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October 22, 2021 Slideshows » Food & Drink

24 essential San Antonio diners, dives and neighborhood spots for comforting eats 

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There's nothing like fall weather to trigger cravings for comfort food, whether that be gravy-smothered chicken fried steak, homey and warming fideo or Italian-American lasagna in red sauce. Hey, they all fit the bill.

Whatever your craving, San Antonio's got plenty of neighborhood spots that serve up cozy, comforting food and get it right. Consider these 24 dependable spots go-tos when you need stick-to-your-ribs fare to nourish both body and soul. 
OF 24
Tony G's Soul Food
915 S Hackberry, (210) 451-1234,
It’s hard to find a Sunday brunch that beats authentic Southern comfort food accompanied by live jazz music. Tony G’s is a crowd favorite for a reason, after all.
Photo via Instagram / tonygssoulfood
Earl Abel’s
1639 Broadway, (210) 444-9424,
It’s nearly impossible to say "no" to Earl Able’s award-winning fried chicken and desserts, so be ready to leave feeling stuffed.
Photo via Instagram / earlabelssa
Fidelo’s Mexican Restaurant
10929 Nacogdoches Rd, (210) 655-8737,
Although you can’t go wrong with just about anything on the menu, Fidelo’s breakfast tacos are a crowd favorite for locals and visitors alike.
Photo via Instagam /
Fratello’s Deli & Market
Multiple locations,
Sometimes, nothing warms the heart better than freshly-made lasagna. Fratello’s also has extensive pasta and sandwich menus sure to satiate any diner.
Photo via Instagram / fratellos_satx
Three Star Bar
521 E. Grayson St.,
Good food, drinks, arcade games, and dad jokes - what could make the “okayest bar on Grayson St” any better? Spend the evening out on their advertised average-size deck as you sip on your drink of choice and indulge in great bar food.
Photo via Instagram / s.a.foodie
Max & Louie's Diner
226 W Bitters Rd Suite 126, (210) 483-7600,
Just as every New York diner should, Max & Louie’s menu of breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts is enough to keep you coming back for all three meals a day. Whether you go for pancakes, a reuben, or their coveted BFS (burger, fries & shake), there’s no wrong order.
Photo via Instagram / s.a.foodie
Garcia’s Mexican Food
842 Fredericksburg Rd, (210) 735-5686,
In search of Mexican comfort food? Look no further than Garcia’s, whose enchiladas and fideo loco are sure to hit the spot.
Photo via Instagram / eatdrinkandberichard
De Wese's Tip Top Cafe
2814 Fredericksburg Rd, (210) 732-0191,
Open since 1938, De Wese’s has perfected their menu over three generations of serving San Antonians. Grab a seat in their old-school diner, enjoy some classic comfort food and prepare to finish off the meal with one of their irresistible pies.
Photo via Instagram / binkilee30
Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar
2895 Thousand Oaks Dr., (210) 509-9999
After just opening this July as a second culinary venture by Sichuan House owner Kristina Zhao, Dashi Sichuan Kitchen has already made its mark as a local favorite for wining and dining. Stop by for happy hour drinks, or bring the family along for family-style dishes made to share.
Photo via Instagram / sichuaneats
Magnolia Pancake Haus
Multiple locations,
Magnolia Pancake Haus is a first-choice breakfast destination for locals, and one trip there will be convincing enough. You can’t go wrong with their titular pancakes, but their menu is full of gems to keep you coming back for more.
Photo via Instagram / timdisaster
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Mama’s Cafe
2442 Nacogdoches Rd, (210) 826-8303,
Mama’s Cafe offers classic Southern comfort food in an old-fashioned diner setting Wednesday-Sunday. Stop by for a brunch of biscuits and gravy, or relax over a dinner of their Texas Meat Loaf.
Photo via Instagram / 2hungrygals
Bar Loretta
320 Beauregard St., (210) 757-3607,
Who said elegance and comfort had to be separate? Bar Loretta’s full-service restaurant, bar and market proves that the two make a great pair, serving authentic local and global flavors out of their 100-year-old building in the King William Neighborhood.
