BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANTS : SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
PICO DE GALLO
111 South Leona Street
San Antonio, Texas 78207
This popular venue, where “San Antonio eats Mexican,” is owned and operated by the Cortez family that also runs the legendary Mi Tierra in San Antonio’s Market Square. Pico de Gallo has a relaxed atmosphere perfect for family dinners and offers a choice of indoor or patio seating. The Mariachi Internaciónal strolls the restaurant several nights a week taking requests.
Pico de Gallo offers tasty, straight-forward Mexican cuisine: enchiladas, tacos, tamales, chiles rellenos and combo plates of all of these. Specialities include steak tampiqueña, fajitas, short ribs and their popular shrimp flautas. And there’s a full bar. LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS: the Carne de res guisada dinner plate, beef tip pieces sautéed in a rich, flavory sauce served with Spanish rice, beans and salad.
ROSARIO’S MEXICAN CAFÉ & CANTINA
910 South Alamo Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205
Located at the entrance to San Antonio’s Blue Star Arts neighborhood, this popular restaurant, founded in 1992, is a hangout for local artists, patrons and downtown politicians. The friendly and spacious environment, with its multiple windows, allows for comfortable seating. Rosario’s boasts a full bar and over the years has won accolades from locals and critics alike for “best salsa,” “best mole,” and “best enchiladas,” and “best restaurant.” The menu offers an array of delicious and uncommon dishes such as chicken chipotle quesadillas, chile relleno de pescado, lengua (tongue) in tomato sauce, enchiladas en mole, sopa de fideo and tacos norteños. LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS: the scrumptious ceviche fino, the puerco en chile cascabel and the talapia in green olive sauce. For dessert try the chocolate flan with strawberries, blueberries and roasted pecans!
218 Produce Row
San Antonio, Texas 78207
This landmark San Antonio restaurant was founded in 1941 by Pete and Cruz Cortez, whose children continue to run it (along with Pico de Gallo two blocks away.) Located in Market Square, Mi Tierra is a favorite meeting place and family restaurant that includes a full bar and active panaderia (bakery). Mi Tierra’s motto-we never close. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day! Specialties include steak tampiqueña, pollo en mole, carnitas Michoacan and cabrito (young goat). LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS: highly, the soft flour guisada tacos, the chorizo and egg breakfast tacos, and the cabrito dinner plate.
722 South St. Mary’s Street
San Antonio, TX 78204
Founded in 1967, this unpretentious down-to-earth family run restaurant in the arts district of San Antonio sports the newly renovated 1888 King William Garden House available for special occasions and a special Puro Social Club room for enjoying a cigar after a meal. The cuisine both traditional Mexican cuisine and local Tex-Mex fare as well. Unusual menu items include the Huachinango en Tortilla, a
red snapper encrusted with tortilla, and the Enchilada de Papa, roasted garlic-chipotle potato enchiladas and “puffy” corn tacos. LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS the Enchiladas del Mar and Pastel de Tres Leches for dessert.
Located in the shadow of the old Pearl brewery in downtown San Antonio, this new and
welcomed addition to the San Antonio restaurant scene is the brainchild of owner and chef Johnny Hernandez who refers to the items on his menu as “street food from the
interior of Mexico.” This is not your Tex Mex restaurant but more like a Mexican tapia bar: a wide variety of small dishes that together make a delicious and filling meal. The
tacos dishes serve three corn tacos with a variety of traditional fillings.
Not so traditional is the tlayudas, an enormous flat flour tortilla covered with beans, cheese, avocado and tomato with meat topping optional. You’ll find tortas, tostadas, molcajetes, quesadillas, panuchos, sopes, and ceviches. But expect something new and different from whatever selection you make. Fillings include chicken en Escabeche, moles, chicharrones, carne deshebrada and pork in chipote sauce. The wine list is excellent, you’ll find Coppola, Hess, Franciscan, Terraza and other estate wines. Latinopia recommends the Pollo en Escabeche tlayuda, the carne asada or guisado tacos and any of the qusadillas.