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El Patio - 26 Reviews - 2938 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (512) 476-5955

El Patio

2938 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 476-5955
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


El Patio - Austin, TX
El Patio - Austin, TX
El Patio - Austin, TX
El Patio - Austin, TX
El Patio - Austin, TX
El Patio - Austin, TX
El Patio - Austin, TX
El Patio - Austin, TX
El Patio - Austin, TX
El Patio - Austin, TX
El Patio - Austin, TX


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I visited El Patio on a whim. I love little hole in the wall restaurants because that's usually where the food is really good. El Patio didn't disappoint. \r \r After walking...


I visited the EL PATIO and i use to like it there but not it sucks cause the waiter came and ask if we wanted candy and did not even say that there was a charge for it ,., i know...

El Patio 4/21/2012

I visited the EL PATIO and i use to like it there but not it sucks cause the waiter came and ask if we wanted candy and did not even say that there was a charge for it ,., i know in the past there was not a charge if that is the way they do bussness i want to part if there food.. they should have say did your want candy and said there if a charge for it. more

I love it 12/12/2009

I visited El Patio on a whim. I love little hole in the wall restaurants because that's usually where the food is really good. El Patio didn't disappoint. \r \r After walking around the drag for awhile, I went in about 2 p.m. I was hungry and I pigged out. I had a half order of beef and been nachos to start with. I was impressed by the fact that the ground taco beef was not greasy--a big plus for me. The chips for the nachos were freshly fried corn tortillas...not a stale store bought or restaurant supply chip. Another plus--real cheddar cheese on the nachos and not queso. I also ordered the David plate which had two tacos, two cheese enchiladas, rice and beans. Looking back, I would have not ordered the if I had known how much food was on the David plate. The tacos were flat shelled and covered with beef, lettuce/tomato and chili con queso. They were huge!!!\r The enchiladas were full of cheese and covered with a delightful gravy. The rice was a bit dry. \r The service was great! I never had an empty glass of tea or an empty bowl of hot sauce and chips. \r The hot sauce was okay...not the greatest, but it was tasty and spicy.\r This is old school Tex-Mex...that's what I like. I like some of the new stuff, but I'll take old school Tex Mex any day of the week. I can't wait to get back to Austin to go back. Pros: Great food and service more

The best Tex-Mex in Austin! 3/28/2009

My husband and I absolutely adore El Patio! I am native to Austin and think El Patio represents a local restaurant at its finest: family owned, cozy retro atmosphere & home-style food. The food is completely Tex-Mex. Gooey, yellow American cheese & thin red salsa. Our favorite dish is the cheese enchiladas w/ onions. Thank you Joseph family for keeping Austin traditionally weird & well fed!!! Pros: family owned, friendly staff, great enchiladas Cons: closed on Sunday more

Standard Tex Mex 1/28/2009

El Patio has no patio, but is located on the drag, which is nice. It's standard TexMex. Nothing fancy or over the top, but not too bad. more

El Patio offers tasty & fairly-priced TexMex fare 11/18/2008

El Patio offers very tasty, fairly-priced TexMex Food, and very attentive service. And they've done it since 1954. Despite the occasional misguided comments by a few one-time customers who expected the wrong sort of dining experience, El Patio is a pleasant place to enjoy good TexMex for a reasonable price. There are many good reasons why the Joseph family has been filling-up the tables at El Patio for over 50 years! You just can't argue with such long-time success. Pros: Tasty TexMex food, attentive service, family atmosphere, handy location near UT. Cons: Limited-space parking lot. So use the street... or WALK! more

Best Mexican Food Anywhere 4/12/2008

This is our family's standard by which every Mexican Food Restaurant is rated. None have surpassed it yet. I always go for the beef enchiladas. Pros: Best Mexican Food Anywhere Cons: It's hard to find parking. more

Mediocre food, average service, and not cheap enough 2/14/2008

After a bunch of 5 star reviews and some 1 star review, we decided to try out El Patio. I have to say the food isn't the worst I've ever had, but I probably wouldn't go back very often. \r \r I'm pretty sure the chicken in my chicken enchilada was canned chicken which is pretty weak. Sadly, the chicken enchilada was better than the cheese. I'm pretty sure they used all velveeta cheese which is just so strong. Their chili con carne didn't have much carne and wasn't very chili like either.\r \r The queso was good, and I liked the homemade chips (my finace did not). \r \r If people think that this place is REAL tex-mex then I'm sad for them. I've eaten mexican food in a lot of places and I would rank El Patio in the bottom tier. It would be the best mexican food in OKCity (I spent a summer up there) but I've eaten food this good in Kermit, TX (middle of nowhere past Midland). \r \r Lastly, I was disappointed that our bill was $24 for one kids plate (she eats lightly), my entree (2 enchiladas with rice and beans), one frozen marg, one soda, and a small queso. If it had been $18 for the same meal I'd be much more inclined to go back more often. more

