Great new find for us! We
Great new find for us! We loved the food and the outdoor upper deck.
4/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
We always enjoy the food at
We 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.
4/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
Been here many times. Always
Been 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.
4/14/2013 4:00:00 PM
Had great drinks, appetizers
Had 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.
4/18/2013 4:00:00 PM
We brought a group of 12 in
We 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.
4/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
A Great Alternative to the Standard
This 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.
4/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
a front desk needs a better
a front desk needs a better and more customer-friendly service.
4/25/2013 4:00:00 PM
Good meal, but loud indoors
We 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 AM
1374 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.
4/30/2013 4:00:00 PM
New Foodie to Austin
Had 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.
5/4/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great for vegetarians
We 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.
5/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
Loud but the food is soooooo GOOD
For 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:)
5/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
Wonderful 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 AM
Great 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.
5/30/2013 4:00:00 PM
Fantastic Austin Option!!
We loved the food choices at El Alma. It is one of the best interior Mexican restaurants we have found. We plan to make it a regular dining-out choice!!
5/31/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great time had by all
Dropped in here for a birthday dinner. Food was fantastic. Drinks were delicious.
Great energy. Good scene.
6/6/2013 4:00:00 PM
Pre Long Center dining
Table 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 AM
Better than Expected
This 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.
6/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
I took my boyfriend here for drinks on date night. Great drinks and great service. The patio view and lights are awesome. One improvement would be to replace the plastic furniture for something more upscale.
6/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
Brunch to die for
I think the Huevos Francesas are probably the best breakfast one could ask for. Try it!
6/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
Very good food
The style is interior Mexican, which is my favorite.
We were comfortable sitting outside, the fans a little noisy, but overall great experience.
I would definitely go back
6/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
A real delighful menu
Excellent food, perfectly seasoned. Fresh approach to many old favorites. An inspired chef. I am a repeat customer bringing others.
6/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Fresh and Fabulous!!
Delicious dinner. All very fresh and nice combinations.
6/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great Mexican with great views.
The mole here is out of control - whether it's on the duck enchiladas or on the quail. The Mexican street corn is also delicious. Service is great, the drinks are delicious and snag a table on the upstairs patio when it's not 100* outside. If you sit in the right spot, you get a great view of the downtown skyline. Only con is that the parking situation is a nightmare.
7/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great as always! Friendly
Great as always! Friendly and efficient wait staff!
7/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Delicious mexican twist
The food was delicious with a slight turn on basic mexican food. I really hope this restaurant makes it - good find.
7/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
My husband and I go out on a date once a month. I am glad we picked this place! We will for sure be back again.
7/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
We really enjoyed the interesting
We really enjoyed the interesting menu but were a little disappointed as we had to wait a long time for the food due to a kitchen glitch.But will definitely go back!
7/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Fun but loud !
Spent time online trying to find a good but reasonably affordable Mexican restaurant. This turned out to be a great choice. Good/interesting food (not just typical tex-mex) and although it was very busy (Sat night) they had very good service. Friendly and attentive despite being packed. Be prepared, if busy, for a lot of noise, though. Crowd noise bouncing off bare walls made it difficult to have a conversation. But it's a fun place and we would go back!
7/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Alma is gem
But she is no stranger to fabulous food in Austin. Now in her own spot, the food is auttentic as it gets, delicious and so affordable! Highly satisfied and recommended!
7/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
This was my second trip to El Alma and was not disappointed. I really love the food, drink (margaritas in particular) and the service was outstanding. Paul was our server and he was very patient with me and my dinner guests as we reminisced about "old times" prior to ordering. I had the fish taco and the shrimp taco and they were very tasty. I really like the way they serve tacos a la carte so you can mix and match. My dinner guests had the carne asada taco and chile relleno. Plating of the relleno was artistically presented.
8/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great birthday dinner!
