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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
  • Email: info@elalmacafe.com
  • Phone: (512) 609-8923
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch:

    Monday - Friday: 11:00am -3:00pm;
    Brunch:

    Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm;
    Dinner:

    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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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Everyone needs to try these amazing Duck Mole Enchiladas. They are smooth, great flavor and very unique! Highly recommend."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "The food was fresh, the mole fabulous!! and we enjoyed it all. The drinks were also just great. Good ambiance."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "We had our team holiday lunch at El Alma and it was fantastic. The table was ready when we arrived (even a few minutes early) and the menu was broad enough to suit all the picky eaters. Everyone raved about their respective dishes and we just wish it was closer to our office! GREAT SPOT."
    Dined on 12/17/2013
  • "I make a point of eating at El Alma on every trip to Austin. Food is always amazing-Love the Enfrijoladas. Best Michilada in town. Yesterday had a mojoto pepito- a mojoto with puréed cucumber- fantastic! Great atmosphere, and waiters are always friendly and attentive."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "I can't say enough good things about this restaurant. Excellent food, drinks, service and atmosphere! Try the frozen margaritas during happy hour!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "El Alma is good--but not good enough to overcome its lack of parking and the absolutely ear-melting volume of the dining room, which ruins any atmosphere the restaurant may have. If you want to go, go on an off night, or go early, and make reservations eary so you can request an outdoor table, which will be far more pleasant than sitting inside, where you will have to shout to be heard by those at your table. The food is excellent--but not worth the trouble on a busy night, unless you want to struggle with parking and then eat in a place with night-club level sound."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Absolutely love the rooftop patio and food at El Alma! The taco lunch platter and the stuffed peppers dish are my favorites! The aguas frescas are divine! so refreshing on a hot day on the patio - Love this place!!"
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "I visit Austin almost every year and am happy to find new restaurants. I am particularly fond of Mexican food and extremely happy with the increasing availability of Mexican food from the interior. I had eaten at this restaurant once before, but this time was even nicer. The weather was great, so we were able to eat outside on the upstairs patio, which is much less noisy than the dining room. I was with two other people, and we all loved our food. The only shortcoming was the waitperson, who took forever to just get us water, my drink, and our appetizer. His performance improved slightly when I made it clear that I was not satisfied."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Great venue with fantastic selection for vegetarians (ovo/lacto). Get there a little early and stand at the bar with a margarita to soak up the atmosphere. Would come again when we visit Austin."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Waited 30 minutes for a table. Waiter spilled full margarita on my wife and barely reacted to help get towels. Women arriving in shoes used by working girls ... For brunch? Food took 45 minutes from placing our order before arriving. Used to love dining here. :("
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "The food is solid at El Alma Cafe. The shredded chicken enchiladas are may favorite thus far. The "classic margaritas" are also spot on. This time, my group (3) was seated promptly. The service was friendly (Amy?) & responsive. This is a nice spot for me & my wife, as we can walk to the lcoation. I recommend El Alma Cafe!"
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Great food, good waitstaff, nicely paced delivery of appetizers and food ... overall, a fantastic evening."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "I really like this restaurant, but the noise was a little overwhelming after 10 minutes of being there. Our main plates took some 15 to 20 minutes, and when it got there, we were full of eating chips and salsa, as well as some guacamole! So next time we'll be careful with the chips. Also we might go on the summer when the whether is warm to be able to dine out on their terrace."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Love El Alma, but was overwhelmed by the noise this time. Could something be done indoors to help dampen all the sound? I had a lovely dinner with two valuable colleagues from UT, but we had to shout to hear each other. Otherwise, a perfect evening!"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "The food was very good and the drinks were exceptional. I don't care for sweet margaritas; I told the waiter and the bar tender actually listened and made the perfect drink for me!"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "We have dined regularly at this restaurant for several years. The food is always superb! It is great to get true interior Mexican food."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "This was my second time at El Alma and both times it has been outstanding. Everyone is so nice and accommodating. The food is fantastic as well as the drinks. Can't wait to go back so many things on the meal I need to try."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "We enjoyed our dinner here very much. The food and service were excellent. We will return."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Overall everything is good except for the noise. It is always extremely loud in the lower dining room, guess it's the acoustics. The patio is always nice!"
