Are you on the hunt for the best tacos in San Antonio, Texas? Your search should stop here! This tasty round-up includes all the best restaurants in the city you should check out, from chef-driven taquerias to roving food trucks.
San Antonio is home to some legendary taco creations, like puffy tacos at Henry’s Puffy Tacos and Ray’s Drive Inn. The city is also buzzing with top-tier restaurants that confidently claim to have the “best tacos on earth” or “best damn taco” (and their quality speaks volumes about that!).
In such a neighborhood full of taco shops, narrowing the list of the best ones might be daunting. With that in mind, I’ve compiled this ultimate guide to the best tacos in town, so the next time your taco craving hits, you’ll know where to turn to!
Whether hole-in-the-wall taquerias or long-standing Tex-Mex restaurants, any restaurant in this list offers the tastiest tacos in the city. Here’s a quick look at must-eat tacos in San Antonio, in no particular order!
- Taqueria Datapoint
- Garcia’s Mexican Food
- Tacos El Regio
- Tacos N Salsa
- Taquitos West Avenue
- Carnitas Lonja
- Henry’s Puffy Tacos
- Tacos and Chelas Mexican Kitchen
- El Pastor Es Mi Señor
- Ray’s Drive Inn
- Little Taco Factory
- Taqueria El Trompo
- Carnitas Don Raúl-USA
- Chela’s Tacos
- Pete’s Tako House
- Torchys Tacos
- The Jerk Shack
- Con Huevos Tacos
- Tlahco Mexican kitchen
The truth is San Antonio’s food scene can’t go without tacos, which reflects in an abundance of taco trucks, neighborhood taquerias, and local joints sitting here and there.
The best tacos’ formula is pretty straightforward: high-quality meats, homemade fresh tortillas, and authentic spices. The listed restaurants nail all these criteria and represent the best Mexican cooking to diners. So, don’t be surprised if there’s a line at any place below you decide to visit!
Taquitos West Avenue’s specialty is mini street tacos, which pack a flavorful punch. The no-frills seating area means you can focus on what matters: the food. This taco joint serves up its delicious tacos all day and late at night – until 3 AM on Fridays and Saturdays.
Thanks to the efficient kitchen, despite the long line that often stretches out the door, you’ll never wait too long to get your food. There are many seating options available, both indoor and outdoor, with loud music playing to create a down-to-earth, quick Mexican taco vibe.
The Al Pastor is the star of the show here, but make sure to plan your visit for Thursday through Sunday when it’s available. Other fan favorites like the juicy bistec, tender cabeza, crispy tripas, savory suadero, and spicy chorizo are also worth trying.
Location 1: 2818 West Ave, San Antonio, TX 78201
Phone: (210) 525-9888
Location 2: 12734 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217
Phone: (210) 444-9460
Ranked among the top 20 best taco shops in Alamo city, Taqueria Datapoint is regarded as “the only taqueria in San Antonio that matters”. With 3 locations and late opening hours, you can easily satiate your taco cravings at night with this taco shop.
This local tacos shop serves breakfast all day (from 11 AM), which means you can enjoy breakfast tacos or burritos any time of the day.
With opening hours stretching until 3 AM on Saturday and Friday and until 12:30 AM on the other days, Taqueria Datapoint is where you can turn for a no-frills, tasty late-night meal.
This hole-in-the-wall has a local, friendly vibe, with a drive-through available at the De Zavala outpost. All locations offer a separate kid’s menu featuring chicken nuggets, mini tacos, and enchiladas.
Taqueria Datapoint excels in mini tacos, so you shouldn’t miss their pastor, barbacoa, asada a la mexicana, and carnitas. The gorditas are also authentic and flavorful as well. If you come for breakfast, nice recommendations include migas, chilaquiles, and huevos a la mexicana.
Location 1: 4503 De Zavala Rd, San Antonio, TX 78249
Phone: (210) 455-3888
Location 2: 4063 Medical Dr, San Antonio, TX 78229
Phone: (210) 975-8495
Location 3: 1702 W Gramercy Pl, San Antonio, TX 78201
Phone: (210) 733-1323
Established in 2007 by Fernando Quintanilla, Tacos El Regio represents the owner’s affection for Monterey cuisine. Using only authentic Mexican spices, this quaint taco shop proudly claims they cook the “Best tacos on earth” from their yellowish food trucks.
