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Fantastic hole-in-the-walls in San Antonio and in Austin?

I'm going to be in San Antonio for one week and in Austin for two days. What are the best, authentic, inexpensive hole-in-the-wall restaurants in those towns? I want great, cheap food of any kind. Talk to me, you Texans!!

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  1. How hole-in-the-wall do you want? I am going to leave it to San Antonians to cover that area but for breakfast tacos and a true south-Austin experience, check out Maria's Taco Xpress and for lunch check out Rosita's Al Pastor taqueria on Riverside in Austin. For good company, cheap beer and good bar food, Billy's on Burnett is a good option. If you are a GB Packer fan, seek out the owner. Also, another great bar and burger place is Casino El Camino on 6th Street - one of the only places on 6th I will ever go. Also love the Parlour for pizza - the original location is on North Loop and there is another now on Guadalupe. Try Juan in a Million for the Don Juan taco and a huge handshake from Juan. Trust me, you should go. Threadgill's is a good option, but not so hole in the wall anymore. If you drink coffee, go to Jo's on Congress and if you eat ice cream, go to Amy's - lots of places in the city. All these you can look up online. Austin is great. No disrespect to San Antone, but you might want to try to spend more time in Austin if you can; lots of good food and good music. Have fun.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rebeccaj

      La Fogata? Sweetheart, I lived in Mexico for a few years and have eaten once at La Fogata. Once. It's typical Tex-mex. Not Mexican and not very good at that. You want good Mexican food in Austin, or anywhere for that matter, try Manuel's in the Arboretum or La Fonda San Miguel. The food is authentic Mexican and delicious.

      1. re: bugmenot

        I disagree. I think the food is great, in a restful, peaceful setting. If only the place were farther from the street. . . .

    2. Well..not to dis the first poster, but I am originally from San Antonio, and moved to Austin a couple of years ago. Now..granted there are a lot of wonderful places to eat in Austin, but that is one thing you will seriously miss if you don't eat at lots of places in San Antonio..the MEXICAN food. I'm sorry, but there is really no where in Austin that does up the Mexican food like San Antonio. Now..in San Antonio, I would definitely recommend La Fogata. Not really a hole in the wall, but a really wonderful place to go. Mexican Manhattan, which is downtown, and has been there for a thousand years..much more hole-ish. There is a hamburger joint that people love called Chris Madrid's. There are so many places here in Austin and in San Antonio. But I will say what Austin does in music, San Antonio makes up for in Mexican food.

      1. My favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican joints in SA are Guajillos (410 & Blanco) and Mendez Cafe (off southcross and barholemew on the SW side). Search this board for more info on these two.

        1 Reply
        1. re: saeyedoc

          Have to agree with you that Guajillos is pretty good. Not great but good.

        2. You might want to post this on the Austin board, as well.

          1. For great home cooking, diner food you have to got to go to Tip Top Cafe on Fredericksburg Rd. Awesome! There is always a line. We went at 11 and beat the crowds. Reserve your pie when you sit down. It has been there for decades. It has been featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. http://tiptopcafe.com/

            Go the Market Square for touristy but fun meal. Don't miss the best San Antonio souvenier--pecan pralines from Mi Tierra!

            1. I am going to try this one more time. My first 3 would not save! You gotta try Tip Top Cafe on Fredericksburg Rd. Awesome home cooking/diner food! You must reserve your pie when you sit down. There is usually a line. We go at 11 and avoid the line. The onion rings are legendary. It has been featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. http://tiptopcafe.com/.

              Also go to the touristy Market Square for Mexican at Mi Tierra. Good food, margaritas and great fun. The best souvenier is the pecan pralines from their bakery.

              Second Chris Madrids for burgers. Try the one with the refriend beans and chips on it! Awesome! http://www.chrismadrids.com/

              1. Chris Madrids for a really excellent Burger. The tostada burger is my all time favorite burger anywhere.

                1. I don't know about cheap but the original Hoffbrau Steaks sure has the no-frills atmosphere that I appreciate.

                  Hoffbrau Steak
                  613 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

                  1. For Asian, try Pacific Moon. Hwy 281@ Brook Hollow exit. Awesome.

                    1. Ok y'all are gonna think I'm crazy, but years ago there was this tiny biker bar near Randolph AFB that had the best thai food in San Antonio. The name is completely escaping me. The bar's owner was a former air force man and his wife, the cook, was thai. I hope its still open.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: simply_victoria

                        I think the place was called Blackie's .It was on E.Aviation on the left had side as you go towards the Kon Tiki Apartments and head towards Schertz. The building still serves Thai food, but I don't know if it has the same owners. There is a Thai place right across the street called Thai Oh? I think which has a lunch buffet but haven't tried it yet.Haven't tried Bangkok Thai Cusine on Pat Booker up next to Check N'Go by the old Albertson in Live Oak, but it is supposed to be very good. Nor have I tried MeKeni, at the corner of Pat Booker and KittyHawk. They have a website and it is owned by the people who own ChockDe oriental market and has mainly a buffet of food from the Phillipines.

                        1. re: HollyDolly

                          I gues the Pig Stand could be considered a hole-in-the-wall (San Antonio).

                      2. There's a little place in San Antonio that has recently moved from the near west side to Southtown which is famous for it's enchiladas. Casbeer's (now Casbeer's at the Church) is now at 1150 South Alamo in the King William area. Their cheese enchiladas with chili-meat sauce have won city-wide honors in the past. The cheeseburgers are nothing to sneeze at, either. They feature live music several nights a week, and occasionally have national talent appear. Terri Hendrix is there this Saturday.

                        1. Try the Lord's Kitchen in SA amazing burgers.

                          1. We recently visited with similar desires.

                            Have to second Chris Madrids as hole in the wall with good burger. Not sure the tostada burger is that much different than cheese burger, but still good. Great atmosphere.

                            Hot donuts (Original Donut Shop) was also cool. Good breakfast tacos, but wish I had done one of the breakfast platters.

                            2 Bros BBQ was also very good. And location is very different so would think it might qualify as hole in the wall. Smoked Jap poppers were freaking great.

                            Have fun.