22 Family-Owned Restaurants in San Antonio You Should've Already Tried
If you're all about supporting mom-and-pop shops (literally), you may want to make it a point to visit these family-owned restaurants where lots of members are involved in keeping the business running.
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Los Barrios Mexican Restaurant
4223 Blanco Road, (210) 732-6017, losbarriosrestaurant.com
Viola Barrios came to San Antonio from her hometown of Bustamante, Mexico, a handful of family recipes in tow. In 1979, she opened Los Barrios in order to provide for her children. Though the restaurant and Barrios matriarch was murdered more than a decade ago, her legacy lives on through Los Barrios, La Hacienda de los Barrios and Viola’s Ventanas, which all serve a wide variety of delicious Mexican dishes, including its TV-famous puffy tacos.
Photo via Instagram / losbarriosrestaurant
205 E Guenther St, (210) 227-1061, guentherhouse.com
Though Pioneer Flour Mills may be a major, yet still homegrown, corporation today, it began as a familian venture. The Guenther House is proof of that family, as the riverside restaurant operates out of the one-time home of founder Carl Hilmar Guenther. Stop by for brunch and expect a menu full of American and Tex-Mex fare alike.
Photo via Instagram / rehnsfoodventure
La Focaccia Italian Grill
800 S Alamo St, (210) 223-5353, lafocaccia-italian-grill.com
Luigi and Dolores Ciccarelli first opened the former Luigi’s Italian Restaurant on San Pedro in 1972. After 24 at that business, Luigi decided to open another – La Focaccia in the King William District. In its two decades in business, the Italian spot has earned a reputation for serving classic dishes and house specialities such as the linguine pescatora, veal saltimbocca focaccia and more.
Photo via Instagram / redskins.queen
Ray’s Drive Inn
822 SW 19th St, (210) 432-7171, raysdriveinn.net
Proud to be the “home of the original puffy taco,” Ray’s Drive Inn opened its doors in 1956. Originally owned by Raymond H. “Ray” Lopez, the West Side landmark younger brother Arturo Lopez plus his wife and kids took over the restaurant in the ‘80s. The restaurant owns the registered trademark to the “puffy taco,” so you know they mean business. Good food is obviously a family trait, as another Lopez brother, Henry, owns Henry’s Puffy Taco.
Photo via Instagram / erikaslife365
4122 S Flores St, (210) 532-1315, rudysseafood.com
Though perhaps best known for its ever-growing collection of Spurs murals on its exterior, Rudy’s Seafood has remained a South Side staple since it opened in 1964. At the time, the Ramirez family used their little savings, plus charisma and heart, to create a seafood spot that is now a destination for lots of locals.
Photo via Instagram / 2fader3hader7
5718 Evers Road, (210) 706-9700, moroccanbitestagine.com
After surviving Hurricane Katrina and moving to Texas, owner Latifa Ghafai decided to bring Moroccan cuisine to San Antonio in hopes of sharing the beauty of the culture with the community. With the help of her children, Ghafai’s Leon Valley restaurant offers a variety of dishes from the cuisine, made with organic fruits and vegetables as well as halal meat.
Photo via Yelp / Kathy M.
Little Italy Restaurant & Pizzeria
824 Afterglow St, (210) 349-2060, littleitalysatx.com
Venture to this old-school spot and discover NYC-style pizza, pasta and other Italian dishes – plus lots of wine. Originally from Palerma, the capital of Sicily, the Visocaro family brings authentic Italian flavors to the Alamo City. The family first landed in New York City, but moved to Texas for warmer temperatures. In 1983, the family opened its doors at Little Italy. The founding couple – Angelo and Poala, have since passed down the family recipes to their children Enzo, Dominick and Marisa, who all have their part in the business.
Photo via Instagram / littleitalysatx
Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia
218 Produce Row, (210) 239-9215, mitierracafe.com
Mi Tierra needs no introduction. Pedro and Cruz Cortez opened a three-table cafe in 1941, serving farmers and workers in the mercado. The rest, they say, is history. The now-famous landmark has seen much success, being a go-to for locals and tourists alike. That has success has prompted La Familia Cortez Restaurant group to open other restaurants, including Pico De Gallo, Viva Villa, La Margarita, Mariachi Bar and other upcoming projects.
Photo via Instagram / sugar_alice
La Fonda on Main
2415 N Main Ave, (210) 733-0621, lafondaonmain.com
A local mainstay since opening in 1932, La Fonda on Main continues to be a force to be reckoned with. Serving classic Tex-Mex as well as interior Mexican fare, the restaurant was purchased by Cappy and Suzy Lawton in 1997. Does Cappy sound familiar? It should, ‘cause the Lawtons also own Cappy’s Restaurant as well as Cappyccino’s. The Lawton’s son Trevor also serves as their partner and business manager.
Photo via Instagram / comfort.foodie
Silver Star Cafe
4901 S Flores St, (210) 922-8961, silverstarsa.com
A South Side staple since it opened more than 55 years ago, Silver Star Cafe is a family-owned joint serving traditional Chinese dishes as well as American bites. The strip-mall eatery offers daily lunch specials that will fill you up without breaking the bank, so you supporting this local business is a no-brainer.
Photo via Instagram / simplyraulmaya