Restaurant Guide–San Antonio

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Texas

Austin | Dallas/Fort Worth | El Paso | Houston


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Boerne

Sarika’s Thai–109 Waterview Pkwy. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed between 2:30 and 5:00 pm).  Reviewers said it was one of the best Thai restaurants in the San Antonio area, but now the owners have turned it over to other people (who have added sushi to the menu). The Thai food is still good, and worth a stop if you are in the area (but it seems to be a place where you should order one of the popular dishes that they learned to cook from the original owners). (5-19-17)

Welfare Cafe–233 Waring Welfare Rd. (German) Lunch Sat & Sun; dinner Thu-Sun.  Recommended dishes include steak, peaches chicken, schnitzel with lemon jam, German sausage, sauerkraut, and peach cobbler. This has a peaceful rural atmosphere that many people from the city find to be worth a trip. It is not specifically a German restaurant, but has adapted many of the foods to include a Texas influence. (5-19-17)

Castroville

Dziuk Meat Market–608 US 90 W (Meat Market).  This is a meat market that specializes in Alsatian style products (jerky, sausage, etc.). (5-19-17)

Haby’s Alsatian Bakery–207 US 90 E (Bakery) Open 5:30 am to 7 pm (closed Sun).  Has a wide variety of baked goodies, including European style pastries. Kolaches are available, but there are so many good choices you might want to try some of the ones that are not available elsewhere. (5-19-17)

Kirby

Bavarian Restaurant–5512 FM 78 (German) Dinner only (open Wed-Sat).  Jaeger schnitzel is recommended, and also has several other types of schnitzel. Side dishes also have very good reviews. Reviewers say this is the place to go for Bavarian style German food. (5-19-17)

New Braunfels

Alpine Haus–251 S. Seguin Ave. (German) Closed Mon (open for lunch & dinner).  Highest rated German in NB on Zomato (Urbanspoon)–Jagerschnitzel, potato dumplings, red cabbage (owned by Germans). Some reviewers say some of the dishes are not completely authentic, and they do not have German beer on tap. The schnitzel gets good reviews, and where you might like it better than other German restaurants is that the menu is varied and you might see items that are not in other restaurants, or that you did not even know were German. (5-19-17)

Fork and Spoon–651 N. Business IH-35 (German) Dinner Thurs-Sat; breakfast & lunch every day.  Breakfast is very popular (crepes, pancakes).  Jagerschnitzel is good, but there is a small menu–very good bakery inside the restaurant. The consensus seems to be that breakfast is good but go to Alpine Haus for a German lunch or dinner. (5-19-17)

Gristmill–1287 Gruene Rd. (Steakhouse) Open Daily.  Chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken. Has other dishes as well, and reviews are not universally glowing for these or the CFS, but the historic ambiance helps make this a place where many enjoy stopping. (5-19-17)

San Antonio

Acenar–146 E. Houston St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Located on the River Walk, this seems to be definitely oriented to tourists. Tex-Mex style (serves chips and salsa–enchiladas are very cheesy). This is not one of the city’s old style Tex-Mex restaurants, though–it was founded in 2005 and serves “innovative contemporary” food. Has good reviews. (5-19-17)

Azuca Nuevo Latino–709 S. Alamo (Latin American) Open daily except Sun lunch.  Serves food from South and Central America as well as the Caribbean. Even though the best restaurants are usually those which specialize in a certain cuisine, this one seems to do several cuisines very well. From the photos the food looks very fresh, and it seems to be more authentic than the typical Latin American restaurants found throughout the US. (5-19-17)

Big Bib–104 Lanark Dr. (BBQ) Closed Sun night & Mon.  Many say this is the best BBQ you can get if you can’t make it to Luling or Lockhart. Brisket is the specialty. (5-19-17)

Cascabel–1000 S. St. Marys (Mexican) Lunch only (closed Sun).  Authentic Mexican food with Oaxacan mole and other dishes from the Mexican interior. It is a little pricey–only go if you are in the mood for an upscale meal. (5-19-17)

