Get a taste of a San Antonio tradition at the new Lala's Gorditas, located just a few minutes south of downtown. Although the restaurant is new, these family recipes have been delighting food lovers for decades. You won't find a more delicious Tex-Mex meal for these prices anywhere else in town. Lala's starts with the freshest corn tortillas by grinding their own masa (corn meal). The menu is small but includes their famous gorditas, puffy tacos, bean rolls, guacamole cups and a couple of other handmade goodies. A few puffy tacos and a Mexican Coke and all is right with the world. Don't expect anything fancy, but if you want to eat great Tex-Mex where the locals do, then this spot should top your list! Outdoor patio seating is available or grab it and go to take to one of the nearby parks or Missions.
Recommended for Mexican because: Lala's is where you will find true traditional Tex-Mex from a family who has been making it for decades.
Kimberly's expert tip: A nice spot to hit up on a temperate day, as they only have an outdoor patio for dining.
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: La Gloria is a popular restaurant located along the riverwalk with inexpensive Mexican street food.
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.
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: You can get breakfast all day!
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: Order the Lisa's Special plate, which has been a local's favorite for years.
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.
Mixtli is so much more than just a satisfying meal, it's truly a journey of the spirit and senses. Owners Diego Galicia and Rico Torres, also chefs, have developed a unique dining experience they're calling "progressive Mexican culinaria," which is unlike anything in San Antonio, perhaps even in the U.S. The duo know how to make great food, that's a fact, but what's more enticing is they know how to entertain you. If food were live theater, Mixtli would be a hit Broadway show. Everything is made from scratch, and they source many of their ingredients locally, although some ingredients are imported from Mexico and South America, such as their cocoa beans. Mixtli, which means cloud in the Aztec language of Nahuatl, represents the ever-changing cuisine. The emphasis is on Mexican food that celebrates traditional ingredients and cuisine, just like their ranching grandmothers used to make, yet much more refined.
Recommended for Mexican because: Mixtli offers diners an exciting taste of Mexico they can't get anywhere else, perhaps in the entire world.
Kimberly's expert tip: With a new location in Southtown, there's even more to love here.
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: Acenar is the downtown hot spot for Mexican food and great margaritas!
Kimberly's expert tip: Dine on the expansive patio overlooking the River Walk, for a beautiful view of the river.
Casa Rio has long been a tradition and a favorite for many families in San Antonio. The restaurant holds the distinction of being the first business to open its doors on the River Walk. This occurred back in 1946 not too long after World War II. Additional history tells us that the restaurant sits on land first granted a title by the King of Spain in 1777. Casa Rio serves delicious Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine but many do not know that the restaurant also provides riverboat dining on the San Antonio River. With a reservation, guests board a river barge during lunch, dinner or cocktail hours and spend about an hour dining as their riverboat captain takes them up and down the San Antonio River. While you munch on scrumptious enchiladas and sip your margarita you enjoy sights and sounds galore. Casa Rio often provides Mariachi singers so your dining experience will be one of the most memorable and musical.
Recommended for Mexican because: Being one of the oldest Mexican restaurants in town, this restaurant has truly survived the test of time.
Kimberly's expert tip: Casa Rio is a festive option if you're looking to dine along the River Walk!
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 jalapeno. If you have the appetite, be sure to start the meal out right with some of their addictive queso or homemade guacamole!
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: You will not regret ordering the fish tacos, along with a margarita, of course!
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 40 years and you'll find out why once you take that first bite!
Recommended for Mexican because: Panchito's is a tried-and-true Mexican restaurant serving up affordable, delicious fare.
Kimberly's expert tip: They also have a restaurant on the southwest side of town!