Cooking with Soul
Great Barton Springs Mexican restaurant travels south for first expansion
El Alma Cafe y Cantina is going south — even farther into South Austin, that is. Patrons can now enjoy the same authentic Mexican flavors they know and love with the opening of a second location this fall in the Westgate neighborhood.
The new spot is still under renovation and will be located at 4521 West Gate Blvd., Suite B, previously owned by Hyde Park Bar and Grill. Woman-owned and operated, El Alma Cafe y Cantina has been serving Austin for more than a decade now, and the overwhelming support from loyal customers was a key factor in the decision to expand.
“We recognize the fact that we’ve built an incredible community here in Austin," said executive chef and co-founder Alma Alcocer-Thomas in a release. "With this location, we can expand our mission of creating memorable dining experiences that embod[y] both our heritage and vibrant cuisine.”
Chef Alma Alcocer-Thomas at the restaurant's Barton Springs location.Photo courtesy of El Alma Cafe y Cantina
Fans of the Barton Springs restaurant know it for its welcoming atmosphere — between the centerpiece staircase and secluded rooftop patio, the whole eatery is a little planty oasis — and its dishes that straddle the line between modern and traditional. EIther way, the flavors are simple, but deep; upscale, but casual; and overall very approachable.
The new location will retain El Alma’s signature colorful contemporary Mexican cuisine, with Chef Alcocer-Thomas remaining involved to continue offering the soulful food inspired by her childhood. What will set this apart from the Barton Springs location is the addition of a full-service coffee bar, as well as a breakfast menu alongside the lunch and brunch menus on weekday and weekends, respectively.
There will also be grab-and-go breakfast options and pastries. Local favorite dishes such as chuleta de puerco a la parrilla and codorniz con mole will be offered at the second location, plus Alma’s staple tacos, enchiladas rellenos, and cocktail selections. The existing bar is especially known for its frozen margaritas, which include a tequila-led twist on a piña colada that's one of the best in town.
A similar interior design to the original location — Mexican tradition with a modern twist — will adorn the new space which will also feature an indoor-outdoor concept. The remodeling will be completed in phases as the group behind El Alma wants to ensure that this second location maintains the same level of excellence patrons are used to.
For updates on the Westgate location visit elalmacafe.com