El Mirador–722 S. Saint Marys St. (Tex-Mex) Closed Sun evening (Yelp says it’s open daily).  Menu is divided between the owners’ family recipes from Mexico and Tex-Mex. Does not have mole, but has typical dishes from northern Mexico. I would say the reviews do not look as good as Rosario’s (probably its closest competitor). (5-19-17)

Garcia’s–842 Fredericksburg Rd. (Tex-Mex) Open 7 am to 2:30 pm (closed Sun).  Operating since 1962, this is one of the oldest Tex-Mex restaurants in the city, and certainly one of the best (according to reviews). This is the Tex-Mex recommended in the Eater.com article. It is not open for dinner, though. (5-19-17)

Guajillo’s–1001 NW Loop 410 (Mexican) Open Daily.  Upscale Mexican (to me it looks better than Acenar). Authentic interior style food. Some reviewers say this is the best mole in town. (5-19-17)

Lula’s Mexican Cafe–115 E. Travis St. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (open Mon-Fri).  Located in a downtown office building, this is not oriented to tourists, although some manage to find it and write rave reviews. Has authentic and flavorful food such as mole enchiladas and poblano chicken (with a green poblano sauce). (5-19-17)

Lulu’s Bakery–918 N. Main Ave. (American) Open 24 hours every day.  Many people would consider trying a chicken fried steak a must when they are in Texas, and Lulu’s has one of the most acclaimed ones in San Antonio. Also on the “must try” list is the cinnamon roll. (5-19-17)

Mi Tierra–218 Produce Row (Tex-Mex) Open 24 hours every day.  I didn’t think this was the best Tex-Mex in SA, but it was good. It’s probably best to get a combination plate with several items (to get a sample of SA Mexican food). Probably most notable for its very good Mexican bakery (the bakery closes about 10 PM). (5-19-17)

Pho Hong Phat–6180 Wurzbach Rd. (Vietnamese) Closed Tue (other days open until 9:30 pm).  More than a pho place–vermicelli with lemongrass is recommended. Has a large menu of other items with some more obscure authentic items. (5-19-17)

Rosario’s–910 S. Alamo St. (Tex-Mex) Open Daily.  Doesn’t seem to have as good reviews as El Mirador, but still a solid choice for Tex-Mex (some dishes appear to be south of the border style but with a SA influence). Has mole enchiladas (which reviewers like). Puffy tacos with chicken are also recommended. (5-19-17)

Sichuan House–3505 Wurzbach Rd. (Chinese) Closed Tue (Yelp says it is open daily).  Authentic Chinese food (something hard to find in SA). Reviewers have so many recommended dishes I would say just look at the menu and take your pick. (5-19-17)

Susie’s Lumpia House–8923 Culebra Rd. (Filipino) Closed Mon; closed Sat & Sun evenings.  Small restaurant in a Filipino grocery store, but reviewers say you get the real deal. Some people prefer Deco Cafe Filipiniana at 1933 Fredericksburg Rd. because it has a buffet (you can try several items) but it is only open for lunch except Fri & Sat, and overall the reviews are bette for Susie’s. (5-19-17)

Thai Cafe–11318 Perrin Beitel Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say you can get authentic Thai style food if you ask for it to be prepared this way (most get the buffet which is more American style, and some menu items may be this way also). Located east of the airport. (5-19-17)

Thai Chili–2950 Thousand Oaks Dr. (Thai) Open Daily.  This is supposedly where the Thai people go for authentic food (or at least the main place). I don’t know if you have to ask for it to be Thai style or if it comes this way by default. (5-19-17)

Thai Taste–5520 Evers Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun. (and closed daily from 2:45 PM to 5:00 PM).  In trying to find a good Asian restaurant in SA, this looked like a good bet. Reviewers give it high marks, but at least one says it is better if they know you want it Thai style (otherwise it is somewhat Americanized). Sketchy on the outside but reviewers say not to be concerned–the food is good. (5-19-17)

Wild Goji–7115 Blanco Rd. (Japanese) Closed Tue.  Said to be an excellent restaurant for both sushi and cooked Japanese dishes. Rated as $$ on Yelp, but based on descriptions of the food it is probably more expensive or at least would be worth it if you did have to pay more. (5-19-17)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

Sources:

Chowhound (San Antonio)

Eater (San Antonio)

Texas Monthly, Jan. 2013

TripAdvisor (Regional foods to try)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (San Antonio)

Zomato (San Antonio)

 

Restaurant Guide–Houston

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Texas

Austin | Dallas/Fort Worth | El Paso | San Antonio


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Clear Lake City

NASA Fast Food–18059 Point Lookout (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 8:30 pm (closed Sun).  Most recommended Vietnamese in SE Houston. Pho, noodles with char-grilled meat. (4-12-17)

Viola & Agnes’ Neo Soul Cafe–18091 Upper Bay Rd. (Soul Food) Lunch Tue-Sun; dinner Wed-Sat.  A highly recommended soul food restaurant, which along with Mary Lou’s has an expert chef who puts this restaurant on a higher level than most. (4-12-17)

Houston

Afghan Village–6413 Hillcroft St. (Afghan) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  There are several good Middle Eastern restaurants in Houston (including Afghan). Probably the main reason to come here is that you get excellent food at lower prices (but also in a fairly small building in an older strip mall). (4-11-17)

Asia Market–1010 W. Cavalcade (Lao) Open daily (open until 8 pm except 7 pm on Sun).  Serves Thai and Lao, but Lao is the specialty.  Restaurant is inside the market. (12-17-15)

Banana Leaf–9889 Bellaire Blvd. (Malaysian) Open Daily.  In same strip center as Mamak, and these are the two highest rated Malaysian restaurants (Banana Leaf was recommended by Malaysian people I know in OKC, so would be my first choice).  Also a very good rest. for Indonesian food. (11-8-15)

Bombay Sweets–5827 Hillcroft Ave. (Indian) Open Daily.  South Indian vegetarian, very good & very cheap (about $7 for the buffet). Better reviews than Udipi Cafe. (4-11-17)

Brisket House–5775 Woodway Dr. (BBQ) Open Daily except Sun night.  Owner worked at Tom’s BBQ in College Station, and serves the famous “Aggie Special” (served on butcher paper with a lump of cheddar cheese and a white onion). (11-8-15)

Cafe Caspian–12126 Westheimer Rd. (Persian) Closed Mon.  A highly recommended and upscale Persian/ Iranian restaurant. It looks more expensive than the others and that you are paying for the atmosphere, but reviewers say the food is excellent (my list is to try to find the most value for the money, and I think the other Persian restaurants might fit this definition better). (4-12-17)

Carniceria Aguascalientes–2809 Broadway St. (Mexican) Open daily (serves breakfast-open until 10 pm).  The most popular Mexican food in Houston seems to be street tacos.  This is the place that looks best to me, and has the best reviews (but there are many others that look very good also). (12-17-15)

Crawfish & Noodles–11360 Bellaire Blvd. (Vietnamese) Open daily (dinner only except lunch & dinner on Sat & Sun).  To me this would be a novelty restaurant which combines Vietnamese and Cajun food in a fusion style, but it is one of the specialty cuisines popular in Houston. (4-12-17)

Dolce Vita–500 Westheimer Rd. (Pizza) Dinner Tue-Sun; lunch Sat & Sun.  Known for its authentic Neapolitan style pizza. Has other dishes that are Italian style (a big change from typical Americanized Italian food). (4-11-17)

El Real–1201 Westheimer Rd. (Tex-Mex) Open Daily.  There is a very strong consensus that this is the best Tex-Mex in Houston (replacing Ninfa’s).  Enchiladas are recommended. (10-17-15)

Filipino Cuisine–10950 Bissonnet St. (Filipino) Open 10 am to 7 pm (closed Mon).  Filipino food served cafeteria style (there are several of these in Houston, but this one has the best reviews). This is a good chance to try a lot of items at a good price. (4-11-17)