Family owned and operated - a place you can trust 1/16/2008

I really love this place, although I understand it is not for everyone. I can't figure out why there is such a divide between people who LOVE this place and people who absolutely hate it. Pros: clean, quick, good food Cons: not for everyone. have to be careful bringing first-timers more

Pa-tooey! 11/27/2007

Just dined (if you call it that) at El Patio for lunch. It was my first time there, and I assure you, my last. Not only was the food overpriced, but it was bland and unappetizing. Add to that the unfriendly wait staff and slow service, and one has the primary reasons for not going back. Pros: Can't think of any Cons: Overpriced, poor service, bland food more

Great TEX MEX!! 10/28/2007

El Patio that they has a great business! I hope they don't pay attention to the negative reviews on this site. My family has been eating here sinece we were all in college in the 70's. Not much has changed and that is why we eat here 2 times a week. It is REAL TEXMEX. A lot of people won't understand it. If you are a foreigner (not from Texas) you won't understand, go to Curra's or Guerro's. There are a lot of different styles of Mexican food in Austin and not all styles are for everyone. I hope El Patio is around for another 50 years. It is simple, inexpensive and as good as great TEXMEX gets. Pros: Inexpensive, Excellent Food, the Josephs are nice people! more

Hometown Flavor 10/20/2007

We had a wonderful experience at El Patio, from the great food to the personal service!! The homemade tortilla chips and chili con queso are down right addictive. The nachos and the enchiladas were perfect!! We had several people waiting on us making sure that we had everything. The friendly, family service is something you just don't get anywhere else!!! Pros: Food and Service Cons: No Parking more

same name as the frozen dinners...coincidence? I think not. 9/6/2007

I hadn't eaten at El Patio in almost 7 years because I remember it being pretty bad but I couldn't remember specifically what was so bad. As fate would have it, my wife, daughter and I ended up there tonight due to a lack of other ideas. I was quickly reminded why I hadn't been back and won't go back. \r \r The people, ambience, etc, are not the problem. The problem is the horrible, horrible food. The salsa they brought out was the consistency of water, and only slightly more flavorful. I ordered the chicken enchiladas with rice and beans. Pretty simple order, how can this not be decent. Let me tell you how. Unheated Corn tortillas straight out of the package. Bland chicken. Then, the last straw: they were topped with american cheese slices, like kraft singles. I am not kidding, God, I wish I was kidding, but I'm not. The rice was hard and only seasoned with cumin. Unseasoned beans. The meal was an absolute nightmare. I came home and read reviews here and on 360 and found about half hated it, and the ones that didn't talked more about how it's an institution because they've been doing the same thing for 50 years. NEWSFLASH: Making the same mistake for 50 years is not endearing and tradition, it's just sad. Then it made sense, all this talk about how people have been eating here for all these years + about 70% of the people in the restaurant were over 75 years old = this is the cafeteria at an old folks' home. The recipes are neither authentic Mexican or even passable tex-mex. This place is merely a place that serves as a good memory to many old people in Austin. I saw several families eating there, and the common bond at every table was multiple elderly people. At EVERY table except ours. Now, I like old people, but not their eateries apparently. \r \r If you need to appease grandma and grandpa by going to this place they loved as young people then take them to El Patio and sit there and choke down something and smile. You can get through it. I did, barely. Pros: they allowed us to leave Cons: see review more

Great food, bad service. 8/14/2007

Food is excellent. Service, on the other hand, stinks. The evening we went (Monday) there was only one waiter on the floor. It took forever to get waited on, we had to ask for water refills, never got the tortilla's we asked for, and had to ask for our check. Too bad, because the food is authentic and really good. Pros: Good, authentic Mexican food Cons: Service was lousy. more

El Patio is the best...period 7/4/2007

I have just read the reviews on El Patio. I have to say for the people that hated it, you must be 1) NOT from Texas, so you really have no idea about what Tex Mex is. Or 2) you must be under 35 so you are only used to the really mediocre stuff that is passed off at MOST restaurants around here as Tex Mex. The majority of the high priced Mexican restaurants in Austin serve boring, tasteless food. There are TV dinners that taste better.\r El Patio IS the real deal. I have lived in Austin all of my (50 yrs) life, and it is one of the ONLY restaurants that has preserved the authentic Tex Mex flavor. The sauce is the BEST in Austin IMHO. It's thin, hot and runny for a REASON my young, yankee transplants! That's the way original hot sauce was made! Learn a lesson or go back east (or west) wherever you came from. El Patio IS the best...period. \r more

