Mexican Delights in the Taco Town of San Antonio

San Antonio may not be the city that never sleeps but it is, in fact, the city that always eats! For the best Mexican food this side of the border, you've come to the right place! We know you can't eat all the tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and nachos on offer, but you can try. Here's where to start!

If you want to go old school, Rosario's has been a staple of San Antonio for a very long time. Located in the Southtown Arts District, this iconic restaurant is known for their giant margaritas and exceptional Tex-Mex cuisine. You simply can't go wrong here, although they do serve up some pretty amazing Enchiladas Suizas - two chicken-filled enchiladas topped with a sweet, white wine cream sauce, a dab of crema fresca and white cheese.

If you like to venture off the beaten path, Cascabel's is a one of a kind family-owned restaurant that serves central Mexico-style dishes, served with corn tortillas and black beans rather than the more ubiquitous flour tortillas and pinto beans. Go for breakfast and lunch - it's affordable, delicious scratch fare made with love! 

For a fiesta-like atmosphere that all the visitors enjoy, check out Mi Tierra. Located downtown in the Market Square, it has a fun vibe that's perfect for a celebration or just a little taste of San Antonio. 


La Gloria
Photo courtesy of La Gloria

Located along the gorgeous north extension of the river walk at the famous Pearl Brewery, La Gloria has earned a name for itself as a vibrant cantina that serves traditional Mexican street food. Renowned chef, Johnny Hernandez, truly made a name for himself with La Gloria. He's known for his ability to bring the rich, diverse flavors of Mexico to life in America. The extensive menu is full of delights you would normally find among the street vendors, taquerias, and kitchens of interior Mexico. La Gloria also has a lovely outdoor seating area with scenic views of the river. Inexpensive and perfect for large parties and festivities with friends and families, this eatery has become a favorite for locals and visitors alike. The best part is, if you don't get your fill, you can grab a bite to eat at their airport location on your way home!

Recommended for Mexican because: Located at the Pearl Brewery, La Gloria is a great place to taste a little bit of authentic Mexico.

Kimberly's expert tip: Can't get enough? Try one of Chef Hernandez' other restaurants in the city, including the new Burgerteca and La Fruiteria.

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Hearty, simple Mexican fare that's reasonably priced makes this laid-back dining room a popular choice. They have been voted the best enchiladas in San Antonio five times in a row, and that's saying a lot for a city that prides itself on the most amazing Tex-Mex in the United States. If you're looking for serious classics, from fideo to puffy tacos and fajitas, that will satisfy every time, this is it! Their homemade recipes are what have kept them going since 1974. One of the best perks of Blanco Cafe, definitely not your typical tourist destination, is that they serve breakfast all day long.

Recommended for Mexican because: Some people in San Antonio swear by Blanco Cafe's enchiladas. The only way to know is to try them!

Kimberly's expert tip: Known for their traditional cheese enchiladas! They've been voted the best five times in a row!

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Azuca Nuevo Latino Restaurant & Bar
Photo courtesy of Azuca

Azuca Nuevo Latino is not just a restaurant and bar, but an experience. It's a local's favorite for their happy-hour mojitos and caipirinhas. Located just south of downtown in San Antonio's arts district, Azuca offers fantastic drinks you can't find anywhere else in town in a vivid and vibrant atmosphere. Their outdoor patio makes you feel like you're vacationing in some tropical location and not only minutes from downtown. As for the food, Azuca's dishes are an exotic synergy of delicious flavors from South and Central America with Chef Rene's innovative touch, including a wide array of seafood options, including some scrumptious ceviche! The bar area is separate from the restaurant, and on Friday and Saturday nights, you can enjoy their electrifying live music of Salsa and Merengue until your feet get tired.

Recommended for Mexican because: Azuca focuses on a broader spectrum of Latin flavors but offers a lot of options that will leave you happy and satisfied.

Kimberly's expert tip: Chef Rene is known for his incredible Paella, made with seafood, chicken, pork, sausage and vegetables with perfectly-cooked saffron rice.

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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!

Recommended for Mexican because: Tito's is a neighborhood hole in the wall with some of the best fideo and enchiladas in the city.

Kimberly's expert tip: Their rich, hearty fideo always hits the spot!

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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?!

Recommended for Mexican because: Great Mexican food may not be hard to find, but Paloma Blanca elevates it.

Kimberly's expert tip: Paloma Blanca is one of the few Mexican restaurants in town that has a dedicated gluten-free and Paleo menu.

Read more about Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine →

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!

Recommended for Mexican because: Located along the riverwalk, Acenar offers great Mexican food and a spacious patio with a few of the river.

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to ask to sit outside on the patio that overlooks the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk.

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La Fonda is the oldest Mexican restaurant in San Antonio. Established in 1932, the restaurant has served at least two American presidents (Teddy Roosevelt and Lyndon B Johnson). However, their primary focus is on serving the city of San Antonio and the locals love this place! The restaurant serves Tex-Mex as well as interior Mexican foods. In a casual atmosphere with colorful decorations, diners relax and enjoy themselves. From the Espinaca Omelet to Migas La Fonda, you will find the perfect Tex-Mex brunch here. You'll also find traditional sides in the form of hashbrowns and a fruit cup available. However, make sure to ask to sit outside on their patio and don't forget to order a margarita!

Recommended for Mexican because: La Fonda is a tradition in San Antonio because it serves up some of the best Mexican food in town.

Kimberly's expert tip: The fish tacos are a must, but be sure to ask for some avocado on top. Perfecto!

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Cascabel is one of the best-kept secrets in San Antonio and sports a wonderful outdoor patio with umbrella-covered tables. It's different than every other Mexican restaurant in the city because it features regional specialties from interior Mexico. You won't find the ubiquitous refried pinto beans here or even flour tortillas. Cascabel serves everything with thick yet soft homemade corn tortillas and refried black beans that have an exceptional amount of flavor. If you want to try something unique, order the Birria, which is a rustic goat stew. If you want to play it safe, order the Huaraches, which are corn tortillas smothered in refried black beans, shredded cabbage, your choice of meat, a spicy red chile sauce and sour cream. Cascabel will stimulate your palette without over-stimulating your bank account!

Recommended for Mexican because: Cascabel is a quaint little eatery with authentic interior Mexican food, a region of the country that is not often featured in San Antonio.

Kimberly's expert tip: This quaint and quirky little restaurant is great for breakfast too. Try the Mexican hot chocolate or the Cafe de Olla. There is nothing else like it!

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Mi Tierra Cafe Y Panaderia
Photo courtesy of Mi Tierra

Mi Tierra is unique in that it never closes. Open 24/7, it offers a variety of menu options for all different times of the day. When you are looking for breakfast, this is one of the best places to go! Breakfast in San Antonio isn't breakfast without breakfast tacos! Mi Tierra knows this and delivers amazing fare to delight your taste buds. Whether you are looking for papa con huevo or carne asada breakfast tacos, Mi Tierra has it. You can also choose from other great San Antonio breakfast choices 24 hours a day. So if you are in the mood for menudo or Machacado (Mexican omelet), it is going to be available.

Recommended for Mexican because: Mi Tierra is a fun place to go to get the full Mexican experience!

Kimberly's expert tip: If you want a Tex-Mex spin on eggs, try the Huevos a la Mexicana. If you have more of a vegetarian taste, go for a plain potato taco with salsa â€" Yum!

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King William District

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!

Recommended for Mexican because: A favorite Mexican restaurant in San Antonio, Rosario's has stood the test of time.

Kimberly's expert tip: Ask for the off-menu Lisa's Special to get a taste of what the local's love.

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Meet 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,...  More About Kimberly