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

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). Map (Dining room is open 10-11-21)

Castle Hills

Sawasdee Thai–6407 Blanco Rd. (Thai) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 5 pm weekdays).  Thai restaurant where reviewers say the staff is sweet but the curry isn’t (instead it is authentic and tastes like it should). All kinds of curry are recommended. They say, though, you have to tell them if you want anything approaching the Thai spice levels. Map (Dining room is open 1-8-22)

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. Map (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. Map (Takeout and drive-through only 9-25-22)

Helotes

Rios Barbacoa–12800 Bandera Rd. (Mexican) Open 7 am to 1 pm Sat & Sun only.  Serves barbacoa, tamales, menudo, and empanadas. Has locations in San Antonio but some say it’s worth coming to the far NW to this one. One review says the barbacoa is greasy but they have a better one if you ask for it (I assume it is more expensive). Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Leon Springs

Garcia Barbecue–21880 Babcock Rd. (BBQ) Fri 5-9 pm; Sat 1-9 pm, Sun 1-8 pm.  Food truck at The Divide Beer Garden. Owner says they close when they run out of food. Reviewers say it is worth the drive from SA for the beef ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and brisket nachos. Looks like the beer garden has covered seating as well as outdoor picnic tables. Map (Tables are available 12-20-21)

Leon Valley

Kungfu Noodle–6733 Bandera Rd. (Chinese) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Mon). Features hand made noodles, buns, dumplings, and American style Chinese (this is for lunch specials only).  Noodles include a wide variety of noodle soups and dry noodle dishes. Much of the food is spicy. Customer service was quite impressive as well. Map (Dining room is open 9-25-22)

New Braunfels

Alpine Haus–251 S. Seguin Ave. (German) Open daily (closed from 2 pm to 5 pm weekdays).  Highest rated German in NB on Zomato–Jagerschnitzel, potato dumplings, red cabbage. 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. Map (Dining room is open 9-25-22)

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. Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

San Antonio

2M Smokehouse–2731 S. WW White Rd. (BBQ) Open 11-4 or sold out Thu-Sun   Known for its brisket, it is the two highest rated BBQ places in SA according to Texas Monthly. Reviewers also particularly like the sauce, which is different than the typical sauce (is “sweet and savory” rather than tomato based). Has a Mexican corn side that reviewers especially like, and they also suggest the sausage stuffed with serrano pepper and Oaxaca cheese. Map (Dining room is open 2-14-22)

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

Azuca Nuevo Latino–709 S. Alamo (Latin American) Dinner only (closed Sun).  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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Big Bib–104 Lanark Dr. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 7 pm (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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

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). Map (Store is open 10-11-21)

Cascabel–1000 S. St. Marys (Mexican) 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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Dim Sum Oriental Cuisine–2313 NW Military Hwy. (Chinese) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sun evening & Mon).  Very good reviews–people say it tastes fresh and has a large variety of items. Dim sum served all day, but also has a regular menu (noodles, congee, and some dishes like lemon chicken, etc.). Some are reporting up to a 45 min. wait for a table. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

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). Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Dashi Sichuan–2895 Thousand Oaks Dr. (Chinese) Open Thu-Sun (and closed from 2:30 to 4 pm).  Reviewers say it is authentic (including ones from Sichuan Province). Some indicate that the spice level is not enough to be authentic so it may be best to ask about this when ordering. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Ernesto’s–2559 Jackson Keller Rd. (Mexican) Open daily except Sat lunch & Sun (closed from 2 pm to 5:30 pm).  Definitely on the upscale side, both in the types of meats served (steak, lobster, crab, etc.) and the recipes (for instance, has filete veracruzano that looks like it is made the way it should be). Dinner is $$ to $$$ and has a ton of dishes that I think would only be served in the most upscale Mexican restaurants, if at all. Lunch looks like it is more like “ordinary” Mexican food (a lot of chicken dishes) but sauces and the way it is cooked are still elevated and worth paying more than normal but still within most people’s budgets. Map (Dining room is open 1-8-22)

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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

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. I noticed on a photo that they serve the San Antonio style enchiladas with the tortillas dipped in red sauce, giving them a red color (and flavor from the red chile). Map (Dining room is open 2-8-22)

