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Trip List by SATexasGirl

Where the Locals Eat

22 May 2007  San Antonio Born and Raised
4.5 of 5 bubbles based on 4 votes

These are some restaurants well-known and frequented by locals including myself. Some are hole-in-the-walls, but all are great.

  • 1. Jacala Mexican Restaurant
    Jacala Mexican Restaurant, San Antonio, Texas

    This is the oldest, originally owned Mexican restaurant in San Antonio. It's not in a tourist-part of town, but the parking lot is always full of luxury cars and SUVs. No frills, but great service, quick food, and unbelievable value. The puffy tacos and enchiladas are the best and they have a happy hour that lasts all afternoon. If you want to get away from the tourist traps that await you on the River Walk, this is the place to go. By far, my favorite place in all of San Antonio, my family has been going here for over 30 years.

  • 2. Chris Madrid's Nachos and Burgers
    Chris Madrid's Nachos and Burgers, San Antonio, Texas

    This is a no nonsense hamburger joint, but boy do they know how to make an AWESOME burger. Burgers are awesome and fries are hand-cut and fabulous. Get the Cheddar Cheesy for the true experience. This place gets packed during the week at lunchtime - the line goes out the door. Get there before 11:30am to beat the crowd. But even with a line, it moves quickly and is worth the wait.

  • 3. Chuy's Restaurant
    Chuy's, San Antonio, Texas

    Tex-Mex dining, not true Mexican food, but great nonetheless. Chuy's can be found in San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas. The Chuychanga (a spin on the chimichanga) is pure bliss, the margaritas are superb, and the atmosphere is always fun. Definitely a great place to hang out. BEWARE: the location listed on Trip Advisor (on Broadway) is no longer - Chuy's is now at Hwy 281 and 1604.

  • 4. Paesano's Riverwalk
    Paesano's Riverwalk, San Antonio, Texas

    This is a great Italian restaurant with a wonderful, romantic atmosphere. The Shrimp Paesano is their signature dish and it is hard to order anything else after you have tried it. The location on the River Walk and the location in The Quarry are both equally great. And it's, in my opinion, the best place to eat on the River Walk. Lunch portions are somewhat more affordable and come with a salad, whereas at dinner you'll have to order your salad a la carte if you want one.

  • 5. Pappasito's Cantina
    Pappasito's Cantina-Catering, San Antonio, Texas

    This Mexican food chain started in Houston, TX and has spread to Austin, San Antonio, and Louisiana. Their fajitas are hands-down the best ever, anywhere. My favorite dish is the Plato del Mar which is either beef or chicken fajitas and 4 Shrimp Brochette which is shrimp stuffed with cheese and a pepper and wrapped in bacon. It's served with a white wine, garlic butter sauce which is to die for!!! For dessert, the giant ball of ice cream rolled in toasted coconut and pecans and drizzled with caramel and chocolate is superb!!! Tortillas, chips, and salsa are all top notch as well. Be careful of visiting on a Friday or Saturday night though as the wait can be from 1 1/2 to 2 hours and they do not take reservations.

  • 6. Golden Wok Chinese Restaurant
    Golden Wok Chinese Restaurant, San Antonio, Texas

    Wonderful, casual Chinese restaurant. Fantastic egg rolls, egg-drop soup, and lemon chicken. Great lunch specials during the week.

  • 7. Alamo Cafe
    Alamo Cafe, San Antonio, Texas

    Local Tex-Mex favorite, best known for their tortillas which are served hot and fresh the minute you sit down at the table. If you really want to go all-in, order some queso (cheese dip) to dip your tortillas in. As for entrees, the brisket quesadillas, chicken fried steak, and tortilla soup are great!

  • 8. Bravo Cucina Italiano
    BRIO Tuscan Grille, San Antonio, Texas

    New-comer to San Antonio, located in the high-end shopping mall, The Shops at La Cantera. This is the perfect place to take a break from the shopping. Wonderful atmosphere, service, and food. They even serve their salads with a chilled salad fork. Very reasonable prices as well.

  • 9. Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar
    Gristmill, New Braunfels, Texas

    While this restaurant is located just outside neighboring New Braunfels, it is worth the drive. It takes about 30 minutes to get from San Antonio to Gristmill, but it feels worlds away from the city. The Gristmill is located on the Guadalupe River in historic Gruene, TX and you'll have a great view while you dine. Plus, you can easily spend the rest of the day walking through the shops in Gruene or drive up to the outlet mall in San Marcos (another 15 minutes north). While all the entrees at the Gristmill are worth the drive, the best is the Beef Tenderloin Sandwich. Words cannot describe how awesome this dish is. Order it on the Sourdough bun with avocado, cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, and onion for a taste that can't be beat.

  • 10. County Line Barbeque
    County Line Barbeque- River Walk, San Antonio, Texas

    Great barbeque, exceptional ribs, and live music.