front entrance of El Encanto Restaurant and Cantina in Cave Creek Arizona

El Encanto Restaurant and Cantina in Cave Creek, AZ, stands as a beloved culinary gem that captures the essence of authentic Mexican cuisine and warm Southwestern hospitality. With its vibrant atmosphere, delectable menu offerings, and exceptional service, El Encanto has become a go-to destination for locals and visitors alike.

This family-run eatery has been providing scrumptious traditional and modern Mexican dishes since 1989! When I was flying in from Illinois many years ago to visit our 2nd home in Scottsdale at the time, a lady on the plane gushed about El Encanto Restaurant in Cave Creek and told me I must try it out.

From its vibrant decor to its extensive menu, El Encanto provides a unique dining experience that will leave you happy and excited for your next visit. Looking to enjoy an intimate dinner with friends? Or perhaps you're going out on the town? You need to put this restaurant on your itinerary.

front entrance decor of El Encanto Restaurant

Great Dining Experience with a Scenic Ambiance

Are you ready for an incredible dining experience? Then head to El Encanto Restaurant in Cave Creek AZ! This mission-styled restaurant and cantina has the perfect intimate atmosphere with gorgeous rustic surroundings. If you take a walk through the restaurant, you'll see the front area with a couple of trees growing through the wall and roof! This section of the restaurant can be rented out for parties, meetings, and weddings.

tree growing through the wall at El Encanto Restaurant and Cantina in Cave Creek AZ

The metal chairs on the patio are made more comfortable with the Mexican blankets folded on the seats. Inside, the booths are larger than average, and as mentioned, you might be able to get a window seat for a closer view of the pond and the animals that live in it. It's very pretty when lit up at night like the photo below.

evening shot of the interior dining booths

The exceptional service at El Encanto is renowned among locals and visitors. From the moment you step foot into the restaurant, you'll be greeted by friendly and attentive staff who strive to ensure an unforgettable dining experience. The knowledgeable servers are happy to provide recommendations, answer any questions, and accommodate special dietary needs.

In fact, on my last visit, I mentioned I am allergic to wheat when placing an order and the waitress suggested a gluten-free sauce vs. what was offered with my dish. It was delicious and without her going the extra mile I would have never thought about that substitution. This is the only Mexican restaurant I've been to where I can get a gluten-free burrito.

To complement the exquisite cuisine, El Encanto offers an extensive selection of tequilas and handcrafted margaritas. Their bartenders are skilled at creating refreshing and perfectly balanced drinks that are the perfect accompaniment to your meal. Don't miss the opportunity to indulge in one of their signature margaritas.

You'll notice in the picture below the complimentary salsa tray that is accompanied by a large bowl of warm tortilla chips. I love the colorful (and hot and heavy) plates the meals are served on. I had the burrito bottom left and my granddaughter had the quesadilla on the bottom right.

salsa and food at El Encanto in Cave Creek

Planning Your Visit to El Encanto: Tips and Reservations

As you plan your outing, there are several things that should be remembered while booking reservations. To start with, make certain you book ahead since seating can fill up rapidly during peak times, and not necessarily what you would consider "peak". They do take walk-ins but depending on the time of day you might have to wait.

We once had a party of 8 and waited over an hour. My most recent visit was on a Tuesday afternoon with my granddaughter and we were seated on the patio next to the pond immediately, without reservations. You can kind of gauge how busy it is by looking at the parking lot.

the patio at El Encanto Restaurant

Patio seating - pond is to the right

View of the pond from our table on the patio

When we made our first trip here we entered through the beautiful archway (the first photo on this post). This appears to be the main entrance but the hostess station is actually in the back via another entrance off the parking lot. Sometimes, depending on where we park, we'll still enter through the front archway and walk back through the patio to the hostess station. Even if we enter through the back (photo below), I always take a few minutes to walk to the front for another view of the pond.

The entrance in the back of El Encanto where the hostess is

Wrapping It Up

In conclusion, El Encanto in Cave Creek AZ is the ideal spot for an amazing night of dining, drinking, and Mexican cuisine. Its inviting atmosphere has been crafted to please even the most particular diner. If you're looking for an intimate evening or just craving something new; this restaurant provides it all! With its menu full of delicious options there's something that can satisfy each taste bud - making sure everyone leaves thoroughly satisfied!

For those who seek out unique experiences while visiting Cave Creek, El Encanto Restaurant and Cantina is certainly worth checking out; definitely earning all the recognition they receive due to how amazing they actually are! Maybe when you're on a plane heading for Phoenix you can tell someone else about this place.

In writing this blog, I realized that there are more locations than the one in Cave Creek, so even I learned something new. I've listed them below, and I think my next trip will be to the one in Desert Hills since it isn't that far from us - in fact, it might be the same distance or closer.

El Encanto Restaurant and Cantina (Uno)
6248 E. Cave Creek Rd Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Phone: (480) 488-1752

El Encanto Dos
1112 E. Carefree Highway, Desert Hills, AZ 85085
Phone: (623) 780-5948

El Encanto De La Fuente
11044 N Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85068
Phone: (480) 837-1070

Posted by Judy Orr on
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