Whether you are a tourist or you’ve just moved in to the neighborhood, looking for a great place to eat is paramount. Eating out is a social necessity and let’s face it, we all just want good food. My number one strategy when I am new to an area, is to ask the locals. After all, they all know where the hidden gems are. So we’ve asked the locals at San Antonio what are their top 5 places to chow down.
Roadhouses have always been gathering places for people of all types to come as they are and feel welcome. They’re places where a person can unwind over a plateful of good food, a shot or a cold one, served by someone who actually cares. Josephine Street is just that kind of place. The neon sign says “Steaks & Whisky” which is what made this iconic Texas roadhouse famous.
Josephine Street was opened in the old Fincke’s Meat Market building in 1979. The atmosphere at Jo Street is filled with character, charm and unique features such as the uneven wooden floor and the 500-year-old tree that makes its home inside the middle of the restaurant. The old Fincke’s neon still hangs inside.
Today, Jo Street is also known for its world class chicken fried steak, succulent pork chops & chicken, fresh fish, gourmet salads, scrumptious sandwiches, handmade desserts and upper end wines at uncommonly affordable prices.
400 E. Josephine St., San Antonio, TX 78215
Acenar is a highly-rated and popular downtown Tex-Mex restaurant that has been around for a decade. Restaurateurs Lisa Wong (of Rosario) and Pete Selig (of Biga on The Banks), joined forces in 2005 to launch Ácenar as one of the largest and most innovative contemporary Mexican restaurants and bars on the San Antonio River Walk and Downtown area.
Ácenar’s is a fresh new approach among San Antonio restaurants, Ácenar promises cutting-edge Tex-Mex cuisine in a friendly and relaxing environment. It delivers a culinary explosion of bold Latin-infused flavors. Guests will enjoy a modern take on Texas regional Mexican dishes inspired by the history and heritage of these two cultures. Acenar offers items that are unique to it, such as the Buttermilk Fried Oysters, the Young Texas Goat served with Ancho Salsa Ranchera and the Duck Chalupas. Looking for Tex-Mex with a twist? This is it!
146 E. Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Biga on The Banks
Owned by nationally renowned chef Bruce Auden, Biga on the Banks offers fine dining founded in the classics but reaching into Texas and Southwest regional cuisine. They offer a three- or four-course selection from their menu. Chef Bruce Auden’s daily menu is refreshed daily with the best picks of the season. Chef Auden lets his imagination run wild and keeps locals and travellers alike coming back again and again for his delectable culinary creations.
Biga on the Banks is located in a spectacular setting in downtown San Antonio’s modern International Center. Overlooking a romantic tree-canopied bend in the river, the historic and the new find common ground in Biga’s dynamic reemergence with ultra-contemporary cuisine.
Try their Sticky Toffee Pudding Biga’s signature dessert is a nod to the chef-owner’s London childhood. It’s a very sweet but nuanced dish, with a depth of textures and flavors that will surprise you.
Gourmet Magazine named Biga one of the five best restaurants in Texas. Biga’s ambiance is casual and relaxed – San Antonio style. Auden’s celebrated culinary background, coupled with creative and energetic design, has marked Biga on the Banks as one of Texas’ truly outstanding restaurants. Biga has the highest Zagat rating of restaurants on the River Walk.
203 S. St. Mary’s St., San Antonio, TX 78205
Boudro’s is an experience to savor, embracing all the flavors of our regional heritage with a distinctive menu of Texas and Southwestern specialties. Boudro’s Texas Bistro is the ideal spot for intimate lunches or dinners as well as large parties and convention groups. They can accommodate you inside or on one of their special river barges, catered exactly to your taste. The Chef offers culinary inventiveness with the use of fresh, local ingredients that help make this restaurant so sought after.
Don’t miss the guacamole made fresh tableside also try out their signature filet and lobster tail, steak and lobster prepared simply yet perfectly. The delicious frozen margaritas are made with swirls of crimson prickly pear juice, and the menu revels in dishes like black lacquered duck leg, papaya-marinated flank steak, mesquite-grilled Texas quail, and shrimp and crab enchiladas. Boudro’s truly has some of the best food on the River, from smoked shrimp enchiladas and blackened prime rib to seafood straight from the Gulf.
421 E Commerce, San Antonio, TX 78205
Ray’s Drive Inn
The Puffy Taco, as iconic as the Alamo itself. Any self-respecting San Antonian will tell you it’s the signature San Antonio’s undisputed signature dish, but the debate as to who does them best is heated. Still, Ray’s, home of the original puffy taco, is as beloved as any other San Antonio institution. Nine times out of ten, those tacos are what you’re gonna be there for. Ray’s Drive Inn serves over 500 puffy tacos a day. But that doesn’t mean you should miss out on Ray’s wide selection of other Mexican dishes, seafood, burgers and hot dogs. You can pull up into the actual drive-thru, or order inside for a beer and a trip down memory lane with its memento-lined walls.
Ray’s Drive Inn opened its doors in 1956. Raymond H “Ray” Lopez, started the Drive Inn by featuring free movies to the neighborhood families and serving hamburgers 5 for $1.00, delicious fried chicken, traditional fresh hand squeezed lemonade and ice-cold beer. On the weekends, Raymond featured live music by area bands. Ray’s Drive Inn quickly became a favorite eatery for many that live in the surrounding area.
Believe it or not, “Ray’s Drive Inn” received the Official “Trademark” for the “Puffy Taco” on November 3, 1992. The famous taco has been featured in the cable food network channel as “The Best of the Best in Mexican Food”, and on 2013, News 4 Best of San Antonio awarded Ray’s Drive Inn the “Best Puffy Tacos Award.”
822 SW 19th St, San Antonio, TX 78207