Venues

El Burro (Green Point)

El Burro (Green Point)
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Cost
R110 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Mexican
Payment
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Linda Scarborough

Food
People still talk about it, and it’s no wonder: the ceviche at El Burro never gets old. A generous serving of chopped line fish, zippy with lime, ginger, chilli and coriander, plus the punch of red-onion slivers, comes with a few stacked nacho chips for ease of scooping. Another winning starter, the chilli rellenos, are smoky, flavoursome and filled with queso fresco, which is the perfect balance between melty and chewy. A fresh little side salad is a nice touch. You could also opt for pan-seared squid or fried taquitos to kick things off.

For mains, the build-your-own tacos with cholorio pork (twice-cooked pork shoulder with roasted garlic and chilli paste, origanum, paprika and chilli) is as delicious as it sounds: rich and tasty, leaving behind a tingling warmth on the tongue. You can choose from flour or corn tacos, which come in their own container to prevent them from drying out while you pick. (Swap out the pork for line fish or grilled chicken if that’s how you roll). It’s all part of the fun to dip into the bowls of guacamole, roasted and fresh tomato-and-onion salsa, pickled red onion and sour cream, allowing you to paint a different flavour picture with each mouthful.

The chicken mole with its spicy dark chocolate sauce is also popular here, and banters can opt for the line fish of the day served on courgette ribbons with a lemon butter sauce.

Vegetarians are looked after with options that show a lot of care, such as the field mushroom and black bean quesadilla with spinach, chipotle and goat’s cheese; the tenderstem broccoli and walnut taco with baby spinach and goat’s cheese served on corn tortillas; and the corn tacos with spiced cauliflower, chickpeas, red cabbage, roasted peanut, chilli and avocado.

For dessert, forget the chocolate fondant and rather stick to the theme with golden churros dipped in dark chocolate sauce or the les paletas ice lollies.

Drinks
The festive atmosphere almost demands that you start with a cocktail. The offering of tequila cocktails is very appealing, peppered with the likes of mint, lime, berries, basil and chilli. There are a few wines available by the glass (very reasonably priced from R25 to R42), but with this fare you’re probably better off with a cocktail, beer or one of the 20 tequilas. The Mexican hot chocolate is rich, spicy and nutty, and the milky horchata made with rice, cinnamon, almonds and lime offers a cool alternative to the juice of the day if you’re forgoing the alcohol.

Ambience
Once you’ve walked up the steep stairway from Main Road and step through the doors, you feel like you’ve entered another world – one where women have flowers in their hair and flickering candlelight creates a vibrant yet cosy warmth. Little cactus pots line the walls to add some Mexican-themed greenery. A little paper donkey with your name on it keeps your place at the table if you’ve made a booking – which you absolutely should do. (You will even get a phone call before the day to confirm your booking.)

Service
Attentive and polite. Our waitress seemed genuinely interested in how we were enjoying the meal, and was concerned she’d brought the mains too soon after the starters. We ended up rearranging plates to keep some of the starter titbits while we tucked into our mains – it all worked out into a veritable feast.

And…
Parking can be pretty tricky in this part of town, so rather get a taxi. Then you can really apply yourself to the tequila menu.

(June 2016)

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  • Ishay Govender-Ypma

    Food
    This Cape Town darling has proven to be the choice of the people, and the restaurant recognises the support by faithfully thanking its regulars. They aim to serve authentic Mexican cuisine; no Tex-Mex or Mexican junk comfort food here, just wholesome, well-executed dishes and tequila. The mainstay on the starter menu has been the white fish ceviche. A little gaudier than traditional ceviche, it does deliver on flavour. A changing, seasonal menu keeps things exciting, especially seeing as most custom comes from the regulars. Some items are a bit hit and miss, but the most popular ones tend to forge a permanent place on the roster. If you’re not too hungry, the chorizo or vegetarian (aubergine, artichoke, spinach) quesadillas are great picks. But no proper dinner at El Burro should exclude the legendary build-your-own tortillas. The chilorio pork – slow-cooked pork shoulder with Mexican Arbol chilli – is a spicy number that’s been on the menu from day one. Choose flour or corn tortillas or both, and a tray of accompaniments arrives with it. The braised lamb tacos, fish tacos and pork carnitas are other very popular choices, and the cabrito (slow-cooked goat), when it is on the menu, is not to be missed. Vegetarians are well taken care of. If you have no room for a pud, at least have a signature ice-lolly, of which the flavours change regularly.

