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Authentic Mexican and/or good hole in the wall restaurants in San Antonio?

A friend and I are visiting San Antonio this coming weekend for the first time. We're really excited! I've been doing some research and it seems as though "Mi Tierra" is a must to try. Anything else? I'd love to try REAL Mexican food, as opposed to the stuff they serve in most so-called 'Mexican' restaurants (Of course, that food is good too..I've just heard there's a major difference between what Americans know as Mexican food, and what authentic Mexican really is)...but really, any awesome hole-in-the-wall restaurants would be cool. I'm looking for less tourist-like, more local-type restaurants. I appreciate any suggestions! :)

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  1. I would love to help steer you into a couple of directions, but could I ask what would be some of the types of dishes you are looking to try and what is your dining schedule?

    Is this for a breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, or Late Night service? There are many good restaurants that keep different hours. Some restaurants do a fantastic breakfast and lunch service and are closed at 2:30 pm. Some resturant dont open till 11:00 am. Some do a great Late Night service, while others are open all day and some are 24 hours.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SAguy

      Well, we're going to be there Saturday afternoon through Monday afternoon. So we need a couple of places to eat breakfast at, a couple lunch places, a couple dinner places. Honestly, I'm open for any and all suggestions. I know in my hometown, there are a few locally owned restaurants that we always send people to whenever someone visits for the first time - that's kind of what I'm looking for. Anything that is a "must-try" for San Antonio first-timers. :)

    2. Cascabel Mexican Patio
      1000 South Saint Marys Street, San Antonio, TX

      Excellent authentic mexican - no greasy tex mex plate here.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mollyeats

        Thanks!! We'll check it out! :)

        1. re: mollyeats

          Here a tought, Mexico is only 150 miles from San Antonio, why not go there and skip the greasy San Antonio Fair?

          1. re: SAguy

            Haha, that IS an option, but seeing as we'll only be there for barely 2 days, I don't know how we'd squeeze that in. Maybe next trip. ;)

            1. re: emilylester

              What types of breakfast dishes do you know that are either Texan or Mexican? Plus what side of town will you be staying and visiting?

              Cascabel is a great choice for non Tex-mex, but im not sure they are open for breakfast. Right down the street on Presa St there is an San Antonio institution
              Taco Haven. Great breakfasts
              1032 South Presa Street
              San Antonio, TX 78210-1360
              (210) 533-2171

              Right down the street is the OL School...El Mirador
              722 South Saint Marys Street
              San Antonio, TX 78205-3435
              (210) 225-9444
              elmiradorrestaurant.com‎
              take a look at their menu online

              There are other good restaurants right in this same area that i sure others will suggest.

              Welcome to San Antonio

          2. re: mollyeats

            I second Cascabel as being one of the only non tex-mex restaurants in town. I do enjoy Mi Tierra and La Margarita for their ambiance in the mercado though.

          3. Cielito Lindo http://www.cielitolindorestaurant.com/ upscale, but not expensive, Mexico City influenced, very popular with Mexian Nationals.

            Guajillos http://www.guajillos.net/index.html More of a hole in the wall, always filled with Mexican Nationals, owners are from Mexico City

            Mendez Cafe- too much of a hole in the wall for a website. It's off of Southcross near Lackland AFB, search for directions. Get whatever the special of the day is. The tortillas and refried beans are amazing.

            1 Reply
            1. re: saeyedoc

              We were just in SA a few weeks ago & my in laws who are Mexican took us to Cielito Lindo & it was great. I was nervous when I first saw it b/c I thought it was another strip mall "authentic" Mexican restaurant but gave it the benefit of the doubt since Tia Betty knew the owners. Everything was great & very authentic according to the 4 Mexicans at our table.
              We went to Mi Tierra the last time we were in SA & my husband refused to eat there b/c the food wasn't really authentic. We ended up eating at a Spanish (I believe) restaurant on the Riverwalk & it was really good.

            2. Wow, you guys are all AWESOME. We'll be staying downtown near the Alamo and taking public transportation or taxis to get around. I'm hoping we'll be able to hit up at least a few of these places. Thanks so much!!!

              3 Replies
              1. re: emilylester

                Unfortunately, all of my recs are not very close to DT. Taxis could get expensive, no pubilc transportation that would be worth your time I don't spend any time near the riverwalk, perhaps someone else can suggest places closer to there.

                1. re: emilylester

                  casabels, Taco haven, El miridor, mi tierra and La Margarita are all close to Downtown in the South Town area... accessible by Via Trans or walking. Take public trans and walk in the day and taxi at night.

                  Right at the Corners of S.St Mary's , S. Presa St. and Alamo is more great restaurants...a great Itlian grill...La Foccacia's, right next door is Rosario's. This area is called South Town its right next to the King Willian District. There are also some new Bistros in the area and some new cool places for cocktails.

                  1. re: SAguy

                    i dont know if this qualifies as authentic but i love cafe blanco for breakfast and or lunch.

                2. Thanks everyone!! I'm going to have a hard time narrowing down this huge list!! We're only there for 2 days though and we can only eat so many meals ;)

                  Thanks again for all your input!