San Antonio has so much wonderful food that no one can possibly list all the hidden gems at our doorstep. But here are a few truly great places you should know about.
Viva Vegeria, 1422 Nogalitos St — closed Tues and Wed, and closes at 5pm on Sundays. San Antonio’s best vegan Mexican restaurant is worth visiting at least once in your life.
Ray’s Drive Inn, 822 SW 19th St — closed Mondays. The puffy taco was invented right here at Ray’s in San Antonio. And they still knock your socks off with every taco. “It’s like going to church,” declared Jose Ralat, author of the book “American Tacos.” He travels from Dallas to partake in the religious experience.
Henry’s Puffy Tacos, 6030 Bandera Rd. and 3202 W. Woodlawn Ave., T: 210-433-PUFF (Northwest Side). The jury is still out as to whether Henry’s delivers a close 2nd place or whether Henry’s Puffy Tacos are in fact the best. Everything on the menu is always delicious, including their special margaritas.
Panchito’s, 1705 S Zarzamora — hours are 6:00 am to 2:00 pm. Their carne guisada is the best on the planet, served in homemade tortillas just like abuelita’s. But all the dishes are well worth trying.
La Parrilla Azteca, 1521 S. Flores (South Side) — hours are 7:00 am to 3:00 pm, closed Sundays. When you’re in the mood for a hole-in-the-wall type dive, this is the perfect place. The food is just like homemade and the price is right. Be sure to try the Tampiqueña steak.
Pollos Asados Los Norteños, 4642 Rigsby Ave (East Side) and 4822 Walzem Rd (North Side) — closed Mondays. Their recipe for success is to first marinate the chicken Mexican style using a secret family recipe. The result is some of the best chicken you’ve ever tasted.
Guillermo’s Pizza, 618 McCullough Ave (downtown) — closed Sundays. Enjoy the mouthwatering first-rate pizza out on the patio. Healthy pizza, vegetarian friendly. Or try the burgers or Tequila Wings in tequila lime sauce.
Dora’s Bar, 1225 South Brazos St. (south of the Guadalupe Theater) — open 4:00 pm to 2:00 am Thurs – Sat only. Back when this was Dora’s Family Restaurant, it was one of Selena’s favorite places to eat in San Antonio, along with Mi Tierra Cafe downtown. Today the only food they serve is munchies: chicharrones, chips, peanuts and candy.
HASH Vegan Eats, S. Flores — closed Wed., opens at 5pm Mondays. This vegan, non-alcoholic restaurant, cafe and bar features some very delicious craft non-alcoholic beers, such as grapefruit beer, tasty mocktails and CBD options. A great place to work with a good library of books and outdoor patio.
Cafe Fahrenheit 209 at Wong’s Bodega, 1502 S Flores St — In the back of the newly renovated historic Wong’s Grocery Company Building (built 1901), Cafe Fahrenheit 209 features delicious coffees, teas, specialty drinks like organic Yerba Mate and CBD options. Today, Wong’s Bodega is a small vegan grocery store that carries tons of local products like Southside Craft Sodas, Pure Heart Foods, Southwest Elixirs and even local honey. This is a great place to work. Check the schedule for discounts and live music shows in the evening.
La Superior Bakery, 519 Pleasanton Rd (South Side) — short hours during the pandemic are 6:00 am to 7:00 pm everyday. The French bread and bolillos are memorably delicious as are the fantastic reposteria cookies. And don’t forget an oreja or campechana.