    Drinks
    Start innocently enough with a fruity agua fresca in pineapple, or whatever flavour’s hot that day, then proceed to the well-curated range of tequilas or craft beers. And if you’re going to end the night with shots, you know what to pick. When in Mexico!

    Service
    The wonderful wait staff are consistently excellent, and, curiously, all female. There’s some pretty detail on the uniforms they wear.

    Ambience
    El Burro or “the donkey” attracts a young crowd and can get festive, but a weekday lunch tends to be a quieter affair. Because of the staggering noise levels, it’s hard to hold a conversation, so leave the long discussions for a coffee shop and bring your besties in for an evening of bold flavours, toasting your good taste in food.

    And…
    The churros with a dark chocolate dipping sauce deserve special mention.

  • Graham Howe

    The food
    This landmark for authentic Mexican cuisine occupies the warm wooden upper floor of an old Victorian building overlooking the vibrant Green Point strip. You might have to wait at the bar for a table over a shot of aged 100% agave tequila.

    Named after the mule, the logo of El Burro is ubiquitous – down to the cute big-eared cut-out mule with your name reserving your table. (Nice touch.) Signature starters entice with smoked jalapenos stuffed with creamed feta and a trio of ceviche (linefish, octopus or salmon) marinated in a piquant lime, chilli, ginger and coriander juice.

    Some like it hot – and a variety of homemade chilli sauces at the table range from cholita (mild) to el nino and cabron (hot). The most authentic dishes are layered with the same earthy, roasted and smoky flavours offset by zesty, refreshing citrus dressings and subtle chili, coriander, ginger and garlic seasoning.

    Creative salads come in unusual combinations (say roasted aubergine, cauliflower, tomato, goat’s cheese and walnut). Vegetarians are spoiled for choice with aubergine and butternut quesadillas, spinach and feta tortillas, or black bean, leek and chard tacos. The best way to make your way around the menu is to decide whether you want your tortilla to come to the table already assembled – or whether you want to stuff your own tortilla from the little pots of zingy salsa, red onion, chilli, guacamole, refried beans and sour cream brought to table. Next, decide on your main filling – chicken, fish, meat or vegetables. Portions are large and easily shared among two or more.

    The hero mains are soft corn and wheat tortilla wraps served with free-range goat, pulled pork (not free-range) or beef brisket – or chicken mole poblano made with 32 herbs and spices, almonds, walnuts and couverture chocolate. Make sure you leave space for churros (warm donuts) dipped in a delicious chocolate sauce. A dinner at El Burro will take you all the way to Mexico and back at a fraction of the fare.

    The drinks
    On offer are twenty kinds of tequila and mescal, a margarita menu (try the new rhubarb, mango and lime), a good selection of craft beer and cider, and a short list of wines by the glass and bottle. What more could a hombre ask for? If you’re driving, try the organic hot chocolate with spicy cinnamon and almonds, or a refreshing Mexican cold drink of horchata (rice, cinnamon, almonds, lime and sugar).

    The service
    As quick on the draw as a Mexican gunfight, with attentive, friendly service from cowgirls attired in bright embroidered Mexican tunics. Mavericks who don’t know the difference between an enchilada, quesadilla, taco and tortilla should simply ask.

    The ambience
    Loud and vibrant, buzzing with the after-work conversation of the younger, twenty- and thirty-something crowd and catchy Latino music. Mexican religious icons, gilded mirrors with angel wings and spiky cacti in rows of terracotta pots set the scene.

    And…
    Make sure you book well ahead. It’s always packed to the rafters. If you want a quieter table, have a seat on the balcony or at the back of the two-tier restaurant.

    (July 2014)
  • Linda Scarborough

    The food
    Touting itself as genuine Mexican, the food definitely delivers in authenticity and flavour. Starters of butternut quesadillas have cheesy, creamy fillings with a touch of chilli, a pleasing counterpoint to the accompanying avo-yoghurt dip and sprigs of fresh coriander but, at R50 for two little pockets, work out to be rather pricey beginnings. El Burro’s justifiably popular ceviches come in three versions – line fish (R68), octopus (R89) and farmed Franschhoek salmon trout (R85) – and all are excellent. Delicious chilli popper starters (chilli rellenos) are smoked, not deep-fried, which offsets their cheesy interior beautifully. The three (R50 for the portion) were merely thumb-sized, however, leaving a bit of bitter taste. (Especially since two years ago the same portion was selling for R33, equating to a 51% increase in price.)

