Austin >Food & Dining > Jovita's
1619 S First St, Austin, TX | Directions 7870430.248273 -97.755453
Tuesday To Friday From 11:00 AM To 10:30 PM Saturday From 11:00 AM To 11:00 PM Sunday From 11:00 AM To 08:00 PM
A change for the better – You should give Jovita's another try. The menu has been changed, the waitstaff has been tweaked, and there is a new philosophy behind the presentation brought to you. The (new) management is well aware that this place used to be a staple in South Austin and are trying very hard to bring it back to it's prominence. I love this place and it's feel home atmosphere, but I don't have a band in my living room, so therefore I go to Jovita's. I have hung out with all the employee's after work and they talk about making this place great for hours (after work). Don't give up on this place, come in, appreciate the atmosphere, ask your server what's good on the menu, which is most everything now, and sit back and relax, like you have a band in your living room.
Stay Away Like The Plague – In a town of many amazing Mexican places to eat, Jovita's is definitely not one of them. Their food is horrible compared to what you can get within a mile radius, the drinks are more watered down than a swimming pool and the owner and the employees have an attitude that is unnecessary. Get over yourself and take a lesson from the other cool, fun places in town.
Worst service in Austin – Went to Jovita's about 6 weeks ago. It took over 30 minutes to get my food after placing my order. And there is no way to catch a buzz here, unless you get your own beer from the bar, or go out and drink your own beer in the parking lot. The service is horrible. Menu was changed to some frou-frou fare; not the good Tex-Mex they used to feature. I said I would never come back here to eat.
But, due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to eat here 2 weeks ago. I sat in the restaurant area for 30 minutes and was totally ignored by the waitstaff. (I will not beg someone for service.) I go to Jovita's for the music, and I like to drink beer. No beer, no menu, no food. This is the worst restaurant in town. Their service is pathetic. I will never, ever return for food and I will only go for the music and (try to) drink beer to support the band.
I recommend staying away from this place if you want to eat. They do not deserve any dining customers. But, on Thursdays, go eat somewhere else, then head to Jovita's to hear the Cornell Hurd Band.
OK Austinites, LA transplants excluded, Jovitas is the shi@. – If you are looking for a REAL South Austin, take no BS kinda place, this is it. The reviews of slow service and a "scary staff" only high light the fact that those reviews were from out of towner's, or north siders. The flavor and vibe of this cultural hub can't be matched. The new chef, Cesar, takes great pride in providing authentic mexican fare. If you are looking for tex-mex, go elsewhere.
The staff are friendly as as anywhere else, so long as you mind your manners. South siders work for family owned joints, no corporate BS allowed. So if your expecting a free drink because the one you got wasn't quite up to your standards, don't hold your breath.
The music is as varied as the south side culture. You will find Salsa, Singer-Songwriter styles, Folk, Country, Rock-a-billy, hard Rock, Punk, and even Soul and Blues. You just cant beat it.
The bartender is a quirky fellow. He exudes Texas manners and charm and can make one hell of a margarita. But know this, if you are out of line, you will be told so and you will be asked to vacate the premises. Ignore this at your own risk.
Over all, if you cant stand the monotony of Chilli's, On the border, and the multitude of other chain eateries and want to experience Austin as it was, and should still be, then get your butts to Jovitas and Eat, Drink, and Listen. LOVE YOU AUSTIN!!!
New talent – In response to all of the bad reviews from the past years: The executive and sous chef are new and they're doing a great job reinventing the menu and turning around the restaurant's past reputation. When my friends and I went, we had the drink special of the day which was a hibiscus margarita. I like to try new things but I was skeptical... and proved wrong. The drink was amazing and I've been back several times and never been disappointed. The queso is an amazing way to start the meal. I've been several times and recommend getting the special every time. The chile relleno and fajitas are really good, but I can't resist stealing bites off of the plate of whoever ordered the special. I finally got smart and started ordering it for myself. The tres leches cake is absolute heaven and our table of 7 devoured 2 (huge) pieces. The chefs are passionate and innovative and they enjoy feedback on the new dishes they create.
So, before you take past reviews into account, give the new Jovita's a chance.
Try it again – I had a wonderful dinner tonight at Jovita's. The new chef (nice guy - seemed young to be the chef) greeted us at the door and invited us to try his new recipe for sopapillas- my bite-sized sampling was delicious - served with a carmel sauce instead of the traditional honey. For an appetizer, we ordered queso for our chips. It was smooth and yummy. I only wanted something light so I ordered the tortilla soup. It was the best I have ever had! My friends ordered the tres leches cake and I just HAD to have a bite - and then another, and another because it was so good - different than I had tasted before - not so drenched -just lots of flavor. I plan on going back when I am more hungry so that I can try some of the rest of the menu.
disgusting – my parents and i ate at jovita's tonight for the first time and will NEVER return. being true austinites, we enjoy supporting local restaurants, but we were more than disappointed in our experience at jovita's. upon arrival, our gut instinct told us to turn around and walk out, but we decided to stay and try the food anyway. the tacos were greasy and tasteless, the taquitos were chewy and lacking chicken and the lettuce and pico de gallo were both brown and nasty. our waiter was inattentive, the manager looked slimy and walked around chewing on a straw- truly revolting, and the head chef clearly lacks talent (he can sell t-shirts and strut around in his apron, but he cannot cook). this meal was by far the biggest waste of $26. and take down your political signs. you run a "restaurant", not campaign headquarters for a flaming left wing politician.
From bad to worse – This was my first time to go to Jovita's and it was for my Wife's birthday. The food was horrible, I would take Taco Cabana over going to Jovita's ever again. First off they charge $2.50 for chips and salsa and you don't even get refills on them. The food was bland and overall low quality. Pretty much no one in my 10 person party liked their food. To top it off the service was horribly slow which wasn't the waitress' fault because they were seriously under staffed. Overall, not a good experience.
With solid Mex eats and live tunes, this joint is much more than a funky South Austin eatery. – In Short
With better than average Mexican fare and a well-stocked bar, Jovita's, with its funky mural of Cesar Chavez, sits in the heart of South Austin. Bands play on the beautiful indoor/outdoor patio, but the sounds travel through the open doors, past the bar and to the furthest tables. As longtime weekly host to such talent as Don Walser, Jovita's offers a steady dose of world-class live music in true South Austin style.
Not so great these days – The food has always been bad at Jovita's. Not really Tex-Mex or Mexican, just bad. Slow service too! As of late even the music is going down hill............lots of no names that don't fit in the Austin live music line up. Come on Jovita's you can do better.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Jovita's on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.