Here we go with our guide to the BEST TACOS IN SAN ANTONIO! It’s no small feat to curate an excellent guide to tacos in a city that legitimately has HUNDREDS of good tacos spots, but we’re confident this is the best guide out there. Use the map below to find some crazy good tacos in San Antonio, or read on if you enjoy the longer format of knowing details like the history, menu, and parking details of each taco restaurant.
Tacos are a big deal in San Antonio
San Antonio is known for tacos. (There’s actually a little squabble between San Antonio and Austin about which city has the best tacos, and San Antonians 100% know that they have the best tacos in the state of Texas.)
In a city this close to Mexico with this much of a Hispanic population, you just can’t ignore the fact that tacos are the thing in San Antonio. There are hundreds of taquerias around this city. And while there are definitely some tacos that are better or worse than others, there’s a good chance that you can walk into any random locally-owned taqueria on a street corner in SA and get a pretty good taco.
What’s the deal with Puffy Tacos in San Antonio?
The puffy taco is from San Antonio. They’re technically called “San Antonio-style Puffy Tacos” but that name is too long, so just be normal and call them Puffy Tacos.
What is a puffy taco, you ask? It’s essentially a deep-fried crispy taco. The raw masa is dropped in boiling hot oil and deep-fried into a taco shell shape, and then filled with ground beef, chicken fajita meat, or any other taco fillings your heart desires.
They are, quite frankly, absolutely delicious.
A lot of places in San Antonio serve puffy tacos, and we’ll include a few of them on this list. Btw, here are 5 interesting facts about the San Antonio Puffy Taco.
A few things about this guide:
- These are in no particular order. As much fun as it sounds to start with hundreds of taquerias and meticulously rank and review them down into an ordered list, declaring one taco as the BEST TACO in San Antonio isn’t fair. How can you compare a puffy ground beef taco to a Mexico City-style tiny pastor taco? Or a taco served in a fluffy homemade flour tortilla in a food truck to a taco from an upscale Mexican restaurant with nixtamalized corn tortillas and trendy cocktails? They’re all tacos, yes, but they’re so different. Rest assured that every taco on this list is amazing and worth trying.
- This guide will evolve over time. Come back, again and again, to check it out! There are new taco restaurants in San Antonio opening all the time, and we’re always out and about in SA exploring the food scene.
Tacos are cheap…get out and try them! The whole point of this guide is to get you out there, supporting local taquerias, and EATING TACOS. Once you’re done reading this, go eat a taco!
The 17 Best Tacos In San Antonio
1. Taquitos West Ave
There will probably be a line out the door when you arrive, but don’t let that deter you: the line at Taquitos West Ave moves fast. These tacos have been a popular choice for San Antonio residents long before Netflix brought this taqueria to the main stage on their hit show Taco Chronicles. These tiny little tacos are GOOD.
It’s a counter service spot that has a very simple menu: tacos + drinks. You’ll stand in line (FYI: a line that stretches all the way out the door only lasts about 10 minutes) and when you arrive at the window, you’ll yell your order to the staff. They prepare the tacos at a rapid pace, laying out tiny corn tortillas, slicing pastor off the trompo, throwing handfuls of minced onion and cilantro on tacos, and then handing the plate of tacos to each customer.
These Mexican street-style mini tacos are so delicious and craveable. Order a bunch of them (they’re tiny), douse them in that spicy homemade salsa, and devour them. Pro tip: the pastor is only served Thursday-Sunday, and it’s worth planning your trip to Taquitos West Ave based on the pastor's availability. So good.
2. Taqueria Datapoint
There are three locations of this taqueria (De Zavala Road has the best ambiance) and while they’re all pretty no-frills and simple, the tacos are AMAZING. These are some of the best authentic Mexican tacos you can find in San Antonio.
The menu is pretty robust with both breakfast and lunch/dinner entrees, but the plate of 5 mini taquitos is the way to go. Choose your meat (asada, barbacoa, tripas, carnitas, pastor, or pollo) or mix-and-match. Your taco plate will be brought out pretty quickly: 5 warm mini corn tortillas filled with savory, drippy meat (the asada here is an excellent choice) and onions and cilantro served on the side.