    The care taken to prepare the variety of main meals is impressive, with options of fresh line fish as well as notable fillings of aged sirloin, Frankie Fenner chorizo, slow-cooked pork shoulder and even free-range goat for the variations on corn and wheat tortillas, plus the usual suspects – through they’re unusually tasty, zingy and fresh – of salsa and guacamole. Most of the dishes are slow-cooked and finished off by baking or frying and served with crunchy side salads, dips and salsas. The pork carnitas (R98) – three corn tortillas topped with spicy tomato sauce, twice-roasted pulled pork and three different salsas – are a tasty, textural delight. Also tempting is the chicken mole (R103), featuring a complex sauce of 32 herbs and spices, almonds and a hint of chocolate.

    Three dessert options include dark chocolate fondant, las paletas (Mexican ice pops) and churros with very sugary crusts and a rich, dark chocolate dipping sauce.

    *El Burro runs a lunchtime special from 12pm-4pm Monday to Friday with options like salads, enchiladas, quesadillas, and build-your-own tacos for up to 35% off.

    The drinks
    An array of 20 tequila varieties and almost as many inventive tequila cocktails – try the wild berry and basil margarita – give options beyond the usual frozen jugs, and there are plenty craft beers and a few wines from which to choose. Order the Mexican-inspired hot chocolate for a superbly spicy treat flavoured with cinnamon and almonds, or you could try the horchata, a creamy cold drink made with rice, cinnamon, almonds, lime and sugar.

    The ambience
    El Burro’s lively atmosphere and quirky décor are definite drawcards. One red wall is adorned with elaborate gilt mirrors with angel wings and curved embellishments; opposite, a wall of wooden shelves supports rows of terra cotta pots and spiky cacti.

    However, if you’re unlucky enough to be seated along the built-in booth, you’ll be closer to your neighbours on either side – an elbow-knocking 30cms away – than your dinner companion across the table. Communal eating is all fine and well, but you don’t want to have to smell your neighbours – though we didn’t mind the pleasing aromas of their food.

    The service
    They’re really quick on the uptake with email reservations and confirming them on the day via telephone. Waitresses, charmingly dressed in Mexican-style garb, are professional and efficient. Little buckets on each table contain plenty of cutlery and serviettes, so you won’t be found wanting once you tuck in.

    The verdict
    Exciting and beautifully prepared food, warm ambience and great service have kept the El Burro reservations book full every night. While it does feel like you’re paying for the cool factor, there are still so many reasons to keep going back.

    *This review was updated on 23 June 2014 to add this information about El Burro's lunch special.

    (June 2014)
  • The restaurant interiors are off the charts cool, flavours are bold and the staff know their stuff. They pride themselves on authentic Mexican: mole, ceviche, tacos, churros and a wide selection of tequilas and cocktails. Booking is essential as it’s always pumping. The specials are a winner, or go for braised beef short rib tacos; pulled pork with sour cream and creamy guacamole; crayfish tacos; taquitos; chiles relleños (unbattered, smoked-cheese chilli poppers) and salmon ceviche.
  • Food
    You’ll find a rare array of authentic Mexican fare on this adventurous menu inspired by fresh ingredients, traditional dishes, home-style slow cooking and robust flavour combinations. The tastes and textures are light and delicate, with subtle use of exotic chilli, paprika, cloves, cumin, cinnamon and coriander. Build your own homemade tacos and tortillas (filled with pulled pork, prawns, artisan chorizo, beef short rib or baby goat) served with guacamole, chilli, sour cream and salsa. Braised in 32 spices, chicken mole poblano, their signature dish, tempts in a chilli and dark chocolate couverture sauce.

    Wine
    Quaff an artisan beer or try one of forty margaritas, Mexican cocktails and tequilas on a special tasting menu. A small wine selection.

    Service
    Attired in funky Mexican outfits, the friendly waiters are quick on the draw. Olé!

