El Tiempo Cantina: A Houston Icon for Authentic Mexican Cuisine

Houston, we have a foodie paradise! And at the heart of it all is El Tiempo Cantina. If you’re looking for authentic Mexican cuisine that will take your taste buds on a wild ride, this iconic restaurant should be on top of your must-visit list. With years of experience and culinary mastery under their belt, has become a household name in Houston’s dining scene. So sit back, relax and get ready to discover why El Tiempo Cantina is more than just a restaurant – it’s an experience!

El Tiempo Cantina: A Houston Icon for Authentic Mexican Cuisine

They use traditional recipes and fresh ingredients to create dishes with bold flavors and vibrant colors.

One of El Tiempo Cantina’s signature dishes is the fajitas, which are cooked to perfection on an open flame grill. You also can’t miss out on their famous margaritas made with freshly squeezed lime juice- they’re simply heavenly!

The atmosphere at El Tiempo Cantina is lively and welcoming – from the décor that features Mexican art pieces to the music playing in the background – everything adds up to make you feel like you’re dining in Mexico City.

While many restaurants might compromise quality for affordability or vice versa, strikes a perfect balance between both. Their menu boasts a wide range of options, including vegetarian dishes without breaking your bank account.

If you want an unforgettable experience when visiting Houston or just crave delicious Mexican food – head over to for an explosion of flavors in every bite!

History of El Tiempo Cantina

El Tiempo Cantina is a Houston institution that has been serving up delicious Tex-Mex cuisine for over 60 years. The restaurant was founded by the Martinez family in 1958, and it quickly became known for its authentic Mexican flavors and warm hospitality.

Originally located on Navigation Boulevard in Houston’s East End, El Tiempo Cantina moved to its current location on Richmond Avenue in 2005. Despite the move, the restaurant has managed to maintain its original charm and character.

Today, El Tiempo Cantina is run by Roland Laurenzo, grandson of founder “Mama” Ninfa Laurenzo. Under his leadership, the restaurant has expanded to include several locations throughout Houston and beyond.

One interesting fact about El Tiempo Cantina is that it was actually created as a way for Mama Ninfa to support her family after her husband passed away. She started out selling tacos from a small food truck before opening up her own brick-and-mortar establishment. Her legacy lives on today through her family’s continued dedication to serving up delicious Tex-Mex fare with love and care.

Menu at El Tiempo Cantina

The menu at El Tiempo Cantina offers a wide variety of authentic Mexican cuisine, perfect for satisfying any craving. From classic starters like guacamole and queso to traditional entrees like fajitas and enchiladas, there is something for everyone on the menu.

One standout dish is the Pechuga de Pollo con Crema Chipotle y Elote Asado. This flavorful dish features grilled chicken breast topped with creamy chipotle sauce and served alongside roasted corn on the cob.

For those looking for seafood options, the Camarones al Ajillo is a must-try. These succulent shrimp are cooked in garlic butter and served with rice and vegetables.

El Tiempo Cantina also offers a selection of tacos featuring everything from carne asada to crispy fish. And don’t forget about their famous margaritas – available in various flavors including classic lime, strawberry, mango, and more.

Whether you’re in the mood for something spicy or sweet, savory or refreshing, El Tiempo Cantina has it all on their extensive menu of delicious Mexican dishes.

Drink Menu at El Tiempo Cantina

The drink menu at El Tiempo Cantina is a refreshing and flavorful collection of cocktails, beer, and wine that perfectly complements their authentic Mexican cuisine.

For those looking for traditional Mexican drinks, the cantina offers a variety of margaritas made with fresh lime juice and top-shelf tequila. They also have their own signature frozen margarita machine known as “Mambo Taxi,” which packs a punch with its blend of tequila, sangria, and lime juice.

If you’re in the mood for something fruity or sweet, try one of their specialty cocktails like the “Paloma” made with grapefruit soda or the “Tamarindo” made with tamarind nectar. They even offer non-alcoholic drinks such as horchata or agua fresca for those who want to cool down without any alcohol.

Atmosphere at El Tiempo Cantina

The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating options, perfect for those who want to enjoy the Texas weather while indulging in some delicious food. The patio area features cozy lighting and plenty of greenery that creates a serene setting.

If you’re looking for a spot to celebrate a special occasion or simply have a night out with friends, provides ample space for larger groups. You can book private rooms or reserve large tables that are perfect for sharing family-style dishes.

One thing that stands out about the atmosphere at is their live music performances on select evenings. There’s nothing like enjoying your meal while listening to some classic Mariachi tunes or contemporary Latin beats.

Whether you’re stopping by for happy hour drinks or planning an extensive dinner outing, has something special in store when it comes to its lively atmosphere.

Price Point at El Tiempo Cantina

El Tiempo Cantina offers authentic Mexican cuisine at a fair price point. The restaurant is known for its generous portions, making it an excellent value for the money. You can expect to spend around $15-20 per person, including drinks.

The menu has a wide variety of options, from traditional Tex-Mex dishes like fajitas and enchiladas to more unique items like the molcajete or seafood tacos. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.

If you’re looking for a deal, offers happy hour specials on weekdays from 3-6 PM with discounted margaritas and appetizers. They also have daily lunch specials starting at just $9.99.

While may not be the cheapest option in town, it’s worth noting that you’re paying for high-quality ingredients and authentic recipes passed down through generations of family ownership.

If you’re looking for delicious food at a reasonable price point without sacrificing quality or flavor, is definitely worth checking out!


El Tiempo Cantina is a true Houston icon that offers authentic Mexican cuisine, exceptional drinks, and an inviting atmosphere. From its humble beginnings as a small family-owned restaurant to becoming one of the most popular destinations for Tex-Mex food in the city, El Tiempo has truly stood the test of time.

Whether you’re craving classic dishes like fajitas or something unique like their famous chile con queso burger, El Tiempo’s menu has something for everyone. The drink selection is equally impressive with margaritas being a crowd favorite.

But what really sets El Tiempo apart from other Mexican restaurants in Houston is its lively ambiance. With colorful decor and friendly staff members who are always ready to make guests feel at home, it’s no wonder why locals and tourists alike flock to this beloved establishment.

If you’re looking for delicious food and drinks served up with a side of Southern hospitality, look no further than El Tiempo Cantina. It’s easy to see why they’ve been serving up some of the best Tex-Mex fare in Houston since 1998!

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