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El Cantinero - 23 Reviews - 86 University Pl, New York, NY - Late Night Dining Reviews - Phone (212) 255-9378

El Cantinero

86 University Pl (at nr. 11th St.)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 255-9378
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El Cantinero - New York, NY
El Cantinero - New York, NY
El Cantinero - New York, NY
El Cantinero - New York, NY
El Cantinero - New York, NY


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This place is wonderful! I live in North Brooklyn, and its a straight shot to get here. The service is great. your chips and salsa are never empty, and the food is even better. I ...


I liked this place a few years ago. I came here recently and was disappointed. The food was not very good. One of my guests ordered Quesadillas. They had a chicken bone in the...

El Cantinero 10/23/2011

It is absolutely THE worst Mexican food in new york city - and they couldn't care less. more

Love this place! New Favorite! 11/8/2009

This place is wonderful! I live in North Brooklyn, and its a straight shot to get here. The service is great. your chips and salsa are never empty, and the food is even better. I suggest this place to anyone who wants realllyyy good mexican food! Pros: great service, good location, excellent food Cons: very busy...for a reason more

love this place! 7/27/2009

I went here last night with my sister and friend, and we had a great time. The Sangria was juicy and delicious, and they had an all you can eat menu for monday night $10.95! It is so cheap and a really nice setting. Wait staff is accomodating. I had enchiladas suiza, my sister had fajitas, and my friend had a veggie burrito. We were all really happy. They have outdoor rooftop seating! do not miss out! Pros: sangria, all you can eat monday! more

Mixed Crowd & Cheap Drinks 1/28/2009

This place draws a mixed crowd for happy hour and it gets PACKED! Drinks are cheap and the bartenders work fast. The music is also a mix of dance, pop & latin. If you are dining, you need to get there super early. It's a small place and it looks grimy, good thing it's dark inside. If you're in the area and need to get a cheap drink on check it out. Pros: Cheap Drinks & Happy Hour Specials Cons: Small, Tight & Crowded more

Love this place! 5/2/2008

I've been coming here for about 2 years, and it's the best deal for Mexican I've found so far. The pitchers of margaritas for $30 are awesome, even though they charge more for frozen, which is slightly odd. During happy hour, there's free food and a fun atmosphere in their bar area- when it's warm out, the back garden is really pretty if you can get a table there. Good food, good drinks, awesome place. Pros: Margaritas, happy hour, tasty food Cons: None I can think of more


We went to this Mexican restaurant on my birthday, which happened to be on a Friday. First of all, we were told the wait would be 30 - 35 minutes. NOT! We wound up waiting 2 hours for seating in the garden. Who asked for the garden anyway? NOT US! Let me add that we were told that the garden was well covered and heated. WE FROZE as soon as we sat down. If they call a canopy well covered who are they kidding? Then in order to change our seats we had to wait another hour. Finally, the shrimp and avocado salad had no seasoning, at all. The frozen raspberry margarita was brown, and the steak sizzler platter had more onions than steak. If you are reading this review, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE! Pros: Salsa, chips, but you can get that somewhere else Cons: poor service, weak salads, long wait for everything more

Awful food, surprised it's been able to last this long! 10/1/2006

I went this past weekend with a friend who was looking for non frou frou Mexican. I had the Pollo a la Mexicana (something like that) and he had a beef enchilada. Our food was just plain awful. My chicken was bland as was the sauce that it came with. I'm no expert when it comes to Mexican food but I do know this is probably as bad as they come. They have a nice garden, though but that's about it. It was an incredibly disappointing experience. Pros: Nice garden, fast service Cons: Bad food! more

Horrible Manager on a Friday Night 9/3/2006

After spending literally HUNDREDS of dollars (we had a large party) on mediocre food, we were hassled by a very obnoxious manager. Plus, they put on a $6 service charge on a pitcher of margaritas which we ended up having to pour ourselves. Never again. Cons: manager, service charges more

Terrible 8/11/2006

I vowed never to go back to this place years ago, and gave them another shot last night and then took another vow to never, ever to come back here! The food is not good, the drinks were overpriced and weak, and it is overpriced. The staff is rude and the service is so slow, it is like pulling teeth to get your waiter over. . They overcharged our bill and were not helpful in resolving the issue; even the manager was rude and told our table that we did not know how to dine out! They do not know how to run a restaurant, the only reason they are in business is their location. If you want inexpensive, really good Mexican go to Mary Ann's they are great and the one in the east village has outdoor seating. Cons: the food, the service, the bathrooms are gross more

yikes 7/24/2006

Words cannot describe how bad the chicken dishes are. What-did-I-do-to-deserve-this bad. My girlfriend and I were both nauseas from the taste. Maybe just a bad batch (does chicken come in batches?), but we received no explanation. Pros: air conditioning Cons: food, service more

AMAZING! 5/16/2006


great fajitas and margaritas 1/13/2006

My boyfriend and I have been twice in the past 2 weeks. Originally from TX, we haven't been able to find good Mexican food in NYC that isn't ""fru fru"". This is pretty close to the Tex Mex in TX, and everything we've had has been great (fajitas, enchiladas, tacos). The salsa is also fresh which is a plus, and the margaritas are great too! Pros: fast seating, attentive service, great food and drinks more

good food, drinks, and cheap! 1/11/2006

Been here dozens of times, always good, great enchiladas. The food isn't drowned in cheese or sauce like most places are, but there also isn't a ton of fat on the meat like you get at some of the traditional places. Margaritas are generous and a good price Pros: location, food, cheap Cons: baathroom is smallish, busy at night more

GREAT in every way! 11/14/2005

Been here twice in the past two weeks - it's GREAT! So fun, great space, great service, yummy food and great marg on the rocks! Will continue to go back time and time again! Fri and Sat night - might have to wait for a table! The guac portion is small, but it's OH SO good! Pros: Decor, Food, Service more

Awesome 5/3/2005

I've been going to this place for the last 10 years. The food and drinks are great. The place is cute. The outdoor patio is nice over the summer. The prices are good. I also had my birthday party here last year with about 50 people and everyone loved it. The staff was great. Pros: Inexpensive, Bar/Happy Hour more

A great place 8/13/2004

I came her for my birthday dinner last night, after a fiasco at Patsy's Pizza. The staff was cery accommodating of large groups, the food and drinks are great, and the prices are good. The waiter even provided a free round of shots upon hearing it was my birthday! Highly recommended. Pros: good food, good drinks, good prices more

Nothing Special 8/2/2004

The food was decent, but nothing good, and is certainly not a place to go to for a really good meal. Everything was average across the board at best. Service was somewhat slow and disorganized, the food was greasy, and my tacos fell apart and were difficult to eat. I was full when I left, and they certainly give you plenty of food, but I'm not particularly eager to return there. Pros: Portions Cons: , Service is slow more

i love this restaurant 5/23/2004

I have been going to this restaurant for more than 5 years and its the best!! the waiters are cheerful and helpful, the food is excellent..very authentic, YES.. greesy and real, how mexican food should be!! The drinks are excellent the margaritas are the best wether you like them frozen or on he rocks.. i come go there for just drinks to celebrate an occasion or just to sit and have a good meal with good spanish music in the background Pros: easy to get to, inexpensive more

Ok, but disappointing 10/4/2003

I liked this place a few years ago. I came here recently and was disappointed. The food was not very good. One of my guests ordered Quesadillas. They had a chicken bone in them! Also, I was surprised that the portions were not large. In the past I used to get plenty here. My brother was still looking for I don't think I'll be back. Pros: not expensive, free shot of tequilla Cons: portions, food quality more

It's not so bad 12/30/2002

Some of my friends complained that the food is way too greasy, but I found the food to be a nice break from the fare that is served at most yuppie NYC Mexican restaurants. Upstairs there's a bar and salsa and merengue dancing on the weekends, which is a lot of fun. Pros: there's dancing too Cons: can be kinda greasy more
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Menu for El Cantinero

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  • This festively-decorated Mexican restaurant caters mostly to nearby NYU students and locals lured in by sangria, margaritas, and dinner discounts.

  • 7/11/2007 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon-Thu and Sun, 11:30am-1am; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-4am
  • Payments:

    Discover, Visa, Master Card, American Express
  • Neighborhoods:

    Downtown, Greenwich Village