Houston >Food & Dining > El Tiempo Cantina
3130 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX | Directions 7709829.734101 -95.425731
Monday 11:00am - 9:00pm
Tuesday 11:00am - 9:00pm
Wednesday 11:00am - 10:00pm
Thursday 11:00am - 10:00pm
Friday 11:00am - 11:00pm
Saturday 9:30am - 11:00pm
Sunday 9:30am - 9:00pm
Neighborhoods: Central, Greenway/ Upper Kirby
Still My Favorite – We have tried countless Mexican restauants all over Houston and the Richmond location of El Tiempo is still my favorite. Yes, it's always on the crowded side- but good places always are. Yes, it's usually noisy, but it makes it fun. Yes, the food is pricier than some places, but I'll pay it when the food, drinks, and service are consistently this good. Everything I've ever eaten here is great, but my favorite is pretty basic... the cheese enchiladas rock my world- great comfort food. My husban'd fave- the carnitas- and you'll love how they serve these (on a little metal tower type tray over hot coals-they serve several things this way). The ritas (always get mine on the rocks) are yummy and extremely potent. I would not recommend drinking more than 2... by 3 you'll need someone to drive you home... 4 or more and you'll really be hating life in the morning. El Tiempo also has a very good lunch menu, nice brunch, and is usually pretty fun for happy hour at the bar. I don't love the parking situation, but when you put it into perspective...you're already going to an upscale Mexican restuarant and will probably be splurging a bit on food and drink...so tipping the valet a few bucks is really no biggie. And one of these days, maybe I won't overdo it on appetizers, the fabulous chips and salsa, and my entree and finally get to try their tres leches...or maybe I should just plan to take it home with me. YUM!
quality!!!! – the food here is just exceptional. fresh, delicious ingredients make for exquisite dishes and strong but tasty drinks. food this good is usually paired with fancy attire, hushed conversations and stuffy staff, but here the atmosphere is relaxed and lively.
people who complain about the prices should frequent other places because the value here really is worth it.
i'm a regular as long as they're open!
Best fajitas and margaritas in town! – I love this restaurant. The price might be slightly more than other mexican restaurants but the quality is more than worth it! very friendly staff, beautiful atmosphere. Sometimes there is a wait, but they usually get you seated quicker than stated. The margaritas are fabulous (I can only drink about two)! Absolutely, without a doubt the best fajitas I have ever had! Its definitely a meeting place for my friends and I to meet up monthly for dinner. Our favorite!
Pricey but high quality Mexican food, well decorated but often noisy and crowded – I finally started going here in the last year or two, and while it costs quite a bit, the quality is commendable. If you're into their big fajitas hot plates and want something different, try the carnitas (pork). They have convenient size choices for guacamole appetizers (and serve several ingredients on the side so you can mix in whatever you like). Unfortunately, it can be pretty noisy and crowded with the after-work folks, and waiting for a table or just trying to hear my date in addition to the steeper prices leads me to shy away from giving a higher rating. Although I don't smoke, my favorite seating area is the smoking section, so maybe they can shift people around at some point!
The owner of the cabaret next door made me pretty angry one time. A friend who was joining us for dinner came in and told us how the owner had told her she couldn't park there, and rudely went on to tell her she should be working for him, anyway. I half wanted to confront him when I went outside, but I guess it's just as well that he wasn't there. I talked to the El Tiempo valets and they said he's crazy and have had issues with him in the past.
Bountiful Tex-Mex favorites are the specialty at this upbeat happy-hour favorite. – The Scene
Dusky lighting, chummy servers and enjoyable salsa tunes make you feel like you just landed in a classy, crowded border-town cantina. El Tiempo attracts a brisk, discriminating happy-hour crowd for good reason: Stout, limey margaritas paired with chips and the legendary tomatillo sauce inherited from Mama Ninfa.
Generously portioned combination plates are heavy on the cheese. The grilled fajita tower (tender beef, shrimp and meaty quail) is paired with extraordinarily moist, green rice and savory charro beans. Chili fans will love the spicy serrano peppers atop the steamed red snapper heaped with crab meat. Wonderfully fresh guacamole comes with minced onions, jalapeños and garlic to add as desired. A jumbo chocobanana empanada crowned with melted chocolate and ice cream is the best last bite.
Deadly but Delicious Margaritas! – I went to El Tiempo Monday night with a group of about 10 people. We were seated outside on the patio. The salsa was good - not too spicy. They also had a complimentary avocado/sour cream type of dip that was paired with the chips - very good. The frozen margaritas were good but strong - limit yourself to two max. Overall, a casual Mexican restaurant with pretty good food.
Fed Up – We used to eat here at the Washington location a lot, its close to work. One day I went in to order some tortillas and some queso and chips/salsa. The bill is $15...FOR TORTILLAS and QUESO?? I said that's ridiculous I've been ordering that for years from the other location and its $8. Told me that these are the prices and their chips/salsas aren't for free and cost per ITEM. I've NEVER seen any other Mexican restaurant charge for such things on to go orders. They have become SO overpriced. The food is good, but worth the price they charge now? No way. I can't say I've had a pleasant experience there in quite sometime. This week we called to make a reservation for a birthday, thinking well, at least they take reservations and have great margaritas. For a reservation, I was told I had to put a $200 deposit down on my table, $100 per six people. Since when is this a club. I would never put a deposit down on a table at a local mexican restaurant, it is NOT Tavern on the Green. That for me was it. That is out of control and frankly the food and customer service don't hold a candle to some of the other Mexican restaurants in Houston...We'll be going to Escalante's instead.
Not worth the price!!! – Way too expensive for the quality of food that is served. Way too noisy, fajitas barely compete with the corner tex-mex joint, margaritas have little to no tequila (and the price they charge for fruit juice is criminal). Went there with a group of ten people. With the exception of the two 24 year old folks who brought us there, everybody thought the same thing. This place is a ripoff. I guess you have to be younger than 30 and "hip" to think this restaurant is good. Most times I like to give a restaurant a second chance because it may have been a bad night. This place? Too mucho dinero to ever try again.
best mexican food in town – i absolutely love the ambience!: a quaint grotto that feels like your in a cozy, exotic mexican locale. it's unlike any mexican hole-in-the-walls in town: it's not dirty, it's not grimey, it's not sleazy. the food was amazing! surprisingly big portions for a decent price ... complement it with their equally amazing margaritas and you're in heaven. the staff was a bit slow, but the food more than makes up for that. definitely a chill place to soak in the festive aura ... feels like you're vacationing in mexico~!*
Best Mexican in Houston – I would honestly say that this is the best Mexican food in Houston. I don't usually order fajitas, but the fajitas at this place, on the burning charcoals with the butter sauce, are the best I have ever had. You will have to wait, but the bar area is fun, and the wait is never that bad. The prices are higher here than most other Mexican restaurants, but the ambiance and quality of food are, in my opinion, more than worth it.
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