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A ceramic plate with two short ribs slathered in brown sauce, a bushel of greens, three small peppers, and three colorful sauces.
Beef short ribs from Best Quality Daughter.
Best Quality Daughter

13 Essential Restaurants in San Antonio

A brief guide to dining in the city ranging in price, style, and cuisine

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Beef short ribs from Best Quality Daughter.
| Best Quality Daughter

When it comes to dining in San Antonio, the city is an evolving blend of old and new. Time-honored neighborhood restaurants and casual mainstays are the backbone of San Antonio’s food landscape, and unlike some larger cities, these classics manage to coexist with the influx of burgeoning fine dining establishments.

Whether it’s puffy tacos, green curry, fried fish, or smoked brisket, there’s a little something for everyone in the Countdown City. In recent years, mixed-use developments like the Pearl have become sites for restauranteurs looking to make an impact in San Antonio, and many have been successful in achieving those goals. Still, residents and frequent visitors remain loyal to the “puro San Anto” homegrown restaurants that make the city so unique.

As with all businesses, be sure to call ahead to make sure each business is still open or if there are updates on current offerings and service models, as things are changing constantly. Wear a mask, tip well, and if you’re ordering delivery, try to order directly from the businesses themselves.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Original Donut Shop

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3307 Fredericksburg Rd
San Antonio, TX 78201
(210) 734-5661
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On any given day, the drive-thru line at Original Donut Shop extends onto the street, and during peak hours, it can even lead into the parking lot of the adjacent Texaco. What brings people far and wide to this bakery and taqueria? Simple answer: the toasted bean and cheese tacos. Sure, everything on Original Donut Shop’s menu shines, like its wide variety of specialty doughnuts, but the toasted bean and cheese (with or without bacon) is a Fredericksburg Road delicacy. Orders are placed online, and the restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor services.

2. Las Nieves Fruit Cups & More

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1118 W Hildebrand Ave
San Antonio, TX 78201
(210) 785-0601
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Las Nieves Fruit Cups & More on Hildebrand Avenue is one of the best places to go for a frozen chamoy-covered mangonada on a hot summer day. The lime green building has a wall menu featuring photos of its many raspa, piccadilly, and mangonada variations. Additionally, the snack stand offers an assortment of fresh fruit cups, Italian ice, and savory bites, like the timeless classic corn in a cup. Recently, the shop expanded to have a location on Thousand Oaks Drive, which offers the same wide selection. All Las Nieves locations have outdoor dining options.

3. Taqueria Datapoint

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1702 W Gramercy Pl
San Antonio, TX 78201
(210) 733-1323
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San Antonio has taquerias on nearly every city block, but Taqueria Datapoint is one that locals will venture outside their neighborhoods to frequent. The mini tacos, served with all the fixings, are a fan favorite, and the breakfast plates like the chilaquiles come stacked with sides like beans and papas. Though the beloved Medical Center location remains shuttered following a 2020 fire, Datapoint has two other locations that stay open later than the average taqueria. The Gramercy location is open till 12 a.m. and the De Zavala location is open till 11 p.m., and both have indoor dining options.

4. Singhs Vietnamese

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Mary's, 2803 N St Mary's St
San Antonio, TX 78212

After a car crashed into Singhs during Summer 2021, the restaurant is back to doing what it does best, serving up its full menu of Vietnamese dishes, including bahn mi, bún, and goi. No stop would be complete without trying the Winghs — fried chicken wings tossed in spicy Thai chili butter. Pickup and delivery orders are placed online, and the restaurant is open for indoor dining.

5. Curry Boys BBQ

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2334 N St Mary's St st
San Antonio, TX 78212
(210) 320-0555
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Combining Texas barbecue and Southeast Asian curries, Curry Boys BBQ became an instant hit when it opened on the St. Mary’s Strip in the fall of 2020. The small, very pink business seamlessly pairs two distinct cuisines with the Brisket Smoke Show dish, which features tender slices of smoked brisket slathered with green curry served over a bed of rice and potatoes. There’s no indoor dining space for Curry Boys as of yet, but it has plenty of shaded picnic tables for diners to sit and eat. Additionally, orders can be placed online ahead of time.

6. Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery

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136 E Grayson St #120
San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 455-5701
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Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery is almost synonymous with the Pearl, the ever-expanding upscale food and shopping complex just north of downtown. Under the direction of chef Jeff Balfour, Southerleigh brings southern comfort food with a coastal flair to its seasonally rotating menu. The pressure-fried chicken is a constant, especially paired with the restaurant’s tangy tiger sauce, and the fried snapper throats are a must-try. Pickup and delivery orders are placed online, and the restaurant is open for indoor and patio service.