    Ambience
    Lively and loud in a cantina which recreates the magic of Mexico from the candle sticks, cacti and Catholic icons to the quirky mirrors, skeletons and bright pink walls.

    And...
    Book a table on the balcony on a sultry summer’s night. (GH, October 2012)

User reviews

  • Excellent!! Amazing food!
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  • We always have such a good time at El Burro - great food and the best frozen margarita's in town!
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  • Buena comida If only the ambience could make me feel like I was in Mexico... :-( But what this spot lacks in ambience they make up where it matters the most, the food. The food is really good and as close to Mexican you'll ever find in Cape Town. From starters to mains and a chocolate fondant to write home about El Burro will make you go back for more. If Mexican is not your thing, take your girls for a margarita jug or 2.
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  • La mejor comida mexicana en Sudáfrica ....... muchas gracias!
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  • Can't get enough - best Mexican (slash all-round, consistent restaurant) in Cape Town! And, great news for the folks in the (Southern) 'burbs - they're opening a branch in Newlands.
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  • Fan alert!! One of my absolute favourite restaurants in Cape Town. Have only had great experiences over the years - service is friendly, food is fantastic! This is not tex-mex food, but delicious, fresh flavours. Menu does change (or is slightly adapted) according to season, which is refreshing. I literally cannot go without ordering Chilli Rellenos, which are, in my mind, the best in Cape Town - grilled and smokey; addictive! For something light and clean tasting, the Ceviche is also great. The build-you-own tacos are wonderful; the pulled beef was my favourite but was sadly taken off the Winter '15 menu, perhaps giving me the push I needed to try other items :) The plated Braised Lamb tacos and Grilled Fish tacos are awesome. The Grilled Fish tacos are much lighter than the Braised Lamb, so if you're hungry I'd recommend the lamb ones but both are equally delicious. One day, when I'm taco'ed out, I'll eventually get 'round to trying the Chicken Mole Poblano and the Carne Asada.
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  • We had a fab girls' night at El Burro last week. Wine selection was a bit of a challenge as none of us had heard of the wines on offer, but we settled on the Fist of Fancy pinot noir which went perfectly with chat and Mexican food! We share chilli poppers to start - what a great change from the usual fried greasy poppers: these were grilled with a great smokey flavour and good kick of chilli. For main course most of us had the pulled pork tacos, which were so delicious, although I thought extra coriander would have been good for a bit of freshness. The serving was generous with 3 smallish filled tacos in the portion, and the pork flavourful. It wasn't particularly spicy, but there was an array of bottled sauces on the table if you needed a bit of extra oomph. I can't help but order a Don Pedro whenever possible, and El Burro's version was deliciously thick and generous! Service was friendly and good, and the meal reasonably-priced. Can't wait till El Burro's taco bar opens in Kloof Street!
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  • The margaritas are very poor and watery - not sure if there is any tequilla in there, but the fish cerviche is to die for!
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  • Last night we celebrated my sons 15 birthday with friends and family. El Burro went out of their way to accomodate us. Drinks were served promptly. The chilli poppers were delicious- smokey and fiery. I had the rib-eye steak which was tender,tasty and perfectly grilled. Our waitress was friendly and attentive. Festive evening enjoyed by all.
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  • I visited this restaurant on saturday afternoon. We were a party of 9 and it was a tight squeeze on the balcony. Because the soccer was on at the stadium, there was a lovely vibe in the road. If you can, order the margaritas in all the flavours. They are divine and because i was driving, i only had one and got my friends to order all the others which i could not resist tasting. I enjoyed the tamarind margarita! The rellenos is definately a different take on the chilli poppers. I am so used to the deep fried version that i did not like the smokiness of these jalapenos. All my friends thought it was great though. The food is different and really good. We ordered a variety so we could all taste almost everything on the menu.
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  • El burro is simply fantastic. Week after week the food is consistently excellent. The service is fast and friendly. The owners and manager are always so welcoming. We are lucky to have such an awesome restaurant in Cape Town!

