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El Banditos

Certificate of Excellence
Mexican
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327 East Market Street, Iowa City, IA 52245
(319) 358 2836
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Today
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Open now
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Hours:
Mon - Fri 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat - Sun 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 44 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 21
    Excellent
  • 15
    Very good
  • 5
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Delicious Food

Food is amazing! Very fresh and local. Everything is made to order, service was much longer than normal. But definitely worth the wait! Drinks are delicious too.

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 23, 2015
Brittany B
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44 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2015

Food is amazing! Very fresh and local. Everything is made to order, service was much longer than normal. But definitely worth the wait! Drinks are delicious too.

Was this review helpful? Yes
iowa city, ia
Level Contributor
177 reviews
92 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2015

This was my 1st visit for breakfast. I have only had a couple of other dinner visits over the years that were all great. My daughter and I arrived around 9am. It was not too busy at that time, but it got packed shortly thereafter. And for as busy as it was, our server did a pretty good job. A... More 

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Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2015

My hope was maybe today was a bad day? Typically when I read a bunch of great reviews and then a few that say the food was bland ... It is a winner for Mexican food because authentic, traditional dishes have subtle and earthy flavors. That was not the case tonight. It seemed like everything I tried was a let... More 

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Madison, WI
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

El Banditos is the best Mexican restaurant in Iowa City, including serving tasty food for vegetarians and vegans. They also have a wonderful weekend breakfast menu - don't miss the eggs benedict, with eggs and sauce over spinach and polenta, with home fries. MM-MMM GOOD. The chips and salsa are good, but they don't give you an abundance of them... More 

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Detroit
Level Contributor
47 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2015

I was really looking forward to this place but was not too impressed. The food was kind of bland and there weren't many vegetarian options.

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Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

I consider myself a Mexican food snob, especially when it comes to fish tacos. Banditos' shrimp tacos rock. Their chile rellenos are awesome as well. I recommend ordering two items, like the tacos and a chili relleno, or a taco and a tamale. You will get more than enough food. I don't recommend the margaritas, unless you like them big... More 

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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
Level Contributor
109 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 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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Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2014 via mobile

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
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 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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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 327 East Market Street, Iowa City, IA 52245
  • Location: United States  >  Iowa (IA)  >  Iowa City
  • Phone Number: (319) 358 2836

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: Mexican
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

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from El Banditos staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?