A red plate with a blue rim and “Southerleigh - May Our Paths Cross” printed on the side. The plate has two fried snapper throats and two sauces.
Fried snapper throats at Southerleigh.
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery

7. Mi Roti

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Bottling Department food hall at, 312 Pearl Pkwy Building 6
San Antonio, TX 78215

A collaboration between chefs Nicola Blaque of one of Eater’s restaurants of the year 2019 and Lionel “Butch” Blache, Mi Roti takes a choose-your-own-adventure approach to Caribbean cuisine. The restaurant’s highly customizable menu includes numerous toppings and perfectly seasoned protein options, like jerk chicken and curry chickpeas, making Mi Roti a popular stop at the Pearl’s Bottling Department Food Hall. Orders are placed online, and the restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor service.

A bowl filled with white rice, green roasted brussel sprouts, cucumber slices, red onions, and seasoned chicken with green onions on top.
A rice bowl from Mi Roti.
Mi Roti

8. Best Quality Daughter

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602 Avenue A
San Antonio, TX 78215

Best Quality Daughter began in 2018 as a series of pop-ups to spotlight female Asian chefs in San Antonio. Since then, co-owners Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin and Quealy Watson (Tenko Ramen) have transitioned the pop-up into a physical restaurant at the Pearl. With items like curry shrimp fried rice, thick noodle short rib, and Taiwanese fried shiitake mushrooms, the restaurant creates creative, specific dishes and presents them in a familiar way. The boozy boba tea is a standout option that fully represents the restaurant’s light-hearted sensibility, with drink names like “I Used to Live in Thailand” and “My Husband at the Time.” Orders are placed online, and the restaurant is open for indoor and patio service.

9. Rebelle

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The St. Anthony Hotel, 300 E Travis St
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 352-3171
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Seated inside the historic St. Anthony’s Hotel, Rebelle is an upscale seafood restaurant with a luxurious, cool atmosphere that simply works. While Rebelle is probably best known for its decadent seafood towers, make no mistake: the chefs can prepare one heck of a rib-eye. The seven deadly sins-inspired cocktail list is another menu highlight, and the restaurant’s bar also offers a number of classic libations, which are very affordable during happy hour. Reservations can be made on OpenTable.

A white plate resting on a marble countertop with a seasoned seared steak, a buttery lobster tail, and a roasted out of focus red pepper.
Steak and lobster from Rebelle.
Rebelle

10. Ray's Drive Inn

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822 SW 19th St
San Antonio, TX 78207
(210) 432-7171
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Ray’s Drive Inn has been serving the westside quick and tasty Mexican favorites since the 1950s, but the restaurant gained national attention after owner Arturo Lopez introduced the iconic puffy taco to the menu. A true drive-in, Ray’s allows customers to order and enjoy the plump, fried corn tortilla tacos, topped with lettuce, tomato, and cheese by request, from the comfort of their cars. Additionally, Ray’s now offers an online preorder option.

A trio of crispy fried puffy tacos on a platter from Ray’s.
Puffy tacos from Ray’s Drive Inn.
Bill Addison/Eater

11. Rosario's Mexican Cafe Y Cantina

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910 S Alamo St
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 223-1806
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Though many restaurants have come and gone in Southtown, Rosario’s Mexican Cafe Y Cantina is still going strong after 29 years of business. With its colorful lounge aesthetic, Rosario’s is a step up from casual dining, making it a great place to grab frozen margaritas and plate of nachos to share while catching up with friends and family. The fish tacos and the enchiladas Mexicanas are some of Rosario’s dinner standouts. Orders are placed online, and the restaurant is open for indoor and patio service.

12. Rudy's Seafood

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4122 S Flores St
San Antonio, TX 78214
(210) 532-1315
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Rudy’s Seafood has been a mainstay of the south side since it first opened in 1964. With feed-the-family combo options, Rudy’s is known for its ample helpings of fried fish, shrimp, and oysters, which come with tartar sauce, lemon slices, bread, and a giant serving of fries. Pickup orders can be placed over the phone, and the restaurant is open for indoor dining.

A plate with fried shrimp, fries, two green jalapeños, and two yellow lemon slices.
A fried shrimp plate from Rudy’s Seafood.
Rudy’s Seafood

13. 2M Smokehouse

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2731 S WW White Rd
San Antonio, TX 78222
(210) 885-9352
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Barbecue is the essence of Texas dining, and 2M Smokehouse is the best that San Antonio has to offer on that front. Whether ordered by itself or in a sandwich, the brisket is a full-on flavor and textural experience that explains why the line is always out the door. Other menu highlights include smoked turkey breast, chicharoni macaroni, and Maria’s beans, which are available by the gallon. The smokehouse is open for some indoor and outdoor dining.

