Restaurant Guide–San Antonio

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  • 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

Little Gretel–518 River Rd. (German) Breakfast & lunch daily; Dinner Wed-Sat.  German restaurant (jagerschnitzel is popular). However, the chef is Czech and prepares Czech food and desserts (reviews do not say what they are, though, except for goulasch). (Dining room is open 10-11-21)

Castroville

Dziuk Meat Market–608 US 90 W (Meat Market) Open Daily.  This is a meat market that specializes in Alsatian style products (jerky, sausage, etc.). This is not a restaurant–only serves food to go. (In store shopping 7-9-21)

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. This is not a restaurant. (In store shopping 7-9-21)

New Braunfels

Alpine Haus–251 S. Seguin Ave. (German) Open daily (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. (Dining room is open 9-23-20)

Fork and Spoon–651 N. Business IH-35 (German) Breakfast & lunch only (open daily); dinner served on Fri.  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. (Dining room is open 9-23-20)

Gristmill–1287 Gruene Rd. (Steakhouse) Open Daily. Located in historic Gruene. 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. (Dining room is open 9-23-20)

San Antonio

Acenar–146 E. Houston St. (Mexican) Closed Mon.  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. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

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. (Dining room is open 7-9-21)

Big Bib–104 Lanark Dr. (BBQ) Closed Sun evening, Mon, & Tue.  Many say this is the best BBQ you can get if you can’t make it to Luling or Lockhart. Brisket is the specialty. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Burmese Foods–3703 Colony Dr. (Grocery Store) Closed Mon.  Not a restaurant, but they have Asian vegetables, Thai snacks, etc. Drinks are popular (such as the basil seed drink). (Store is open 10-11-21)

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. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Chris Madrid’s–1900 Blanco Rd. (Burgers) Closed Sun.  One of the most popular burger places in town. Reviewers recommend the tostada burger (a hamburger combined with a bean chalupa). (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

El Pilon–1127 Harry Wurzbach Rd. (Puerto Rican) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Photos convince me that I would like to try it, and reviewers say you can get it spicy if you want. (Dining room is open 10-11-21)

Europa–8811 Fredericksburg Rd. (Modern European) Dinner daily; Lunch Sat & Sun.  Primarily a German restaurant but what is interesting is that it also has entrees from other countries such as Hungary (not goulash), Bulgaria, etc. Also has Italian food. The emphasis here is good quality and good flavor and serving items that might not be very familiar to Americans but which people like when they try it. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Garcia’s–842 Fredericksburg Rd. (Tex-Mex) Open 7 am to 2 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  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. Many reviewers say to get the brisket. (Takeout only 9-29-21)

Gold Rose Cafe–11318 Perrin Beitel Rd. (Thai).  Used to be the Thai Cafe, which served authentic Thai food. Now has a new owner who is from Burma, but still serves Thai food (which reviewers say is not as good as before). For me the question is whether you can get Burmese food here, and I cannot tell from the reviews. Perhaps it would be worth a try. Located east of the airport. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

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. (Dining room is open 6-15-20)

Kungfu Noodle–6733 Bandera Rd. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Features hand made noodles, buns, dumplings, and regular Chinese style dishes. Reviews say it is very good. (Dining room is open 7-9-21)

Little Thai Chef–5440 Babcock Rd. (Lao) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Has Lao food and the “Thai” food may be the Lao version (some reviewers say it tastes different than they are used to). Reviews are very good, though, and people like the food. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

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). (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Mi Tierra–218 Produce Row (Tex-Mex) Open Daily.  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. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

Momo House–4447 De Zavala Rd. (Nepalese) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sat lunch & Sun).  I have eaten momo in Nepali restaurants in OKC, but I have not seen the variety of flavors served here, and it looks very interesting. Reviewers say it is in a gas station, and I don’t know if there are tables for dine-in. (Takeout and possibly dine-in available 10-11-21)

Pho Hong Phat–6180 Wurzbach Rd. (Vietnamese) Closed Tue (other days open until 9 pm).  More than a pho place–vermicelli with lemongrass is recommended. Has a large menu of other items with some more obscure authentic items. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Pho Hung Cuong–4788 NW Loop 410 (Vietnamese) Open daily 10 am to 9 pm.  Has an impressive menu including banh cuon (rice sheets) and other rather obscure items. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Rosario’s–910 S. Alamo St. (Tex-Mex) Closed Mon.  Doesn’t seem to have as good reviews as the now closed El Mirador had, 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. (Dining room is open 6-15-20)

Schilo’s–424 E. Commerce St. (German) Open daily 8:30 am to 2 pm.  Advertised as the oldest restaurant in SA (actually it has changed locations from Beeville to SA and later to the current location) while keeping the same German centered menu. Its most popular item is root beer (started during prohibition when they could not serve beer). Has other items such as breakfast tacos. The German food is mostly schnitzel and sausage. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Scorpion Cafe–125 Lamar St. (Peruvian) Dinner only (closed Mon & Tue).  Reviews say it has good food. From photos it looks more upscale and possibly more authentic than I have seen in other Peruvian restaurants. Does not have the Chinese dishes, though, that are served in some Peruvian restaurants. (Dining room is open 10-11-21)

Sichuan House–3505 Wurzbach Rd. (Chinese) 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. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Susie’s Lumpia House–7914 Culebra Rd. (Filipino) Closed Mon; closed Sat & Sun evenings (closes at 7 pm other 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 better for Susie’s. (Dining room is open 7-9-21)

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. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

Thai Taste–5520 Evers Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun. (and closed daily from 2 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. (Dining room is open 9-29-21)

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. (Dining room is open 6-19-21)

 

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 Country Reporter (Texas Best Food)

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)

 

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