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El Arroyo
Austin Restaurants Page


El Arroyo ("The Ditch") is a personal Tex-Mex favorite. Owner Clay McPhail has operated the original 5th Street location since 1987.



Original image (which I've doctored mercilessly) courtesy of David Neff
Austin Restaurants El Arroyo


There are two locations (see maps below):

5th Street Location
1624 W 5TH ST (78703)
512-474-122
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-10:00pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm


Far West Location
7032 WOOD HOLLOW (78731)
512-345-8226

WEBSITE: www.ditch.com

I find the food to be significantly better than some other populuar Austin Tex-Mex restaurants. In fact, shortly after I moved to Austin in 1997, I started eating out here more than anywhere else. The food was good, the atmosphere cool, the wait staff great, and I lived fairly close.

There's a great deal on $1 breakfast tacos weekday mornings, a weekend brunch menu, and a popular happy hour that's hard to miss during the week (2pm-7pm). And be sure to check out (responsibly) the wide selection of margaritas.

And then there's that laid back Austin charm and humor: indoor/outdoor seating, chandeliers hanging from the trees, a catchy if somewhat subjective slogan ("Cultural Center of the Universe"), and, of course, the famous letterboard sign at the W 5th Street location.

Image courtesy of David Neff - Thanksgiving 2007
Austin Restaurants El Arroyo Sign

The sign changes daily, its messages primarily the brainchildren of McPhail. The messages are witty, topical, sometimes controversial, and frequently self-deprecating. I found this forum thread (dated in 2006) where posters discussed some of their favorite sign messages.

Finally, check out this Austin restaurant's website above to hear a clip from country singer Pat Green's song Carry On that references the restaurant.





5th Street Location

El Arroyo Map - 5th Street Location, Austin Texas

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Far West Location

Far West Location, Austin Texas

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For more Austin restaurant reviews . . .

Return from El Arroyo to Austin Restaurants

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Courtesy of the R.A.T. Austin Restaurant Guide




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