Casa Rio – 430 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Very popular “tourist trap” restaurant on the Riverwalk in the thick of it all. Full Riverwalk vibes. Not the best food in the world, but not a bad pick. Go for the experience. Probably expect longer service times due to the amount of customers that come through here. Not a grab and go spot.
Chuy’s – multiple locations
Born in Austin. Tex-Mex. One of my favorites places. My favorite dish is the grilled shrimp tacos à la carte with the creamy jalapeño dressing. I’m also a fan of their salsa fresca.
El Bucanero – multiple locations
A popular local seafood restaurant. I wasn’t overly impressed with the food or the ambiance. However, it is an experience.
El Mexicano Grill and Bar #6 – 812 E Central Ave, Belton, TX 76513
I still refer to this place as the old Bobby’s Burgers. Only longtime Belton residents will understand. 🙂 But this place has improved a lot since the beginning. I usually receive good service and a lot of food for the price when I visit here. However the last two times I wasn’t impressed with the quality of the food. They might be taking a turn, but I’d recommend their grilled meat dishes for now.
El Potosino – 7243 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX 78216
I call this place the Mexican Hooter’s. I’m guessing they intend it to be that way. As a female, I feel really unwelcome here. Like maybe they think I am taking up a table where that should be taken up by a male that will tip them more for showing skin? That being said, I really like the food here so I started going through the drive-thru to order. The huaraches are my favorite menu item here.
El Sabrosito Jalisco Restaurant – 118 N Weidner Rd, San Antonio, TX 78233
I’ve only been through the drive-thru here. The mixed parrillada plate has a lot of food! The meats taste good. I was not a fan of the nachos because of the cheese. The salsas are on the hot/spicy side.
Guajillo’s – 1001 Northwest Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78213
One of the more authentic places in town. I recommend the pozole or enfrijoladas. Be forewarned: the salsa served with the chips is super hot to the untrained palate.
Jaliscienses Mexican Restaurant – 717 E Ben White Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Old Austin. I’ve been going to the location off 290 by Cameron Road for over 20 years. Always try to hit this Ben White location up whenever I’m in town. The bathroom situation is atrocious, but the service is usually great at this location. (Not so much for their 290 location; it used to be good but has gone downhill dramatically the past few years.) Definitely check out their daily lunch specials. My favorites are the Pechuga De Pollo Marinada plate or the Carne Asada plate. I also like their breakfast tacos. My favorite is not on the menu, but I order potato, chorizo, and avocado slices with salsa verde. I also order the horchata or the fresh lemonade. As far as big city prices, I think you get a lot for your money here.
La Gloria – 100 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215
This place is really popular, but I wasn’t a fan. I probably need to give it another go before I count it completely out, but it is not the style of Mexican food that I am used to. But more power to you if you like it. The location is right on the River Walk in the Pearl district.
La PanaderÍa – multiple locations
I wasn’t super impressed, but this is a very popular spot. Bakery items along with light breakfast and lunch options.
Los Arcos Mexican Grill – multiple locations
A popular spot. I’m a fan of their Bulverde location and salsa verdes. The pirata taco used to be my go-to.
Taqueria Los Jaliscienses #2 – 6201 E Hwy 290, Austin, TX 78723
One of the stranger buildings I’ve ever eaten in. I don’t even know how to describe it. Very orange is one description. 🙂 But the shape is so unique. It is also connected to a motel and the only bathroom to use is the one for the people using the pool. You have to walk outside to use it. And get a key from the waitress. The quality of the tortillas has gone downhill that last two times I’ve been here. And the prices have gone up a lot. This is old Austin and I think the pressure of the increasing prices has put a lot of stress on this place. I don’t like the attitude of the servers at all. That being said, it still usually has good food. I order the Pechuga De Pollo Marinada plate. I also order the horchata or the fresh lemonade.
Mama Margie’s Mexican Cafe – multiple locations
A San Antonio Tex-Mex staple. Good spot to kick back and chill. Unlimited chips with a good salsa bar. I recommend the bean and cheese taco, the picadillo taco, the carne guisada taco, the queso appetizer, and the fresh lemonade. I also like to order a soda with half Dr. Pepper and half Big Red.
Mi Tierra Café y Panadería – 218 Produce Row, San Antonio, TX 78207
One of the most popular restaurants in San Antonio. A stereotypical “tourist trap” but also a must-see. The decorations, live mariachis, and huge bakery create a unique experience.
The Original Mexican Restaurant – 528 River Walk St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Tex-Mex. A popular “tourist trap” on the Riverwalk. You’re paying for the Riverwalk vibe. Probably longer service times due to the amount of customers. Been around for ages.
The Original Panchito’s Mexican Restaurant – 4100 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212
Same owners as the other Panchito’s. However, this location has a completely different atmosphere. This restaurant has serviced tables and a bar. I like ordering the Poco de Mexico appetizer as a meal. I am also a fan of the shrimp nachos.
Pollos Asados Los Nortenos – multiple locations
A San Antonio sensation. Known for their grilled chicken meals. I’m a fan of their salsa verde.
The Oasis On Lake Travis – 6550 Comanche Trail, Austin, TX 78732
No matter where you get seated, you’re paying for the view. So be sure to be seated where you can actually see it. Highly-overpriced food. I’m not a fan at all. I think this used to be a better place, but the hype and increasing Austin prices got the best of them. That being said, I like their salsa. Nothing mind-blowing, but I always find myself finishing it quickly. I thought the beef fajitas tasted well enough.
Torchy’s Tacos – multiple locations
I’m not sure the restaurant as a whole lives up to the hype, but I definitely recommend the Hillbilly Queso and the tomatillo salsa. I’m not a huge fan of their tacos, but the ones I order are the Democrat and the Crossroads. They usually have a special taco of the month. I recommend checking those out when they have them.