Best Tex-Mex in San Antonio

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Tex-Mex in the Alamo City!

San Antonio is Tex-Mex and probably the best you'll find in the Lone Star State! 

While we recommend exploring the local mom-and-pop taquerias, the city is rife with top Tex-Mex restaurants, starting with Rosario's, which has been around for three decades. Located in the Southtown Arts District and also on the Northside, Rosario's has solid Tex-Mex dishes that satiate any cravings you may have, starting with their scrumptious enchiladas. The enchiladas verdes and enchiladas suizas are popular and tasty choices. Start your meal off right with one of their prickly pear margaritas and a plate of bean and cheese nachos. Is your tummy growling yet? 

Next, Paloma Blanca, located in the affluent Alamo Heights neighborhood is a great option for a more fine dining experience. They also have a lovely patio for al fresco dining. With a dedicated gluten-free menu, great staff and a beautiful interior dining room, Paloma Blanca provides an overall wonderful Tex-Mex experience. The shrimp tacos or Chile Rellenos are an ideal choice, as well as the Tacos Al Pastor, which are made with a traditional marinated pork, pineapple, onions and cilantro. Arriba! 


Mi Tierra Cafe Y Panaderia
Photo courtesy of Mi Tierra

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 ambiance, 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

Recommended for Tex-Mex because: Mi Tierra is probably the oldest and most well-known Tex-Mex restaurant and a tourist favorite at Market Square.

Kimberly's expert tip: Go during the week to avoid the long wait.

Read more about Mi Tierra Cafe Y Panaderia →

San Antonio
Lala's Gorditas
Photo courtesy of Lala's Gorditas

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 Tex-Mex because: Lala's is the epitome of what Tex-Mex should be... delicious, inexpensive and filled with love, and lots of cheese, of course!

Kimberly's expert tip: You simply cannot leave without trying one of their bean and cheese rolls. They're addictive!

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El 7 Mares
Photo courtesy of Kimberly A. Suta

Imagine kicking back with a cold cerveza and a magnificent plate of fresh, bright shrimp and octopus ceviche marinated in lime juice and mixed with pico de gallo, avocado and Serrano peppers, the sound of the ocean waves lapping against the sand in the distance. Now, imagine you can have all that flavor right here in San Antonio and you've stepped into the world of El 7 Mares, a family-owned Mexican Seafood restaurant just a few miles west of downtown. The homemade family recipes are exceptional and the staff amazingly friendly. It's no wonder they've been around for 20 years and recently made Texas Monthly's top 50 Mexican restaurants list, a huge honor for this unassuming yet delightfully charming restaurant. Locals love the Filete a lo Macho made grilled tilapia with a creamy octopus and shrimp sauce, bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with crab and mozzarella and aguachiles with shrimp and scallops. Yum!

Recommended for Tex-Mex because: El 7 Mares has stood the test of time for their Mexican seafood offerings.

Kimberly's expert tip: Honestly, no matter which dish catches your fancy, you can't go wrong at El 7 Mares, but we love the Molcajete de Camarones - shrimp, grilled panela cheese and grilled cactus simmering in a hot stone mortar filled with the most delicious savory tomato and tomatillo sauce!

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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 Tex-Mex because: Casa Rio is one of the premiere Riverwalk restaurants, and one of the hot spots if you're looking for Tex-Mex with a view.

Kimberly's expert tip: Casa Rio is a great choice if you're looking to dine along the Riverwalk!

Read more about Casa Rio Mexican Restaurant →

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 Tex-Mex because: Acenar is a highly-rated and popular downtown Tex-Mex restaurant that has been around for over a decade now.

Kimberly's expert tip: Acenar has a beautiful view of the Riverwalk from their patio.

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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 Tex-Mex because: Paloma Blanca is an award-winning and top-notch restaurant located in one of the best neighborhoods in San Antonio.

Kimberly's expert tip: They have a beautiful and spacious patio for outdoor dining.

Read more about Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine →

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 Tex-Mex because: Rosario's is a very successful and well-known Tex-Mex restaurant in San Antonio.

Kimberly's expert tip: Try the Griselda's Tacos for something familiar yet uniquely Rosario's.

Read more about Rosario's →

Photo courtesy of Panchito's

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!

Recommended for Tex-Mex because: Panchito's is a local favorite with a long history of serving Tex-Mex in San Antonio.

Kimberly's expert tip: They also have a restaurant at Zarzamora.

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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 Tex-Mex because: La Fonda's is a family-owned Tex-Mex restaurant and won't disappoint any traveler. Known for more healthier options than most.

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to visit on a nice day and request patio seating, along with an order of their fresh, yummy guacamole!

Read more about La Fonda on Main →

San Antonio
Carnitas Lonja
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Located just south of Southtown, Carnitas Lonja may be off the beaten path, but it's most assuredly a path you want to go down. Although this "hole in the wall" is unassuming, it has earned tons of praise for their incredible food. There are not a lot of options here, but that's probably why it's so good. They hone in on what they do best and have perfected the art of carnitas. This is a family-owned business and they specialize in making the traditional dish of Michoacan-style carnitas using fresh daily ingredients. You can bet they throw in a bit of Texas flair to make this dish uniquely San Antonio. With fresh corn tortillas made from a mixture of corn nixtamalizado, juicy pork carnitas and perfectly-crafted accoutrements such as pico de gallo, pickled onions and salsa, this makes for one terrific meal to remember.

Recommended for Tex-Mex because: People come to San Antonio looking for the best Mexican and Tex-Mex and Carnitas Lonja delivers on that promise!

Kimberly's expert tip: Grab some carnitas to go and take a tour of the nearby missions!

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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