San Antonio has always been a city that loves food. And in recent years, with places like the Pearl and its restaurants making national foodie news, the Alamo City seems to have made an unequivocal mark on the culinary map. While diners should be ready to drop at least 100 bucks to enjoy a solid dining experience in the city's finer restaurants, there is no lack of great food for a great price in San Anto.
Take Tito's Mexican Restaurant (955 S. Alamo St., 210-212-8226), for instance. This Southtown favorite is a Tex-Mex treasure. With 16 express lunch menu plates, there's no shortage of faves, like the cilantro cream enchilada and crispy beef taco plate. Or maybe you're jonesing for a burger.
Try the classic Burger Boy (2323 N. St. Mary's St., 210-735-1955). The '50s-style burger joint has a Bates Special, which includes the famous burger with crinkle-cut fries and a regular drink for $4.95.
Or maybe you're in the mood for pizza. San Antonio has too many slices to choose from when it comes to the classic pie. But in terms of penny-pinching, try Florio's Pizza (7701 Broadway, 210-805-8646). Known for New York-style pizza and a laidback atmosphere, Florio's pizzas range from small, 12 inches for $8.40 with toppings costing $1.40 apiece, to an 18-inch large pizza with toppings costing $1.90 a pop. However, it's their "Cold Italian," a gourmet sandwich stuffed with all the good stuff, like thin-sliced genoa salami, pepperoni, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion, for just $7.95.
Over at Capos Pizza (17676 Blanco Road, Suite 400, 210-362-1901), find giant slices of New York-style pizza that dives straight to your wallet's heart. Two slices of pizza and a soda costs just $4.50. While it's easy to grab a cheap bite at the wide variety of great Mexican joints, burger spots and pizza places, the Alamo City offers plenty for eaters looking to try something new.
We recommend an adventurous outing to Sichuan Cuisine (2347 NW Military Hwy., 210-525-8118). If you're feeling hungry and just need relief before choosing an entrée, try eight pot stickers for $4.95. Lunch plates like lemon chicken, beef and broccoli and sweet and sour chicken cost $6.95 and are served with steamed rice, an egg roll and a soup. Our next stop is a place you will not want to pho-get about.
Pho Sure (741 W. Ashby Pl., 210-733-8473) is a popular spot for San Antonio College students, which lends to its cheap-eats credentials. Known for, you guessed it, pho bowls, Pho Sure also offers the traditional California roll for just $4.75, which makes a great appetizer for a pho steak slice and chicken bowl that will run you $7.25.
If seafood is your jam, try Rudy's Seafood (4122 S. Flores St., 210-532-1315). The gigantic fish and shrimp combo, which includes fish, shrimp, fries, coleslaw, tartar sauce and two slices of bread costs just under $12. The daily special of two pieces of fish and three jumbo shrimp should also do the job. With so many options for Alamo City diners to choose from, sometimes the simplest course is a great sandwich.
Try The Station Cafe (108 King William St., 210-444-2200, the stationsa.com). While sandwiches are often considered boring, The Station Cafe spices them up. Take the Turkey Chupacabra, with smoked turkey, sweet and spicy chupacabra Serrano sauce on a homemade sandwich roll with melted chedder, lettuce and tomato for $4.95. Don't forget to ask about a soup or salad.
Lastly, we'd be remiss to not talk about barbecue. Great 'cue doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Over at Augie's Barbed Wire Smoke House (3709 N. St. Mary's St., 210-735-0088), $5.99 gets you a chopped barbecue sandwich. And barbecue plates — everything from brisket to pork ribs — range from $9.99 to $12.99 with two sides.