Gold Rose Cafe–11318 Perrin Beitel Rd. (Thai) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

Hala Cafe–10865 Shaenfield Rd. (Jordanian) Open daily 1 pm to 2 am.  Serves typical Middle Eastern items, but reviewers say it has more flavor than other places. Has indoor and outdoor seating with a hookah lounge. Looks about as authentic Middle Eastern as you can find in the US. I don’t know if hookah is indoors or outdoors, and I don’t know how late food is served. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Henry’s Puffy Tacos–6030 Bandera Rd. (Tex-Mex) Closed Sun.  Almost every article on San Antonio puffy tacos begin by mentioning Henry’s. This is sort of the San Antonio Tex-Mex version of gorditas. Most people seem to like the carne guisada taco best, and you can also get the carne guisada plate. Map (Dining room is open 2-8-22)

La Frite–728 S. Alamo St. (Belgian) Lunch Tue-Fri: Dinner Tue-Sat (closed Sun & Mon and closed from 2 to 6 pm).  Food is on the upscale side but has some less expensive items. There are about 20 tables and the web site says “it can be a harrowing experience to park in Southtown, but we have some designated spaces” (probably enough for the 20 tables). Crepes are especially recommended by customers. Map (Google Maps says it is temporarily closed but the web site is active and apparently taking reservations 2-14-22)

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. Map  (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Lula’s Mexican Cafe–115 E. Travis St. (Mexican) Open 7 am to 2 pm 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). Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

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. Before the pandemic it was open 24 hours and it is still open until 10 pm weeknights and 11 pm weekends. Map (Dining room is open 9-25-22)

Momo House–4447 De Zavala Rd. (Nepalese) Open 11 am to 7 pm–11 to 9 Fri & Sat (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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Nana’s Kitchen–4160 E. Charles William Anderson Loop (Mexican) Open 6:30 am to 3 pm M-F (closed Sat & Sun).  Located in far south SA at IH-37. Reviewers particularly like the breakfast tacos, carne guisada, and the home made tortillas. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Pho Hung Cuong–12730 Frontage Rd. (Vietnamese) Open daily 10 am to 9 pm.  Has an impressive menu including banh cuon (rice sheets) and other rather obscure items. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 11-11-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 10-11-21)

Sichuan House–3505 Wurzbach Rd. (Chinese) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 3:30 pm).  Reviewers have so many recommended dishes I would say just look at the menu and take your pick. Said to be authentic but I am more convinced about Dashi than this one (but Sichuan House may be authentic as well). Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Thai Chili–2950 Thousand Oaks Dr. (Thai) Closed Tue.  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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Thai Esan–9820 Huebner Rd. (Thai) Closed Sat lunch & Sun (and closed from 2 pm to 4:30 pm).  Esan style (northern Thailand) with good reviews. Like many Esan style restaurants, reviewers say the flavor is some of the best they have found. Map (Dining room is open 1-8-22)

Thai Taste–5520 Evers Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun. (and closed from 2 pm to 5 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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Tlahco–6702 San Pedro Ave. (Mexican) Open daily 8 am to 8 pm.  Very popular with locals because they say it tastes like traditional home style Mexican food. Somewhat upscale (has mole) but also has a street taco menu. Has a nice looking breakfast menu of pancakes, eggs, and tacos. Has many dishes I have never seen in TX or OK restaurants, and I think transplants from Mexico really feel at home here. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Schertz

Siam Cuisine–6032 FM 3009 (Thai) Closed Mon & Tue.  Reviewers say it is very good, high quality, and the spice level is not dumbed down. Panang curry is the most popular item and what most people review. However, those who get other items (such as pad peaw waan) say they are excellent as well. I was impressed that on the menu you can order northern Thai (Chiang Mai) items, Bangkok style, or southern style. I think this restaurant is the real deal. Reviewers say they will make it Thai spicy if you ask. Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)

Universal City

Los Tapatios Market–925 Pat Booker Rd. (Mexican) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say it is a great place for birria, including birria tacos and quesabirria. Tortas are popular (with birria, carne asada, and other fillings). Map (Dining room is open 12-20-21)


  • For additional explanation of this list see Index
  • Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

