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Where to Eat Authentic Mexican Food in San Antonio

Our favorite spots around the city serving up delicious traditional Mexican dishes.

San Antonio is bursting with culture and history. It’s the home of the Alamo, the San Antonio River, and the Spurs. There’s Seaworld, Fiesta Texas, and the Tower of the Americas. 

You might know San Antonio for its barbeque and chili cook-offs, but there is more to the Alamo City than just chili! You’ll also find some of the best Mexican restaurants in San Antonio.

If it’s authentic Mexican food you’re looking for, look here. From barbacoa and tacos de lengua to sopapillas and flan, the choices are authentic and top-notch. I’ve searched all over the city and chosen 11 of my favorite spots I think you should check out when you visit San Antonio.

delicious pork tacos served with vegetables and salsa at a Mexican restaurant in San Antonio

I’ll go over where to find them, what makes each restaurant special, and my recommendations for what dishes you should try. So, keep reading and check out my list of the best Mexican restaurants in San Antonio below!

Best Mexican Restaurants in San Antonio

  1. Rosario’s Mexican Cafe Y Cantina
  2. Pollos Asados Los Nortenos
  3. Ernesto’s Mexican Specialties
  4. Garcia’s Mexican Food To Go
  5. La Fonda on Main
  6. Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia
  7. Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine
  8. El Bucanero
  9. Tortas Ahogadas El Chivito
  10. Taquitos West Ave
  11. Fidelos Mexican Restaurant

Rosario’s Mexican Cafe Y Cantina

910 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: 210-223-1806
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Look for Rosario’s neon lights and white awning on South Alamo Street in the historic King William district. Restaurateur Lisa Wong opened Rosario’s in 1992 but has had a passion for Mexican food for 30 years. Inside, find a modern Mexican aesthetic in neon pink, bright turquoise, and goldenrod yellow against white walls. Rows of colorful papel picado and eye-catching light fixtures hang from rafters.

The restaurant has won numerous accolades and awards by serving a mix of classic Tex-Mex, authentic south-of-the-border Mexican dishes, and Rosario’s own take on Mexican. Make sure you try their fire-roasted salsa and margaritas that each won “Best of San Antonio” awards! Try the mole enchiladas. You will not be disappointed! Come during happy hour Tuesday through Friday for frozen margaritas, draft beer, and live music.


Pollos Asados Los Nortenos

4642 Rigsby Ave, San Antonio, TX 78222
Phone: 210-648-3303
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For one of the best Mexican restaurants in San Antonio, check out Pollos Asados los Nortenos. Find them on the East Side off Rigsby. They have a humble story, starting as a fundraiser for a church in Coahuila, Mexico. By popular demand, the family began Pollos Asados Los Nortenos as a food truck, and today they have two brick-and-mortar locations in San Antonio.

Come for the experience at this low-key, authentic Mexican dive with classic grilled meat options. Order their signature pollos asados; a delicious char-grilled chicken marinated till it’s orange. And don’t miss out on the rice, beans, and red and green salsas, all of which Pollos Asados Los Nortenos have mastered.


Ernesto’s Mexican Specialties

2559 Jackson Keller Rd, San Antonio, TX 78230
Phone: 210-344-1248
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Enjoy a refined dining experience at Ernesto’s Mexican Specialities. Located on Jackson Keller just outside Loop 410, Ernesto’s is open for lunch and then reopens for dinner daily. Enter this storefront in The Corners shopping center to rich red interiors, white linen tablecloths, and full table settings.

The waitstaff is very welcoming and quickly explains the concept behind Ernesto’s. They have an extensive wine selection. Ernesto’s makes my list of best Mexican restaurants in San Antonio for their tortilla soup. They also do seafood really well: try their ceviche or gourmet seafood crepe.


Garcia’s Mexican Food To Go

842 Fredericksburg Rd, San Antonio, TX 78201
Phone: 210-735-4525

The Garcia family has served San Antonio for almost 60 years in Beacon Hill off of Fredericksburg Road. Find a mix of Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican classics at Garcia’s Mexican Food To Go. They stay busy and are only open from 7 AM to 2 PM Tuesday through Saturday.

Garcia’s is the self-titled “home of the brisket taco.” I think this claim to fame earns Garcia’s a spot on our list of best Mexican restaurants in San Antonio! I suggest grabbing a Mexican coke, the carne guisada, and don’t forget the brisket tacos.


La Fonda on Main

2415 N Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212
Phone: 210-733-0621
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Check out La Fonda on North Main in the historic district of Monte Vista. This beautiful establishment is one of San Antonio’s oldest Mexican restaurants, having opened in 1932. The crisp white hacienda-style building with clay roof tiles evokes a timeless feeling while still being welcoming. Come in for regional Mexican dishes as well as some Tex-Mex.

Inside, you’ll love the whitewashed walls lined with antique Talavera plates and large artwork evoking Mexican bullfighters. Dine on the back patio under a sprawling oak tree. Guests rave about the ambiance and creative margaritas. Try the skirt steak but save room for flan and coffee.


Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia

218 Produce Row, San Antonio, TX 78207
Phone: 210-225-1262
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Next on my list of the best Mexican restaurants in San Antonio is Mi Tierra on North San Saba behind Market Square. Three generations of the Cortez family have run Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia since it opened in 1941. Back then, it was a 24-hour diner for the farmers and patrons that frequented the local Mercado. Today, guests come downtown from all over the world to see their famous mural and eat delicious Tex-Mex dishes.

The warm wood and brick interiors dripping with twinkle lights and decorations are always festive and inviting. Enjoy the mariachi band while you order a beer at the bar. Pick up some of their fresh pan dulce to take home!


Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine

5800 Broadway #300, San Antonio, TX 78209
Phone: 210-822-6151
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Located off Broadway in Alamo Heights, Paloma Blanca has been serving San Antonio for over 20 years. This upscale Mexican restaurant offers up elevated Mexican and Tex-Mex fare. Enjoy your meal in the rustic, contemporary Mexican interiors, including a subdued color palette, supple leather seats, raw wood tables, and unique art pieces.

Paloma Blanca makes the list of best Mexican restaurants in San Antonio for their ceviche, which you must try for yourself. Also, order a margarita, which got rave reviews by Texas Monthly magazine. They have a sizable wine and Mexican beer list to choose from. For those interested, they have an exclusively gluten-free and paleo menu. 


El Bucanero

Multiple locations
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El Bucanero opened in 2012 on the North Side. The Blanco Road location was so popular they opened two more locations—one on Embassy and another on the South Side on Marbach. Come for the seafood and stay for the lively ambiance! You’ll find a fun pirate theme with illustrations on the walls and probably a mariachi band playing.

This place stays busy, and you’ll see why. On my list of best Mexican restaurants in San Antonio, El Bucanero’s presentation is what sets them apart. Come with a group and start out with drinks. Order the Pachanga Six, which is six beers with an over-the-top display of camarones ahogado on top. To eat, get La Reyna del Sur, an abundant plate beautifully presenting shrimp four ways, including bacon-wrapped.


Tortas Ahogadas El Chivito

204 Crossroads Blvd, Balcones Heights, TX 78201
Phone: 210-369-9638
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Don’t miss out on El Chivito! You’ll find them in Balcones Heights on Crossroads Boulevard, across from Wonderland Mall. This casual walk-up window has outdoor seating and a drive-thru. They opened in 2013 with the vision of bringing Guadalajara-style tortas and tacos to San Antonio.

You must try their namesake, the tortas ahogadas, with its red chile and tomato broth for dipping. El Chivito is a popular stop on our list of best Mexican restaurants in San Antonio. They sell lots of fun things, like elotes (corn in a cup), birriamen (birria with ramen), and their popular aguas frescas. 


Taquitos West Ave

2818 West Ave, San Antonio, TX 78201
Phone: 210-525-9888

Just north of IH-10 on West Avenue, Taquitos is serving up the best tacos in the city! Order at the window or eat at the counters inside. The bright red pops of color, stainless steel counters and stools, and zig-zag tile go well with the loud music and bustling atmosphere.

This is the kind of place that everyone in town hears about, so they come by. You’ll usually find a line out the door, but it’s worth the wait. They offer quite a selection of street tacos, including tacos de tripas, cabeza, and lengua, if you’re brave! Of course, you can’t go wrong with tacos al pastor or bistek.


Fidelos Mexican Restaurant

10929 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217
Phone: 210-655-8737

Last but certainly not least on my list of best Mexican restaurants in San Antonio is Fidelos. For a satisfying meal, stop by this sleepy local restaurant on Nacogdoches Road and Wurzbach, just north of Lady Bird Johnson Park. Fidelos serves up classic Mexican dishes and a variety of Tex-Mex as well.

The staff is friendly at Fidelos, and the food is fresh and hot. Try out this unassuming restaurant for all the classics you would expect, from pozole to bean and cheese tacos. Locals rave about their breakfast tacos. I highly recommend the cheese enchiladas. At the cash register, pick up some fresh empanadas to take home.


Final Thoughts

From high-end gourmet cuisine to the most casual walk-up shack, you have your pick of Mexican restaurants in the Alamo City. 

When it comes to Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican, I handpicked some San Antonio mainstays and some newer popular stops. While it was hard to narrow down just 11 options, I think my list of best Mexican restaurants in San Antonio is an excellent place for you to start.

Not looking for Mexican food? Check out these amazing pizzerias serving up delicious pizza.

Did I leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave me a comment, and I’ll check it out!

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Written by Ryan F.

Ryan is a Philadelphia local who enjoys checking out Philly's restaurant scene every chance he can. He grew up in South Jersey and now lives in Philadelphia's Point Breeze neighborhood. Ryan also enjoys traveling and checking out local eateries in every city he visits.