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  • Wondering where to go for lunch, this weekend past, I suggested El Burro in Green Point, as I had a great experience the last time I was there..As the waitress enquired about our drinks order, my companion suggested margaritas, which made perfect sense, seeing this is a Mexican restaurant. We asked her if they made the margaritas frozen & in jugs, to which she responded that they most certainly do. With the starters and a jug ordered, we settled in. The starters & mains were great, and we proceeded to order another jug. When the bill came, I saw to my amazement, (and horror), that they charged us R420 for 2 jugs of frozen margaritas. (Keep in mind that these jugs were NOT 5 litres each, and the drinks were NOT made with Don Julio or Patron tequila.. In fact, these drinks were pretty weak, considering most of the volume consists of crushed ice!) When I voiced my utter dismay about the amount charged for the ridiculously little amount of alcohol received, I was promptly informed by the manageress on duty, that the correct measurements were followed and that we in fact consumed 33 shots of tequila. And that they encourage their waitresses to only inform their guests about the price of the jugs after the first one! (which never happened by the way). Now, either me and my companion are raging alcoholics, or there are some serious discrepancies here. There are 30 shots in a 750ml bottle.. this means we allegedly polished a whole bottle of tequila in 2 hours! If this was the case, we probably would have needed 'el wheelburro' to leave the establishment. Gritting my teeth, I paid, and with dark mutterings, we left. So, in conclusion, rather order 4 bottles of wine. You will know exactly where your money went, and at least you'll have the hangover to prove it. The experience left a sour taste in my mouth...pun definitely intended!
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  • Great night at a great restaurant. Ambience is always perfect with friendly and knowledgeable service. Food delicious as always, ceviche is my favourite and the best Margaritas in town! Thanks El Burro team!

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  • Being from California I know Mexican and El Burro is certainly not authentic but is a solid South African attempt. The food is tasty, the drinks great and the crowd enjoyable. Totally worth your time and probably the best Mexican food around... we are in Africa.

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  • El Burro is certainly a different Mexican, more like Mexican Fusion. Food is definitely not authentic Mexican but what I like is that it seems healthier, nice trendy side salads. If hot is what you are looking for, ask for loads of extra chilli, the average dish I taste would compare to lemon and herb "hotness". Nice atmosphere but our waitress was aloof and didn't know the menu very well but I think that's very personal and I am sure not all the staff are like that.

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  • El Burro reminded me of Kauai on steroids. Simple street food with tons of embellishment . The sauce on my Chicken Verde had so much coriander, it masked the flavour of everything else on the plate, spoiling the dish. The menu is far too simple for the prices they are charging. The food is practically assembled on the plate. At least I also now how to prepare Mexican fare. Just take a store bought wrap...

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  • Did they change the chef? I used to love the chocolate fondant, but today (4 Jan 2013) it was burned. I sent it back and it returned worse – not gooey and rich inside as it should be, but thin and watered down. To make matters worse, the ice cream on the side was frozen with ice particles! Not worth the R58 I spent on it ,(

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  • Amazing restaurant. I have been to Mexico a few times and find the food represented well by El Burro. The fact that they also make fresh corn tortillas blows me away. Will be back.

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  • Meh... Ok, I am an American and kind of want authentic in some place that claims they are serving Mexican food.
    This is a nice place for a tequila or a drink, but I was not bowled over by the authenticity of the food. They should do better than store-bought tortilla chips, and I could go in there and show them how to make proper salsa. It is easy, you don't have to buy that Nando's sauce or Bushman's Pride or whatever you put in front of us - come on!
    And well, it gets worse from there. The food tasted good, maybe it was tailored more towards a South African palette. Maybe that's ok, and I'm just being rigid.

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  • I absolutely loved the food and the ambience at El Burro. I was delighted to find this little gem.

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  • I must concede that it was the best Mexican food our party had ever eaten - but the noise level was completely unacceptable. It made for a bad experience because we couldn't have a conversation because of the volume. We gave up and left early - the food wasn't enough to endure the noise. Pity.

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  • My first visit today at lunch with high expectations - have heard only good things. Indeed, food was good. But ordered a 'Mockjito' which turned up as a Mojito - easily to hear incorrectly. But they took it away, replaced it with the 'Mock' version and then, at the end of the meal, charged me for it on the bill. I complained, not on the basis that the order was misheard, but that they should have told me that they would charge me for it and ask if I or my companion wanted it anyway as we would be charged for it. I'm writing this review as I will now not return - any restaurant that can't swallow R35 to keep a customer happy (particularly when it was an error not made by the customer in the first place!) doesn't deserve repeat business...

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  • Very vibey with great service! Go with a big group of friends and magarita away!

