Austin >Food & Dining > Latin Cafe
101 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX | Directions 7870130.263012 -97.741933
Mon-Thu 8am-9pm Fri-Sat 8am-11pm Sun 11am-9pm
Neighborhoods: Greater South River City, South River City
What have you done to our beloved Doña Emilia's? – We used to love going to Doña Emilia's to enjoy their Mojitos and the wonderful ajiaco (a Colombian 3-potato soup; I am from Colombia and their Ajiaco was the closest I've ever found in the U.S. to the real thing). We went back last week to find it had been "rebranded" as Latin Cafe. The ambiance went from a nice restaurant to a glorified Taco Bell: tex-mex food, paper tablecloths, blinking neon, lousy service and worst of all: No ajiaco! How about a nice 10 Cane Mojito? "Sorry, we don't got that anymore." I will never be going back. Doña Emilia's consistently ranked in my top-10 for best restaurants in Austin. I truly believe we've lost the only authentic Latin American restaurant in town.
Best Mojitos and Caipirinhas – I went there for my luch break the other day and I really enjoyed the food, the blackened salmon was outstanding. Then I went back for dinner and drinks with my girl, and the food was delicious and their drinks even better, the mojitos were the best I have ever had in my life and the caipirinhas were really tasty! The server was checking on us every five minutes making sure that we were ok. I am definitely going back again.
MOJITOS ARE #1 – 2 weeks ago my girlfriend and I went to Latin cafe because it was an hour wait down the street. We had never seen it before and were a little skeptical. But the food and service was great. I have worked in restaurants my entire life and know that this can be deceiving. Sometimes you win the lotto at a terrible place. Well I have gone back 4 times since then. 1 time with my girl and 3 times by myself for lunch and this place is a winner. I already feel like a regular the staff remembers you and make you feel at home. I highly recommend the beef skewers on the appetizer menu they are my favorite. LATIN POWER!!!!
Terrible. Just Terrible – Dona Emilia's changed its name to the Latin Cafe. Same prices. Taco Bell quality. Actually, that's insulting to Taco Bell. This was some of the worst food I've ever had in my 10 years living in Austin. We used to really like Dona Emilia's. But don't be fooled this place is NOT Dona Emilia's! The shrimp I had tasted like it was frozen 15 minutes earlier. It was tough and served on a bed of rice that for some reason had a quart of cream poured all over it. The calamari was served with catchup. Not kidding, catchup. The service was lousy. Oh and the valet guy just disappeared at the end and we had to go get the manager to get our keys. You couldn't pay us to eat here again.
Very Disappointed – We went to Dona Emilia's for the Mother's Day Brunch...and were a very disappointed. Perhaps we went in with expectations too high. There were five of us and we unanimously agreed -- The buffet was just 'ok' for the price paid, $22 each. Not much variety, and the chefs cooking omelets could not speak English. The most disturbing thing was when we found out an 18% gratuity had been added to our bill for a BUFFET, are you kidding!!! The server ended up making an enormous tip for essentially dropping the drinks at our table - AFTER we had to ask the manager to be waited on after being seated for about 10 minutes and not being waited on. It?s not that we would not have included a tip, but to have an enormous one added for a party of 5 for a Buffet is outrageous. It is very unfortunate that we have no plans to be a repeat customer of this restaurant.
i dont care what it costs or tastes like but if there's good live latin music it is great. don emilia's gets the idea. if your located in the live music capital of the state having live music "duhh" is important. keep up the good work and happyhour. also maybe in the future the live music will play longer into the night.
Highly recommended! – Great food, fabulous buffets! My husband and I own a bar, and one of our bartenders suggested Dona Emilia's last Easter as a last-minute brunch idea. We normally do a big family Easter, but this time it was just my husband, son, and myself. We were seated immediately, which was surprising on Easter with no reservations. There was a "short list" of well-priced selections, not a buffet, and I had the BEST omelete I've ever had at a restaurant, while my husband enjoyed a South American style steak & eggs rancheros that he thought was excellent. Our six-year-old son enjoyed his meal, too, and we all loved the atmosphere. The bottomless mimosas (passion fruit and blackberry) are delicious and a great value. The prices were very low compared to other Easter venues, so we returned on Mother's Day for their brunch. Calling an hour ahead got us reservations and immediate seating when we arrived, and their buffet was FABULOUS. The ceviche is the best I've had in Austin. We've been back several times for brunch and dinner and have always had great food and service at a reasonable price. Being in the hospitality business ourselves, we like to give business to those bars and restaurants whose service people frequent our place (Barton Springs Saloon - have to include a plug here), and we appreciate good value and service. Dona Emilia's is one of our favorite places, especially for special occasions. Next Easter we are reserving the upstairs room for the entire family. We recommend this place to everyone! The food is unique and delicious, the atmosphere is cool and refreshing, and the service is wonderful.
VERY VERY OVER PRICED!!!!! – The food they are making that will cost you an average of $3 to make they charge at least $20. I had a plain piece of beef with egg and bacon which is also called "bandeja paisa" and it was horrible the meat was dry, the eggs where cold the only thing I couldn't complain about was the bacon (for obvious reasons). If you are trying to find good colombian and latin american food this is really not the place to go. I would give to solutions to the problem try to make it yourself and get your ingredients from fiesta or if you really dont want to cook either move up or down the continent by getting some of the amazing brazilian barcecues that can be found in austin or some gourmet mexican food that also can be found around town. I am still waiting for a latin american restaurant in austin that will be able to give me the comfort food that I miss.
Good Choice – I Travel to Austin once a month sometimes twice, everytime i Eat at Dona Emilias, The food is Great, Being born and Raised in Colombia i look for the typical food places in the area since i know how the food should taste, Dona Emilia's is the only restaurant in the area that comes close to home cooking from my grandma the one that really fills you up. Only thing that everytime the Typical dish i Order is the Bandeja Paisa and it just keeps getting smaller and smaller. that's the only dissapointing thing. The Ajiaco always has a different taste so there is no expectancy of the same taste. food seems to be getting pricier and pricier. The wait staff is great, the Host is friendly food arrives in the spected time. Great choice i Recomend it!
not given a chance – I went in to have a drink on a recent Sunday evening around 9:00.
Hours are listed until 10:00. I was told that they were already closed.
ACL weekend? Why post the hours when it is not honored. I understand wanting
to go home early because I, myself, am in the service industry. However, there were several
tables in the dining room, one on the patio, and several guests sitting at the bar.
Sorry that I inconvenienced anyone there. It will not happen again.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Latin Cafe 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.