Zoraida is a food and travel blogger based in Houston, Texas. She loves exploring awesome destinations, and sharing the best restaurants, exciting things to do and great hotels on her blog, A Tasteful Trip. If you love tasting amazing food and seeing incredible places, take a trip with Zoraida!
When in Texas Hill Country, tasting great food is a must! With Mexican, Texan and German influences in this region, there’s definitely a rich culinary scene here.
During my weeklong stay at the centrally located Hill Country Resort at Canyon Lake, my husband and I took a trip to San Antonio to get a taste for its exciting food scene.
As a native Texan, I tried some of the best barbecue I’ve ever had in the state!
To see where to find that and more, check out my complete guide to the best restaurants in San Antonio, Texas.
Best Barbecue in San Antonio
When you think of Texas food, barbecue is one of the first things that come to mind, right? This style of slow cooking meat with fire and smoke makes for mouthwatering ribs, brisket, sausage and more.
Since barbecue is so popular here, I’ve included not one, but three great barbecue restaurants for you to try in San Antonio!
Smoke Shack BBQ + Southern Kitchen
For traditional barbecue, I recommend Chris Conger’s famous Smoke Shack BBQ + Southern Kitchen located on the north side of town. You know you’ve arrived when you see the “Texas-sized” Texas flag painted on its roof.
We ordered the BBQ Plate with brisket, ribs, sausage, spicy cream corn, mac and cheese, pinto beans and a roll. Hands down, one of the most tender briskets and “fall off the bone” ribs we’ve both had!
We even wanted to come back for more the next day. Trust me, there’s a reason why Guy Fieri featured this spot on the Food Network.
For barbecue with a San Antonio twist, head to 2M Smokehouse, just 15 minutes east of downtown.
Recognized by many local and national magazines, Pitmaster Esaul Ramos incorporates classic Texan barbecue flavors with the Mexican flavors he grew up with.
You’ll taste the great blend of these flavors when you order:
- The sausage with Oaxaca cheese and serrano peppers
- Pulled pork with green sauce
- Pork ribs with glaze
- Tender brisket
And sides like:
- Chicharoni macaroni (pork rinds on top)
- Ranchero-style beans
- Mexican street corn
- And nopalitos (cactus), just like my grandma used to make them
This spot also tugged at my husband’s heartstrings when he tasted the macaroni, which was similar to his grandma’s. When food makes you emotional, you know it’s good!
Pro tip: Bring your friends and share a family pack to get a taste of all the menu items on the outdoor patio, which has plenty of tables and colorful murals.
Also, make sure to taste Pastry Chef Grecia Ramos’ delicious, seasonal pies, cakes and pastries to complete your meal.
Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q
We can’t talk about barbecue in San Antonio without mentioning Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q. What was once a gas station, garage and grocery store, began serving barbecue in 1989 and is now a Texas roadside staple.
What I love about Rudy’s is its inviting dining room that has tables draped with red and white picnic tablecloths, walls decorated with Texas roadside signs, coolers filled with ice-cold drinks and, of course, the brisket, sausage, famous “sause” and creamed corn (my absolute favorite!).
Pro tip: Great barbecue doesn’t necessarily need barbecue sauce — unless it’s Rudy’s famous “sause.”
Best Breakfast Spot in San Antonio
If you’re like me and love breakfast any time of the day, you’ll love this restaurant. It serves breakfast all day!
La Panaderia Bakery and Cafe in downtown San Antonio is a great restaurant to start your day with a quick morning coffee and berry croissant, or a calm sit-down breakfast meal in the cozy dining room.
This San Antonio restaurant is best known for its cultured sourdough bread, like Telera and Birote (Mexican sourdough), with which you can build your own torta. I ordered my torta with egg, black beans, avocado and bacon — delicious!
Another menu item you should try is the sweet French toast with eggs on the side. The portions are plenty, too.
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Best Brunch Place in San Antonio
Looking for a great brunch spot in San Antonio? This place is popular and definitely worth the wait…
The Guenther House
The Guenther House is located in San Antonio’s King William Historic District in the heart of the city.
It was originally built as a residence in 1859 for Pioneer Flour Mills Owner Carl Hilmar Guenther, but it’s now a restaurant, store and museum with a turn of the 20th century style.
You can enjoy brunch al fresco on the beautiful outdoor patio and garden or in the original dining room for a unique experience.
I ordered the chicken and sweet cream Belgian waffle with crispy chicken tenders, and I loved it!
