014I almost hesitate to tell people how good this place is. The food is great, the service is superb, if only they had a better parking lot, it would be perfect. Once it's "found" I probably won't be able to get a reservation again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WheelikDined on 5/31/2014One my favorite places. Great tacos, Chile Rellenos and even better Margarittas!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Spicy MargaritasTexas75Dined on 5/30/2014Went here for a quick drink and taco with a friend on Friday night. It was a busy place but made a reservation 10 minutes before and got right in. Really enjoyed the Orange Spicy Margaritas and patio vibes. Not my top pick for Mexican in Austin but definitely a tasty spot.Special Features:
- Perfect margaritas & experienceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 5/17/2014The Saturday Spring afternoon on the patio was complemented by the Perfect margaritas and Happy Hour margaritas. Derrick, a manager, ended up being our server, as we seemed to need lots of attention. The food recommendations were on target for my vegan dinner date. It is obvious the chef puts her soul into each dish and I can't live without the corn pudding!Special Features:
- Good DinnerneedtonoDined on 5/17/2014Enjoyed our dinner at El Alma. Wait staff was helpful and accommodating when we asked to move to upstairs outdoor area.Special Features:
- Great food!Cmc21VIPDined on 5/16/2014Great drinks, delicious food... The lamb Barbacoa tacos and the duck enmoladas are fantastic!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A nice mealcedarparkexplorerDined on 5/16/2014We had a very enjoyable evening at El Alma, but I probably won't be running back anytime soon. It's quite possible we just didn't find the menu items that are most "our speed." Trying some new things (like the shrimp chilada) let us down a bit.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FABulous!!eabestcafeDined on 5/16/2014El Alma Cafe y Cantina is an all around Austin gem. We take all of our friends and family there, and it never fails to quickly jump to the top of their short list of favorites too. Chef Alma is imaginative and creative, so be sure to ask about her specials. I'm allergic to gluten and Chef Alma and all of her staff are fastidious in their preparation of my meals. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and attentive. You MUST try the Margarita Chilanga!! El Alma is, by far, my favorite restaurant ever, any where!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- BatmanDined on 5/15/2014Best vegetarian enchiladas I've ever had. Ambiance is unique with a natural cliff used for the back wall. There is a nice outdoor veranda for outside dining. Overall a casual and nice atmosphere.Special Features:
- Favorite interior MexicanFoodie52Dined on 5/11/2014Alma Alcocer-Thomas puts out some of the best food in the city. Her moles are incredible . We go at least twice a month for some of the bet food in town, and that's saying something in Austin.Special Features:
- I will visit againOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 5/9/2014but I will eat outdoors. I wanted to eat on the lovely terraces, but feared rain. Too noisy inside. Great food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Perfect pre-show spotveggieloverDined on 5/9/2014We went to EL Alma for dinner before watching a performance at the Dougherty Center--the location couldn't have been more convenient! We requested a nice shaded table outdoors (upstairs), since it was beautiful outside. I much prefer the upstairs if it's not too hot out, as it tends to get a little noisy in the main dining area. Plus, the stonework and the ballustrade on the stairwell are beautiful! Our waiter was very enthusiastic and helpful--he had a terrific handle of the beer selection, none of which is listed on the menu! Two of us in our group are pescatarians, and there were plenty of yummy veggie & fish choices. Overall, a great experience, we will likely go back to El Alma.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious!OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 5/8/2014Order the plantain apps. Ridiculously yummy. Fish tacos = fantastic.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great authentic Mexican food!noemifromlondonDined on 5/1/2014Get the duck enmoladas! Sooo good! Also, the cocktails are amazing! Love the rooftop space.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 4/20/2014Great brunch .. Reservations not needed if you arrive early.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- YummyFoodieX4VIPDined on 4/19/2014Delicious food, good service. Drinks are potent. famiy favorite is the Michelada. Love the soup(crema de elote), and the garden salad with the fried cheese strips. Our favorite is also the stuffed pepper.Special Features:
- Ordered the black drum, cameMPdinerDined on 4/11/2014Ordered the black drum, came literally and completely uncooked (not rare, uncooked). My husband ordered the pork chip. Great mole sauce. Their chips on the table seemed out of a commercial bag. Our waiter was awful. Forgetful, not attentive. Wouldn't go back.
- All I can say is WOW!OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 4/5/2014So excited to find El Alma. The food was amazing. Ceviche was delicious. Salsas were both outstanding. Main dishes were different than standard Mexican food. They were out of this world. Margaritas are very good as well. Can't wait to return. Todd, our server, did a great job too.Special Features:
- Avoid weekend nights if its coldRussellinAustinDined on 4/4/2014Since it was a bit cool Friday night, everyone wanted an inside table rather than sit on the patio. So, the place was packed and it was LOUD! This apparently also pushed the hostess over the edge and our evening started with her rude, snippy attitude. However, the waitress was great and the food was fine so we survived.Special Features:
- UnderwhelmedelsieDined on 3/30/2014My reservation for three at noon on a Sunday was barely acknowledged by the hostesses. We weren't offered a choice of outside or in, but I figured they were busy. Inside was not packed, but they put us in between two loud tables. We made the mistake of telling our server we needed more time to decide. He took forever to get back to us. And was also sloppy refilling our water, of course, didn't bother to clean up. Food was ok, overpriced in my opinion.