This grab-n-go taco shop has veggie tacos to accommodate vegetarians. The restaurant also pays attention to order timing, as diners won’t have to wait too long even if they’re in a long line. At the St Mary’s outpost, the music from the nearby bars/clubs also adds more fun to the atmosphere.
This food truck has the best quesadillas in town. Get a taste of their beef quesadillas, asada quesadillas, or chicken fajita quesadillas, and you won’t regret your order! As for mini tacos, both pastor and asada are fresh and tasty.
The veggie tacos are so delectable that they please vegetarians and meat lovers alike. You shouldn’t miss out on their corn in the cup, either – a fantastic side dish to your savory tacos.
Location 1 (Nacogdoches): 12757 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217
Phone: (210) 665-0095
Location 2 (St Mary’s): 2726 N St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78212
Phone: (210) 782-2272
This contemporary cafe has a family-friendly dining space or a drive-through option to place your order. Proudly with their Reader’s Choice Award as “best breakfast taco in San Antonio”, Tacos N Salsa is synonymous with their signature Trash Can taco and fresh, flavorful barbacoa.
Tacos N Salsa makes their tortillas, chips, and salsa in-house (with a fresh salsa bar), which is a good indicator of their food’s quality. There are both dine-in and drive-through options; chips and salsa are free if you choose to dine in.
The Tacos N Salsa menu is all about breakfast and lunch, with special dishes under 600 calories (TNS Lite) for those wanting to keep their calories in check. Another bonus is breakfast tacos are available all day!
The Trash Can and barbacoa will rock your world. Besides, my favorites are carne guisada, migas tacos, chicken Alambre (grilled chicken breast), and Alambre tacos. If you come for breakfast, try their bacon and egg tacos.
Location 1: 5123 N Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78249
Phone: (210) 408-7878
Location: 11860 Wurzbach Rd, San Antonio, TX 78230
Phone: (210) 538-5577
Phone: (210) 451-7301
Sitting Southside of San Antonio, this casual eatery is owned and operated by chef Alejandro Paredes, a native of Morelia, Mexico. She’s also a semifinalist in the 2020 James Beard Awards.
Opened its door in 2017, Carnitas Lonja has been known for its flavorful carnitas, prepared in traditional ways just like in Michoacan, Mexico.
Carnitas Lonja is a counter-serve taqueria where you get your food via the window and then settle on its breezy, laid-back patio to enjoy. You can also purchase their salsas and tortillas at retail prices.
Their signature dish – carnitas – comes with pico de gallo, pickled onions, limes, and corn tortillas. Every element on the plate is super delicious.
Carnitas tacos and fish tacos are hands down among the best sellers there. Their homemade corn tortillas, which the restaurant sells in 6 pieces per portion, are also incredibly fresh and tasty. Carnitas are, of course, the show’s star, sold by pound or half-pound.
Phone: (210) 455-2105
As the closest competitor with Ray’s Drive Inn, this local legend has served gourmet buffy tacos since 1978. The original recipe of puffed fried corn masa tacos (now called puffy tacos) has won the hearts of many patrons in and outside San Antonio.
Henry’s newer outpost is more roomy and polished, whereas the original is more of a mom-and-pop establishment. Both have a full bar with smoothies, lemonade, and soft drinks to wash down your food.
This taco shop boasts a diverse Tex-Mex menu, and you might be overwhelmed by different options, from grilled dishes to seafood and big plates. There are also child plates for kids 12 or younger. Whatever you order, chips and salsa are free to accompany your food.
Carne guisada, shredded chicken, and crispy picadillo tacos give Henry its unmatched reputation. Chicken tortilla soup, sierra nachos, and shrimp enchiladas are also praise-worthy. As for the drinks, either the refreshing Pina Colada smoothies or margaritas are your best bets.
Location 1 (Henry’s Puffy Tacos): 6030 Bandera Rd, San Antonio, TX 78238
Phone: (210) 647-8339
Location 2 (Henry’s Puffy Tacos Express): 3202 W Woodlawn Ave, San Antonio, TX 78228
Phone: (210) 433-7833
Tacos And Chelas Mexican Kitchen is the prime spot to taste Southern Mexican cuisine. Everything at this taco shop is made to order and turns out in huge portions and flavors. Prices are already reasonable, but they even get cheaper if you’re military.
This little Mexican restaurant is homey and cozy, with big windows where guests can take a glimpse of chefs in action. Their drinks are just as fantastic as the food, with must-try options like agua frescas and café de olla (Mexican spiced coffee).