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Best food we ate in Austin. We left at 9:30pm and there were people waiting and more arriving. Service was great. Lots of energy and noise."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "This place was a nice little find. The food was great - the portions weren't all that huge but it still left you feeling very full. Our waiter (a male who is originally from Ohio) was very professional, fast, and personable. We sat indoors, but the stairs leading to the outside looked very presentable. Perhaps we'll try sitting outside next time... I'd recommend this restaurant to others."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "I have been to El Alma many times. The first few times I went, everything was perfect and the food was delicious. The last 2 times I've been there it has only been ok due to the service. The first of these 2 times, the waiter forgot to ring in our order and we waited for 45 minutes before he noticed his mistake. He was apologetic and I understand that mistakes happen so it doesn't upset me, but a bit more attention to detail and this wouldn't have happened. The most recent visit was for New Year's Eve. They packed people in the restaurant and the 2 top next to me was only a couple inches away, so we were basically eating with them. They were also trying to turn over as many tables as possible so we felt very rushed."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We were here for an early dinner on New Years Eve. My last experience out for dinner on NYE was long ago as it was so disappointing. I can hardly wait to return to this delicious gem! No disappointments- only a great experience in every way. They have parking, pleasant ambiance, on time for the reservation, well-staffed with cheerful, knowledgeable wait staff, terrific cocktails, and most importantly, the food was eye opening- so good. Spicy, clever, fresh! Wow. I am looking forward to dining al fresco next time I am there. The whole team appears to be on the same winning page at El Alma Cafe y Cantina."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "I was extremely happy with everything about this restaurant. We made a reservation for 7:00 and were seated promptly. The happy hour people were still seated and there was a lot of loud conversation taking place. With-in 10 minutes that loud crowd began leaving. The waiter was prompt in taking and bringing our orders. I can't say enough about the food, the appetizers and main coarse were extremely good. I look forward to the next opportunity to eat at this establishment."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "Since the first time we stumbled upon El Alma we fell in love. There is nothing on the menu that I don't just love. They use amazing ingredients and it is good authentic food. The margaritas and mimosas are a great addition to brunch. This is an absolute must try restaurant if you haven't yet been or heard of it."
    Dined on 12/15/2013
  • "The restaurant was so loud that my husband and two teenagers had to yell to say anything. The food was very marginal. The waitress was really good though. We won't be going back though!"
    Dined on 12/7/2013
  • "I love El Alma & tell all my friends. It is my favorite place to choose for dinner & I have not had a meal or drink I did not enjoy. The outside has a great ambiance but it was freeeeeezing this past Sunday so I opted for inside- still a great time!"
    Dined on 11/24/2013
  • "better than brunch elsewhere is the cool vibe at El Alma. Incredible wait staff mixing great drinks and serving up fantastic food. Plenty of parking close to Butler Park and close walk or pedicab ride to Auditorium SHores or Zilker Park events. Not pretentious at all and great crowd hangs at bar."
    Dined on 11/17/2013
  • "Read reviews that said this was a great place to try. Food was excellent. Didn't know about the outdoor dining on the roof until we got there, so unfortunately sat inside. However, it was fine. Great service and food. Had the Pork Chop marinated in Coke with a stuffed chili and the shrimp stuffed chili. Both very good."
    Dined on 11/15/2013
  • "Once a week we like to hit this restaurant up for the easy and tasty happy hour. We have our standard order set and it saves mom from cooking dinner on days when work was busy."
    Dined on 11/5/2013
  • "Our family are El Chile fans for many years and El Alma carries on the tradition for excellent, tasty food that is not available elsewhere."
    Dined on 11/4/2013
  • "We couldn't believe that the brunch produced at El Alma had any connection at all with the food previously made by Alma at Jeffrey's."
    Dined on 11/2/2013