16 Must-Try Mexican Restaurants On San Antonio's Riverwalk (2024)

Exploring the Riverwalk in San Antonio leads you to a culinary paradise, especially if you’re a lover of Tex Mex cuisine. Amid the bustling walkways, discover the 16 best Mexican restaurants, each brimming with authentic flavors and a unique dining experience. From sipping margaritas on picturesque patios to indulging in velvety queso and perfectly crafted tacos, these dining havens are a foodie’s dream come true. Whether you’re a local or visiting for an event at the Henry B. González Convention Center, these restaurants offer more than just a meal—they provide a gateway to the heart of South Texan and Tejano cuisine. As you navigate the vibrant Riverwalk, these culinary gems stand out not just for their delicious food but also for capturing the true essence of San Antonio’s rich culture. Beyond the fantastic dining, the Riverwalk itself is an adventure, offering an array of activities and sights that add depth and excitement to your San Antonio experience.

Insider Tips for Enjoying Mexican Cuisine on the Riverwalk

  1. Make Reservations: Due to the popularity of these Mexican restaurants, making a reservation can ensure you get a table, especially on weekends and during holidays.
  2. Ask for Recommendations: Don’t be shy to ask the staff for their recommendations. They can offer valuable insights into the best dishes on the menu.
  3. Try the Specialties: Each Mexican restaurant has its unique specialties. Be sure to try these signature dishes for a unique experience.
  4. Pair with Local Beverages: Enhance your meal by pairing it with traditional Mexican beverages like margaritas or aguas frescas.
  5. Check for Specials: Many Mexican restaurants offer daily specials or happy hour deals. Check their websites or social media pages for the latest promotions.

San Antonio’s Mexican restaurant scene on the Riverwalk is vibrant and diverse, offering a rich array of culinary delights. To help you explore the best Mexican restaurants in this iconic area, we’ve carefully selected the top sixteen based on specific criteria to ensure you have an exceptional dining experience.

Best Mexican Restaurants in Riverwalk

1. Rosario’s ComidaMex and Bar

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At Rosario’s ComidaMex and Bar, a longtime Tex Mex favorite since the 1990s, you’re not just a customer; you’re part of a lively tradition. Praised by the New York Times, this SA staple serves up amazing Tex-Mex cuisine amid a festive atmosphere. Whether it’s live music on the weekend or the clatter of big tables welcoming groups, every visit feels like a celebration. The sizzling fajitas are scrumptious, always juicy never dry or over-cooked. It’s the Riverwalk dining truth you have to experience.

For a genuine taste of Tex-Mex, visit Rosario’s at 722 S Saint Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX 78205-3419​​.

2. Mi Tierra Café y Panadería

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Mi Tierra Café y Panadería is a mainstay among Mexican restaurants in downtown San Antonio, renowned not just in Texas but also beyond. A mere 10-minute walk from the bustling Riverwalk, this historic market square gem is a refreshing alternative to the crowded Riverwalk restaurants, popular with tourists and locals alike. Owned by the Cortéz family since 1941, Mi Tierra is vast, catering to groups with its large Tex-Mex favorites. Beyond the expansive menu, the on-site Mexican bakery combats any decision fatigue with a myriad of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and drinks. Its bar is the stuff of legends, with lines that can get insane, but for a taste of the true Riverwalk experience, it’s entirely worth the wait. For those looking to extend their experience in the area, checking out the Honest Guide To The Most Breathtaking Hotels On The Riverwalk In San Antonio offers insights into exceptional stays near this iconic location.

You’ll find this iconic eatery at 218 Produce Row, San Antonio, TX 78207​​. Visit their website for more details on their offerings and the vibrant atmosphere they provide.

3. La Margarita

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La Margarita is a hot spot for authentic Mexican restaurant enthusiasts, situated in the heart of Market Square. A stone’s throw from the Riverwalk, this New Orleans-style building houses a festive ambience, renowned for its margaritas and sizzling fajitas. Not just another menu item, each dish is known for its rich flavor, making it a perk for those with even the most discerning palates. And if you’re on a tight schedule, take advantage of their reservations system to avoid the long line for a table. After enjoying the vibrant atmosphere and delicious cuisine at La Margarita, you might consider exploring the area further by visiting some of the best Coffee Places nearby, perfect for a relaxing cup after a satisfying meal.