Carne asada fries, asada street tacos, birria tacos, and birria quesadillas are all big in flavors and portions. On the seafood side, Baja fish tacos and fuego ceviche (raw shrimp with pico De Gallo) are highly recommended on your first visit.
Location: 9902 Potranco Rd, San Antonio, TX 78251
Phone: (210) 384-9145
Just off Wurzbach Road, El Pastor Es Mi Señor is a taqueria that humbly sits on the site of a shopping mall. This eatery is the best place for tacos and Mexican fares in a neighborhood where taco shops are few and far between.
This taqueria masters Mexico City’s tradition of Trompo cooking to achieve flavorful sirloin and pork that goes into their tacos and tortas.
This joint was also featured in the Netflix series “Taco Chronicles”. The restaurant takes this as pride, reflected in their open kitchen concept allowing diners to look at the Trompo machines.
As the namesake of this restaurant, Al Pastor tacos are a not-to-be-missed order. Sirloin tacos, Alambre fit (with sirloin, pastor, and chuleta), and quesadillas also received tons of praise. Tacos are served with three different salsas; if you’re a spicy food eater, try the creamy one.
Location: 8727 Wurzbach Rd Suite 102, San Antonio, TX 78240
Phone: (210) 479-3474
Since the 1950s, Ray’s Drive Inn has been a local institution on the West Side. As the name suggests, this eatery is a drive-in where you can place an order and enjoy the great food in your car. Yet, Ray’s Drive Inn has turned itself into a brick-and-mortar spot, with several indoor seating.
Ray’s Drive Inn is where Henry Lopez (Henry’s Puffy Tacos’ founder) invented the popular “Puffy” tacos. This local staple serves 500 puffy tacos daily, which is the best proof of their quality.
Ray’s Drive Inn is known for its family-friendly ambiance, with jukebox and oldies music playing in the background. Other than Mexican fares, there are American classics like hot dogs and burgers to accommodate more palates.
Shredded chicken tacos and gorditas (chicken and beef or carne guisada) are the reasons many diners come here. Of course, the puffy tacos served with beef, carne guisada, chicken, or BBQ, are among the best in town.
Location: 822 SW 19th St, San Antonio, TX 78207
Phone: (210) 432-7171
This family-owned eatery has constantly been among the finest breakfast restaurants in San Antonio since 1978. Known for Tex-Mex cuisine, Pete’s Tako House proudly serves delicious pancakes and breakfast tacos in their homey digs.
Pete’s Tako House has special offerings for breakfast and lunch throughout the week. If you swing by on weekends, take note of their special drinks like Bloody Mary, Bloody Maria, and Mimosas.
Pete’s plates, which include cheese enchilada, carne guisada, beans, and guacamole, are always my first choice when visiting this Tex-Mex restaurant. The breakfast, pastor, or carne guisada tacos are also incredibly addicting (with 5 mini tacos in each portion).
Their barbacoa also wins my heart (and taste buds), but note that this dish is only available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For something comforting, I highly recommend ordering a tasty bowl of Fideo Loco (Mexican-style noodle soup with beans and ground beef).
Location: 502 Brooklyn Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215
Phone: (210) 224-2911
Since 1962, this West Side staple has been served cheap, fresh, and tasty foods for breakfast and lunch to the locals. Among the many Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, their award-winning brisket tacos are killer. That justifies the restaurant’s “Home of the Barbecue Brisket Taco” claim.
Garcia’s is welcoming and cozy, with old-timey cowboy portraits and trippy gold wallpaper, Elvis clock all contributing to the old charm. The highlight is still the critically acclaimed brisket, rubbed with spices and smoked over oaks overnight.
Their attention to detail also yields killer salsa, chips, and sauces (hot habanero sauce is my favorite) to accompany the food. Garcia’s previously mentioned on Texas Monthly and Eater.com, so it’s no wonder why there’s always a line of eager eaters there!
Garcia’s signature brisket tacos are always the top choices there. The meat is succulent, juicy, and buttery, and when served on soft corn tortillas, it’s a bomb.
Breakfast tacos and pork chop tacos are also standout choices just behind brisket tacos. The next recommendations should be carne guisada, huevos rancheros, and brisket nachos.
