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El Banditos

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327 East Market Street, Iowa City, IA 52245
(319) 358 2836
Website
Today
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Mon - Fri 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat - Sun 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 43 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 21
    Excellent
  • 14
    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
great

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... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed February 13, 2015
CaliTransplantinIA
,
Iowa City, Iowa
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43 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
iowa city, ia
Top Contributor
167 reviews 167 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
120 helpful votes 120 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 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
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 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
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
21 helpful votes 21 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Iowa City, Iowa
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 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
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
28 helpful votes 28 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 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
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 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
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 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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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
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?