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  • A groovy venue that serves stunning food...no mountains of melted cheese all over everything here! Fish taco is divine.

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  • Great evening at El Burro spent with friends. The ambience/decor and setting were perfect, sitting on a balcony on a warm evening sipping on the most amazing margaritas.

    Think this is going to be my new local!

    Thanks Team El Burro!

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  • My partner is somewhat tricky when it comes to food, to say the least. He's vegetarian, has a gluten intolerance and is allergic to a food thickener called Xanthan Gum (sometimes called 'stabiliser', sometimes called 'E415', sometimes called 'thickener', sometimes called 'modified starch'), so eating out is never a simple undertaking. The chef at El Burro, Paul, was so so helpful. He was very patient when we explained the problem, he personally checked every ingredient and even went so far as to personally prepare my partners meal entirely from scratch. I am very very impressed with the amount of concern he placed on making sure that every aspect of the meal was satisfactory. We will definitely be going back!

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  • Had the pleasure of dining at El Burro last night .Food and service was outstanding . We had the Mole Pablano and Carne Asada which I can highly recommend. Cannot wait to go back .

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  • Dear Brendon

    Thank you for your feedback. To answer your concerns, I will put it in a list.

    1. Margaritas. The frozen jugs contain 13 shots of Olmeca Blanco tequila. That is nearly half a bottle. We use only freshly hand squeezed lime juice and organic Agave Syrup instead of triple sec. Both methods are used in Mexico. The current price of limes is R80p/kg. Pick ‘n Pay is selling limes at R100p/kg. When it comes to frozen margaritas, you have to use a lot of ice in order to achieve the fluffy frozen texture and look that people prefer. The problem then lies in that the mix is then diluted somewhat. There is a fine line when trying to achieve the frozen texture, if you add too much lime/tequila/liquid you end up with a liquidy slush. When you look at costs, with 13 shots of tequila, the fresh limes, imported agave syrup and ice, we are not actually making the standard mark up on the Jug at R180. According to industry standard they should be R220. As to the accusation that we are watering them down, that is unfounded. We are completely owner run, with a part time manager who does 2 shifts a week for us to give us a break. I would never allow watering down to occur. We put our life savings into El Burro and to think I would risk all of it by cheating customers would be ridiculous. If I do find that was the case on the evening of your visit, then disciplinery action will be taken. What I suspect happened is that in this heat, the barmen are struggling to achieve the correct consistency and might be adding too much ice. If that is the case, then I will not serve frozen jugs while it is so hot. Had you spoken to me on the night, I would have rectified it there and then. We are very approachable to customer complaints, and would prefer people to tell us there and then so we can make sure you are happy.

    2. Food - I am very pleased to hear your friends enjoyed their mains. We use the highest grade of squid available and at R85 a kilo it is not as cheap as one would think. Possibly the kitchen messed up your portion and I apologise that it was too small. Again, if you had alerted me to that fact, I could have rectified it. I would have given you a whole other portion for free. Regarding the ceviche. We use only the freshest line fish that is caught in the morning. We have to wait until 10am to see what is available. We then finely dice the fish, which is standard practice in Mexico, and cure it with fresh lime juice, adding chilli, corriander etc for flavour. We cure our fish to order, which can only be done with sushi grade fish, and not 2 hours before. This is to avoid drying out the fish, as is often the case I had in Mexico. We have hundreds of people who love our Ceviche and it was voted in the top ten dishes of 2011 by Eat Out readers. If it was not to your liking, why did you not tell us? Again, I would gladly, gladly have substituted it for something else.

    At El Burro we pride ourselves on trying our absolute hardest to make sure our customers are happy. We do not pretend to be the best of anything, we simply try to achieve the best we can. A lot of time and money has been invested by us as owners to try and create the best experience we can for our customers. That is why we urge people to tell us when they are not happy with anything. Unfortunately you did not allow me that privilege and now you would probably not come back. I do urge you to come back and give us a second chance. I am sure we can rectify your concerns, but of course we’d have to know about them first. Every restaurant has owners that care. Granted, some more than others. My Fiance and I’s life’s savings are in El Burro and our partners and us care very deeply about our business.

    Once again, thank you for your feedback.