3. El Pastor Es Mi Señor
If you find yourself craving pastor tacos in San Antonio, it’s tough to find a better option than El Pastor Es Mi Señor. <- Yes, the name is long, but the tacos are served fast! It’s a buzzy little taqueria that’s been featured on CNN, Texas Monthly, and Bon Appetit for its insanely delicious pastor tacos.
And yes…they really are that good. The trompo spins slowly next to a hot flame, ensuring every single sliver of juicy pork meat that’s slivered onto your tacos is seared to a crisp, crunchy, totally delectable texture.
Each taco is served on two tortillas to ensure a sturdy base for the juicy, flavor-packed meat. Part of the beauty of pastor tacos is the little flick of pineapple that the trompero places on the taco. At this San Antonio taqueria, the chunk of pineapple is significant; no skimping here! The pineapple is the perfect addition of sweetness and acid to the salty, fatty taco.
The tacos at El Pastor Es Mi Señor are easily some of the best tacos in San Antonio. Add this place to your to-visit list if you haven't been yet!
4. Henry’s Puffy Tacos
Call me basic, but there’s nothing in the world like the satisfaction of biting into deep-fried food. “But deep–fried tacos,” you ask? Yes, my friend. And if you haven’t experienced the sheer joy of a basic Tex-Mex puffy taco filled with ground beef and orange cheddar cheese, prepare to be delighted. Henry’s serves some of the most satisfying tacos in San Antonio.
Henry’s Puffy Tacos is where you need to go for the best puffy tacos in San Antonio. Henry and his brother Ray (from the iconic San Antonio restaurant Ray’s Drive Inn) actually created the puffy taco! Henry’s Puffy Tacos has been around for nearly 50 years and it just keeps growing in popularity.
While the menu does have a full range of Tex-Mex favorites, like sizzling fajitas, creamy enchiladas, and plenty of queso options, your best bet is to order the namesake dish: a plate of two puffy tacos. If it’s your first time eating puffy tacos, go for the classic ground beef. Yes, it’s about as Tex-Mex-y as you can get when seasoned with ground beef, bright orange cheddar cheese, and iceberg lettuce. And yes, it’s delicious.
We’re not going for authentic Mexican tacos here. We’re going for the sheer joy of appreciating fried food, and that’s exactly what you’ll get at Henry’s Puffy Tacos.
5. Carnitas Lonja
Carnitas Lonja was really the first San Antonio taco restaurant to specialize in Carnitas and do them really well. Alejandro Paredes opened it in 2017 as a way to share the food from his home state of Michocoán, Mexico. This southside San Antonio open-concept restaurant is a community space: order your food at the window, find a table in the back patio space, and enjoy your tacos with friends and family.
Carnitas meat is a fatty cut of slow-cooked pork. It’s incredibly decadent and juicy, and when it’s cooked well (like at Carnitas Lonja), it’s packed with flavor and sooo satisfying. Of course, since it’s such a rich cut of meat, you’ll want to cut the fat with a healthy squeeze of lime, some pickled onions, and a pour of salsa.
6. Con Huevos Tacos
Sometimes you want a plate of tiny street-style tacos made with corn tortillas and authentic pastor or carnitas filling…and sometimes you want to eat tacos made on the best flour tortillas in San Antonio. And we’re not kidding when we say that Con Huevos has some of the BEST homemade flour tortillas you’ll find in San Antonio.
The specialty breakfast tacos are kind of the thing here, but you can totally order them for a lunch meal, too. They’re pretty big - one taco will most likely fill up the average eater, or two if you’re REALLY hungry or just ran a marathon or something.
The restaurant starts with those big, soft, fluffy flour tortillas, which are made in-house daily. Then they fill them with soft scrambled eggs, papas cooked in chorizo, salty refried beans, big slabs of crispy bacon, decadent carne guisada, and other delicious breakfast flavors. Sure, you’re not reading a guide to the best breakfast tacos in San Antonio right now, but Con Huevos Tacos is good enough to earn your attention. These yummy tacos deserve a spot on our guide to the best tacos in San Antonio. Full stop.
