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Dec 1, 2013 08:45 AM

restaurant recommendations for San Antonio and surrounding area

hello - I will be travelling to San Antonio, TX with my family, 3 kids, (ages 12, 9, 7) and my husband and staying in the downtown area for 4 days. We are looking for recommendations on places to eat that aren't tourist traps. We would like to find some out of the way spots and are interested in trying out local cuisine - it doesn't have to be fancy or fussy just looking for good food and comfortable atmosphere. Tex/Mex, Mexican, BBQ etc are all fine. Any advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated. We are driving in as well so if there are any places on route or slightly off the beaten path we would be grateful to hear about them too! Thank you

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  1. Go try out Tito's, 955 S Alamo St. Good S.A. Tex-Mex at reasonable prices. Their breakfasts are pretty good. Almost anything on the Riverwalk is chancey except Fig Tree (bring your bank account with you) Drive out to La Fogata and if the weather cooperates try an outside table 2427 Vance Jackson Rd
    La Fonda is old time SA Tex Mex also. I wasn't crazy about the service the last time we were there but food is good 2415 N Main Ave

    1 Reply
    1. re: rexster314

      Thank you! We will definitely try your suggestion!

    2. The Guenther House at the old Pioneer Flour Mill (a very short drive from Riverwalk hotels) is an excellent spot for breakfast, IMO. A close second is The Magnolia Pancake Haus off West Ave. near the airport. I love Boudro's (on the Riverwalk), but the kids might enjoy Casa Rio as well. The latter seldom gets accolades for food alone, but a table right along the river is a unique dining experience. If your trip is during the holidays, the area will be magical. Out of the way and not fussy? Several that come to mind are Los Barrios, Chris Madrid's (very popular for burgers featuring Tex-Mex toppings), and Beto's (features empanadas of many sorts).

      2 Replies
      1. re: lillidalla

        Thank you very much for the recommendations - we will definitely add them to our list!

        1. re: follym

          I want to add that there are two locations of Magnolia Pancake Haus; the one we've been to is located at 606 Embassy Oaks (off West Ave. or St.); the other is on Huebner Rd. And, Beto's is also known as Beto's Comida Latina. It is on Broadway St.

      2. Driving in from where?

        One place I'd suggest you do not miss is the City Market in Luling, for some of the state's very best (and most famous) barbecue.

        Luling is about 50 miles (give or take a few depending upon where in San Antonio you are) east of San Antonio on I-10. Doesn't take more than about a half-hour to 45 minutes to get there, unless there's a lot of traffic.

        It's definitely a "do not miss." Go early in the day because they can run out of the best meats, ie most brisket, if you arrive much after about 1pm.

        It's a good stop if you're driving in or out of San Antonio from the east on I-10.

        And, if not, I'd still very strongly recommend it to you as a quick excursion from town.

        I'm over in Houston, and it's about an hour-and-a-half drive for me. And I still drive over there just to get some brisket and sausage and come back home.

        It's definitely worth it if you're in San Antonio.

        1. I recently tried a new place in Universal City called Taqueria Chalpa Jalisco.It is located on Pat Booker Road in the old Jack in the Box. Universal City is east of San Antonio,and right near Randolph Airforce Base. You can get off IH-35 and take the Pat Booker Exit,or get off at the FM3009 -Schertz exit.Go all the way down to FM 78 and turn left.Stay on 78 until you see Randolph and then turn to the right on Pat Booker .It's right by the Bill Miller's. There is also Harmon's BBQ in Cibolo and Catelano's italian food. Best way to reach both is by going FM1103 and following it down till it hits Main Street. Turn to your left and go down Main Street.Both are on your left near the railroad tracks.
          Also,in Schertz there is Abel's Diner on the access road.Just get off at one of the IH35 exits past 1103 and keep going.You go past the Walmart.It's on the right hand side.Not a lot of parking.
          There is also Bracken Cafe in Bracken ,Tx. You can get off at the 3009 exit. Then turn right and go past the Walmart.Keep going until you come to the intersection for FM2252(Nacogdoches Road) and FM3009.Turn to the left and follow Nacogdoches Rd. till you hit Bracken.there will be signs pointing which way to the cafe. You can get back on Nacogdoches and follow it into San Antonio. That's on your way here.Also on Naco (for sort) is Grumpy's.I haven't tried it or the Avocado Cafe in Bracken Village,a collection of little shops in old houses.Have heard some good things from locals I know.