Located at 120 Produce Row, San Antonio, Texas 78207, La Margarita is a vibrant piece of San Antonio’s culinary tapestry. For a guaranteed spot, it’s wise to make a reservation in advance via their website

4. Ácenar

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Tucked just off the beaten path of the Riverwalk, Ácenar offers a private environment away from the bustling tourist region. A concept born from the creators of Rosario’s and Biga on the Banks, it delivers a menu that perfectly balances Mexican cuisine with Tex-Mex under the guidance of Chef Richard Sanchez. With specialty co*cktails, seafood selections like ceviche and grilled snapper, and not to forget the staple chips, the flavors here are as rich and varied as the Riverwalk itself. For those looking for unique Date Ideas for Riverwalk, Ácenar’s vibrant atmosphere and diverse menu make it an excellent choice.

Multiple levels of dining provide serene Riverwalk views without the crowding of pedestrians below. It’s a place where you can leisurely enjoy lunch or partake in happy hour deals while seated on a patio that feels worlds away from the dirty birds and noise. Whether you’re navigating by map or a local’s recommendation, Ácenar stands out as a culinary walk worth taking, a brainchild of San Antonio’s restaurateurs that demands a visit. For those looking to diversify their dining experience in the area, checking out the best Pizza Spots nearby can offer a delightful change of pace and flavor.

You can visit Ácenar at 146 E Houston St, San Antonio, Texas,

5. Iron Cactus

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At Iron Cactus Mexican Restaurant and Margarita Bar, you’ll find an Austin-based culinary experience with an elevated calm along the San Antonio Riverwalk. Sit outside on the outdoor patio, guarded by planters from the bumping of pedestrians, and enjoy dine-worthy fajitas at an elevated table. This calm experience rivals that of nearby Casa Rio and Ácenar, but with a tequila selection that boasts over 100 premium tequilas. Their Margarita Bar serves excellent margaritas, shaken-to-order, avoiding the cheap liquor trap of a sugary marg. Instead, opt for a spicy watermelon or prickly pear margarita, or go bold with a tequila flight or mezcal flight.

Iron Cactus stands out among San Antonio restaurants for good Tex-Mex, with a menu featuring items like pork tamale pops and hickory grilled salmon, alongside beef fajitas and tuna ceviche. And for dessert? The tres leches cake is a must. After a flavorful meal, you might consider unwinding at one of the , offering a perfect blend of relaxation and rejuvenation to complement your culinary adventure.

Visit them at 200 River Walk Suite 100, San Antonio, TX 78205​​. | WEBSITE

6. Domingo

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Domingo, perched on the terrace of the Canopy Hotel by Hilton, offers a modern twist to Mexican cuisine with that special Texas flair. It’s just a few steps from the San Antonio River, providing a beautiful spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The menu reflects the richness of the region, featuring signature co*cktails like the Oaxaca Colada and the passion fruit margarita, alongside classic guacamole with charred serrano chili, skillet cornbread with honey butter, and tacos wrapped in hand-made corn tortillas. It’s a knock-out choice for the best Mexican food at Riverwalk prices. For those who enjoy leisurely mornings or afternoons with exceptional cuisine, exploring the brunch spots around San Antonio can offer an array of delightful dining experiences, perfect for any palate.

For an authentic taste of the Riverwalk with an innovative twist, find Domingo at 123 N Saint Marys St, San Antonio, TX 78205 | WEBSITE

7. Casa Rio

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Casa Rio, not just a list on a menu, but a historical tapestry woven into the Riverwalk. As the oldest and most iconic restaurant, it’s a canvas of colorful umbrellas where you can dine with a view. While some may find the chicken tamales a bit dry, adding sour cream and cheese quickly turns flavorless to flavorful. This institution serves not just food, but exceptional salsa made from freshly chopped tomatoes and a bit of water to enhance the taste without overpowering it.

For those seeking to experience a vibrant piece of San Antonio’s history, Casa Rio is located at 430 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205-2652 | WEBSITE

8. Rio Rio and Rita’s On The River

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Rio Rio and Rita’s On The River are two jewels in the crown of the Riverwalk’s Tex Mex scene, each offering an ambiance that captures the essence of San Antonio. Rio Rio, one of the original Mexican restaurants on the Riverwalk, tempts the taste buds with its fresh Tex-Mex recipes and homemade flour tortillas​​. Meanwhile, Rita’s On The River is more than just a place to dine; it’s a destination where the margaritas flow as steadily as the river itself, with an address at 245 East Commerce Street, San Antonio, TX 78205, as inviting as its menu​​​​. | WEBSITE

9. Biga on the Banks

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Biga on the Banks, a prominent dining destination along the San Antonio Riverwalk since 1991, offers a distinctive experience with its eclectic contemporary American cuisine. Patrons can enjoy a unique dining adventure with their choice of a three-or four-course pre-fixe menu, which changes daily to reflect seasonal ingredients. Signature dishes often include Hill Country venison, grilled quail, and a creative tamale tart accompanied by apple-braised cabbage and a flavorful juniper sauce. For a sweet finish, the sticky toffee pudding is highly recommended and not to be missed.