Gatlin’s BBQ–3510 Ella Blvd. (BBQ) Open Wed & Thu 11AM-7PM; Fri & Sat 11AM-9PM.  Maybe the best BBQ in Houston (also see Killen’s in Pearland).  Brisket, pulled pork, turkey.  The wait in line usually lasts from about 10 to 30 min. at lunch (this is less than at most other good BBQ places). (12-17-15)

Hong Kong Food Street–9750 Bellaire Blvd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Authentic Cantonese.  Specializes in inexpensive, everyday type of food.  Congee is good.  Also has upscale food such as roast duck.  Open until 2:00 AM every day. (11-8-15)

Hugo’s–1600 Westheimer Rd. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Authentic alta cocina Mexican food. Expect to pay about $25 to $30 for a dinner (but you get the real deal). Mole is one of the specialties. (4-11-17)

Huynh–912 St. Emanuel St. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun.  This seems to be a consensus choice as one of the two best Vietnamese restaurants in the city to “explore the menu” (banh xeo, bun bo hue, etc.). (Nam Giao is the other restaurant to check out). (4-12-17)

Kasra Persian–9741 Westheimer Rd. (Persian) Open Daily.  Looks like it has an extensive menu with items not served in OKC. Chicken barg is recommended. Everything on the menu gets good reviews, though. (4-11-17)

Lankford Grocery–88 Dennis St. (Hamburgers) Open breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  This is supposed to be the best place in Houston for hamburgers. Hubcap also gets good reviews (Hubcap is located downtown, 1133 W. 19th St., and Kemah). (11-3-15)

Mamak Malaysian–9889 Bellaire Blvd. (Malaysian) Open Daily.  Reviewers say it has a rather small menu, but is very good. (11-8-15)

Mary Lou’s Soulful Bistro–8429 Scott St. (Soul Food) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sun & Mon; closed Sat evening).  This seems to be true soul food in the hands of expert chefs who cook it the way it should be done. (4-11-17)

Mi Bella Honduras–1806 Wirt Rd. (Honduran) Open daily (serves breakfast).  Good place to try authentic Honduran dishes (there are other Honduran restaurants in the city but this looks like a good bet if you can only try one). (4-11-17)

Nam Giao–6938 Wilcrest Dr. (Vietnamese) Open 9 am to 9 pm (closed Thu).  This and Huynh are supposed to be the best “full menu” Vietnamese restaurants in the city. As far as which one to go to–this is on the west side and Huynh is downtown, they are closed on different days, and this apparently has central Vietnamese food while Huynh has southern Vietnamese food (but I am not certain about the cuisines). (4-12-17)

Niko Niko’s–2520 Montrose Blvd. (Greek) Open Daily.  Just about everyone says this is the best Greek in town. Has a fairly extensive menu. Has 2 other locations. (4-12-17)

Ninfa’s–2704 Navigation Blvd. (Tex-Mex) Open Daily.  Many say this is the best Tex-Mex in Houston (but some say it only used to be the best). Recommended are enchiladas suizas, homemade tortillas, tacos al carbon. (10-17-15)

Oporto–125 W. Gray St. (Portuguese) Open daily except Sun night.  Portuguese tapas restaurant. Food and wine are both good–it’s a little upscale, but ordering a few items is not expensive. It may be best to go with a group to sample more items. (4-12-17)

Pasha–2325 University Blvd. (Turkish) Open 11 am to 10 pm (closed Mon).  This looks like one of the better Middle Eastern restaurants in Houston. Menu consists of Turkish items (seems to give you a feast at dinner but smaller dinners at a good price at lunch). (4-11-17)

Peking Cuisine–8332 SW Freeway (Chinese) Open Daily.  Authentic Beijing style food (also has Sichuan dishes).  Serves duck, but Peking duck must be ordered in advance. (11-8-15)

