El Alma Cafe y Cantina
Better than ExpectedThis was out first visit - and we will return! We were attending a show at the Long Center, and found El Alma on-line as a nearby restaurant. We booked a reservation on-line through OpenTable, asked for a romantic table on the deck/roof with shade. They delivered just what we asked for!
The ambiance was quite nice and decent, for outdoor dining. There were plenty of fans around the roof top that kept the air moving (while a bit noisy at first, we quickly got used to them). We were dressed rather nicely; yet, this is a classic Austin spot that you will feel comfortable wearing everything from the "just returned from the lake" attire, to classy "out-on-the-town" chic. Food and service was very good and friendly, without being in the way.6/8/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat time had by allDropped in here for a birthday dinner. Food was fantastic. Drinks were delicious.
Great energy. Good scene.6/7/2013 12:00:00 AMPre Long Center diningTable reservation recommended. Table was ready for us when we arrived. Wine list good. Wide selection of food on the menu and everything we ordered was delicious. The table was a little small for all the items; water, drinks, food. Service was good but not excellent. The food came out though pretty quickly. The ambience bright and decor nice but the noise level loud and a little distracting. Overall a good place.6/7/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat outdoor dining on a warm day!The shade provided by the trees, umbrellas and the wall mounted fans make it such an easy breezy, ideal, outdoor patio restaurant option! The rib-eye adobado was incredibly tasty! The cocktails, although visually inviting were a little disappointing - the margarita and mojito tasted almost identical. I've had better. Service was quick and attentive. Overall a great place to hang-out on a hot summer night! II will definitely be back for brunch, happy hour and dinner plus will recommend your restaurant to friends.5/31/2013 12:00:00 AMRepeat PerformanceWonderful food! Been here a few times, consistently good food. We normally order wine, but this time ordered one of their margaritas: Milagro Martini. Packs a Punch! Very tasty, goes down smooth, and sneaks up on you, well worth the experience. The chile relleno is delicious as is the Sopa Elote and their salad with the toasted cheese strips(can't remember the name). Tacos are always delicious. We love their patio dining, highly recommend sitting there vs inside. Parking is always dicey, but we got lucky and found a spot near the restaurant.5/26/2013 12:00:00 AMLoud but the food is soooooo GOODFor how busy this place was the service was FANTASTIC!!! Fantastic FOOD!!! It was loud but really you dont care with the best margaritas and service:)5/18/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat for vegetariansWe enjoyed two really tasty salsas with the chips. Everyone in our party was vegetarian and we thoroughly enjoyed our meals. There is a big selection of items for vegetarians there. The chile relleno was probably the best I've had in town. The mushroom empanadas and the plantain side dish were unique and addictive. The vegetarian enchiladas were also fantastic. Friendly service too.5/12/2013 12:00:00 AMNew Foodie to AustinHad Friends in from out of town. Met with mutual friends here in Austin, which made for a large party for lunch. Service was very good. Group gave high compliments on the food. Parking was very difficult.5/5/2013 12:00:00 AM1374 miles for a Margarita you bet!I travel quite a bit writh my career and I make it a point to try and experience everything a city has to offer in terms of local cuisine: life is too short for Chain restaurants is my mantra. I am a sucker for outstanding southwestern and Mexican cuisine and El Alma Cafe y Cantina popped up on OpenTable as a local gem to tr,y so I did just that and boy am I glad I did so. The homemade salsas were outstanding, the chips light crunchy and fresh (no oily aftertaste or excess film what so ever). My meal, Camaron Relleno, was to die for. Exceptionally well seasoned and portioned the meal was perfect from taste to presentation (and I don't say that too often) . The El Alma Skinny Margarita was the best Margarita I have ever had in the US.5/1/2013 12:00:00 AMGood meal, but loud indoorsWe had an excellent time at El Alma. Quite good food, and a seriously tasty and potent Milagro Martini. I had the Pollo Asado. Yum! Nitpicks: Our server was a wee bit too enthusiastic to be real, and the large table behind us indoors was having a VERY good time, sometimes making it hard for us to have a normal conversation. But we are going back.4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMa front desk needs a bettera front desk needs a better and more customer-friendly service.4/26/2013 12:00:00 AMA Great Alternative to the StandardThis was my first visit to El Alma Cafe y Cantina, but it won't be my last. We had grown a bit tired of the standard Tex/Mex fare around the area and found El Alma to provide a great respite from the routine. While there is not a doubt that you are in a Mexican restaurant, the food is so much more interesting. We sampled the Ceveche which was absolutely delightful. My wife had a pair of tacos one with chicken and the other with shrimp. Both were scrumptious. I tried the crab stuffed jalapeno peppers. Our server warned me that they could be a little spicy. The peppers were spicy, but the crab stuffing had a moderating affect which really made for a pleasant experience.4/22/2013 12:00:00 AMWe brought a group of 12 inWe brought a group of 12 in and had no issues with the large group. Between the food and service, I can't give enough praise.
The food was fantastic, as were the cocktails.4/20/2013 12:00:00 AMHad great drinks, appetizersHad great drinks, appetizers and dessert at happy hour. Service was top notch. Interior dining can be a bit on the noisy side, but pleasant dining and bar area. Deck dining is delightful. Food has been excellent every time we've gone there, as has been the service. Make a reservation for weekends as it's a small venue and fills quickly.4/19/2013 12:00:00 AMBeen here many times. AlwaysBeen here many times. Always good food. The cream of corn soup is always delicious. So is the Spinach enchiladas. Wine list is not bad, passable. Service is hit or miss. We started with one waitress then had another waiter serve us. But food was delivered promptly although drinks took a long time even though all we ordered was one glass of wine and one michelada for which the beer comes in a bottle.
Sitting outside is always wonderful. Parking can be dicey but we got lucky that evening and found good parking immediately. Will go again but not too soon.4/15/2013 12:00:00 AMWe always enjoy the food atWe always enjoy the food at El Alma. The corn & poblano chowder with crab added is delicious. Love the flour tortilla chips served with some of the appetizers. They are sturdy with a nice crunch. The house frozen margaritas pack a punch. Tried the ear of corn this time - amazing. Nicely serviced with a knife to cut off the kernels and the husk partially left on to hold while cutting. The dining room is too loud when it's full to eat there so we go at an off time or eat outside.4/14/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat new find for us! WeGreat new find for us! We loved the food and the outdoor upper deck.4/12/2013 12:00:00 AMLove El Alma. The food isLove El Alma. The food is always fabulous. I love the roof top dining. You feel like your on vacation!4/9/2013 12:00:00 AMI was celebrating my bachelorI was celebrating my bachelor party with 10 of my friends and we had a great time. The food was amazing.3/30/2013 12:00:00 AMAmazing Food! Great Energy.We started out here for a quick dinner before going to see a performance at the Long Center. This place is perfect for a date night or meeting a group. The drinks are good and the margarita was made fresh, the only thing in my glass that came from a bottle was the tequila. If the weather is nice, I would recommend going upstairs to the patio.3/30/2013 12:00:00 AM