Finding the best places to eat in San Antonio can feel intimidating at first. Considering San Antonio, Texas is the eighth largest in the United States, there is a ton of options to choose from.
While most people think San Antonio’s food scene is only Tex-Mex and BBQ (granted, Tex-Mex and BBQ are 100% worth having here), San Antonio has a lot more to offer visitors in terms of dining.
Its food has heavy influences of Mexican cuisine blended with other global influences creating a multicultural food scene.
If you’re planning a trip to San Antonio and want to eat well, here’s a list of the 13 best places to eat in San Antonio right now.
Pricing expectations for San Antonio’s restaurant are represented with the following icons.
$ = $3 – $10 USD per item/plate
$$ = $10 – $25 USD per item/plate
$$$ = $25 – $45 USD per item/plate
$$$$ = $45 USD + per item/plate
Now, let’s dig in!
A hearty breakfast is the best way to start a long day of exploring the city. Thankfully, San Antonio has a ton of delicious breakfast options that will fill you up and leave you happy! We found the best breakfast spots were scattered across the city. Don’t be surprised if your breakfast will require a 10 to 15-minute drive from where you are staying.
Tacos n Salsa
Breakfast tacos are a thing in San Antonio. This quintessential Tex-Mex dish is a must-eat when visiting the city. While locals may have their favorite pick, there really isn’t a single “best” breakfast taco.
However, Tacos n Salsa was voted the best breakfast taco by readers of San Antonio Express-News in 2022. Making this a very popular place to enjoy this delicious dish. The most popular breakfast taco is definitely the trash can taco, which has a bit of everything in it (meat, potatoes, eggs, guac, salsa, cheese, and more) served on a flour tortilla.
There are three locations now all of which are on the north and northeast side of the city, but the flagship and original is located on Jones Maltsberger.
Original Donut Shop
The Original Donut Shop is an institution in San Antonio. They are best known for their bean and cheese taco but also serve a wide range of breakfast tacos (like guisada, potato and egg, migas, and chorizo and potato). Of course, as their name implies they also have donuts.
The Original Donut Shop has a drive-through making it a popular spot to grab a bite to go. You can also dine inside in their casual dining area. Come early and come hungry, though. There’s usually a long line (especially on the weekends).
La Panaderia is a classic breakfast spot owned by San Antonio natives. This bakery celebrates Mexican heritage by serving popular Mexican pastries (like the concha and peinita) along with more traditional breakfast items like eggs and croissants.
Super tasty breakfast items you can only find here are a tequila almond croissant and a chorizo and egg torta (tortas are Mexico’s version of a sandwich). There are three locations to dine at, with its original downtown location being the busiest most mornings.
If you need to fuel up for more explorations you have a ton of amazing restaurants in San Antonio to choose from. Many of these places close early around 2 or 3 pm so make sure to plan your visit accordingly.
2M Smokehouse is by far one of the best places to eat in San Antonio right now. After being featured on Taco Chronicles and winning several local awards for best BBQ, this spot has become a favorite for locals and visitors alike.
We ordered a massive plate of BBQ including brisket, house-made pork sausage with serranos and Oaxaca cheese, pork belly, ranchero beans, and their famous chicharron mac n’ cheese.
Everything was to die for. We both said it was the best BBQ we’ve ever eaten. We even went back and got a container of the mac n’ cheese to go. This spot is closed Monday through Wednesday and often sells out of food pretty early. So, plan accordingly.
*Temporarily closed as of June 2023 | Visit the website | Price range: $
Carnitas is a Mexican specialty of slowly roasted pork finely shredded or chopped for serving. This dish is most commonly served for breakfast in Mexico and can be made into a taco, torta, gordita, or as its own plate.
Carnitas Lonja has become the go-to spot for carnitas, which are served traditionally and enjoyed in a relaxed outdoor setting.
Chef and owner Alex Paredes announced in June 2023 that he’d be taking a short break and closing the restaurant down. He plans to re-open in the near future, potentially in a new space. If you’re visiting San Antonio soon, check the website for updates on re-opening.
Curry Boys BBQ
Curry Boys BBQ is where Southeast Asian Curry meets Texas BBQ. Its unique bowls like green curry brisket, pulled pork or smoked sausage in Panag curry, and chicken thighs in a yellow curry are sure to wow your taste buds.
We had never tried anything like this before and were blown away by the flavors. Everything worked together so well we licked the bowl clean.
