Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.11mi
  2. Distance: 0.17mi
  3. Distance: 0.22mi
  4. Distance: 0.47mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.11mi
  2. Distance: 0.17mi
  3. Distance: 0.22mi
  4. Distance: 0.47mi

About 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 Alma

1025 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78704
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Mexican

Hours of Operation:
Lunch:

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

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

Sunday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm;
Friday - Saturday: 3:00pm - 11:00pm;

Happy Hour:

Every Day: 3:00pm - 6:00pm;

Cross Street:
Dawson

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(512) 609-8923

Website:
http://www.elalmacafe.com/

Catering:
For catering please call (512) 391-0936 or email us at info@elalmacafe.com.

Executive Chef:
Alma Alcocer

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access

El Alma Cafe y Cantina Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.5

ambience

4.4

value

4.5

Noise

Moderate

100% would recommend it to a friend

Authentic (14)
Casual (14)
Great for Outdoor Dining (14)
See All
Creative Cuisine (11)
Great for Lunch (9)
Special Occasion (9)
Fit for Foodies (8)
Great for Brunch (7)
Fun (7)
Good for Groups (7)
Good for Anniversaries (7)
Sunday Lunch (7)
Good Vegetarian Options (7)
Pre/post Theatre (7)
Cozy (6)
Good for a Date (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Happy Hour (6)
Good for Birthdays (5)
Neighborhood Gem (5)
Scenic View (5)
Business Meals (4)
Romantic (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Comfort Food (4)
Hot Spot (3)
People Watching (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Healthy (2)
Local Ingredients (2)
Bar Seating (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Organic (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Seasonal (1)
Tapas (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Vegan (1)
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378 reviews
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 (Austin)·Dined 5 days ago

OMG! The pork made with Mexican coke and the Ribeye are amazing! so so so good!

Tags: Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Brunch was excellent - the complimentary red and green salsas rivals any top salsa in Austin - outstanding flavor
Our waiter was attentive and very helpful
Weather was cold - looked like a great spot for cocktails on their rooftop patio
We will decide definitely return

Tags: Fun, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Kansas City)·Dined on December 24, 2017

El Alma is an Austin favorite. Whether it's for Happy Hour, lunch on the patio or a dinner with friends, I have never been disappointed! The food, drinks, atmosphere, and service are all top notch!

Tags: Casual, Worth the Drive, Scenic View, Happy Hour, Authentic, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Austin)·Dined on December 22, 2017

Dinner before the nutcracker with my daughter

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 21, 2017

Lunch is good priced and delicious. Service can take a bit too long

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on December 17, 2017

Great food and location but the noise level is just too much! Can't talk at all. Wish they'd cover the upstairs for winter dining, then reopen when good weather.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on December 15, 2017

One of our favorite restaurants and we usually eat on the patio. This night we had to eat inside due to the weather and it was very noisy inside due to the holiday parties. Otherwise it would have gotten the highest ratings.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fun, Sunday Lunch, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

vip
 (Toronto)·Dined on November 27, 2017

El Alma is a cool spot with a nice rooftop patio. There is ample parking as it turns out but we parked on the river side of Barton Springs risking a tow.
Our service was as exceedingly polite and polished from a young man that could work at any resto.

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food3
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on November 26, 2017

My wife and I LOVE El Alma! Everyone is always gracious and accommodating. And the food is fantastic...every time!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Casual, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Great for Brunch, Kid-friendly, Hot Spot, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Austin)·Dined on November 22, 2017

There clearly is a group of talented staff here. The food is beyond the ordinary. The salsas, for example, are flavorful and balanced, Entrees are clearly well prepared and not from some large container etc. I really like this placew

Tags: Great for Lunch, Happy Hour, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on November 19, 2017

Food is overpriced for the amount you get

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food4
ambience5
service5
value2

 
·Dined on November 16, 2017

Always enjoy my meal at El alma's. The atmosphere is great and there's not a bad dish on the menu. The sweet potato chile relleno was over the top delicious.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Healthy, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Scenic View, People Watching
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 12, 2017

