help! where should I eat in san antonio?

Last year, I called on Shelterrific readers to point me towards the best food in New Orleans. I ate like a queen during my trip (I’m still dreaming about Café du Monde) and so now I’m hoping to tap into your fabulous culinary expertise again. This March, I’m fleeing the chilly Chicago city limits and heading south to the land of legendary brisket for my first ever trip to Texas. I’ll be spending most of my time in San Antonio and one day in Austin. Help me out, y’all: where should I eat?

From our partners

We live in Austin and take frequent weekend trips down to San Antonio. For food: although it’s not Tex Mex, try Boudros on the Riverwalk. It’s where the locals go on the Riverwalk. Mi Tierra near El Mercado is fun, and they have a good bakery to pick up some traditional pastries. On our last trip we visited the San Antonio Museum of Art, which is in the historic Lone Star Brewery complex. Neat building, and we were impressed by the collection. Have a great trip!


My in-laws are in San Antonio, so we’re there a lot. Unfortunately, all my restaurant faves are on the outskirts of the city (El Chapparal in Helotes). I did want to tell you that you should do the boat tour on the riverwalk. It looks touristy, but we hopped on one this year and it was REALLY interesting. And a lovely ride. I also love Chuys in Austin.


I was born and raised in San Antonio and miss the Mexican Food terribly! Like Sarah said, try Mi Tierra…it is fabulous! If you are with someone who knows thier way around the city, have them take you to El Tipico. It is on the Southside of SA (not the best part of town but not dangerous either) and has been there for YEARS. I will be in SA in April and cannot wait to eat there again! If you like Italian then Paisano’s is the way to go. They have a dish called Shrimp Paisano that is to die for!! Hope this helps!


I second Boudro’s….I’m still dreaming about their guacamole. Mi Tierra is also fabulous! And open 24 hours a day. Rosario’s on Alamo is really good and for cupcakes try Kate’s Frosting.

In Austin, do not miss Uchi or Uckiko (the food- sushi/asian–is amazing. Pricey, but so, totally worth it. If you can swing the tasting menu, do it).
In San Antonio (where I live), I’d go for The Monterey:, Liberty Bar (delicous lamb dishes, burgers, and other fun stuff):, Dough (for pizza): For Barbeque try Two Bros, for Mexican, I like La Fonda on Main (but it might just be their cactus margarita that does it for me). I also love The Cove ( for local, fresh food- burgers, salads, fish tacos.
I agree with the above poster that the riverwalk boats are worth a ride, and would also encourage you to check out Southtown (artsy district). Have fun!


The zagat results :)

The results of our 2012 Texas Restaurants Survey are in! Read more about the results here: and check out an EXCLUSIVE look at some of the top results below:

Top Food: San Antonio
1. Bistro Vatel –
2. Sorrento –
3. Bohanan’s –
4. Dough –
5. Silo –

Top Food: Houston
1. Da Marco –
2. Chez Nous –
3. Mark’s –
4. Pappas Bros. –
5. Nino’s –

Top Food: Dallas/Ft. Worth
1. Saint-Emilion –
2. Lucia –
3. French Room –
4. Bijoux –
5. Pappas Bros. –

Top Food: Austin
1. Uchi –
2. Louie Mueller –
3. Barley Swine –
4. Snow’s BBQ –
5. Carillon –
6. Franklin BBQ* –

(* Indicates tie with above)


I live in San Anto and I gotta say skip Mi Tierra. It’s a tourist trap with mediocre Tex-Mex for gringos. Here are some of my favorites:

Breakfast Tacos:
El Milagrito
Taco Haven
Rolando’s Super Tacos

Mad Hatters
Candlelight Coffee House (weekends only for brunch, but also great for late night wine and cake)

The Station Cafe
Green (vegetarian)
The Cove

The Monterey
Dough Pizzeria
La Frite
La Fonda on Main
Liberty Bar

The Friendly Spot
Ocho Lounge
The Esquire


If you can get out to Driftwood (it’s about halfway between San Antonio and Austin), The Salt Lick BBQ is amazing! It’s BYOB so grab some Shiner Bock for the table- I’ve ever seen people roll kegs in. :)


The Salt Lick in Driftwood is an absolute must!! I live in DFW and will make the 3 hour drive just for the Salt Lick. Seriously, make time and eat there on your drive from San Antonio to Austin!


I second Taco Haven — spent 24 hours in San Antonio last year and it was the best breakfast I’ve ever had!

As for Austin, also second Salt Lick; it’s a must. We also tried a place called Moonshine for dinner in the city — adorable and delicious.