1. Original Donut Shop

3307 Fredericksburg Rd, San Antonio, TX 78201

On any given day, the drive-thru line at Original Donut Shop extends onto the street, and during peak hours, it can even lead into the parking lot of the adjacent Texaco. What brings people far and wide to this bakery and taqueria? Simple answer: the toasted bean and cheese tacos. Sure, everything on Original Donut Shop’s menu shines, like its wide variety of specialty doughnuts, but the toasted bean and cheese (with or without bacon) is a Fredericksburg Road delicacy. Orders are placed online, and the restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor services.

3307 Fredericksburg Rd
San Antonio, TX 78201

2. Las Nieves Fruit Cups & More

1118 W Hildebrand Ave, San Antonio, TX 78201

Las Nieves Fruit Cups & More on Hildebrand Avenue is one of the best places to go for a frozen chamoy-covered mangonada on a hot summer day. The lime green building has a wall menu featuring photos of its many raspa, piccadilly, and mangonada variations. Additionally, the snack stand offers an assortment of fresh fruit cups, Italian ice, and savory bites, like the timeless classic corn in a cup. Recently, the shop expanded to have a location on Thousand Oaks Drive, which offers the same wide selection. All Las Nieves locations have outdoor dining options.

1118 W Hildebrand Ave
San Antonio, TX 78201

3. Taqueria Datapoint

1702 W Gramercy Pl, San Antonio, TX 78201

San Antonio has taquerias on nearly every city block, but Taqueria Datapoint is one that locals will venture outside their neighborhoods to frequent. The mini tacos, served with all the fixings, are a fan favorite, and the breakfast plates like the chilaquiles come stacked with sides like beans and papas. Though the beloved Medical Center location remains shuttered following a 2020 fire, Datapoint has two other locations that stay open later than the average taqueria. The Gramercy location is open till 12 a.m. and the De Zavala location is open till 11 p.m., and both have indoor dining options.

1702 W Gramercy Pl
San Antonio, TX 78201

4. Singhs Vietnamese

Mary's, 2803 N St Mary's St, San Antonio, TX 78212

After a car crashed into Singhs during Summer 2021, the restaurant is back to doing what it does best, serving up its full menu of Vietnamese dishes, including bahn mi, bún, and goi. No stop would be complete without trying the Winghs — fried chicken wings tossed in spicy Thai chili butter. Pickup and delivery orders are placed online, and the restaurant is open for indoor dining.

Mary's, 2803 N St Mary's St
San Antonio, TX 78212

5. Curry Boys BBQ

2334 N St Mary's St st, San Antonio, TX 78212

Combining Texas barbecue and Southeast Asian curries, Curry Boys BBQ became an instant hit when it opened on the St. Mary’s Strip in the fall of 2020. The small, very pink business seamlessly pairs two distinct cuisines with the Brisket Smoke Show dish, which features tender slices of smoked brisket slathered with green curry served over a bed of rice and potatoes. There’s no indoor dining space for Curry Boys as of yet, but it has plenty of shaded picnic tables for diners to sit and eat. Additionally, orders can be placed online ahead of time.

2334 N St Mary's St st
San Antonio, TX 78212

6. Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery

136 E Grayson St #120, San Antonio, TX 78215
A red plate with a blue rim and “Southerleigh - May Our Paths Cross” printed on the side. The plate has two fried snapper throats and two sauces.
Fried snapper throats at Southerleigh.
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery

Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery is almost synonymous with the Pearl, the ever-expanding upscale food and shopping complex just north of downtown. Under the direction of chef Jeff Balfour, Southerleigh brings southern comfort food with a coastal flair to its seasonally rotating menu. The pressure-fried chicken is a constant, especially paired with the restaurant’s tangy tiger sauce, and the fried snapper throats are a must-try. Pickup and delivery orders are placed online, and the restaurant is open for indoor and patio service.

