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El Alma Cafe y Cantina

4.7
4.7
728 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
Patio seating is first come first serve. Reservations are for indoor dining room only.

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

Make a reservation

2 people

10:30 PM


Booked 41 times today

Dining areas

Additional information

  • 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;

  • Phone number

    (512) 609-8923

  • Payment options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Alma Alcocer

  • Catering

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

  • Neighborhood

    Downtown

  • Cross street

    Dawson

  • Parking details

    Private Lot

  • Additional

    Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access

What 728 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.7
4.7 based on recent ratings
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.5Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Austin

    Outdoor Dining

  • Austin

    Outdoor Dining

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  1. PC

    PatiC

    Houston

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Tacos de carne asada were AMAZING! I will definitely visit El Alma again when I come back to Austin. Keep up the good work!
  2. JC

    JohnnyC

    Austin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always a wonderful lace w fantastic food and wonderful service. My favorite restaurant in Austin
  3. SD

    SarahD

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 1, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience3
    Our servers were awesome. So personable. And the food was fantastic. Don't sleep on the queso fundido!
  4. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I had a large party with me and my waiter was super attentive and got all of our orders right! Amazing service!
  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    For a friends birthday. The drinks, food and ambience were all great. Just a little pricey
  6. j

    jonp

    Austin

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    El Alma's provides a modern take on Mexican cuisine. I've never had anything that isn't delicious here. The sauces are sublime. The meats are cooked and spiced to perfection. Don't ignore the guacamole - I think the best in Austin. Upstairs deck is a neat spot with plenty of umbrellas and fans to keep things cool enough to enjoy your meal - even during our string of 100F days from Hades. The serving staff are young but very good at anticipating the customer's needs. They are always smiling so it must be a good place to work. If you're looking for TexMex, this isn't the place; but if you want Mexican food with a 21-century touch you're going to love el Alma's!
  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    Food was amazing. The service on the other hand was slow! We ending up getting our apps first before drinks :( everything took really long to come out. Sat down at 9:15pm and didn’t leave until 11pm.
  8. P

    Poppy

    San Antonio

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fantastic Chile Relleno. Loved the ghost pepper margarita. Super service. Can’t wait to return.
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Dallas

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great lunch spot
  10. BB

    BrennaB

    Houston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Incredible food, great presentation, cool vibes! Definitely an Austin staple.
  11. M

    Maigrebleu

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Went to El Alma's for my daughter's birthday. The staff was so sweet and made her feel special. The food was so good, as always!
  12. T

    Toniknik

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 13, 2022

    overall3food4service4ambience2
    Was seated at a table that was dirty. Sat outside and the venue was empty. The table next to us was also not cleaned. Would recommend that servers stay on top of the cleaning especially when its slow. Was kind embarrassing. Food was good. Ordered from lunch menu. Rice and bean portions were small. Good for a business lunch,
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    20 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on July 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Just Great! Go eat there!
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Phoenix

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fabulous and solid. One of our favorites.
  15. JO

    JO123

    Cincinnati

    27 reviews

    4.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on June 30, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Great shrimp tacos!
  16. Y

    Yankee

    New England

    16 reviews

    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on June 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Never disappoints. Food is delicious. A great place for a meal for two or a group.
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Las Vegas

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    A little wait for food but well worth it! Everyone loved their food and the atmosphere was terrific.
  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    vip
    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 28, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience3
    Restaurant was a bit dirty but the food was good.
  19. MH

    MarcH

    Austin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great experience taking some out of towners. Tacos and fundido were solid.
  20. CL

    CynthiaL

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love El Alma! Best ceviche in the city. Interesting menu. Tasty drinks.
  21. E

    Erika

    Austin

    37 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    37 reviews

    Dined on June 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Neighborhood gem! Creative menu that does not disappoint. Food is outstanding. Great margs. Sevice is five star. Highly recommend the queso fundito and ahi tuna cevice tostadas!
  22. S

    Saladd

    Austin

    23 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Awesome as always. Wonderful brunch!!
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I love El Alma! Delicious!
  24. w

    wfmjoe

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Always a favorite spot to meet with friends. Drinks are delicious, service is always friendly (often new), and food is so fresh and flavorful.
  25. AG

    AllisonG

    Nashville

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding…we all enjoyed our meals!
  26. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    It’s a fun place with good food.
  27. SH

    SarahH

    Dallas

    22 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on June 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fun place to meet up with friends! Good drinks and food
  28. SR

    SusanR

    Jackson Hole

    12 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on June 9, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    Delicious food, energetic and crowded atmosphere. Friendly and helpful staff.
  29. AH

