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El Banditos

€€ - €€€
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327 East Market Street, Iowa City, IA 52245
+1 319-358-2836
11:00 - 22:00
Closed now
See all hours
Mon - Fri 11:00 - 22:00
Sat - Sun 09:00 - 22:00
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53 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 53: English reviews
Sèvres, Ile-de-France, France
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I went to this place with my wife and we like it but last time was not as good as usual. Portions were small, salad tasted like chlorine ... no more Mexican mojo. Don't know if it was a bad day or something else but it was really disappointing.

Thank Philippe D
Iowa City
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I grew up in Texas and learned to cook from a Mexican teacher. This is not that food, but someone's idea of that food, and it's a pretty good idea. I recommend the enchiladas especially. Nice service, friendly place with good local beers on tap. Who needs authenticity? For that, go to Mazatlan.

Thank Ciscoeats
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2017

I rated this a four because it really does depend on who is working on any given day. I have been to this establishment numerous times, always for breakfast. The food is always good. I have had the Anne Perez, the Eggs Benedict, and my favorite: the oatmeal and brown sugar pancakes. I usually order the Anne Perez with all... More 

Thank Diane T
Saint Charles
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2016

We go here about once a month. Food above average by gringo standards, ordinary versus Dallas and Chicago area (Pilsen and West Chicago) joints. Limited al fresco dining; spartan atmosphere inside. Margaritas ony ordinary.

Thank Lee L
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2016

I think this is Iowa City's best Mexican resturant because the food they serve is quite different from the fast food Mexican places.. They have a diverse menu of Mexican specialties, which are always fresh and served hot. Parking is not always easy in the evenings, but it is worth a littel effort to savor this fine Mexican cooking.

1 Thank William H
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
164 reviews
127 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2016

Love the atmosphere for this place, charming, warm, and a super cute bar. The margaritas while having excellent flavor and fairly priced, lacked the pow of enough tequila to get your dining groove on. Loved the flavor of the Picoso Marg, but craved more of a kick. All the food from the appetizers, guac, salsas, main dishes, needed that last... More 

Thank musthavebeachsun
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2015 via mobile

Stopped here for a Sunday lunch. Good vibe, smaller place. Had chorizo and eggs. Smallish tortillas but nice to have options for sides...not just rice and beans. Good taste. No complimentary chips and salsa which I am used to with Mexican restaurants in the quad cities. $4 pacific beers a little pricey too.

Thank Mike A
Level Contributor
439 reviews
218 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2015

Looking for a different dining experience, try El Bandito's. While I see that many of the reviews here indicate shoddy service - ours was excellent, even though the place was full to the gills. Only complaint was that they didn't have any beer on tap that night as their cooler was shot - but I would think they got that... More 

Thank BlueHenFlyer
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
51 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2015

I would love to tell you wonderful things about this particular establishment, but unfortunately I can't. Our first visit to this location, we were behind a couple of college kids who were offered a seat at the bar for their meal as there were two open seats. We were told by the hostess just give us a couple of minutes,... More 

Thank Douglas F
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2015 via mobile

Food is amazing! Very fresh and local. Everything is made to order, service was much longer than normal. But definitely worth the wait! Drinks are delicious too.

Thank Brittany B

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Takeout
Good for
Open Hours
09:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
09:00 - 22:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 327 East Market Street, Iowa City, IA 52245
  • Location: United States  >  Iowa (IA)  >  Iowa City
  • Phone Number: +1 319-358-2836

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?