136 E Grayson St #120
San Antonio, TX 78215

7. Mi Roti

Bottling Department food hall at, 312 Pearl Pkwy Building 6, San Antonio, TX 78215
A bowl filled with white rice, green roasted brussel sprouts, cucumber slices, red onions, and seasoned chicken with green onions on top.
A rice bowl from Mi Roti.
Mi Roti

A collaboration between chefs Nicola Blaque of one of Eater’s restaurants of the year 2019 and Lionel “Butch” Blache, Mi Roti takes a choose-your-own-adventure approach to Caribbean cuisine. The restaurant’s highly customizable menu includes numerous toppings and perfectly seasoned protein options, like jerk chicken and curry chickpeas, making Mi Roti a popular stop at the Pearl’s Bottling Department Food Hall. Orders are placed online, and the restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor service.

Bottling Department food hall at, 312 Pearl Pkwy Building 6
San Antonio, TX 78215

8. Best Quality Daughter

602 Avenue A, San Antonio, TX 78215

Best Quality Daughter began in 2018 as a series of pop-ups to spotlight female Asian chefs in San Antonio. Since then, co-owners Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin and Quealy Watson (Tenko Ramen) have transitioned the pop-up into a physical restaurant at the Pearl. With items like curry shrimp fried rice, thick noodle short rib, and Taiwanese fried shiitake mushrooms, the restaurant creates creative, specific dishes and presents them in a familiar way. The boozy boba tea is a standout option that fully represents the restaurant’s light-hearted sensibility, with drink names like “I Used to Live in Thailand” and “My Husband at the Time.” Orders are placed online, and the restaurant is open for indoor and patio service.

602 Avenue A
San Antonio, TX 78215

9. Rebelle

The St. Anthony Hotel, 300 E Travis St, San Antonio, TX 78205
A white plate resting on a marble countertop with a seasoned seared steak, a buttery lobster tail, and a roasted out of focus red pepper.
Steak and lobster from Rebelle.
Rebelle

Seated inside the historic St. Anthony’s Hotel, Rebelle is an upscale seafood restaurant with a luxurious, cool atmosphere that simply works. While Rebelle is probably best known for its decadent seafood towers, make no mistake: the chefs can prepare one heck of a rib-eye. The seven deadly sins-inspired cocktail list is another menu highlight, and the restaurant’s bar also offers a number of classic libations, which are very affordable during happy hour. Reservations can be made on OpenTable.

The St. Anthony Hotel, 300 E Travis St
San Antonio, TX 78205

10. Ray's Drive Inn

822 SW 19th St, San Antonio, TX 78207
A trio of crispy fried puffy tacos on a platter from Ray’s.
Puffy tacos from Ray’s Drive Inn.
Bill Addison/Eater

Ray’s Drive Inn has been serving the westside quick and tasty Mexican favorites since the 1950s, but the restaurant gained national attention after owner Arturo Lopez introduced the iconic puffy taco to the menu. A true drive-in, Ray’s allows customers to order and enjoy the plump, fried corn tortilla tacos, topped with lettuce, tomato, and cheese by request, from the comfort of their cars. Additionally, Ray’s now offers an online preorder option.

822 SW 19th St
San Antonio, TX 78207

11. Rosario's Mexican Cafe Y Cantina

910 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Though many restaurants have come and gone in Southtown, Rosario’s Mexican Cafe Y Cantina is still going strong after 29 years of business. With its colorful lounge aesthetic, Rosario’s is a step up from casual dining, making it a great place to grab frozen margaritas and plate of nachos to share while catching up with friends and family. The fish tacos and the enchiladas Mexicanas are some of Rosario’s dinner standouts. Orders are placed online, and the restaurant is open for indoor and patio service.

910 S Alamo St
San Antonio, TX 78205

12. Rudy's Seafood

4122 S Flores St, San Antonio, TX 78214
A plate with fried shrimp, fries, two green jalapeños, and two yellow lemon slices.
A fried shrimp plate from Rudy’s Seafood.
Rudy’s Seafood

Rudy’s Seafood has been a mainstay of the south side since it first opened in 1964. With feed-the-family combo options, Rudy’s is known for its ample helpings of fried fish, shrimp, and oysters, which come with tartar sauce, lemon slices, bread, and a giant serving of fries. Pickup orders can be placed over the phone, and the restaurant is open for indoor dining.

4122 S Flores St
San Antonio, TX 78214

13. 2M Smokehouse

2731 S WW White Rd, San Antonio, TX 78222

Barbecue is the essence of Texas dining, and 2M Smokehouse is the best that San Antonio has to offer on that front. Whether ordered by itself or in a sandwich, the brisket is a full-on flavor and textural experience that explains why the line is always out the door. Other menu highlights include smoked turkey breast, chicharoni macaroni, and Maria’s beans, which are available by the gallon. The smokehouse is open for some indoor and outdoor dining.

2731 S WW White Rd
San Antonio, TX 78222

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