The 10 Best Tex Mex Restaurants in San Antonio (Ranked by a Local)

best tex mex in san antonio

If you’re in San Antonio, you can be sure of two things:

  1. You’re deep in the heart of Texas
  2. You’re also in one of the finest centers of Mexican heritage in the state.

So, it should come as no surprise that this little melting pot produces some mind-blowing fajitas, queso, cheesy enchiladas, crunchy tacos, and all sorts of other Tex-Mex favorites.

As a long time San Antonio local, I’ve come to fully love this side of our foodie scene.

So today, I’m here to share a local’s look at all the best places to get Tex Mex food in San Antonio.

Map of the Best Tex-Mex Restaurants in San Antonio

Best Tex Mex in San Antonio: La Fonda On Main

La Fonda is a humble Tex Mex stop that’s been a mainstay in San Antonio since 1932. While it’s definitely a tourist stop, it’s also popular with us locals, too. If the weather is good (a rarity in San Antonio), take your meal out to La Fonda’s big patio for a little slice of Tex Mex heaven.

Now, La Fonda does serve some authentic Mexican dishes. However, Tex Mex is their bread and butter, so if your party wants a mix of options, they have something for everybody.

If this is your first time at La Fonda, I recommend going during dinner and ordering the Tejas Special, because it’s the most Texas thing I’ve ever seen. It comes with a steak enchilada, bacon-wrapped jalapeno, sope de carnitas, and refried beans. It’ll stick to your ribs, but boy, is it good.

Best Tex Mex Cantina: Aldaco’s Mexican Cuisine

Aldaco’s is located up on a hill in Stone Oak, which makes for some awesome views. If you choose a table on the patio, you can sip a margarita, enjoy the views, and briefly forget that it’s 110 degrees outside.

Aldaco’s bills itself as a cantina, so the drinks here are off the chain. People buzz about the avocado margarita, which is basically a creamy margarita (it sounds weird, but trust me, it’s good). I always get the espresso martini because it goes surprisingly well with spicy food.

In terms of the food, Aldaco’s is famous for its chile relleno (stuffed peppers), but their shrimp tamales and empanadas are darn good, too.

P.S. Aldaco’s is a popular spot, so they have a two-hour limit on tables. They need to serve other folks, so don’t dawdle if you come here with friends!

Best Downtown San Antonio Tex Mex: Rosario’s Mexican Cafe Y Cantina

My husband is incredibly picky about his Tex Mex, so when he says a place is good, it’s good. According to him, Rosario’s serves the best Tex Mex in town. They do a fire-roasted salsa that rivals a salsa I once had at a resort in Mexico. It’s soooo good.

Rosario’s makes a bomb plate of enchiladas, but the cascabel tacos are awesome, too: it’s pork on homemade corn tortillas with a chile sauce.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try the lengua! Rosario’s beef tongue is tender, flavorful, and really filling. Come expecting to leave with leftovers!

Best Tex Mex On The River Walk: Casa Rio

Casa Rio is one of the many must-see restaurants in San Antonio. It was the first business to open on the River Walk, and there’s a lot of history in its walls. The view alone is worth the trip! Where else can you sip on a margarita, enjoy a plate of enchiladas, and see the San Antonio River?

You won’t see many SA locals at Casa Rio, but that’s beside the point. It’s a rite of passage for anyone coming through San Antonio, whether you’re a new transplant or you’re just here for the weekend.

  • Address: 430 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205
  • Website: Casa Rio

Best Tex Mex in Southtown: The Haven

Southtown is the hipster area of San Antonio and home to The Haven. I like to poke fun at hipsters, but their food is actually really good!

Like any decent San Antonio Tex Mex establishment, The Haven serves breakfast, too. Their tacos are awesome, but I always get the huevos rancheros.

The Haven also does dinner service Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. If you happen to be in Southtown, go. Get a plate of the Southtown Birria Tacos or the picadillo for an amazing (and filling) Tex Mex treat.

  • Address: 1032 S Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78210
  • Website: The Haven

Best Guacamole in San Antonio: Paloma Blanca

Paloma Blanca is, hands down, one of my fave Tex Mex restaurants in San Antonio. In college, we would spend our Friday nights here, inhaling nachos faster than they could bring them out to us.

But have you seen this place??? It looks like you were dropped in the middle of a border town oasis. Paloma Blanca also serves my favorite margarita in all of San Antonio, and their food is pretty good, too.

I always, always get the guacamole olmeca. They prep it tableside in a molcajete and there’s no other guac like it in town. Yes, it’s a little pricey, but life is too short for so-so guac.

P.S. Paloma Blanca gets a little crowded on weekends and during dinner service. Try to come early or be prepared to wait for a table!

  • Address: 5800 Broadway #300, San Antonio, TX 78209
  • Website: Paloma Blanca

Most Family-Friendly Tex Mex: Chuy’s

We’ve eaten at Chuy’s a few times with our families when they visit. It’s not only a great way to feed a crowd, but it’s a laid-back restaurant that’s cool with kids. It even has a pretty good kids’ menu!

Chuy’s is known for making huge food, too. They make Panchos (regular nachos, but huge) and “Big as yo face” burritos (regular burritos, but HUGE). You definitely need to come here with an appetite!

Chuy’s also sells family meal kits, so if your kids are having a meltdown and you have zero time to deal with it, get your food to go.

  • Address 1: 15639 I-10, San Antonio, TX 78249
  • Address 2: 8438 TX-151, San Antonio, TX 78245
  • Address 3: 18008 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX 78232
  • Website: Chuy’s

Nicest Tex Mex: Pappasito’s Cantina

Pappasito’s is owned by the same restaurant group that does Pappadeaux, so if you’ve ever been there, you’ll have a similar experience at Pappasito’s. Pappasito’s is a nicer Tex Mex stop, but it isn’t so high-brow that you can’t show up with a few rowdy kiddos.

My sister-in-law goes bananas for Pappasito’s, too! It’s one of her favorite places to eat, and with good reason: they make elevated Tex Mex that you just won’t find anywhere else. I mean, who else is making quail brochette???

Pappasito’s is nicer, which means they tend to cost a little more, so I recommend swinging by if you’re celebrating a special occasion.

Best Tex Mex Buffet: Nicha’s Comida Mexicana

I once got really drunk off of Nicha’s strawberry daiquiris and ate almost one of everything on the menu. RIP, my thighs.

Anyway, Nicha’s is a super popular stop for Tex Mex here in San Antonio. The carne guisada, chicken flautas, and chicken alambre are a few of our faves, but the fajitas are a must if it’s your first time.

Nicha’s also does a weekend “brunch buffet”. It’s all-you-can-eat, so if you need to nurse your hangover with greasy Tex Mex, this is the place to go.

  • Address 1: 3119 Roosevelt Ave, San Antonio, TX 78214
  • Address 2: 5059 Northwest Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78229
  • Website: Nicha’s Comida Mexicana

Best Tacos: Henry’s Puffy Tacos

Have you ever had a puffy taco? It’s an invention that’s unique to San Antonio, making it one of the more interesting Tex Mex specialties we have in town. And no place does the puffy taco quite like Henry’s Puffy Tacos. I brought my nieces here to sample their first puffy tacos, and I assure you, it’s even picky eater-approved!