Located at 203 S Saint Marys St, San Antonio, TX 78205, Biga on the Banks is an essential visit for anyone looking to indulge in fine dining with a view of the river​​. Visit their website for the latest menu and to book a reservation.

10. Schilo’s

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Nestled among the classic spots on the San Antonio Riverwalk, Schilo’s stands as the oldest restaurant in the city, inviting diners to savor German fare with a side of history. Their potato pancakes, pretzels, and sausages transport you to the heart of Germany, while the schnitzel is as authentic as it comes. This diner-style institution also offers a meatloaf special that’s in such high demand, it’s become a permanent menu fixture.

For those craving hearty, comfort food with a German twist, Schilo’s is located at 424 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205-2629​​. Visit their website to explore the menu and learn more about their storied past.

11. Boudro’s Texas Bistro

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Boudro’s Texas Bistro on the San Antonio Riverwalk is a treasure trove of unique entrees, blending Texan heartiness with Mexican zest. Indulge in their smoked shrimp enchiladas or the blackened prime rib. For a refreshing twist, try their frozen margaritas with a splash of prickly pear juice. The guacamole is a crowd-pleaser, prepared at your table to ensure freshness. And for those seeking a different perspective, special barges offer river cruises for dining on the water, where you can savor steaks and the scenery alike.

You’ll find Boudro’s at 421 East Commerce Street, San Antonio, TX 78205. To explore their menu or book a river cruise, visit their website​​.

12. Allora

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Allora is a gem situated at the Pearl District’s northern tip, offering a slice of the Amalfi Coast on the Riverwalk. It’s a place where pasta and wine connoisseurs converge, not just for the food but also for people watching. Their lobster lasagna, featuring butter-poached Maine lobster and house-cured guanciale in a rich sauce of San Marzano tomatoes, is a culinary masterpiece. Allora offers an experience that’s as much about the atmosphere as it is about the exquisite dishes.

For those seeking an Italian retreat in San Antonio, Allora’s doors are open at 403 Pearl Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78215. Discover more about their coastal Italian offerings on their website

13. The Republic of Texas Restaurant

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The Republic of Texas Restaurant embodies the spirit of the state with its hearty fare. Envision Texans mingling over big burgers, juicy steaks, and sizzling fajitas in this central location on the Riverwalk. It’s not just about the food; it’s about the experience the aroma of barbecue, the tender brisket sandwich, and the well-loved combination brisket and sausage plate. Every dish speaks to the heart of Texas cuisine.

Situated at 429 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205, The Republic of Texas Restaurant is a must-visit for anyone craving authentic Texas flavors​ | WEBSITE

14. Ocho

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At Ocho, located in the glass conservatory of Hotel Havana, you’ll find one of the best views of the river combined with an ambiance that’s hard to match. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls provide an almost seamless connection to the waterfront, allowing diners to engage in the art of people watching. The menu is a fusion of Cuban and Mexican cuisine with Texan influences, featuring dishes like arroz con pollo and crispy snapper in a coconut sauce. After dinner, the speakeasy bar serves up classic and inventive margaritas.

For an intimate dining experience with expansive views, visit Ocho at 1015 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205, and explore their offerings on their website

15. Supper

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Supper, nestled within the stylish confines of Hotel Emma, serves up a contemporary twist on American classics. This modern design restaurant, with its chic clientele, is ideal for a celebratory dinner or an intimate get together. With a commitment to local organic seasonal ingredients sourced from family-owned Texas farms, the menu is a testament to freshness. Favorites include a creatively prepared risotto and the hotel’s namesake co*cktail, The Emma, ensuring a memorable dining experience.

