I lived in San Antonio for about 10 years, most of it working in construction, so we ate at a lot of different mexican restaurants. For my money, the best place I found was Panchito's in Olmos Park. Don't mistake it for Pancho's, which is a buffet, and an entirely different experience.
For the record though, you can't lose with any of the above restaurants. I will add one note, if you are on the move and in a hurry, it's hard to beat the fajita dinner at Las Palapas, which I would choose over the ubiquitous Taco Cabana any day, no contest, hands down. (both are 24 hours, for other late night eats Chachos and Mama Margies are pretty good.)
Las Palapas is great!! Not every Las Palapas is created equal, but the worse Las Palapas is better than the average Taco Cabana. I am a die hard Taco Cabana fan. I remember them in their hay day, but have noticed a lack in quality the past few years. Las Palapas still has that family owned feel which TC has lost. I have not found a Las Palapas location I did not like, but I have found myself driving out of my way to visit their Blanco location more often than not. Even though its 25 extra minutes than the 1604/I35 location; the family that owns the restaurants home base seems to there, and the staff acts as such. The owners holds great pride in quality of both product and service and it shows at the locations most under their eyes. If you haven't been to that location and you love cheap and fast 24 hour mexican food, but desire high quality that location shouldn't be missed.
you mean the Churchill Las Palapas with the "Charger Special"!!
Actually-- the Las Palapas up off Boerne Stage Road- just south on the IH10 access road is a favorite-- beautiful view on the patio (well-- very nice view of Dominion and the highway below you--) and great folks that run it!
of course, love the food-- nothing too fancy-- just consistently good mexican plates!
Check out Habanero's Grill for the best burrito you have ever had. Their tortillas are made in house, everything is fresh, and they even make their own delicious salsas. I recommend a hearty chicken on white (cilantro lime rice, black beans, chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese) and you can add guac, queso, salsa, etc. if you like. I usually add medium salsa which is their own fire roasted salsa. I also add honey jalapeno salsa from their salsa bar. Top it off with a margarita (they add everclear) and you will leave extremely full and have a slight buzz, all for about $10.
May not be the mexican you were looking for, but Chipotle and FreeBirds can't hold a candle to this place. They are located on West Ave. near Embassy Theatres and also in The Rim.
I wish we would stop thinking of one restaurant being the best..I love breakfast tacos and I have my favorite shop for those. Likewise I have different shops for Huevos Ranchers the way I love them, another for Menudo, enchilads, and so on. Thats the beauty of San Antonio, so many good places to eat.
Taqueria Los Dos Laredos
4703 Rigsby Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78222-1213
I go here for breakfast tacos...they have the three taco deal.
I get the bacon and egg taco with more bacon than egg. with roasted salsa.
3 big tacos and a coke for under $4.50.
They have other good meas at very good prices.
2702 Roosevelt Avenue, San Antonio, TX
My favorite place for Enchilads...3 cheese enchis, rice, beans, and salad...tortillas for under $5.00... they used to cost $2.85 a plate a few years back
9756 Southton Road
San Antonio, TX 78223-4833
My favorite for Huevos Ranceros. Most places give you the eggs and some beans...they still have the roasted potatos and a meat(bacon or ham) or carne guisada or barbacoa. I really like their ranchero sauce...full of veggies. good corn and flour tortillas. They have more than 20 different breakfast fillings, like chicharones or winnie with egg, Kielbasa sausage guisado(country guisado).
remember there are different sausages and here's how to order them...
chorizo con egg- mexican sausage with egg
country with egg- diced kielbasa with egg
sausage with egg- pork sausage (jimmy dean style) with egg
Rocky's Taco House
1302 Cupples Road, San Antonio, TX
I go to rockys for the menudo...its very good and fresh...this must be the place, Because I see people eating menudo, caldo de Res and de Pollo all the time...
so the product moves and fresh is the norm...They are open late night so they get all those late night folk.
For late night...out on the town places...I like The Agave, The Pan American, and Dos Perdo.
Aldaco's in the Sunset Station has the best T'lapeno soup in the universe. Your hot taste buds will thank you. Also, at this time of the year, they make a really mean mole. Their gorditos (get the beef ones) are a treat. If you are downtown, take the trolley to any/most of the restaurants mentioned in the posts. It's the easiest way
Enjoy the Riverwalk, but the food along there is, for the most part, really ordinary.
re: dg tx
I don't think that any long-time San Antonio residents would tell you that Mi Tierra has the "best Mexican food" in the city. But that said, it can be pretty darn good. And while it's true that it's touristy, it's also a lot of fun. It's undoubtedly the most-famous Mexican restaurant in town, if not the most-famous restaurant, period.
When you tell folks that you went to San Antonio, they'll ask if you went to Mi Tierra. So sooner or later, you'll have to go there. Might as well make it now.
The family will love it. You'll have a grand time. It's a San Antonio original. A landmark. An institution.
Don't miss it.
I like Mi Tierra for many reasons. The food is solid Tex Mex, off the chart great drinks (the bartenders have been around a long time and know their craft well), plus the fun touristy aspect.
I maintain my favorite Mexican in San Antonio is my friend David Perez who lays claim to the holiday this past Monday, Perezidents Day.
Try La Fogata on Vance Jackson Highway. I've visited San Antonio many times, but only have a tourist's knowledge of the restaurant offerings. When I was there for a seminar I asked the locals for their recommendation and it was La Fogata, hands down. It's a stunningly beautiful place. Everything I've tried there has been great, including the mole, and they have some fabulous margaritas.
Mostly stay away from Downtown, unless you like watered down tourist food. La Fonda on Main avenue has a good mole so does Picante Grill on Broadway across from the Witte Museum. For the best Mexican food in san antonio, drive west on commerce from downtown across a bridge that goes over some rail road tracks, there are a ton of good hole in the wall mexican joints and always be on the look out for taco trucks they are amazing. The area is relatively safe in the day time, it just looks run down.
If you are not that familiar with mexican food a restaurant like Rosario's near downtown, in the King William district, would be a good choice. Check them out online.
For a little Upscale Tex-Mex try La Hacienda de Los Barios...
If you're based Downtown try real beef Fajitas at La Margarita...perfect time of year to dine outdoors and people watch. The tortillas and Fajitas are old school good...no fusion here.
These are not the "best" places to eat, but they are easily accessed, moderately priced, locals eat here because the food is good.
If I could also make a sugguestion, for breakfast, have some Breakfast tacos, handmade flour or corn tortillas filled with all sorts of egg and meat combos. different from a breakfast burrito, a burrito has a mix of a whole lot of stuff...a breakfast taco is filled with your choice of fillings. Most restaurants have more than 20 fillings,
Eggs scrambled with your choice of bacon, potatos, pork sausage, mexican chorizo, kielbasa sausage, refried beens, cheese, dried beef, pork rinds And thats just starting with the eggs.
ask around, ask the hotel staff where they eat.people love to tell you where to get a good taco.