    AnaH

    Austin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food and drinks are really good. Reminds me of Mexican authentic.
  30. A

    Austinfoodie

    Austin

    19 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on June 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    My first visit will definitely not be my last! We had a late lunch. After a small guacamole, I ordered a duck taco-heaven! And a pork taco. Delicious. I couldn’t even finish it because they both have a generous amount of meat. My husband had the shrimp in garlic sauce. He was ecstatic. THEN I had the corn pudding and plantains. Let’s just say we left with 2 bags of extra orders for dinner! There are a lot of vegetarian choices too.
  31. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 29, 2022

    overall3food4service1ambience2
    I love El Alma, the drinks and the food are great every time I’ve been. This time was just a little different. I had family in from out of town so I wanted to bring them here. I had a reservation for 5 but needed to add another person which wasn’t a problem. The hostess did seem like it was a lot of work to just pull up a chair to the table. She seemed very uninterested in being there that day. Then our waiter also seemed very uninterested in being there. Only checked on us after seeing another server actually checking in on us. The girl who did check on us was very sweet and kind, and at least seemed interested in being there.
  32. CM

    ClareM

    Portland

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was wonderful. Lots of options on the menu to choose from. Server was very polite and attentive. There was a hair in our salsa but we spotted it right away and a new hairless one was brought to us. The salsas were amazing, flavorful but not too spicy. The plantains were unbelievable - sticky, sweet, soft. The poached eggs with spinach and chipotle aoli over corn pudding was heavenly. I cannot wait to come back to this restaurant.
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 28, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience2
    I really used to love El Alma, unfortunately it has seem to have gone downhill in the last year- 18 months. Prior to 2021, I never ever had a problem being seated on the balcony. Now, even if I call ahead, ask over the app, arrive early etc. I am never seated upstairs. When we checked in, the hostess asked our preference and said the rooftop would be fine. Then she seemed to change her mind and said said it would be a 30-40 minute wait. I thanked her for confirming and got no response, even an icy look. We chose to sit downstairs and saw her lead several parties up to the rooftop who had gotten then after us. The food was just ok, definitely not what I was used to. There were multiple flies at our table that would not leave us alone. It seems like the restaurant has taken out a lot of plants or decorations, making the inside look quite stark and sterile. We ordered the Huevos Rancheros and the eggs were quite dry. I’m really disappointed, used to be one of my favorite restaurants in Austin that I would tell everyone to go to but not anymore.
  34. CW

    ChristinaW

    Jacksonville

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on May 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    food was great and authentic. Nice atmosphere and would highly recommend.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, drinks, service and atmosphere. Love the rooftop patio!
  36. CW

    CatherineW

    New Orleans

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Brooke was our server and she was the best!
  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    So much to love about this place. Great food, out-of-this-world drinks and relaxed, friendly service in a quaint atmosphere. Great place for celebrating!
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 15, 2022

    overall3food4service3ambience3
    Was super warm and the waitress was kind of rude
  39. AH

    AdreaH

    Houston

    4 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 13, 2022

    overall2food5service2ambience3
    I had a group of friends coming in to town and made a reservation for us to have brunch. I am so embarrassed that this was their first impression of Austin, a city that is supposed to so “hospitable.” They received horrible service. We asked if we could add a chair or change tables because we had another friend arrive, and they said no, that we could get up and wait in line and see if another table became available, which is fine, but the tone was condescending and rude. An employee spilled salsa all over one my friend’s white shirt, and no one told our server or even offered to help. Accidents happen but it was handled rudely, and when we pointed it out, the server said it a not-so-nice manner, “What do you want me to do about it? You want something comped?” Every server acted like they were high and miserable to be there, to be honest. The manager was kind and the food was good, but I will not return due to the lack of service. Not a good experience.
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 12, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience3
    Not very good service, waitress took forever to see us and our food was over seasoned. The salsa had what tasted like too much pepper and the green salsa had way to much lime it was just sour. For correction I got the shrimp, and it was over seasoned and the rice tasted like packaged rice with frozen veggies you get at the store. The place was very cute though.

FAQs

El Alma Cafe y Cantina is rated 4.7 stars by 728 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

10:30 PM


Booked 41 times today
Google Map for El Alma Cafe y Cantina

1025 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Dawson

  • Neighborhood

    Downtown

  • 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;

  • Cuisines

    Mexican

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Private Lot

  • Payment options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Alma Alcocer

  • Additional

    Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access

  • Phone number

    (512) 609-8923

  • Catering

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

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