Located at 136 E. Grayson in San Antonio, Texas, Supper at Hotel Emma can be contacted at 877 524 0031 for reservations. Discover their innovative menu and make a booking on their website

16. La Fonda On Main

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La Fonda On Main, though not within walking distance of the Riverwalk, is heralded as one of the best Tex Mex restaurants in San Antonio. This restaurant is synonymous with exceptional food and strong margaritas, served within a beautiful ambiance. Opt for an outdoor table to enhance your dining experience with a charming atmosphere. La Fonda’s allure isn’t just in its location but in the quality and care evident in every dish served.

You can experience the delightful offerings of La Fonda On Main at 2415 N. Main Ave, San Antonio, Texas. For more information and to secure a spot, visit their website

Criteria for Selecting the Best Mexican Restaurants on Riverwalk

To ensure you experience the finest Mexican cuisine on the San Antonio Riverwalk, we selected these restaurants based on the following criteria:

  1. Authenticity: We prioritized restaurants offering traditional Mexican dishes made with authentic ingredients and techniques.
  2. Quality of Food: Freshness and flavor are paramount. We chose restaurants known for their high-quality, delicious meals.
  3. Menu Variety: A diverse menu catering to different tastes, including vegetarian and vegan options.
  4. Customer Reviews and Ratings: High ratings and positive reviews on platforms like Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor were considered to ensure these restaurants are well-regarded by diners.
  5. Ambiance and Atmosphere: The overall ambiance of a restaurant significantly impacts the dining experience. We chose places that provide a comfortable, inviting, and culturally immersive atmosphere.
  6. Service Quality: Excellent customer service enhances the dining experience. Restaurants with friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable staff were prioritized.
  7. Value for Money: We considered the cost of dishes and selected restaurants that offer great value for money, ensuring that diners get a fulfilling experience without overspending.
  8. Location and Accessibility: Convenient locations that are easily accessible with ample parking or public transportation options.

By following these criteria, we have compiled a list of the best Mexican restaurants on the San Antonio Riverwalk that promise an exceptional and enjoyable dining experience.

FAQ about Mexican Restaurants on Riverwalk San Antonio

What are the best Mexican restaurants on the San Antonio Riverwalk?

The best Mexican restaurants on the San Antonio Riverwalk include Casa Rio, Boudro’s Texas Bistro, Iron Cactus Mexican Grill, and Rio Rio Cantina. These spots are renowned for their delicious Mexican cuisine, excellent service, and vibrant atmospheres.

What types of Mexican dishes can I find at these restaurants?

You can find a wide variety of Mexican dishes, including tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, tamales, quesadillas, and unique specialties like tableside guacamole and margaritas.

Are these Mexican restaurants family-friendly?

Yes, all of the recommended Mexican restaurants on the Riverwalk are family-friendly. They offer a welcoming environment for families, with menu options that cater to all ages, making them great choices for family dining.

What is the best time to visit these Mexican restaurants?

The best time to visit these Mexican restaurants is typically during dinner hours when the full menu is available, and the ambiance is at its best. Weekends can be busy, so making a reservation is advisable. Some spots also offer lunch specials that are both affordable and delicious.

Do these Mexican restaurants accept credit cards, or should I bring cash?

Most Mexican restaurants on the Riverwalk accept credit cards. However, it’s always a good idea to bring some cash, especially for smaller establishments or for tipping.

Is there parking available at these Mexican restaurants?

Yes, most of the top Mexican restaurants on the Riverwalk offer ample parking. Restaurants like Casa Rio and Iron Cactus have designated parking areas for visitors. It’s advisable to arrive early, especially during peak dining hours, to secure a convenient parking spot.

Can I find vegetarian or vegan options at these Mexican restaurants?

Yes, many Mexican restaurants on the Riverwalk offer vegetarian and vegan options. Restaurants like Boudro’s Texas Bistro and Iron Cactus have specific menu items that cater to dietary restrictions, ensuring that all customers can enjoy a delicious meal.

What are some must-try dishes at these Mexican restaurants?

Some must-try dishes include the Tableside Guacamole at Boudro’s Texas Bistro, the Fajitas at Casa Rio, the Tacos al Pastor at Rio Rio Cantina, and the Chile Relleno at Iron Cactus. These dishes are highly recommended for their unique flavors and excellent preparations.

Do these Mexican restaurants offer takeout or delivery services?

Yes, many of the top Mexican restaurants on the Riverwalk offer takeout and delivery services. You can order directly from the restaurant’s website or through popular delivery apps like UberEats, DoorDash, and Grubhub.

16 Must-Try Mexican Restaurants On San Antonio's Riverwalk (2024)
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