    Regards Nic (owner)

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  • We dined at El Burro as a party of 7 on Saturday night. Generally speaking, the meal was very good on most counts. My 6 friends all either ordered the Pork Carnitas or the Beef with soft flour wraps off the main coarse menu and they were all absolutely delighted with their meals. I on the other hand, thought I'd be clever and ordered 2 starters as a main, and was actually bitterly disappointed. I ordered the Ceviche and Calamares. The Ceviche had nothing Mexican going for it and to be honest, a smoked fish paté bought from Pick n Pay would've been equally satisfying and a blind man would have had a tough time differentiating between the Ceviche and PnP's smoked fish paté. The Calamares was really good, but let’s face it, paying R42.00 for 5 baby calamari tubes is excessive! It would perhaps suffice as a starter to my 4-year old son, who, regrettably is not big on Calamari at this stage of his young life. Calamari is not an expensive seafood to procure and I felt cheated when I finished both my starters, the PnP fish paté and my 5 baby tubes of calamari whilst my 6 friends were still in the process of building their respective wraps, (their first wraps of a potential 3-4 considering the volume of their dishes) - and to put things into perspective, I'm a slow eater! So I was in for a total of R99.00 for my "main" compared to my friends who paid R78 for their dishes. I'm actually fuming as I type!
    The big collective let-down was the jug of frozen Margaritas! Mr. El Burro Barman, may I ask whether your Manager knows that you are seriously screwing over your clientele or is he/she in on it with you? Come-on guys, I'm 40 years old, have been to Mexico and have eaten in every Mexican restaurant the Western Cape has to offer and as a result, have indulged in my fair share of Margaritas! So, we had 4 jugs between the 7 of us, and not one of us at any stage felt that we had indulged in anything alcoholic. We actually were responsible enough to arrange Good-Fellows to drive us all home, but when we all walked out of the restaurant more sober than when we emerged from our respective mothers' wombs, we wondered why? We have no problem paying R150 for a jug of Margarita but lets at least feel the magical caress which only tequila can embrace one with when we do so! Please Manager/Owner and whoever else is responsible for ensuring your clientele enjoy their restaurant experience, look into this as every one of us felt entirely cheated and done-over with regards to the Virgin Margarita’s. I can get over my bad choices regarding my starters, but we all feel your establishment, which lets face it, it's doing well and has some good words spoken about it in out-going circles, is seriously missing a trick here, and if you're not, you should be embarrassed about your feeble attempt at making Mexico's national cocktail, especially considering you're a Mexican restaurant. I’d welcome any reply to my mail to perhaps add some clarity.
    Kind regards,

    Brendon

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  • I fell in love with Mexican food while living in the US and thought I will never get anything close it until I ate at El Burro. It is as authentic as you can get in Cape Town, from the decor to the food. The service was amazing, from being greeted by name when I first walked to the door (and them remembering it throughout my time there). My only disappointment was their home made flour tortillas, they tasted a bit raw (you can still taste the raw flour).

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  • Have been there several times, have had amazing meals, great cocktails and exceptional service. Great place to unwind.

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  • If you're looking for deep fried, oily Tex-mex fare then don't visit El Burro. The food is fresh, not oily at all and not killed by an inordinate amount of chilli. Large, well priced wine list (including decent tequila) and good service. Booking essential as they are full regularly.

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  • Love, love, love this place for a lazy Saturday lunch on the balcony. The short rib taco is incredible, as is the cabrito, and the cocktails are good quality and reasonably priced. Ticks all my boxes.

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  • Whenever the Mexican craving starts up again, this is definitely the place that will be on my mind. The jalapenos are the best I have had so far and I have been around the block. Fresh ingredients and flavourful fillings with my make-it-yourself beef short rib taco. Wish I could rewind my day just to relive this meal.