Took the in-laws out for a birthday dinner and had a great time at El Alma! The food was delicious, especially that corn poblano soup (gotta add crab)! Mmm! Made it for happy hour, which got us some cheap and delicious appetizers. The atmosphere is lovely but a little noisy. I'm sure it's most crowded at happy hour. Overall a great special occasion dinner that is within the budget. We'll definitely be back!
8/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
The food is always good. Always. As is the waitstaff. My only complaint is it can be to loud to hears others at your table or even the waiter. We try to go early before the inside fills up. When the weather permits (not August) this is not an issue as sitting outside is the solution to noise level.
8/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
PhD Celebration for Husband!
It was super easy to make a reservation for a group of 9 people on Open Table for my husband's surprise dinner to celebrate his successful PhD defense. The staff at El Alma were very accommodating to my request for some to friends arrive early to decorate the table. The service was quick & friendly! Our waiter was very understanding when we had to delay ordering our food b/c some of our guests were late. The manager even came over to congratulate him and offer him a celebratory drink! :o)
The food was pretty good but not great. My biggest complaint was that the noise level of the restaurant made it difficult to talk to each other. Overall, my husband really enjoyed his surprise dinner & I would recommend El Alma for their superb service!
8/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great Food....Too Loud
Love the food but don't count on having a visit unless you yell.
Again the food is wonderful.
8/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Dinner for four
We met old friends that we hadn't seen in a L-O-N-G time. They were running late, but the hostess graciously seated us at a table in the back - right next to the INDOOR WATER FEATURE - very cool! Our waiter was great, very knowledgeable about the menu. My Ruby Rio Martini was delicious, hubby had a new beer (for him), Victoria, and liked it! Each of us ordered something different, and it was fun to see the BEAUTIFUL presentation of each plate! My drum (fish) was cooked perfectly. The only drawback - it was SO loud. My husband is deaf in one ear, and conversation was difficult due to all the noise.Had it been cooler (100+ degrees in Austin that day), we might have enjoyed the wonderful series of decks above the restaurant.
9/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Upper outside patio love at El Alma
We sat outside on this lovely patio that looks out towards Austin parks/the Convention Center. It was so nice out and our food was delicious! Can't wait to go back. Best of all, the margaritas are strong and not overly sweet, definitely fresh.
9/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great for brunch!
Had brunch with the ladies - it was great! Great service, food, and the mimosas were great - and the right price. A hidden gem in Austin!
9/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great Find :)
Great food, great atmosphere, and a lovely view! The waitstaff was very friendly and not at all aloof like some larger more expensive restaurants might be. Would definitely recommend this to people!
9/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Loved the outdoor patio. Salad was delicious but I think they could find better chips. The chips looked too cheap for the cost of the food.
9/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
El Alma has a great patio right off of Barton Springs. I had the pork chop with cheese and rice chile relleno which was fantastic. The margarita clasica was good, not too sweet (which I like). My boyfriend had the soup with queso flameado (with the mushrooms, onions, peppers), it was delicious!
9/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
We love El Alma and are here frequently. Great happy hour, great margaritas, great ceviche, tacos, and so much more.
10/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
great margaritas, awesome
great margaritas, awesome authentic Mexican food. The pasilla chile mole is fantastic!
10/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Alma Shines Again
I love a success story. Especially one that has a few bumps in the road. Alma has proved herself over and over as a sublime chef. I am excited to be able to sit outside again and enjoy the view. My sister who loves anything with Mole claims it is the best she's ever had. The fish is wonderful and so are the margaritas, although you really only need one.
10/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
A local favorite
we eat here weekly...we love the food the staff and the drinks. highly recommend.
10/26/2013 5:00:00 PM
Our family are El Chile fans
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.
11/3/2013 4:00:00 PM
Our weekly getaway
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.
11/4/2013 4:00:00 PM
Met my expectations
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.
11/14/2013 4:00:00 PM
Sundays at El Alma
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.
11/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
Austin vibe and authentic cuisine
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!
11/23/2013 4:00:00 PM