Photo by Richard Casteel of Dandelion Gatherings for Bar Loretta
Chatman’s Chicken
1747 S WW White Rd, (210) 359-0245,
Who would’ve known that getting to fried food heaven meant looking no further than the East side? A quick glance at Yelp is enough to tell you that there’s no wrong choice from the menu, so you’re bound to head back for more.
Photo via Instagram / mt.calories
1001 Northwest Loop 410, (210) 344-4119,
Whether you’re craving authentic Mexican food or a twist on the classics, Guajillo’s isn’t called a “shortcut to Mexico” for nothing.
Photo via Instagram / agave_monster
Bobbie’s Cafe
6728 S Flores St, (210) 923-1158,
Now operated by his son, Bobbie’s Cafe has been “cookin’ with love” since 1972. Their homestyle meals are sure to make you feel, well, at home, with a range from Tex-Mex dishes to killer burgers and fish plates.
Photo via Instagram / bobbiescafe
Ma Harper's Creole Kitchen
1816 N New Braunfels Ave, (210) 226-2200,
Look no further for authentic New Orleans creole cooking than Ma’s, whose gumbo is a hit for New Orleaners and Texans alike. Ma’s is only open Friday-Sunday, so plan your trip accordingly — you may even meet the 92 year-old Ma herself, if you’re lucky.
Photo via Instagram / datzitdatzall
Biff Buzby's Burgers
12702 Toepperwein Road, Live Oak, (210) 590-2040,
Biff Buzby’s fresh beef patties and house-made sourdough buns ensures good food and a good time. If you want a show with your meal, make it in time for “Friday Night Cruisin” for a family-friendly classic car show.
Photo courtesy of Biff Buzby’s Burgers
Armadillo’s Texas Style Burgers
Multiple locations,
Known for their specialty Texas-sized 1 ½ pound and 3 pound burgers, Armadillo’s is sure to satisfy even the biggest of appetites. Don’t worry, they have regular-sized burgers too.
Photo via Instagram /
Ida Claire
7300 Jones Maltsberger Rd, (210) 667-2145,
Ida Claire dishes out Southern-inspired cuisine with a modern twist, from the classic chicken and waffles to pecan smoked pork chops and duck nachos. Plus, they make their own gin. What’s not to love?
Photo via Instagram / idaclairesa
B & B Tamales
866 W Mayfield Blvd, (210) 921-0847,
A Southside staple since 1983, you can’t go wrong with B & B’s specialty pork and bean and jalapeño tamales. Just be sure to get there early enough before they run out.
Photo via Instagram / eatdrinkandberichard
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Josephine Street
400 East Josephine St, (210) 224-6169,
Walking distance from the Pearl, Josephine Street’s mouthwatering menu offers options that satiate any diet. You can’t go wrong with a basket of their iconic cornmeal-based onion rings or, as their sign suggests, steak and whiskey.
Photo via Instagram / josephine_street
M.K. Davis Restaurant
1302 N Flores St, (210) 223-1208,
Nothing warms the soul quite like some hot gravy. What started in 1956 as some picnic tables and ice-cold beers is now a San Antonio classic whose food and atmosphere remain true to their family roots.
Photo via Instagram / adamicecold3000
NOLA Brunch & Beignets
720 E Mistletoe, (210) 320-1572,
Chef Pieter Sypesteyn brings his love for his hometown’s cuisine to San Antonio, a love that’s shared by the weekend rush that’s willing to wait for a seat. Enjoy beignets, cajun boudin chilaquiles and other modern takes on New Orleans and breakfast favorites.
Photo via Instagram / nola_brunchsa
La Sorrentina
3330 Culebra Road, (210) 549-0889,
This hidden gem on the West side is well worth the wait. Get your Italian food fix with lasagna and pasta dishes that’ll keep you full for days — just be sure to save some room for the tiramisu.
Photo via Instagram / la_sorrentina_
Tony G's Soul Food
915 S Hackberry, (210) 451-1234,
It’s hard to find a Sunday brunch that beats authentic Southern comfort food accompanied by live jazz music. Tony G’s is a crowd favorite for a reason, after all.
Photo via Instagram / tonygssoulfood

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