Pho Binh Trailer–10928 Beamer Rd. (Vietnamese) Open 8 am to 4 pm (closed Mon).  This is not a trailer but a real restaurant, and some of the city’s food writers who have tried every known Vietnamese restaurant say this one has the best pho. (4-12-17)

Polonia–1780 Blalock Rd. (Polish) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Mon).  Pierogi, cabbage roll, roast pork, soup, kielbasa. (4-11-17)

Que Huong–11201 Bellaire Blvd. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun.  Reviewers recommend it for upscale (but not expensive) Vietnamese (also it is authentic). Regular menu items are pricey because they are large–meant for family style dining (but lunch specials are cheap). (11-8-15)

Rice Bowl II–14360 Bellaire Blvd. (Indonesian) Open Daily.  Reviewers on Chowhound indicate that there isn’t much Indonesian food on the menu (so may be disappointing).  However, it does have telor balado (deep fried eggs), beef rendang, ayam goreng, etc. (11-8-15)

Saffron–5711 Hillcroft (Afghan) Open Daily.  Excellent food–Middle Eastern style. (4-11-17)

San Dong Noodle House–9938 Bellaire Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Has excellent Chinese dumplings.  #20 (leek pork dumplings) in broth is suggested. (10-17-15)

Shanghai–9116 Bellaire Blvd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Reviewers say this is one of the few truly authentic Chinese rests. in Houston.  Menu looks Sichuan, so I’m not sure what style it is. (11-8-15)

Shri Balaji Bhavan–5655 Hillcroft Ave. (Indian) Closed Tue.  Authentic South Indian–best place in town for dosa. (4-11-17)

Tan Tan–6816 Ranchester Dr. (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Very large menu–seems to be good food. Known for the hot pot. Open until midnight daily. (11-8-15)

Tierras Colombianas–6053 Bissonnet St. (Colombian).  There are at least three dozen Colombian restaurants in Houston.  This one has good reviews and is authentic–I’m sure there are others also. Empanadas are very good. Lunch specials are very cheap (and good). (4-12-17)

Udipi Cafe–5959 Hillcroft Ave. (Indian) Open Daily 11 am to 10 pm.  Vegetarian South Indian.  Has thali (but reviewers say chutneys are below par). Also in Sugar Land (3551 Hwy. 6). (4-11-17)

Vieng Thai–6929 Long Point Rd. (Thai) Open Daily.  Authentic and flavorful.  One advantage over many others is that they do not use MSG. Some say the owners have made the food somewhat less authentic because it has gotten so popular they’ve had to streamline their operation (but I think if you want the most authentic version they can still do it). (4-11-17)

Note: The City-Data discussion on Houston’s most underrated cuisine is mainly about the best cuisines (underrated or not). These include Barbecue, Seafood, Cajun, Soul Food, Greek, Persian, Turkish, Mexican, Tex-Mex, Colombian, Venezuelan, Caribbean, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Vietnamese, Chinese

Pearland

Killen’s BBQ–3613 E. Broadway St. (BBQ) Closed Mon.  Many rate it as the best barbecue in the Houston area. Brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, turkey, pulled pork (but it looks as if brisket is their best item). Sides are very good also. There is usually a wait (which I think involves standing in line waiting for a table). After 2015 they expanded the hours to 8 pm (9 pm on weekends), so this seems to have reduced the rush they had at noon when wait times were very long (and they frequently ran out of certain items). (4-12-17)

T J Filipino–1826 Country Place Pkwy. (Filipino) Open 10:30 am to 7 pm (closed Sun dinner & Mon).  Filipino people say this restaurant has a better taste than others (normally they do not like restaurants–just cooking at home). Is a buffet, but it doesn’t seem to cost more than if you got one or two items from a menu. (4-12-17)

Rosenberg

Schulze’s BBQ–1214 1st St. (BBQ).  A popular place for “Brazos Valley” style BBQ (cooked with pecan wood). (12-17-15)

Witt Pit–2516 1st St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  A well known place for “Brazos Valley” style BBQ (uses pecan wood for cooking).  Maybe the better of the two Rosenberg BBQ places, based on reviews. (12-17-15)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.
Sources:

