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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 23 times today

El Alma Cafe y Cantina

4.7
422 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Top Tags:
  • Casual
  • Fun
  • Authentic
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
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Mexican
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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;
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Phone number
(512) 609-8923
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Alma Alcocer
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Catering
For catering please call (512) 391-0936 or email us at info@elalmacafe.com.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Dawson
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
Rating coming soon

El Alma is a Tex-Mex spot with an excellent patio and some of our favorite queso in town.

The Infatuation is an app and website which uses a small team of local editors who dine anonymously to rate and review restaurants. We are partnering with them to bring you their smart, helpful, trustworthy reviews of restaurants on OpenTable
What 422 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 2 days ago

A little loud since the dining room is so small, but the food was outstanding and the space itself is really cool. If you like somewhat spicy things, highly recommend the watermelon and serrano pepper margarita. Some of the best margs I've had. Great, personable, interested service too.

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5.0Dined on June 11, 2018

My girlfriend and I come back here often for remembering our first date together. The food is always top notch. Service is usually good. Our server Zach was excellent this time.

The dining area can get a lil crowded and during HH it can get loud. I love the upstairs patio but in the summer heat no thank you.

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4.0Dined on June 9, 2018

We were early for our reservation due to a prior engagement getting out earlier than anticipated and parking was somewhat of a challenge in spite of what seemed to be ample space. Arrived around 5:30pm for a 6:00pm reservation. Crowded and noisy at that point but cleared out toward seating time and seemed calmer. Service was prompt, friendly and efficient and the food was very good. This was my third time here and brought a friend to celebrate her birthday after a show at Zach Scott Theatre. Great venue!

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Came in with a party of 9 (we had a reservation) and were seated promptly. Our waiter was on top of things, was knowledgeable about the menu and the recommendations were spot on. Food was great- if you’re not into spicy food make sure you ask before you order! Margaritas were all great- the one with pineapple and coconut was perfection on a 100 degree day. The lemon cheesecake was incredible as well. The restaurant was pretty loud- had to yell to talk to anyone more than 2 seats away.

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5.0Dined on June 8, 2018

We had a lovely dinner at El Alma!! I'm vegetarian and I was happy with the multiple options they had on the menu for me. The margaritas were really good too! Great food, great service, great place. I will definitely be going back!

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4.0Dined on June 1, 2018

A bit hard to talk because of the noise level. But love the food!

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4.0Dined on June 1, 2018

El Alma is great! I recommend a reservation if possible thought because it does get crowded! Food was very good, drinks were excellent! I highly encourage trying the Mangorita! My only complaint would be that the tables are very close together and it can get very loud in there, making it hard to here the people you are sitting with.

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5.0Dined on June 1, 2018

The lobster enchiladas were amazing!!!

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5.0Dined on May 30, 2018

El Alma’s is a favorite for friend gathering & great food. Our waiter this time was friendly, engaged & on top of everything we asked. The food offerings are so interesting & delicious. We were celebrating 2 birthdays so the amazing dessert selection topped off the evening!

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4.0Dined on May 28, 2018

Went to happy hour/dinner with girlfriends! The wait staff was very attentive. Food was good. We ate at a round table around the bar to avoid the patio heat - will go back!!

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2.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Food and service were good; but seating was horrible. When asked if we wanted to sit indoors or outdoors, we said sure outdoors was fine not knowing we would have to trek up a long flight of uneven stone stairs to a deck with tables nearly on top of each other huge blowing fans in an attempt to temper the heat. None of this worked. We said yes to outdoors as it was really noisy indoors. We changed tables 3x on the deck to find a spot without a fan blowing directly at our heads or a table really meant for seating for one adult and a small child, not two adults. Maybe good for takeout.

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5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

We had such a great dinner on the upper patio. Waited about an hour, which wasn’t bad at all since we enjoyed a yummy margarita while we waited. Pretty noisy in the inside dining room, but the patio upstairs was really nice. Excellent service! Staff was helpful and very prompt. The sweet potato side dish was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten! Tacos were very good too.

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5.0Dined on April 22, 2018

Always a great experience. Best cocktails and unbelievable patio view. The ceviche is my favorite in town.

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4.0Dined on April 20, 2018

Probably my new favorite Mexican restaurant in Austin. More of an interior Mexican cuisine instead of Tex-Mex. Service is average. Drinks are good but not great. Overall though, a great food experience.

