We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“great food in a great location” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Barrio

El Barrio
Ranked #2 of 936 Restaurants in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern, Latin, Central American, South American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Special occasions, Bar scene, Families with children
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/45/1641255/restaurant/Downtown/El-Barrio-Birmingham
Birmingham
Level Contributor
177 reviews
120 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“great food in a great location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2013

This is a great restaurant in an up-and-coming part of town. El Barrio offers a fairly extensive menu with a few combo platters and lots of al a cart. You have to pay for the chips but you get to choose a dip (avocado, beans, fundido goat cheese, or the ever popular salsa). They have quite a few appetizers - start with the masa fried okra for something different (okra cut long ways, lightly battered and fried, atop a bed of cabbage/corn slaw, with cheese drizzled around the side). They have a variety of tacos and burritos but also have pork, chicken, steak, and veggie entrees. There are a few daily specials so be sure to ask for them. The hanger steak is outstanding as is the beef & bean burrito platter. They have four types of margaritas (including a daily special, such as watermelon), lots of wine, and about 20 bottled beers - also several of the local brews. The seating is open so it can get a little loud but the prices are good and the service is great.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank kjinright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

319 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    235
    60
    22
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Pell City, Alabama
Level Contributor
84 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“great lunch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

We had a great late lunch at El Barrio today. This is the second time we've done late lunch there. We've also eaten dinner there once. We show up at 1:00 - the normal lunch crowd is clearing out. I'm a bit surprised how many people eat a late lunch - many of them are retired like us. We started with a margarita - mine was a watermelon margarita - very good. Mar ordered guacamole - she declares it's the best guacamole she's ever had. On a lark almost I asked the waitress if they made their own chips-she said they did-I said "any chance they're gluten free?" wondering if she knew what I was talking about. She responds - "the ingredients are certainly gluten free - are you concerned with cross contamination levels?" - I said probably not - she said there was a chance for cross contamination in the kitchen but otherwise gluten fee - WOW - knowledgeable on wheat free! I had chips and guacamole at a restaurant! Mar had the shrimp quesadilla, as usual. I had the grilled shrimp and scallops, again. This is now one of my favorite dishes anywhere. Served over a bed of rice and black beans with various garnishment, tomatoes, etc. It is just fantastic - great! It's a good thing we don't live closer. We can't really comment on very many of the menu items because we've become enamored with certain dishes too quickly. Knowledgeable staff and favorite entrée gets an "excellent". Can't wait to go back.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank guvnerwl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fun, delicious. Creative food.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

The food is creative and tasty. Prices are remarkably good. Service is "cool" and well-informed. They don't take reservations, so go early.
Saturday brunch is really fun and a nice change from most brunch places.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank GRJones3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham -Alabama
Level Contributor
128 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“My new favorite downtown Mexican restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2013

I ate this property yesterday. This property is relatively new; and it is ranked in the top 5 restaurants in Birmingham, according to Urban spoon.com. The Quesadilla Shrmip ($10.50) was outstanding as was the Tradicional Margarita ($9.00). I concur with previous reviews that charging $6.00 for Guadamole tip and chips is way too much. I would eat there again. The property is smallish (20 tables), but it is convenient to downtown and the service was quick and attentive. The crowd appeared to be businessmen.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TrojanBill1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Level Contributor
516 reviews
271 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 329 helpful votes
“Great Mexican in the Ham”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2013

My friend and I had dinner at El Barrio the other night and loved it. We got in around six pm and the place was on a wait by the time we left at seven. We had the torta with jicama slaw and the cheese quesadilla and several margaritas. The food was excellent and the portions good. The ambience is nice and the restaurant has a modern feel to it. Service was also wonderful and the waitress answered every question knowledgeably I will definitely eat here again when in Birmingham.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Robert C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed El Barrio also viewed

 

Been to El Barrio? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing