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327 East Market Street, Iowa City, IA 52245
(319) 358 2836
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Ranked #21 of 206 Restaurants in Iowa City
Hours:
Mon - Fri 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat - Sun 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Cuisines: Mexican
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch
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38 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    20
    13
    2
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

With a name like "El Banditos," and a location in Iowa City, my expectations for authentic Mexican cuisine were minimal. What a surprise! Have now been there 3-4 times and always look forward to a return visit. Very family friendly and surprisingly delicious food. Quite a bit different than "typical," American Mexican fare, with recipes that truly taste of "home... More 

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Midwest
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2014

This is the first Mexican restaurant to impress me in this area. I haven't been to all of them in Iowa City, but most in Cedar Rapids. Stopped here for a late dinner. The chips and salsa were fresh. The street tacos use locally sourced pork and are well seasoned. The guacamole is also very fresh and perfectly made. I... More 

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2014

Knowledgeable, attentive server provided great guidance on ordering drinks and dinner. Deliciously tart margarita ( make their own mix from lemons & limes- no premixed stuff here) was awesome and the enchiladas verde ( local pork) with pinto beans & rice were oh so yummy! Visiting the U if Iowa hospital, and would return again our business travels bring us... More 

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Toronto, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

When we lived in IC, we ate here almost every week. It was such good, authentic Mexican food. The drinks were well done, and horchata was delicious! (rice milk and spices). I would definitely eat here over any of the other Mexican places in town.

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Iowa City, Iowa
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

I met a friend for a very relaxed and enjoyable lunch. There are daily lunch specials and I'd suggest anything that is served with black beans. I'm not sure how they are prepared, but I've never cleaned my plate before like I did with their black beans. The atmosphere is casual, and family friendly. I can’t wait to try dinner... More 

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Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

We just ate breakfast here for the first time and it was awesome! The Machaca and Eggs, the Anne Perez, and the Eggs in Hell were all fantastic. The little kids got the oatmeal pancakes and they were delicious as well. We don't give many five star reviews but this food earned it.

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Iowa City, Iowa
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

We like this place and intend to go back. They serve as much local food as possible and it is pretty darn good! It is a small place but the two times we went, we had no trouble getting a seat and the service was good. They also have a vegan menu for those interested in that. We've been told... More 

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Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

El Banditos doesn't have good curb appeal, but once you enter the front door, you are greeted with open arms, very friendly wait staff. I ordered the Green Chile Spicy soup, very flavorful, and a nice spice! My main course was the Cowboy fajitas with homemade chorizo, the ribeye and chorizo blend made the fajitas melt in your mouth!! I... More 

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

I live in California so maybe my expectations are too high but the only real flavor in the cheese enchiladas was from very boring canned enchilada sauce (probably LA Palma). No fresh taste of cilantro, no fresh roasted Chile's, just plain dull. The salsa at the table was equally bland, certainly not home made. Food isn't bad and the service... More 

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Iowa City, Iowa
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

Wow! If you want a Mexican breakfast or just can't wait any longer for a table at Bluebird or Hamburg, you've gotta check this place out. Not much on charm but man the food is great and the bloody Mary's will make you want to renounce your citizenship.

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Additional Information about El Banditos

Address: 327 East Market Street, Iowa City, IA 52245
Phone Number: (319) 358 2836
Location: United States  >  Iowa (IA)  >  Iowa City
Open Hours:
Sunday 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Monday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Tuesday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thursday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Cuisine: Mexican

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Questions & Answers

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Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?