Unlike other BBQ restaurants on this list, Curry Boys BBQ is open for lunch and dinner. We went around 6 pm on a weekday though and they were sold out of most items. For that reason, we recommend coming earlier in the day rather than later.
No matter what, don’t miss this spot. It’s one of our favorite places to eat in San Antonio.
Known for being San Antonio’s “best bbq”, Smoke Shack is a non-assuming BBQ joint that serves up an impressive plate of meat. You can expect to find traditional Texas BBQ meats here, including sausages, brisket, turkey, and chicken. But its pulled pork is what it’s really known for.
Don’t forget to load up on its traditional southern BBQ sides like fried okra, collard greens, mac n cheese, or coleslaw. We didn’t personally try Smoke Shack during our visit, but it’s highly recommended and on our list for when we return.
Ray’s Drive In (Puffy Taco)
It doesn’t get more Tex-Mex than puffy tacos. A puffy taco is a lightly fried taco that puffs up when cooked. It’s served with traditional ground beef and then topped with yellow American cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. It’s a far cry from a traditional Mexican taco but it’s a great representation of what Tex-Mex is, a blending of two cultures.
You can find Puffy tacos throughout Austin and San Antonio now, but Ray’s Drive In is where this unique dish originated from. You can drive up to the restaurant to enjoy your plate of puffy tacos or sit inside.
From fine dining to casual restaurants, there are plenty of great places to eat in San Antonio for dinner. Below are five of the top spots to eat for a dinner out.
The Cherrity Bar
The Cherrity Bar is a casual indoor-outdoor restaurant that is putting good food and good causes at the forefront of what they do. Each month the Cherrity bar donates a portion of its sale proceeds from its signature cocktail to a charity of its choice.
It’s got a super fun vibe inside, with games to play while you hang out and eat. Plus, really tasty ramen bowls! We love that it’s not just tasty food but they are also making a difference in their local community.
Best Quality Daughter
The Best Quality Daughter started as a pop-up restaurant to feature Asian women chefs in the city. In 2020, just before the onset of the pandemic, chef and owner Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the Pearl.
Despite the hardships during the pandemic, Best Quality Daughter continues to be one of the best places to eat in San Antonio. Their menu features super unique flavors, ingredients, and fusion dishes like Mochi cheddar hush puppies, rice chips with mapo hummus, and pork fried rice with yellow curry.
This place is very popular, so reservations are highly recommended!
Dough Pizzeria has been a favorite amongst locals for years. But its feature on Food Network with Guy Ferrari put it on the map as the go-to destination for tourists now, too. Dough Pizzeria specializes in Neopolitan-style pizzas.
It’s part of the Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN), a governing body in Italy that teaches the art of Neapolitan pizza making and certifies adherence to authentic procedures. Plus Dough puts fresh homemade ingredients at the forefront of its menu.
The burrata board we ordered had infused mascarpone with truffle essence. It was then mixed with ricotta and wrapped in house-made mozzarella. To finish, it was topped with arugula and a house-made raspberry balsamic glaze. It was a bit spendy at nearly $30 a plate, but it was to die for! The pizzas were also fantastic.
There are two locations to visit, one downtown near the Alamo and the Riverwalk and another on the north side of town. We went to the downtown spot which got packed the closer it got to dinner time. Definitely get here early or make a reservation.
La Fonda on Main
A lot of the Tex-Mex restaurants you’ll find in San Antonio are open for breakfast or lunch. And most are more casual-style eateries. La Fonda on Main is one of the more upscale restaurants that serve mostly Tex-Mex and more traditional Mexican dishes in an indoor-outdoor hacienda setting.
We visited La Fonda on Main on our first trip to San Antonio and enjoyed everything we ate (don’t miss the queso). We sat indoors but would have loved to get a spot on the outdoor patio. It was super charming and romantic making La Fonda on Main a great place for a date night.
If you want upscale southern food with a charcuterie-forward menu, look no further than Cured. Located in the Pearl, one of San Antonio’s iconic spots to visit, this restaurant has repeatedly been voted one of the best restaurants in San Antonio.
If your budget allows splurge on one of their charcuterie boards, which is curated to showcase the highest quality cured meats and cheeses which are cured in-house! Don’t skip ordering a craft cocktail which are fantastic. We ordered several dishes on the menu, but our favorites were the fried chicken livers and the poutine.
There are several other amazing places to eat in San Antonio, but for now, this list should help you make the most of a trip to the city. Let me know your favorite place to eat here so we can add it to our list for next time!