WTF!! ... 6/29/2007

Who are you people that think you know something about Tex-Mex food? This place is the WORST. We had a very bad experience today. And guess what? I gave this place a shot about 6 years ago and I walked out then. Why did I come back!! \r Maybe my first mistake was coming for lunch, but you know, if they can't handle the crowds they should stop trying and not waste my time and money on lousy service and lousy food. \r We couldn't find parking, stood in line for 10 minutes then got stuck at a corner table with the flies. The chips were stale and cold, the salsa tasted like a mix of canned picante sauce and ketchup. Our waiter never even said hello to us, just took our order and then never checked on us. \r My friend ordered chicken tacos and got served 2 chalupas instead. The chicken on them was not even good. My two other friends ordered the El Patio enchilada dinners. When the plates arrived, the plates were hot to touch but the enchiladas were still cold like from the refrigerator. The guacamole was brown. I ordered beef chalupas and got chicken and bean chalupas!!!. Any Beaner with any heritage left knows,"" that just don't go!!!"" It doesn't even sound good! There was enough melted cheese on them to stop an elephant's arteries. Needless to say, none of us ate much.\r The busboy had to bring us drink refills and the manager brought us our meals. I would have gladly taken out my frustration on the waiter and not on this website but we only saw him again when he ""drive-by"" dropped off the check. He never spoke to us.\r I am Tex-Mex and I say one star is one too many for this place. I know what tex-mex food is supposed to look like, taste like, smell like. This place is not it. I'm sorry for you if you think it is! Pros: The building is authentically old. Cons: Nothing about this place is worth your time nor money. more

Ooh, my favorite is Trudy's! (not) 1/20/2007

To all the El Patio haters out there, you don't get it. I have some friends that don't like El Patio because they are use to the chain places they mistakenly think are the only ""real"" tex mex restaurants. When I want old school tex mex I go to El Patio. (1952 is old school) I've been eating there since David was a teenager. If you want Tex Mex go to el patio. If you want ""Keep Austin Weird"" tex mex go someplace else and don't forget your coupon. (el rancho doesn't count) Pros: The same food for 50 years Cons: Good luck getting in at lunch more

Probably the worst Mexican or Tex-Mex food I have EVER had!!!! 11/3/2006

Do not go to El Patio, I repeat DO NOT GO TO el patio. The food is very bland and borring mexican food the only thing anyone liked was the little dessert we got at the end of the meal. People claim this is an establishment but I've had wonderful food and this is nowhere near it. And considering there are a lot of decent to good Mexican food restraunts even some close to great ones in Austin. Choose another place!!! Everyone I know hates this place and thats out of about 20 people who have tried it. Sorry if you are dissapointed when you wait in a line to have something you can throw together at home in about 20 min. Don't even think of trying. Pros: None well maybe the dessert but thats not enough Cons: Bad Food, Long Wait, one of the worst experiences of my life. more

El Patio is an Austin institution 6/29/2005

Of the many tex-mex restaurants, El Patio stands out because of its unique tradition. The feel of the place is down-home, and the food is ""simply the best."" The friendly and observant staff make the experience at El Patio a terrific one. Pros: Taste, Price, Service Cons: Parking more

Simply the best... 10/3/2004

El Patio has to take the crown as the best restraunt in Austin. You have seriously not had a dining experience unless you visit this place. I have been going to ElPatio since I was a little kid, and they still give out the complementary candy or sherbet. The service is top notch, you will never have to ask for anything such as more tea or water. The food is simply the best, I cannot put into words how good it is. I have since moved from Austin to attend school in Corpus Christi, and it is a MUST that I go to ElPatio every time I come home. You will NOT be dissapointed... Pros: Food, Service, Everything more

Let's take it one step at a time 8/8/2003

Although at first I wasn't completely sold on El Patio, the food really grew on me. Their meals are in some ways unconventional, but if you leave your close-minded expectations at the door and just take it for what it is, there is a distinct possibility that you will develop the same type of deep affection for El Patio that I now harbor. The David Special consists of two flat tacos with chile con queso on top followed by the second course of cheese enchiladas, rice and beans. To conclude, I love authentic Mexican food. I seek out ""holes in the wall"" over some manufactured Margarita-centerd crap like Baby Acapulco, and although it took a while to really appreciate El Patio, I now realize that it has everything that I want in a restaurant: homey atmosphere, friendly folks, and warm, tasty comfort food. Eat on... Pros: A wonderful place Cons: ??? more
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Menu for El Patio

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  • In Short
    Paul Joseph bought the original cafe on this site, Schoonerville, in 1952, renaming it El Patio. His son, David, runs the place today, and it has a strong family vibe. Despite...

  • 7/13/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Payments:

    Master Card, Visa
  • Neighborhoods:

    North University, Central Austin