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  • El Alma Cafe y Cantina

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El Alma Cafe y Cantina
El Alma Cafe y Cantina

El Alma Cafe y Cantina Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.elalmacafe.com
  • Phone: (512) 609-8923
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch:

    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;

    Happy Hour:

    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 info@elalmacafe.com.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Dawson
  • Parking: Private Lot
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.

"It"s fun, flavorful Mexican food that is very approachable. It's a casual, authentic representation of the food I grew up eating." - Chef AlmaContinued
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "We 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!"
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Our table was waiting and ready. The mimosas are the best!!! They made a quesadilla for my niece & the guacamole was really good"
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "There'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."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "This 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)!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "This 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."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "The 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!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "A 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!"
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "We were thoroughly impressed with every dish!! Dont pass this place up if you have the chance."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "food was great....service was great and it was easy to get a table.....ill be back"
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "My 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."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "I 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!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "This 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."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "If 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."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "El 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."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "I 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."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "I 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."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "One my favorite places. Great tacos, Chile Rellenos and even better Margarittas! "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Went 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."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "The 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! "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Enjoyed our dinner at El Alma. Wait staff was helpful and accommodating when we asked to move to upstairs outdoor area."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Great drinks, delicious food... The lamb Barbacoa tacos and the duck enmoladas are fantastic! "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "We 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. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "El 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!"
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Best 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. "
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "Alma 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."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "but I will eat outdoors. I wanted to eat on the lovely terraces, but feared rain. Too noisy inside. Great food."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Order the plantain apps. Ridiculously yummy. Fish tacos = fantastic."
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "Get the duck enmoladas! Sooo good! Also, the cocktails are amazing! Love the rooftop space. "
    Dined on 5/1/2014
  • "Great brunch .. Reservations not needed if you arrive early."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Delicious 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. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Ordered 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."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "So 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."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Since 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."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "My 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."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "My Girlfriend and I were looking for a great brunch place in Austin and this was a perfect choice. The food wasn't only delicious but their presentations were unique and taste were flavorfull. "
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "A group of us from our neighborhood had brunch. Each of us had a different menu item and everyone of the five of us were absolutely delighted with our selections. This is not your normal Mexican Restaurant. The Chef has a great imagination and it shows in the great variety of dishes offered, most of which you would not find elsewhere. There are some standby menu items for die hard Tex-Mex fans, but most of the fare is a wonderful blend of the basics with a lot of imagination. We loved our meal. The service could not have been better and that along with the relaxing pace made for a delightful early afternoon for all of us."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "This is my favorite brunch place on Sundays, especially when the weather is nice! The outside patio is so charming and is great for dates - they have great cocktails and strung lights outside at night. The Huevos Franceses during brunch is to die for!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Amazing food (duck rellenos, lamb tacos) and margaritas, nice outdoor seating, waitress and bartender were great and friendly. Would absolutely go back."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "This place has awsome food!! Our server was great! BUT, when you make reservationss they do not let you know that outdoor seating is first come first serve! It was a beautiful Friday night in Austin and I had made 7:15 reservations. Arrived on time. Was told we could be seated in the deafening dining room, or wait about half an hour for the outdoor seating. We were not happy! BUT the food and service made up for most of it, except for hoarse throats from trying to make conversation. Will return, but much earlier reservations! Parking is also a problem if you arrive when we did! Noise level bad! Ambiance ok inside."
    Dined on 3/21/2014