The History of El Encanto
The original El Encanto Restaurant and Cantina is
located in the center of Cave Creek.
In 1989, Bill Nelson purchased a vacant building, and
with a love of Mexico and Mexican food, opened the
first El Encanto. He brought a chef he’d known for
twenty years from Mexico. Using the finest, freshest
ingredients, they put together a menu that people
quickly called “the best Mexican food in the Valley.”
Also having a love of old Mexican architecture, Bill
made many trips across the border, bringing back
ideas and materials to incorporate into El Encanto.
The patio and restaurant’s colors and style aim to
bring the look and feel of Mexico to your dining
El Encanto became a favorite for its enchanting
setting and great food. The business grew rapidly and
eventually needed a more developed and improved
infrastructure. In 2003, Bill implored his eldest
daughter Christine, a lawyer living in Washington, to
come back to run the business. Christine developed
new operating systems to manage the increased
volume and built a management team to implement
They focus on improving consistency and enhancing
the level of service. Christine and Chef Hernandez
also developed a new menu maintaining many of the
old favorites, while adding more fresh seafood and
several of Chef Hernandez’s specialties from his
In 2005, the restaurant had grown to such a success
that Bill and Christine decided it was time to expand.
The second location, El Encanto Dos, opened in
January of 2006. Dos sits on a large piece of property
where there is room for an organic garden. It serves
the same great food, in a similarly authentic
atmosphere. And, now, in 2009, we have opened our
third location, El Encanto de la Fuente, in Fountain
Thank you for joining us at El Encanto
today. We hope everything was perfect for
you and that you'll come to share our love
of Mexican food and culture.
- 2001 "#1 Choice for Mexican Food"
by Phoenix Magazine readers
- The New Times voted El
Encanto's Margaritas "The Best in the
- 2000 El Encanto was voted "Most
Romantic" by Channel 3's Good
- 2002 El Encanto was selected as the
"Best Place to Pop the Question"
by New Times