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February 14, 2020 Slideshows » Food & Drink

Legitimate Mexican Restaurants in San Antonio You Should Have Tried By Now 

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Ask for a recommendation for a good Mexican restaurant — not Tex-Mex — within the San Antonio Restaurants group on Facebook and people will be up in arms. So, we gathered the restaurants that these group members generally agreed upon could be trusted for finding "real Mexican food." (Their words, not ours.) While these local spots may not have a menu completely avoiding Tex-Mex, you'll be able to find dishes inspired from various parts of Mexico.
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Tlahco Mexican Kitchen
6702 San Pedro Ave, (210) 455-0135,
Consider Tlahco one of the Alamo City’s best-kept secrets. Tacos dorados with chicharron y mucho mas are worth a try, as are its take on sopes, topped with chorizo and spicy potatoes. A parrillada platter presented over a charcoal brazier offers evening splurge opportunities.
Photo via Instagram / culturespoon
5251 McCullough Ave, (210) 338-0746,
An innovative space meets regional Mexican fare, which is served from a changing menu that always includes pre-Hispanic cooking techniques and avant-garde cuisine. Each menu is accompanied with drink pairings, which means you’ll be able to eat and drink your way through Mexico. Make a reservation soon if you’re dedicated to tasting the creative goodness here.
Photo via Instagram / thehilmyoffice
Carnitas Lonja
1107 Roosevelt Ave,
Good things are worth waiting for, and Carnitas Lonja is proof of that. The hole-in-the-wall exterior may throw you off, but the carnitas — available by the pound, or in a taco or torta — here will seriously change your life. Take the long ass line as all the proof that you need to eat here.
Photo via Instagram / popeofbbq
Guajillo's - The Shortcut to Mexico
1001 Northwest Loop 410, (210) 344-4119,
When they say “shortcut to Mexico,” they’re not kidding. Here you’ll be able to truly taste the flavors of Mexico City, as the inventive menu is styled in the regional fare. Just let the birria sopa or cochinita pibil do its thing so you can understand why this spot is regarded as a gem. And yes, there’s a full bar.
Photo via Instagram / hectoralex
La Perla del Pacifico
7911 Culebra Road, (210) 973-7600,
If Mexican seafood is more your thing, then you should already know about this Culebra Road spot. If you don’t, consider this a sign that you need to head to La Perla to feast on a tostada de ceviche (pescado o camaron) and the mariscoco ay Mazatlan. You’ll definitely want to go all out here.
Photo via Instagram / senzao_fotografia
Birotes Tortas Ahogadas
3004 W Martin St, (210) 375-5230,
While tortas aren’t exactly hard to come by in SA, there isn’t an overload of places that make them as good as this gem. Aside from its namesake, Birotes Tortas Ahogadas also serves a generous portion of huarache, chilaquiles and sopes for you to enjoy. Don’t forget to treat yourself to some churros!
Photo via Instagram / birotesahogadas
Taquitos West Ave
2818 West Ave, (210) 525-9888,
Sure, we all know that Taquitos West Ave is sinfully delicious, but did you know just how legit this spot is?! Foodies in the know consider this taquito spot — which offers a steady lineup of meats — to be just as authentic as a vendor you would find in Mexico. So no need to drive down and cross the border, just indulge at this local favorite.
Photo via Instagram / sanantoniomunchies
El Siete Mares
3831 W Commerce St, (210) 436-6056,
This no-frills spot in downtown lets you enjoy all the Mexican seafood you want. They don’t play around with their menu either, offering dishes such as camarones montados, ancas de rana, lambada and salmon al piquin. You won’t be able to eat seafood the same after dining here.
Photo via Instagram / elsietemaressa
La Capital del Sabor
502 Bandera Road, (210) 200-8901,
This tiny building may not look like much, but it’s La Capital del Sabor — no, really. It totally lives up to its name, bringing robust flavors to your plate. The huarache verdugo and pretty much any of the tortas will awaken your taste buds in a way you didn’t know you needed them to be. They even have pambazo and café de olla!
Photo via Instagram /
Pollos Asados Los Norteños
4642 Rigsby Ave, (210) 648-3303,
Ever wondered why this East Side spot is so damn tasty? It’s because the flavors are completely legit here. Juicy chicken and all the fixings await you, and it’ll satisfy your pansita every single time.
Photo via Instagram / feedingfusco
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El Marinero
1819 McCullough Ave, (210) 465-9178,
Forget the ambiance, El Marinero comes through with some of the best Mexican-style seafood in the city. Choose from inspired dishes like the botana de pulpo, molcacampechana, camarones a la Veracruzana and the mariscoco. And yes, you can down it all with a cerveza or margarita if you wish.
Photo via Instagram / safoodbites
Birrieria y Taqueria Ay Arandas
2426 Culebra Road, (210) 888-1010,
