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El Cantinero

Map & Directions 86 University Place
New York, NY 10003
  • Mexican, Tex-Mex
  • Sun-Thu 11:30pm-1am, Fri-Sat 11:30pm-4am
  • All Major Credit Cards
  • Patio/Sidewalk Dining, Takeout, Delivery, Catering, Prix Fixe
  • Dinner, Late Night, Lunch
  • Full bar
  • Not Accepted, Accepted
  • No Parking


Village Voice's Description

El Cantinero ("The Barkeep") is one of the few remaining restaurants in town slinging authentic Tex-Mex food, a cuisine developed mainly during the mid-20th century by Mexican immigrants to Texas, who found a dearth of ingredients they were familiar with, and made substitutions. One of the cuisine"s greatest inventions, the fajitas at the restaurant are a sizzling heap of smoky steak strips entangled with onions and peppers, served with condiments like pico de gallo and guacamole to make do-it-yourself tacos with flour tortillas. The combo platter is another of El Cantinero"s glories, but it"s the discount pitchers of frozen margaritas that have kept this place thronged for 20 years. Sit in the sky-lit terrace on the second floor.

Member Reviews

  • harlemrick wrote a review for El Cantinero
    on 09/20/10

    I love this place. The outdoor dining patio on the second floor in the rear of the restaurant is great. The food is delicious and the prices are very reasonable. Good margaritas too. A great, fun, festive atmosphere. Nice convenient downtown location.

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Tips from foursquare

  • NachosNY on 06/09/10

    Stay far away. Get nachos at Taco Bell before this place and see which is better.

  • The Corcoran Group on 09/23/11

    Skip the food and go straight to the second floor for the all night Happy Hours on Monday and Thursdays where you can dance to Bachata and Salsa – the crowd is a bit older.

  • Kelly R. on 04/21/10

    No matter how many times I go here and order margaritas, I'm always shocked at how strong they are.

  • nicole on 06/18/10

    Amazing happy hour every day of the week $4 drinks...interesting crowd but a pleaser!

  • Jackie O. on 03/14/10

    Amazingly strong margaritas, also a bar upstairs. Great guac and delish food! They usually bring a free round over if you buy a drink or two. (We prefer the pitchers.)

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