The brunch was exceptional as always, and our “I’m covering your table now” server was pleasant and thorough. However, we nearly walked out of our months in advance family reunion reservation due to the very sarcastic, snippy and somewhat confused hostess. Too many good restaurants in this town to have to put up with the chance of another like encounter.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience2
service1
value4

 
 (San Antonio)·Dined on November 11, 2017

We loved the waitress Sarah. They have excellent happy hour; margaritas are terrific. Several happy hour apprtizers are very good. Very pleasant evening.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Casual, Pre/post Theatre, Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fun, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Austin)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Once again horrible service. Had to ask three times for drinks. Not going back I've tried this place five times. They always claim it's unusual to be busy. They can't keep up. Bad service.

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food3
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (Denver)·Dined on October 29, 2017

The margaritas and food are excellent. The wait staff is quite pleasant, but a little too busy. I would definitely go again.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Authentic
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food5
ambience3
service3
value5

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

First, the food at El Alma was great. My issue was with the service. OpenTable allows you to make a reservation at El Alma up till 1045pm. I made a 1030pm reservation for a party of 10. When El Alma called the day-of to confirm, it would have been a great time to tell me that the kitchen closes at 11pm. But that wasn't the case. Instead, our table wasn't ready, we weren't seated until 1045pm, and at THAT time, we were told we had 15 minutes till the KITCHEN and BAR closed. We NEVER would've brought in a group of that size if we knew we had such a short amount of time to order.

When we were told the bar closed at 11pm too, we asked if we could order multiple drinks. They said yes, we could order two. After we HURRIED to order, we got our yummy food, and were sitting around enjoying it. At 12am, a staff member came over to our table and told us that our drinks would be pulled in 5 minutes. Again, a heads up of more than 5 minutes would have been greatly appreciated. We ended up leaving a good amount of food and drinks on the table that would have been consumed otherwise.

El Alma should not take reservations that late, especially for parties that large. And if they do, they should have the courtesy to give them a heads up on the phone when they confirm. The conduct of the staff ruined the experience for a number of the people in our party.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience1
service2
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Breakfast was good for business meal. My client really enjoyed it!

Tags: Authentic, Business Meals, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 16, 2017

Great food! The patio is beautiful

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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Had a great Brunch with our daughters during ACL festival. Definitely a tradition we will continue!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on October 8, 2017

A great restaurant that has the right level of cost to ambiance, style and food quality.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 2, 2017

First time experience. Everything was amazing. Yummy food, great friendly service, local vibe. Loved it.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Austin)·Dined on October 1, 2017

We took some out of town friends here for brunch last Sunday. We sat upstairs on the patio outside and it was great. Our service was excellent. All of our food was delicious and were generous portions. We enjoyed their margaritas too. Our friends loved the atmosphere the food and drink. The only thing was the music upstairs was a bit too loud, but they were nice enough to turn it down for us so we could hear each other better.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Casual, Great for Lunch, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Great service. Good food. Enjoyed the outdoor seating.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 22, 2017

Always an amazing time, very accommodating staff

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 16, 2017

El Alma has been a fave, but on this occasion at every service interval we waited at our table by the windows while our waiter bussed tables, swept the floor, carried trays upstairs and ran back with more service items. No one asked about the quality of the food or whether we had everything we wanted until after we'd eaten our dinners. The entrees were tasty, but the beans were tasteless.
The restaurant is very noisy and the minimal acoustic treatments suspended from the ceiling did little to abate noise from 2 large groups nearby. We found it difficult to carry on conversation with just 2 people seated side by side. All said, this wasn't the experience I wanted.

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience1
service2
value3

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 8, 2017

A friend who lives in Austin suggested El Alma for the two of us to go out for a casual meal. It was a great suggestion. Although Mexican is not my favorite cuisine, I enjoyed the food and really appreciated the authenticity of the experience. I also enjoyed being able to dine outdoors on a beautiful evening. This is a place I would definitely return to on a future visit to Austin.

