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

Casual (15)
Authentic (13)
Great for Outdoor Dining (13)
See All
Fun (9)
Creative Cuisine (9)
Great for Lunch (9)
Fit for Foodies (8)
Good for a Date (8)
Happy Hour (8)
Good for Groups (7)
Handcrafted Cocktails (7)
Great for Brunch (7)
Sunday Lunch (7)
Special Occasion (7)
Pre/post Theatre (6)
Good for Anniversaries (5)
People Watching (5)
Scenic View (5)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Vibrant Bar Scene (5)
Good for Birthdays (4)
Cozy (4)
Comfort Food (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Romantic (3)
Spicy (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Neighborhood Gem (3)
Bar Seating (2)
Business Meals (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Tapas (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Healthy (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Organic (1)
Seasonal (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Vegan (1)
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390 reviews
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 (Austin)·Dined 3 days ago

Went here with friends to celebrate my birthday! I️ loved everything about it! The food was great service was awesome! It was pretty busy but I️ would go back here again. All my friends were commending me on my choice!, they loved it too!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined 3 days ago

Great food. Great service. Great margaritas. The best Mexican food we have had an Austin. Reasonable prices. Very friendly and attentive service. Prices are totally reasonable

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on February 7, 2018

Definitely a hot spot, even on a random Wednesday in February. Food was excellent, service was efficient but impersonal.

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food4
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on February 6, 2018

Creative interior dishes as variations of more popular dishes--all done with panache and style and seasoned perfectly.

Tags: Happy Hour, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on February 2, 2018

The food and staff at El Alma was outstanding. The only drawback to our dinner was the noise level in the restaurant. We had a 7PM reservation and was seated promptly. We plan to return for brunch soon!

Tags: Fun, Good Vegetarian Options, Spicy, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (New Orleans)·Dined on January 30, 2018

Met friends for a pre-concert nite. El Alma is always consistent with great margaritas and clean food.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Austin)·Dined on January 28, 2018

We made a special effort to dine at El Alma after being unable to dine due to the previous night’s wait. Aside from the enfrijoladas, which were bland, all menu items were great. Tony was an excellent server. He was friendly and helpful. A blonde female server was not.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Great for a big group. Wide variety of menu options.

Tags: Spicy, People Watching, Good for Birthdays, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good Vegetarian Options, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 24, 2018

Great food and love the people!

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Austin)·Dined on January 23, 2018

Big fan of the apps and drinks. Their specialty margaritas are always amazing! The dinner plates are a little on the expensive side!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Austin)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Took out of town guest. It was wonderful

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Austin)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Great service. Our waiter Micheal was polite, quick and demonstrated a great attitude. We enjoyed the meal, and the ambiance. I love the fresh taste of your meals, but would prefer a less spicy or hot overall flavor. The bloody Maria, was just the right amount of spice.

Tags: Sunday Lunch
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food3
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on January 15, 2018

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
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Kansas City)·Dined on December 23, 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
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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

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on December 16, 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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on December 14, 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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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 25, 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

 
 (Austin)·Dined on November 15, 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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on October 27, 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.

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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 15, 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.

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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 22, 2017

Great service. Good food. Enjoyed the outdoor seating.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 21, 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 7, 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
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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

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