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5.0Dined on April 19, 2018

El Alma never dissapoints. It's a neighborhood gem and one I keep coming back to. Great drinks, great food and good service. Oh and the outdoor deck is perfect for a night out with friends!

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5.0Dined on April 10, 2018

Beautiful day. Great patio. Good food. Wish the umbrellas were not all up. But still nice.

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Post race lunch

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2018

My party and I had a great time eating brunch yesterday at El Alma. We had a large party but the service was very attentive nonetheless. They did a great job. The food was tasty and everyone was commenting on how good the banana bread pudding was. Everyone was having a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the food! Thank you to El Alma for such a great dining experience!

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

The staff took great care of us and the food was delicious with more than just the typical mix of selections. Don't hesitate to make reservations for a Thursday evening.

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5.0Dined on April 4, 2018

From their zingy red and green salsas, effective Margaritas, through the marvelous entrees (we had shrimp a la plancha and shrimp/crab stuffed relleno) to the decadent chocolate cake dessert, El Alma always delivers a wonderful dining experience!

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4.0Dined on April 4, 2018

Our server was EXCELLENT! I wish I remembered his name. Great food; great time!

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4.0Dined on March 30, 2018

The wait was long but worth it once we were seated on the patio. Service was great and we were given a free appetizer for the extra long wait time. Food and drinks were delicious! Will definitely be back for patio dining! Would recommend to friends and family.

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3.0Dined on March 26, 2018

Waitress was amazing but the drinks and food were definitely off their game for El Alma

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5.0Dined on March 23, 2018

Great spot! The service was great and we loved the food. Would totally recommend the chips and queso (it's incredible). We went for a double date and had a great time.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

El Alma is one of my “go to” local spots, this time was prior to a show at Long Center so perfect location. Food is always good, love the Sopa Azteca in particular. It does get really tight in the tables that are in front of the bar when the bar gets stacked up on an evening but otherwise seating is fine inside or out

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5.0Dined on March 16, 2018

Great service and food! I really like that we were not rushed out of restaurant-last diners.

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2018

As always, El Alma delivers on great food, great service and an awesome outdoor patio!

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2.0Dined on March 9, 2018

We came here last April and were very impressed by the food and drinks. This time around was disappointing. The service was slow and unreliable. My husband's margarita was sitting at the bar for 5-10 minutes before it was brought to our table. The salad in particular was a much lower-quality version of what we enjoyed last year. It was not very green and for some reason had two giant carrot sticks in it instead of shredded carrots! We won't be returning anytime soon.

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5.0Dined on March 9, 2018

Amazing as always. Never disappoints! Always get the carne asada and rice and cheese relleno!!!! It’s sooo good! Awesome spot & great outdoor area to eat upstairs!

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5.0Dined on March 9, 2018

Friends gathered to dine with and entertain a friend/filmmaker in town for SXSW. We were looking for a place with good vegetarian fare, not downtown but not too far away, and that took reservations. El Alma was perfect. We arrived early. It was a balmy night so we ordered margaritas at the bar and sat out front until our table was called. The hostess sat us 15 minutes before our reserved time--thanks! We were seated, by request, on the rooftop, at a large table on the highest level of the deck--at the back. It was perfect for our reunion, with the Austin skyline as a backdrop for our conversation.

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4.0Dined on March 6, 2018

Great outdoor dining on the upper deck! Good food, great happy hour deals.

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5.0Dined on March 1, 2018

Great happy hour with discounted margaritas and queso fundido before 6 pm every day. Everything is well seasoned especially the carne asada and lamb barbacoa tacos. Service was fantastic. This was the first time we sat inside vs. the patio. Both work well.

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2018

I celebrated my birthday at El Alma on Friday night and it was perfect. Our waitress Sarah was great and made sure that our party of 12 was taken care of at all times. The food was great and the drinks were amazing, we will definitely visit again and I will make sure to have my birthday at El Alma again next year. Thanks for the wonderful experience!

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5.0Dined on February 17, 2018

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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5.0Dined on February 16, 2018

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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4.0Dined 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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4.0Dined on February 6, 2018

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

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4.0Dined 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!

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5.0Dined 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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5.0Dined 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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