Chowhound (Houston)

City-Data (Houston BBQ)

City-Data (Most Underrated Cuisine of Houston)

Houston Matters (Houston Vietnamese Food)

Trip Advisor (Houston BBQ)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Houston)

Zomato (Houston)

Restaurant Guide–El Paso

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Texas

Austin | Dallas/Fort Worth | Houston | San Antonio


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Canutillo

Flautas Tepalca–6994 Doniphan Dr. (Mexican) Open Daily.  The best flautas in the El Paso area (or really anywhere in the U.S. I have tried them).  However, this and a couple of other items are the entire menu except for “nieves” (ice cream) and aguas frescas. (Now has two locations in El Paso–5198 Doniphan and 500 N. Zaragoza Rd.) (8-12-17)

Little Diner–7209 7th St. (Mexican) Closed Wed.  Has New Mexico style enchiladas (spicy).  Gorditas and chiles rellenos are very good.  My favorite item is Christmas tamales (order a few days ahead of time and pick up on Christmas eve). (9-10-16)

Lupita’s Tamales–6860 Doniphan Dr. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Take out only.  Red chile tamal is excellent.  Chile con queso tamal and tamal dulce are very good to go with it. (9-10-16)

Maracas–900 Talbot Ave. (Puerto Rican) Open daily except Sun evening.  OK, it’s a novelty in El Paso to find Latin American food that is not Mexican, but reviewers say this place is really good (especially the Cuban and Philly sandwiches). (2-18-17)

Peppe’s–6761 Doniphan Dr. (New Mexican) Closed Mon.  This is one of the Griggs family restaurants (the others are La Posta in Mesilla, NM and El Pinto in Albuquerque).  Peppe’s is small and not a tourist attraction like the other restaurants, but I believe the food is more true to the Griggs family recipes. (9-10-16)

El Paso

Barrigas–664 Sunland Park Dr. (Mexican) Open Daily.  One of the top Mexican restaurants in El Paso. Is somewhat on the upscale side with steaks being one of the specialties. Has good mole and combination plates. Has a good version of enchiladas suizas (with green chile). Also in east El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. (7-14-17)

Cafe Central–109 N. Oregon St. (Fine Dining) Closed Sun.  More expensive than I usually put on this list, but I think their Mexican dishes are really worth the money (such as the puntas de filete). (7-14-17)

Cafe Italia–6705 N. Mesa St. (Pizza) Closed Sun-Mon.  Wood fired pizza that is literally the best I’ve ever had. (2-18-17)

Cafe Mayapan–2000 Texas Ave. (Mexican) Lunch only (closed Sun).  Authentic Mexican from different regions of Mexico. I am impressed not only by the variety of food, but also the quality. (7-14-17)

Cuartito Azul–1550 Lomaland Dr. (Argentinian) Open daily except Sun evening.  Empanadas, steak, and other Argentinian style food. Recently moved from the smaller restaurant in west El Paso (8-12-17)

El Jacalito–2130 Myrtle Ave. (Mexican) Breakfast and lunch only (closed Sun).  Probably the definitive place in El Paso for inexpensive, real Mexican style lunches.  (There are two other similar restaurants that I also like–Anita’s at 704 N. Piedras and Jalisco Cafe at 1029 E. 7th Ave.).  El Jacalito may be the best place in town for Lent specials (Fridays before Easter). (2-18-17)

Forti’s–321 Chelsea St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  A local favorite, but I find it to be a little inconsistent. Tampiquena and red enchiladas are my favorites here, but for first time visitors I would recommend the combination plate. (2-18-17)

Han Il–9477 Dyer St. (Korean) Closed Sun (open daily according to Yelp).  El Paso has several good Korean restaurants, but this is my favorite. Has a good selection of items, and I don’t have problems with MSG. (2-18-17)

Hello Pizza–1071 Country Club Rd. (Pizza) Dinner only (closed Mon).  New York style, that people have told me is as good or better than in NY (and it is so good I believe them). (9-10-16)