Pro tip: If you can’t wait to try their sweet waffles or pancakes until your next trip to San Antonio, bring them home with the Pioneer Pancake Mix sold at most grocery stores.
Best Tex-Mex in San Antonio
Without a doubt, this gem is one of the best restaurants in San Antonio because of its history, friendly staff and great Tex-Mex food.
Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery
Located in the city’s Historic Market Square, Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery and La Familia Cortez have been serving delicious food to locals and visitors for over 75 years.
As soon as you walk in, it feels like a party with festive piñatas hanging from the ceiling, Mexican art on the walls, the sound of mariachi playing and the smell of freshly baked pan dulce (sweet bread), fajitas and margaritas.
You can’t go wrong with any menu item! My family and I have always enjoyed a great meal here and then walking around the square to shop authentic Mexican goods and décor.
Best Mexican Restaurant in San Antonio
If you want to try authentic Mexican dishes with a modern twist, visit this creative and beautiful restaurant.
FRIDA Mexican Restaurant & Bar
FRIDA Mexican Restaurant & Bar is a new restaurant in town by former elite soccer player, Chef Sofia Sada, and it has already become one of the best restaurants in San Antonio.
The interior dining area alone is vibrant, spacious, decorated with Frida art, and did I mention there’s an open space in the middle with a gorgeous, blue piano?
The dishes are beautifully presented with colorful ingredients. It was truly hard to choose what to order as everything sounded incredible.
For brunch, I got Huevos Benito y Tino with jalapeño cheese biscuit, carnitas, poached eggs, Morita Hollandaise, black beans and a torta.
I will definitely return to try the pozole and popular churros in a mini Frida cart with dipping sauces.
Pro tip: Be sure to make a reservation beforehand!
Best Globally Inspired “Fusion” Restaurant in San Antonio
For more of a unique, global fusion type of experience, check out this incredible Asian-Peruvian spot.
Travel through Asia or Peru (or both!) at the Asian-Peruvian fusion restaurant, Botika, in San Antonio’s historic Pearl district.
Chef-Owner Geronimo Lopez highlights Chinese and Japanese influences on Peruvian cuisine with sashimi, sushi and lomo saltado.
We tasted its most popular item, the short rib noodles with yakisoba noodles, seasonal vegetables and Huancaina sauce. It was incredibly flavorful — a must-try!
If you’re feeling adventurous, order the charred octopus with chimichurri sauce, soft Huancaina potatoes and Espelette pepper.
Another must is the tasty, savory empanadas. They offer a plate with three large aji de gallina empanadas with creamy braised chicken, aji amarillo (spicy), potatoes and parmesan cheese, served with a citrus chimichurri sauce.
Pair your meal with a fresh cocktail, like a Caipirinha Carioca or Pisco Sour, for a complete dining experience.
Best Date Night Restaurant in San Antonio
For romantic getaways and date nights, I love to recommend a restaurant with a rooftop view of the city for a gorgeous setting.
Luckily, in San Antonio, you and your loved one can dine at Chart House, a restaurant at the top of the 750-foot Observation Tower of the Americas in downtown San Antonio.
It’s definitely the best restaurant with a great view of the city! Enjoy a romantic dinner with live music, fresh seafood, slow-roasted prime rib and decadent hot chocolate lava cake.
My husband and I visited a few years ago and really recommend it!
We’re so glad we stayed at the relaxing Hill Country Resort located in the heart of Texas Hill Country in Canyon Lake. It was super easy to get around and explore nearby towns like San Antonio, Texas — which is only an hour drive away!
It’s always great to explore a city’s food scene, and San Antonio definitely impressed me. From barbecue to Tex-Mex to globally inspired dishes, this city really has it all when it comes to getting a taste for Texas Hill Country cuisine.
Hope you enjoyed my guide to the best restaurants in San Antonio!
Our Lake Resort Near San Antonio
At Hill Country Resort, you can splash in your choice of five outdoor pools, boat around Canyon Lake, head over to Schlitterbahn® Waterpark, check out San Antonio’s famous River Walk nearby and enjoy a gorgeous sunset at the resort’s Oasis Bar. See for yourself how much fun this lake resort can be for your family in this video.
Our guest bloggers are compensated for their writing contributions and honest opinions.
All information is subject to change. This article is a curated guide and is neither sponsored nor considered an official endorsement. Please be sure to check information directly with any/all tours, guides or companies for the most up-to-date and direct details.
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