Location: 842 Fredericksburg Rd, San Antonio, TX 78201, United States
Phone: (210) 735-4525
At Little Taco Factory, you can find a crowd of college students chowing down their tacos, as the eatery is adjacent to San Antonio College. The simple dining space, warm hospitality, and tasty food probably remind you of grandma’s food.
Everything sticks to basics here, but the top-notch service and food are what draw the crowd. Many customers rave about their red salsa, which is seriously delicious on enchiladas and tacos. The restaurant also has daily specials, so be sure to check out what’s on the offer of the day.
The biggest hits at this cozy eatery are carne guisada and enchiladas. The cheese enchiladas, in particular, come with an irresistible sauce. Potato, egg, and cheese tacos and gorditas are also tasty. You may want to pair the food with coffee or sweet tea to complete your meal.
Location: 1510 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212
Phone: (210) 227-5657
Tucked at The Plazas at Callaghan off of IH10, Taqueria El Trompo boasts a bright interior with outdoor seating on the patio. Opening for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this local destination is the place to get authentic Mexican fare any time of the day.
Beans, rice, chips, and salsas hit all the right spots at Taqueria El Trompo. A dozen or so other items like hot dogs and hamburgers also help this taqueria caters to more palates. Another bonus is they offer free parking and outdoor seating if you prefer to enjoy the nice weather.
At this taqueria, the asada mini tacos, pastor tortas, barbacoa tacos, and Trompo mini tacos keep diners returning. You shouldn’t sleep on their asada burrito either; the beans and steak in the fillings are 100% tasty and irresistible.
Location: 7863 Callaghan Rd Suite 108, San Antonio, TX 78229
Phone: (210) 626-8032
Famed for top-notch queso and tacos, Torchys Tacos is a busy chain that you should check out in San Antonio.
This joint started with a humble trailer in Austin and grew into a big name with over 50 locations across Texas. Torchy’s Tacos is now ranked among the most popular Mexican eateries in San Antonio, Texas, with up to 6 outposts.
This fast-casual taco shop offers up to 20 traditional tacos and several entrees. They also have “Taco of the Month”, when special tacos are available. Part of the proceeds of this event is donated to MD Anderson or Phoenix House.
Torchy’s Tacos also has a full bar with a vibrant happy hour from Monday to Friday (3-6 PM). So, join the bar during these hours to grab discounts on margaritas and signature sips. During weekends, there are also weekend cures like bloody mary and mimosa if you’re into cocktails.
Their sumptuous queso and chips gain a huge reputation. Whether you try the green chile or Hillbilly versions, you won’t disappoint. What should come next is The Wrangler (brisket tacos with cheese, potatoes, and eggs), Trailer Park, and Baja Shrimp Tacos.
Phone: (210) 920-2929
Phone: (210) 775-2055
Phone: (210) 987-5574
Phone: (210) 424-3151
Location 5: 18210 Sonterra Pl, San Antonio, TX 78258
Phone: (726) 444-9116
Location 6: 999 E Basse Rd #183, San Antonio, TX 78209
Phone: (210) 824-1603
15. The Jerk Shack
This Caribbean restaurant is helmed by James Beard-nominated chef Nicola Blaque, who owned another Caribbean American eatery in San Antonio – Mi Roti. Founded in 2018, The Jerk Shack is known for their Jamaican offerings, but the tacos are also phenomenal.
The Jerk Shack’s new location (it previously sat on 117 Matyear Street) is spacious, with plenty of indoor seating and a patio. Good reggae music playing in the background also adds to the lively vibe of the place. There’s also a thrive-through option at this new spot.
At the Jerk Shack, you’ll never regret an order (or two) of Jerk chicken, the signature dish of this restaurant. Jerk pork, oxtails, and beef patties are also crowd-pleasing offerings. As for tacos, you should go for pork tacos, which are juicy and flavorful.
The curry chicken, served with a side of cabbage and plantains, is the only thing you’ll need if you’re searching for anything comforting.
Location: 10234 TX-151 Suite 103, San Antonio, TX 78251
Phone: (210) 776-7780
16. Con Huevos Tacos
Near the East Side, Con Huevos Tacos will catch your eyes with its vibrant, bluish facade. Featured on the Netflix series alongside El Pastor Es Mi Señor, this small taqueria is praised for its homemade tortillas and tasty breakfast tacos above anything else.
As one of the best restaurants for outdoor dining in San Antonio, Texas, Con Huevos Tacos boasts a lovely deck area shaded by solar screens.
