San Antonio's Tex-Mex Satisfies Appetites for Best Food in the South
By Kimberly Suta
San Antonio Local Expert
In the culinary world, Tex-Mex may not be considered an art, but you can sure bet it is in San Antonio! In a city that has more Tex-Mex restaurants than Starbucks coffee shops, there is fierce competition to be the best. 10Best.com has done its job to provide you with a sample of the 10 Best Tex-Mex restaurants San Antonio has to offer, starting with the incomparable Rosario's, a local's favorite located in the arts district known as Southtown. Rosario's sister restaurant, Acenar, is also a sure thing in terms of delicious food and stylish décor for a fun evening out with friends or family.
If you're looking for pure Tex-Mex indulgence then hop on down to Southtown for Tito's, the local hole-in-the wall joint, whose Creamy Cilantro Chicken Enchiladas will having you speaking Spanish in your sleep. Jaliscos such as Dos Jalisco and Taqueria Chapala Jalisco can also be counted on to provide authentic Tex-Mex with all the flavor and heat imaginable.
If you're wanting something a bit more sophisticated for a date or special occasion, you're going to want to try La Fonda, Paloma Blanca or the previously mentioned, Acenar. All three offer taste and ambiance in equal portions. Truth be told, there isn't one restaurant on this list that you'll invariably want to re-visit time and time again. Arriba!
10 Taqueria Chapala Jalisco
Taqueria Chapala Jalisco is as good a deal as you're going to find in terms of the price and quality and authenticity of this Tex-Mex eatery. Housed in an old Pizza Hut building, they've made it their own with the bright yellow and red exterior and interior, but don't be distracted by your surroundings; you'll want to stay completely focused on the food. We recommend going in the morning for some yummy breakfast tacos -- bean and cheese and bacon, egg and potato for starters. The nachos, tacos and chalupas are also delicious. Beware, they do not skimp on the portions! You can split a plate of nachos with about three or four people unless you came with an exceptional appetite. The staff is also delightful and offers you a great opportunity to practice your Spanish! ((210) 735-5352)
9 Mi Tierra Cafe Y Panaderia
Mi Tierra might indeed be a tourist destination, but it's earned that reputation for a reason. This family-owned restaurant has been in business since 1941. It's located downtown near the Mercado, a great place to do a little shopping and pick up some trinkets for friends and family back home. They might not have the best food in town but for ambience, this is it! They're also open 24 hours a day and provide an incomparably festive atmosphere with roving Mariachi singers and Christmas lights all year long. Have we mentioned they also have a bakery? We recommend you pop in for a visit, even if it's only for some cinnamon-laced Mexican hot chocolate and a fresh pan (210-225-1262)
8 Blanco Cafe
If you're looking for the best enchiladas in town then Blanco Cafe is it, as they have been voted best enchiladas in San Antonio numerous times! If you're looking for frills and fancy presentation then this is not the place for you, but for good authentic Tex-Mex, Blanco Cafe can't be beat. You can eat yourself silly on anything from quesadillas to puffy tacos, chicken flautas, fish tacos, chile relleno, gorditas, steak ranchero, chicken fried steak, baked tilapia, chicken mole, traditional Mexican chicken soup, enchiladas verdes and more, and that's just for lunch! They offer daily specials, dinner combinations and fresh handmade tortillas. Who's ready?! (210-271-3300)
Acenar, located downtown on the Riverwalk, is a spectacularly innovative and contemporary Tex-Mex restaurant that Zagat has noted for their "killer food." Lisa Wong (who also owns Rosario's) and her partners took special care with this restaurant to ensure it could compete in style and taste with just about any other restaurant in any metropolitan city, and they did not disappoint. If you just want to check it out, they offer a Houston street-level bar called Atomar and a Happy Hour menu that's worth the walk. Although the regular menu is similar to Rosario's with a boost in price, Acenar offers items that are unique to it, such as the Buttermilk Fried Oysters, the Young Texas Goat served with Ancho Salsa Ranchera and the Duck Crepes. Looking for Tex-Mex with a twist? This is it! (210-222-2362)
6 Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine
Paloma Blanca is conveniently located in Alamo Heights and is something of an oasis, particularly on a hot summer day, with its flowering landscape and tropical palm trees. They offer much more than just an exceptional meal, they offer a relaxed, soothing environment where you can truly savor the conversation with your friends and family. Beyond the typical Tex-Mex fare, they offer dishes such as the Enchiladas San Miguel - enchiladas filled with mushrooms in a Salsa Guajillo, covered with queso fresco and served with poblano corn, white rice and Ensalada Esmeralda. Paloma Blanca is also leading the way in culinary awareness by offering a Paleo menu, complete with Paleo Tacos served on iceberg lettuce. Who says Tex-Mex can't be healthy?! ((210) 822-6151 or)
Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner this delectable Tex-Mex restaurant is a San Antonio favorite. You can expect to find all of your classics here and then some. The Nachos are amazing, as well as the Puffy Beef Tacos, Brisket and the Chicken Mole Enchiladas, for starters. If you're in a daring, mood, try the Menudo. Their breakfast plates are a great way to start your day, and if you go for dinner, you'll be sure to enjoy Mariachi's singing soulful and lively tunes. This family-owned restaurant has been around for over 30 years and you'll find out why once you take that first bite! ((210) 821-5338)
4 La Fonda on Main
La Fonda is one of the prettiest restaurants in the city, with its white stucco and gorgeous patio covered by a giant oak tree. Sipping a margarita and eating La Fonda's signature salsa that tastes as if the ingredients were picked fresh that day, you feel like you just might be in Mexico. Although this delicious Tex-Mex restaurant has all of your favorites, the level of quality that La Fonda's is known for makes the meal as guilt-free as possible. Some local favorites are the Chile Relleno, the Shrimp Enchiladas and the Fish Tacos, which comes with a zesty salad and a spicy grilled jalepeno. If you have the appetite, be sure to start the meal out right with some of their addictive queso or homemade guacamole! (210-733-0621)
3 Dos Jalisco
There are Jalisco's all over the city, to be sure, but the further away you get from downtown, particularly if you're heading North, the harder the good ones are to fine. Dos Jalisco is definitely one of the best on the North side, located near the small town of Converse, Texas. The menu is extensive, the prices very inexpensive and the flavor is everything you'd want to find in Tex-Mex. The flour tortillas are fresh and buttery, the beans and rice are packed with flavor and everything on the menu is delicious. Favorites include the enchiladas, the carne asada and the tacos al pastor. ((210) 310-1582)
Tito's is your classic hole in the wall restaurant, but it's most definitely worth a visit. Located in San Antonio's acclaimed arts district, Southtown, Tito's is the place the locals go again and again and again. They put the T in Tex-Mex with some of their signature dishes, such as the Chipotle Cream Chicken Enchiladas or their delightfully juicy Crispy Beef Tacos. This is one of the best tasting and inexpensive places you'll find in San Antonio or, possibly, even in Texas. All of the plates come with rice, beans and tortillas. It's practically guaranteed you'll leave Tito's both full and happy! ((210) 212-8226)
Rosario's, which has been around now for over 20 years, has transported itself from a local favorite to a critically-acclaimed restaurant. They have been featured in Southern Living, Texas Monthly and The New York Times, and have been listed as one of the "Top 50 Restaurants in the U.S." by Hispanic Magazine. From their Chile Relleno de Pescado (shrimp and fish stuffed poblano pepper) to their fajitas and enchiladas, there is not one thing on the menu you won't be wanting to return for again and again. They offer live music on the weekends and specialize in gigantic margaritas that are almost a meal by itself! (210-223-1806)
About Kimberly Suta
Kimberly A. Suta is a professional freelance writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur with a background in marketing, advertising and social media. Her first business, Midnight Sun Innovations, involved a partnership with Regal Cinemas, the largest theatre chain in the world. Kimberly has written, directed and produced several films that have screened at Texas film festivals and she produces an annual film competition at the popular Alamo Drafthouse theatre. She recently published her second novel, The Rain Queen, which can be found on Amazon.com. Kimberly currently lives and works in San Antonio, Texas, a place of much inspiration to her.
Read more about Kimberly Suta here.