This deep orange building may catch your attention as you drive down Culebra, but the menu will keep you coming back once you venture inside here. Taquitos and birria, what more could you ask for?
Photo via Instagram / taqueriaybirrieriaarandas
Sabor CocinaBar
4331 McCullough Ave, (210) 314-7760,
Mexican staples await you at Sabor CocinaBar. From its new location, you’ll be able to indulge in the flavors of San José De Gracia, Michoacán and Guadalajara, the cities close to owner Federico Guillen’s upbringing. The chile relleno and tostadas compuestas are reliable tried-and-true favorites.
Photo via Instagram / saborcocinabar
Paloma Blanca
5800 Broadway St #300, (210) 822-6151,
First opened in 1997, Paloma Blanca has been giving locals a break from Tex-Mex for some time now. Botanas, ceviche, enchiladas — it’s all up for grabs here. There’s even paleo and gluten-free options for eaters with more delicate diets. Stop by for happy hour to see what’s up.
Photo via Instagram / sanantoniomunchies
El Bucanero
Multiple locations,
With three restaurants in the Alamo City, it’s not hard to get your fix for Mexican-style seafood at El Bucanero. While there’s lots on the menu — both seafood and not — you’ll feel silly if you don’t order up some ceviche. It’s just that good.
Photo via Instagram / milan__hart
Pollos Asados El Carbonero
619 S General McMullen Dr, (210) 907-5573,
Juicy chicken and tender fajitas await you at this buzzy eatery. Half chicken or a whole chicken, fajita or ribs — no matter what you order, it’ll hit the spot and be damn delicious. Go for the parrillada if you’re really trying to party.
Photo via Instagram / elcarboneropolloycarne
RO-HO Pork & Bread
8617 N New Braunfels Ave, (210) 800-3487,
Now serving customers from its new location, RO-HO still keeps it real with its tortas. Choose from carnitas or buche, or even a vegetarian option if that’s more your speed. There’s also the delicious “chilakillers” that are so good you’ll excuse the dad joke. You’ll likely be head over heels here, so be sure to take some fresh birote home with you.
Photo via Instagram / atxfoodee
Vida Mia Mexican Cuisine
19141 Stone Oak Pkwy #803, (210) 490-2011,
Head to this Stone Oak eatery to take in some real-deal Mexican bites. Albondigas soup, asada de puerco, tampiquena and some out-of-this-world chilaquiles — you can find it all here.
Photo via Instagram / 210foodaddicts
Palenque Grill
15900 La Cantera Pkwy, (210) 592-9534,
Located at La Cantera, Palenque Grill should be a no-brainer the next time you’re shopping in the area. Though technically a chain, the restaurant doesn’t disappoint if you’re on the prowl for authentic Mexican dishes — especially if you order one of the six parrilladas on the menu. If you have a soft spot for spicy dishes, consider the cortadillo.
Photo via Instagram / wolf_warrior_hilly
Las Islas Marias
1527 Hillcrest Dr, (210) 435-2000,
The flavors of the Mexican Pacific coast are ready to be devoured as Las Islas Marias. This local restaurant will transport you to the sea with its robust menu, especially with the variety of shrimp and oyster dishes. Seriously, bring your appetite, y’all.
Photo via Instagram / sherryroseoftexas
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Las Sabrosas de Guanajuato
6825 San Pedro Ave, (210) 785-9211,
This restaurant may not look like much on the outside, but the menu will more than impress you. The moyete with carnitas and enchiladas mineras will totally hit the spot, as well as just about anything else served up here. If you have an antojo for anything in particular, satisfy it here.
Photo via Instagram / joeyyeatts
La Fonda on Main
2415 N Main Ave, (210) 733-0621,
Though it’s changed hands over the years, La Fonda on Main has remained a constant since opening in 1932. While Tex-Mex can be found on the menu, this eatery also has options spotlighting interior Mexican fare. Yep, we’re talking enfrijoladas oaxaqueñas, arrachera al Guajillo and trucha divorciada.
Photo via Instagram / hmendoza99
El Chivito Tortas Ahogados
204 Crossroads Blvd, Balcones Heights, (210) 369-9638,
If you have a hard time choosing between the torta ahogada, taco dorado or taco de birria, just take it as a reason to come back for more of this goodness (although we totally understand if you order more than one). Just remember to down it all with a Mexican Coke.
Photo via Instagram / snapawaysa
La Fogata
2427 Vance Jackson Road, (210) 340-1337,
If you’re into a festive ambiance, you’ll appreciate the space at La Fogata. Expect classic Mexican cuisine and margaritas made however you like. The tacos al carbon are always dependable, which makes sense since the tender fajita steak is cooked to perfection on the flamed grill.
Photo via Instagram / 210pandabites
Tlahco Mexican Kitchen
6702 San Pedro Ave, (210) 455-0135,
Consider Tlahco one of the Alamo City’s best-kept secrets. Tacos dorados with chicharron y mucho mas are worth a try, as are its take on sopes, topped with chorizo and spicy potatoes. A parrillada platter presented over a charcoal brazier offers evening splurge opportunities.
Photo via Instagram / culturespoon

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