Picnic tables, stool bars, and catchy cumbias over the speaker turn this taqueria into a lovely space to eat and drink. The place is also kid-friendly and vegetarian-friendly.
The majority of the menu is breakfast tacos, and you can’t go wrong with popular dishes like Elida, Irma, and Carmen tacos.
Chilaquiles Verdes bowl and quesadilla papa & chorizo are other menu spotlights. Remember to get their Agua Fresca, whose flavors change daily, to wash down your food, too.
Location: 1629 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78202
Phone: (210) 229-9295
With the honors of being featured in Netflix Taco Chronicles, Carnitas Don Raúl is another destination for tasty tacos you shouldn’t miss. Just north of Grayson Street, you can easily spot this food trailer with a long but quick-moving line of patrons.
At this reputed restaurant, carnitas are prepared and cooked just like it is traditionally back in its birthplace Michoacán, Mexico.
Each day, about 200 pounds of pork are simmered in a copper cauldron with hot lard for several hours to nail the perfect tenderness and juiciness. This amount of meat always sells out during the day.
At Carnitas Don Raúl, the quesadilla moreliana, carnitas quesadilla, and torta moreliana will guarantee your second and third visits. Also, don’t leave without tasting their carnitas tacos – each serving has soft taco shells wrapped around generous meat fillings.
Location: 2202 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78215
Phone: (210) 427-3202
Chela’s Tacos is a must-visit for breakfast, and lunch in Alamo Heights, offering various Mexican and Tex-Mex staples. First started as a simple food truck next to UTSA (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Chela’s Tacos now developed into 2 brick-and-mortar locations in San Antonio.
Since its debut in 2009, this casual taco shop has won the Readers’ Choice ballot and Critics’ Choice as the best mobile restaurant. This is hugely owed to their commitment to using quality ingredients, like the best cut of pork shoulders and Angus top sirloin they can find.
Their chicken cilantro tacos never fail to wow my taste buds. Besides, the Cochinita Pibil (Yukan-style pork marinade with red salsa), puffy tacos, and shrimp tacos also taste amazing. In my opinion, the sumptuous barbacoa tacos and tortilla soup deserve much greater attention.
Try the chilaquiles plates also; it’s big on flavors and comes in generous portions that surely fill your belly up. Complete your breakfast at Chela’s Tacos with a cup of coffee, which is always tasty and freshly brewed.
Location 1: 5231 Broadway APT 117, San Antonio, TX 78209
Phone: (210) 753-1040
Location 2: 3420 N St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78212
Phone: (210) 267-1511
This seven-day-a-week Mexican restaurant boasts a broad menu, from buttermilk pancakes, and antojitos, to enchiladas and anything in between.
Tlahco feels incredibly authentic not just in their foods but also in sweet bread, Barro plate ware, and cups. If you swing by the Encino Rio location on Friday and Saturday, you can enjoy their musical night with live music from the Mariachi band.
While Tlahco doesn’t have an extensive beverage menu, it still boasts a full bar where you can sip on some tasty margaritas or micheladas. Plus, happy hour deals are available daily, from 3-7 PM, whereas margaritas come at a reasonable price on Tuesdays.
Among many breakfast tacos, the beef barbacoa and Al Pastor street mini tacos are the must-tries. You shouldn’t sleep on their Sopes, such as Sope de Pastor, Sope de Bisteck, or Sope de Rajas.
Chilaquiles, Enmoladas (enchilada with mole), and Tacos Dorados, teeming with authentic flavors, will satisfy your taste buds.
Remember to leave room for their lovely conchas con nata (Mexican sweet bread with cream). Since not many Mexican spots offer Cafe de olla as tasty as this eatery, you should give it a shot, too. If you arrive on Thursday-Sunday nights, check out their special grilled plates.
Location 1: 6702 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX 78216
Phone: (210) 239-9457
Location 2: 1662 Encino Rio SUITE 100, San Antonio, TX 78259
Phone: (210) 455-8543
The taco scene in San Antonio is vibrant and ever-evolving. In the city, various taco styles, from birria, puffy, guisada tacos, and everything in between, are well-executed to bring out authentic flavors. It’s no wonder why San Antonio is normally regarded as the taco capital of the US.
So, before heading to the city, let’s bookmark this guide or share it with other taco-loving folks so you can easily find it later. If you have any other suggestions, please also leave a comment so I can update the list further. Last but not least, please hit the like button before you leave.