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  • A great night. Will be back
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  • Wonderful experience all round. We are so coming back! Lovely fresh healthy food too. My husband was enthralled by the mini tequila education from one of the owners. Great place
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  • Bad, bad experience. AVOID!
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  • I recently returned to this lovely little gem in Cape Town. We recommended it to a friend for his birthday as we had a wide variety of eaters to cater for. The manager of his place is fantastic! He really cares about your experience and actually has a face to face interaction with his customers only to improve the place even further. All dietary requirements were catered for above and beyond what was expected. The vegetarians devoured some amazing roasted veg tacos and I had a mind blowing roasted pork taco. Thank you so much for really caring about the service you provide. You are such a pleasure to visit and enjoy. I am so looking forward to having my next mojito or margarita at this great place.
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  • Dont order the Chicken Mole as the flavours are one dimensional. It might not be to my taste or it just might not be tasty, I vote for the latter. The waitresses were lovely but their recommendations werent very good. It might have been a Monday as well (previous complaint).
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  • Had my friends 30th there on Saturday. It was absolutely awesome. The set menu where we got to make our own burritos or fajitas (I never know which is which-possibly having something to do with the fact that I am not Mexican) The margaritas most definitely HAD tequila in them. The decor was festive, the waitresses to theme, the cake they baked of the pinata (later to be named trevor the muel) was deeeeeelish! (we especially loved the attention to detail of providing him with a little iced on male body part. All in all a great day.
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  • 23 march 2011. Absolutely magic
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  • LOVED the prawn special!! Really loved sitting on the balcony sipping Maragritas eating delicious grown-up Mexican food that doesnt make you feel like a student. A stunning night will definitely be back.
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  • We had an amazing meal there last night. The food was superb all round for us, a massive difference from Mexican I have had in the past. Great to find a place that looks great and has good food. Well done guys, Ill be back
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  • The restaurant itself looks great; loved the decor. The margaritas tasted very good but are sadly served in a tumbler glass rather than a proper margarita glass. I cannot fathom the resoning for that! However, the biggest disappointment was the food. Ceviche starter was ok at best, my mushroom quesadillas were simply not nice and my boyfriends butterfly steak was suspiciously similar to a cheap minute steak, and overcooked at that.
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  • What a feast!! I know everyone goes on about the margaritas and what they say is true.... but those Palomas!! Oh! My! Delicious food, fantastic service from spanish speaking waitresses in gorgeous mexican dressess! And decor devine!! Thank you for a wonderful mexican experiance, Ill be back and back!!
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  • Awful food - everything started to taste the same. Absolutely nothing special about the highly recommended prawn special. Great venue and ambience though. But food - no!
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  • Celebrated my birthday at El Burro this week with a few mates. All in all we were 22 people...any restaurants nightmare, especially on a busy night like Valentines Day. We opted for the set menu while sipping away on margaritas and Mexican beer. What a delightful experience! The service was great, the food was amazing - a feast for the senses and the vibe was so cool and relaxed. It was definitely a fantastic first impression, not only for me, but for all of us! Eager to visit again. Well done!
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  • Had an incredible meal at El Burro last night. I had the prawn special. Packed with flavour, great texture, just the right amount of heat, mango salsa...delicious! Tried the Ceviche too..fresh, fresh, fresh and a great combination of ingredients! My friend, who is a margarita fiend, rates yours #1 in Cape Town! Well done.
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  • Visited for first time last week on a quick visit from Joburg. Had read all ratings and reviews, but had a disasterous evening. It was a Monday, but was as busy as a Friday - it was the day the review came out on Eat Out! Waited hours for food. However, the manager compensated us by halving our bill, which was excellent service. He also offered lots of apologies for his unpreparedness and for the rush. Lovely ambience on the deck outside, but persistent tummy rumbling and munching on only nachos for ages really wasnt pleasant.
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  • All the word of mouth reviews I got from friends who had been, were true. El Burro is great, on all counts!
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  • Another awesome meal at El Burro, totally addicted. The food has been consistently good on all 3 visits. Yum.
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  • At last, addictive, delicious Mexican - at a great price point too!
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  • @ Charmien, do you realise that refried beans are in essence beans made into paste. You clearly do not know anything about authentic Mexican food and I feel you should not be posting comments that could hurt a restaurant that are clearly filling a need in this country for decent Mexican food.
    It is unfortunate that this country has taken so long to get the likes of El Burro and San Julian. Unfortunately Saffas just dont know what decent Mexican food is.
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  • Nice interior but really not nice food.
    Not sure why anyone would want to eat beans made into a paste!

    I would for sure not be rushing back!
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  • These guys do the best Mexican food Ive had outside Mexico. Not your usual Tex-Mex junk we normally get in SA. Well worth a visit.
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  • Delicious, authentic Mexican food (Dont expect a tex-mex style of Mexican). Short-rib steak tacos were amazing!Will definitely be back.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food

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