H&H Car Wash–701 E. Yandell (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  Breakfasts are excellent.  I don’t like the lunches so much. (9-10-16)

Jerusalem Grill–5360 N. Mesa St. (Middle Eastern) Closed Sun.  I’m still looking for falafel in other cities as good as the one here. (2-18-17)

Julio’s Cafe Corona–8050 Gateway Blvd. East (Mexican) Open daily (breakfast on Sat & Sun).  Originated in Ciudad Juarez, and many things here are more authentic Mexican than El Paso style. Everything here, though, is among the best in the city. (7-14-17)

L&J Cafe–3622 E. Missouri Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Open since the 1920’s, it is famous for being located across the street from the graveyard.  The food here is a combination of border (El Paso) and New Mexico style (so it is a little spicier than most restaurants).  I think this is the best place in El Paso for a combination plate, but for individual items I like the red enchilada, green enchilada, chile relleno, salsa, and lemonade. (9-10-16)

La Madeleine–8889 Gateway West (French) Open daily (serves breakfast).  This is a “French country cafe,” meaning more affordable, more basic food, but still French (therefore very good). There is also one on N. Mesa, but this one gets better reviews. (8-12-17)

Marina’s German Bakery–2033 Trawood Dr. (Bakery) Closed Sun.  This is my number one spot in town for baked goods (especially the bread). (9-10-16)

Matsuharu–4886 Hercules Ave. (Japanese) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  All around excellent Japanese food, but I especially like the ramen, tempura udon, salmon teriyaki, and fish specials (the specials change in accordance with what can be flown in). (9-10-16)

Mi Piaci–5411 N. Mesa St. (Italian) Closed Sun.  Upscale Italian with very good food, prepared properly.  (Italian and Middle Eastern have traditionally been the two best ethnic foods in El Paso besides Mexican food). (2-18-17)

Peter’s German Grill–255 Shadow Mountain (German) Open 10 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Authentic food, but the menu is small and they specialize in sandwiches. They also specialize in German pastries and bread. (8-12-17)

Red Lantern–1841 N. Zaragoza Rd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  A good proportion of their customers want authentic Cantonese food, so they tend to have more selection than other restaurants. (9-10-16)

Ripe–910 E. Redd Rd. (International) Open daily except Sun dinner.  I think this is the best place in town for healthy, organic, and/or vegetarian meals.  The “International” part of the cuisine seems to be mostly Italian. (2-18-17)

Saigon Taste–6940 N. Mesa St. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon.  This is another one of El Paso’s very good Asian restaurants that I think may be underappreciated by locals (but it has some of the best Vietnamese food I have had anywhere).  Best items are the Saigon pancake and clay pot tofu. (2-18-17)

Santa Cecilia–5500 El Paso Dr. (Mexican) Open daily (including breakfast).  To me these are almost unbelievably good tacos al carbon (the ones that should be the pattern for all other restaurants).  Located at the intersection of Paisano Dr. & El Paso Dr., just north of Alameda Ave. (2-18-17)

Su Casa–2030 E. Yandell Dr. (Mexican) Lunch only (closed Sun).  These are my favorite red enchiladas in town.  Also available are several Middle Eastern items (my favorites are the spinach pie and tabouli). (2-18-17)

Sun Garden–6600 N. Mesa St. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Authentic Cantonese food is available from the menu. (7-14-17)

Tabla–115 S. Durango (Spanish) Closed Sun.  Tapas. (2-18-17)

Villa del Mar–7988 Gateway Blvd. East (Mexican) Open Daily.  I think it’s the best in town for Mexican style seafood. (2-18-17)

Fabens

Cattleman’s Steakhouse–Ranch Road 793 about 4 mi. north of IH-10 (Steakhouse) Open Daily.  Nationally famous destination restaurant.  I don’t think the steaks are as good as they used to be, but it is still a good meal in an interesting setting. (9-10-16)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

Sources:

Chowhound (El Paso)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (El Paso)

Zomato (El Paso)