Tags: Hot Spot, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fun, Creative Cuisine
1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 3, 2017

The evening begin with some great margaritas, that we ordered at the bar, but went downhill from there. Our server was completely inattentive. After taking our food order, she never once checked on us to see if we wanted anything else to drink or even replenish our water. We waited for at least 30-45 minutes for our food to arrive watching other tables who had arrived later than we receive their orders. I finally got up and track down our waitress across the way and asked about our order. She was somewhat apologetic (but not really) and said something about the other tables' tabs transferred from the bar and ended up getting in line with the kitchen before us or some such thing. The food was good but not great. We won't be going back to El Alma.

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food3
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (Houston)·Dined on September 1, 2017

Wonderful ceviche! Great ahi tuna tostadas, enchiladas. Fun, happening place with wonderful food.

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Hot Spot
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Austin)·Dined on September 1, 2017

Food and drinks were a good value, but service was poor. We had to flag down our sever many times to order more drinks, food, and get the check. It's a fine place to visit one time to see what it's about, but there are better places to spend your money.

Tags: Casual
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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined on August 30, 2017

The food was fantastic, authentic and creative. The portioning was generous, however, our server was a little inattentive. We ordered a good amount of small plates and we had to place our plates on the table next to us.

Otherwise, highly recommended.

Tags: Comfort Food, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on August 23, 2017

Always good food and attentive service. The upstairs patio outdoor seating offers a nice view of downtown Austin.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Tapas, Good for Birthdays, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Austin)·Dined on August 19, 2017

Hubs and I got away from the kiddos and ventured down to El Alma recently. We had reservations, but when we arrived, they sat us at a tiny table right between the bar and the bathroom. Okay... well, still a night out so we decide to make the best of an okay-ish table. Most of the evening was fine. Our waitress was just the right amount of attentive, making sure drinks were filled and plates were removed, etc.. However about 45 minutes into our dinner, a large group came in and stood between the bar and our tiny table. This large group of about 8 people was SO LOUD! What was really frustrating was that one lady was so close to our table, her butt was practically sitting on the table and her purse was in my face. Hubs and I were super frustrated and couldn't even enjoy our date or have a private discussion. Finally, our waitress came by and saw my dismay at having another person's backside on my table and moved us to a different table. I really appreciated this gesture. The food was good. We had queso and tacos and a dessert, however the experience with the seating and "the butt" kind of left us with a sour impression. In addition it was LOUD! Hubs and I had to yell across the table at one another. If we wanted to yell at dinner, we would've had dinner in with our 4 kids. :) Not sure we'll go back to El Alma.

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food5
ambience1
service4
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on August 15, 2017

Lee were a large group had a fantastic server Megan who kept pace with or crazy ordering. She made great drinks suggestions special was Blood Orange margarita yum! Very loud but we will be back because very delicious!

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Austin)·Dined on August 13, 2017

We did not go up to the fabled patio, because it was going to be a 100 degree day. To be honest, though, I don't know why the patio is so fabled. The cheap plastic chairs and cramped Corona tables are not made up for by a partially obstructed view of the skyline. The place would benefit greatly by having more ambience and class to the upper patio experience, maybe wrought iron or at least heavy treated wood furniture.

That being said, the food was extraordinary. Best mole I've ever had and I'm not even that much of a mole fan. Also had an avocadorita which I ordered as an adventure, but was very pleased with the subtlety and the blend of the avocado puree in the drink.

We had a great time.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (Austin)·Dined on August 8, 2017

Very tasty food, lunch speacials are a deal!! Easy parking.

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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on August 2, 2017

Everything was wonderful. The drinks were strong, delicious and unique. Our server was funny and helpful. The food was beautiful and incredibly tasty.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, Cozy
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on July 30, 2017

Duck rellenos and 2 ceviches. We went twice in our 4 days in Austin. Highly recommend!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour, Fun, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly, Hot Spot, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for a Date, Authentic
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Austin)·Dined on July 30, 2017

The food is amazing, but it can be a little loud. So, go early if you want to be able to hear each other. All the same - the food is always superb!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Tapas, Spicy
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

vip
 (Austin)·Dined on July 7, 2017

We had a business meal. The drinks and food were spot on. We loved it and everyone left happy. Several of us ordered the duck enchiladas and they were divine! Others ordered shrimp dishes and tacos all came away with 5 star ratings.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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