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Cafe El Portal

Homemade Mexican
  • RatingAvg. Dinner Entrée
    $$$$$Greater than $25
    $$$$$18.01 - $25
    $$$$12.01 - $18
    $$$7.01 - $12
    $Less than $7
  • Mexican
  • 174 Elizabeth St, New York NY10012 40.720994 -73.994633
  • (Btwn Spring & Kenmare St)
  • click map to interact
  • (212) 226-4642
  • 0

User Ratings (Based on 24 reviews)

Food 3.8 Value 3.7
Service 3.1 Atmosphere 3.5

Other Restaurant Info

(212) 226-4642
(212) 226-4649
Place Order:
Order From Cafe El Portal for delivery & takeout
Visa, MC, AmEx, Disc, DC
Mon-Sat: 12pm-12am
Accepts Credit Cards, Catering, Cheap Eats, Delivery, Lunch, Lunch Special, Online Ordering, Romantic, Take Out
Min Delivery:

User Reviews

  • Cafe El Portal

    Posted by Anonymous on 02/10/2006

    Stil a Winner!

    I have been going to El Portal since it has opened - it's the best mexican in the city. The owners are always there and are often in the kitchen cooking. They have some of the best mole i have ever tasted. The shimp tacos are to die for and when they have it, the Chile Verde is some of the best around. Yeah, it's in a basement - so what.

  • Cafe El Portal

    Posted by Anonymous on 12/06/2005

    What used to be is no more...

    New Yorkers used to have a delicious and authentic Mexican restaurant in a great neighborhood, but no more. I had poor service a few months ago but the food was good so I decided to try it again - a mistake. The margaritas tasted like fresh squeezed lime juice, that?s it, just fresh squeezed lime juice. I'd recommend adding some tequila and maybe some sugar or mixer but I would suggest it out loud because ?this is the way we make it, how is it possible you wouldn?t like it??. Three or four items on the menu had run out and it was only 7:30pm. The tamales were undercooked and to top it off it was difficult to get the waitress' attention even though the place was half empty. I?ve recommended this restaurant to several friends and eaten there over two dozen times in the last couple of years but I don?t think I?ll be going back until they change their wait staff and add some alcohol to their alcoholic drinks.

  • Cafe El Portal

    Posted by eatmywords on 09/19/2005

    Pretty Good

    Had delivery last week. Food is not typical Mexican-American, was very authentic, tasty and light. We had the Pork tacos and Chicken Enchilada's and really enjoyed. I w/def order more or checkout the place inperson.

  • Cafe El Portal

    Posted by A former fan on 06/04/2005

    A Disappointed Fan

    I have been coming here almost from it's start and loved the food. My last vist was disappointing though. Definitely the Margaritas need to be re-thought. The margaritas tasted like nothing and when we sent them back they came back the same! We asked for sugar as it was missing something. Didn't taste at all like a margarita. Not even enough tequila. The food came cold and the waitress had an attitude. It's a small place and the kitchen is small, but it shouldn't take so long for simple food. It'll take awhile to want to come back. Sorry because it was good in the begginning.

  • Cafe El Portal

    Posted by Lucky Neighbor on 04/13/2005

    Three letters: Wow

    WOW. I discovered this place by coincidence, I live about a block from there and one day I saw a crowd outside the place. I stopped by to see what was happening and I realized that it was a restaurant. I took one of the menus for delivery and next day I gave it a chance: WOW, this is what I call good, fresh and tasty home made food. I decided to visit the place and I went with my boyfriend. The place is very enjoyable and the owners are very welcoming people. My favorites: Goat cheese quesadillas, cucumber water, guacamole and enchiladas de mole rojo. In contrast with other restaurants from the same area, the service is very warm and they really know what they are talking about when you ask for their recommendations. Try to go during the week because it is very packed on weekends.

  • Cafe El Portal

    Posted by Anonymous on 03/31/2005

    Not Great

    I went with my girlfriend and my roommate. We heard some great things from Timeout NY and wanted to try it. First off, the alcohol prices were very high (higher than half of the entrees). They were out of absolutely everything my roommate ordered (he ended up getting his fourth choice). The sauces were pretty bland and oily and sort of boring. The server asked my girlfriend if she wanted the bill....before we even received our entrees. Maybe it was an off night for them....but I don't think so.

  • Cafe El Portal

    Posted by sumguy on 03/03/2005

    Unparalleled food; large orders, eh...

    The food is truly outstanding. In particular, the Tres Leches cake and Cucumber Water are so good that I order them for friends new to the place -- I just ask that they pass on the favor to other folks. All the other food is just so *fresh*! That's why we order time and time again -- even though they *always* forget at least one thing we order on large orders. I don't think they've got a large order right even one time. So be sure to add an extra appetizer and Tres Leches cake to the order. But trust me, the food is *worth* it!

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