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

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)

 

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