San Antonio’s Best Tex-Mex Restaurants

Gayot 2022 (Ranked By Score out of 20 Points)

  • (12/20):
    • Acenar–146 E. Houston St.–gulf crab tinga tacos, duck confit crepes, crepas de huitlacoche, achiota (Tourist restaurant on the Riverwalk with flashes of distintion including ones that I have listed–they think the Tex-Mex is expensive and it’s better to get it elsewhere)
    • Nicha’s–3119 Roosevelt Ave –carne guisada, chile relleno, carnitas, tres leches cake (mostly traditional Tex-Mex with some of their own special creations)
    • Rosario’s–910 S. Alamo St.–chile relleno with raisins, sopa de pozole, ceviche, and coconut flan (seems to cater to locals who want more than the typical Tex-Mex menu but don’t want touristy upscale places)
  • (11/20):
    • Aldaco’s–20079 Stone Oak Pkwy–arrachera, cheese enchilada, puffy tacos, stuffed chile, tres leches cake (Traditional Tex-Mex but it’s upscale–in the Hill Country with a view of the city. They also say it has “solid Mexican cooking.”)
    • La Margarita –120 Produce Row–fajitas, seafood mixed platter, kid goat, chile relleno (sister restaurant to Mi Tierra–this is traditional Tex-Mex and known for fajitas)
    • Paloma Blanca–5800 Broadway St.–street tacos, fajitas, enchiladas divorciadas, and stuffed poblano pepper (in an upscale neighborhood and items such as street tacos are more expensive than most but done right)
    • Pico de Gallo–111 S. Leona–parrillada platter, kid goat, and enchiladas verdes (Tex-Mex but more tourist oriented than some other places)

Texas Highways–Best Cheese Enchiladas (2021)

  • Blanco Cafe
  • Los Barrios Cafe
  • Jacala Mexican Restaurant

Hoodline Best Tex-Mex (2019)

  1. Rosario’s–910 S. Alamo St.  No. 1 because it is the most popular Tex-Mex restaurant on Yelp.
  2. Pete’s Tako House–502 Brooklyn Ave.  Has tacos and more.
  3. Garcia’s Mexican Food–842 Fredericksburg Rd.  Has enchiladas with the tortillas dipped in red sauce, the typical San Antonio style that I remember.
  4. La Fonda on Main–2415 N. Main Ave.  Looks like Tex-Mex in all its cheesy goodness.
  5. Sancho’s–628 Jackson St.  Serves tacos and other a la carte items, but if you go at lunch they give you rice and beans along with it.

Barbecue

Texas Monthly published a list of the top 100 barbecue restaurants in Texas for 2021. The following are the ones in the San Antonio area:

Top Ten

(None in this area)

The Rest of the Best (No. 11-50)

  • 2M Smokehouse–2731 S. W.W. White Rd. (San Antonio).  Good for traditional brisket or their own creations such as sausage stuffed with serrano peppers and Oaxaca cheese. Map Thu-Sun 11-4 or sold out
  • Pinkerton’s Barbecue–107 W. Houston (San Antonio).  Brisket, “candy paint” pork ribs, and jalapeño-cheese sausage are equally good. Save room for the bread pudding. Map Sun & Wed 11-9; Thu-Sat 11-10

Our 50 BBQ Honorable Mentions

  • San Antonio:  Smoke Shack Map, South BBQ & Kitchen Map

Note: Texas Monthly is now putting more weight on “modern” barbecue that they think tastes good. For traditional BBQ they do not like brisket to be too salty or ribs to be too sweet.


Sources:

Chowhound (former web site)

Eater (San Antonio)

Gayot “2022 Best Tex-Mex Restaurants in San Antonio Area”

Hoodline “Here are San Antonio’s top 5 Tex-Mex spots”

Texas Country Reporter (Texas Best Food)

Texas Highways (Best Enchiladas in Texas) Jan. 27, 2021

Texas Monthly, Jan. 2013

Texas Monthly “The Top 50 Texas BBQ Joints 2021″ (TexasMonthly.com). Note: This is a subscription site.

TripAdvisor “Regional foods to try”

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

Yelp (San Antonio)

Zomato (San Antonio)