7. Tacos and Chelas Mexican Kitchen
For some of the best birria tacos in San Antonio, head to Tacos and Chelas. It’s a bit on the outskirts of town, near Seaworld San Antonio, but worth a stop if you’re in the area. It’s a small kitchen with just a few tables. Sit down, place an order, and your tacos will be brought out pretty quickly (about 10 minutes for us.)
The order of 5 street tacos + charro beans will fill up even the hungriest eater. Choose a single taco meat filling (the birria and asada are both delicious here) or mix and match and choose 5 different tacos so you can try them all. (That’s what we did!)
Note: if you’re looking for some of the best birria tacos in San Antonio, go here. That slow-cooked juicy meat tucked inside a soft corn tortilla might be one of the best things you've eaten in a while. And if you want to go all out, get the birria quesadillas. They come with three flour tortillas filled with melty cheese and that delicious birria meat + a side of consome to make it all extra juicy and drippy.
8. Carnitas Don Raul - USA
If you’ve watched Taco Chronicles on Netflix, you probably remember seeing Carnitas Don Raul in Season 1, Episode 2 when they highlight carnitas tacos from their birthplace: Michocoán, Mexico. Well, Carnitas Don Raul realized they needed to have a USA location, so they opened a trailer right here in San Antonio.
Here’s what you can order here: CARNITAS. Yep, slow-cooked, juicy pork with crispy little pieces mixed in. Get it by the pound, get it in a taco, but just know that if you show up at Carnitas Don Raul, you’re eatin’ pork!
Start with the traditional carnitas taco: it’s a HUGE amount of juicy carnitas served inside double corn tortillas. Onions and cilantro come on the side (you’ll probably want to add them to add a bit of flavor variety to the taco) and their homemade salsa is serve-yourself. Add a squeeze of lime and a bit of your favorite salsa, and you’re good to go.
Also worth noting: Carnitas Don Raul is parked in the same food truck park as Mila Coffee, one of our favorite coffee trucks in San Antonio.
9. Chela’s Tacos
Chela’s Tacos is a solid, basic, go-to taco restaurant in San Antonio for good tacos at any time of the day. These aren’t the best tacos in San Antonio, but they’re consistently good, they’re available for breakfast/lunch/dinner, and they’re in a convenient location (right next to Brackenridge Park, so you can get tacos before going to the Japanese Tea Garden or seeing some of the kid-friendly things to do in San Antonio with your family).
Take your pick of flour or corn tortillas, and then choose from a pretty impressive selection of lunch and dinner tacos. The chicken chipotle taco (paired with a margarita!) is going to make anyone happy. There’s nothing super authentic about the chicken chipotle taco - it’s a creamy/chipotle sauce with chicken breast and cilantro, best on a flour tortilla - but if you’re going for delicious flavor, good vibes, and a fun dinner out, Chela’s Tacos is hard to beat.
10. Tacos n Salsa
Three words: Trash Can Taco. You must give it a try if you’re looking for some of the best tacos in San Antonio. It’s a breakfast taco that includes a little bit of everything: eggs, breakfast meats, cheese, veggies, salsa…all wrapped up in a warm, fluffy flour tortilla.
TNS makes homemade tortillas and salsa, and they always make their tacos to order. (Worth the *very* short wait in order to get your tacos hot and fresh, in our opinion.) The restaurant name depicts everything on the menu: tacos n salsa. That’s what you can get here. But they’ve been making said tacos since the 1990s and it’s still a beloved taco joint in San Antonio, so they’re obviously doing something right.
11. Original Donut Shop
On any given day the drive-thru line at Original Donut Shop in San Antonio will stretch down the street…and that’s a sign of a good taco right there. These tacos are cheap, simple, and wildly satisfying. They have homemade flour tortillas that are thick and warm. They hit just right, every time.
This San Antonio taco restaurant is only open until 2 pm, so stop by for breakfast or lunch. Their toasted bean and cheese are honestly where it’s at (sounds simple but it’s SO good). If you’re craving more of a lunch taco, try the carne guisada. The savory beef stew is rich and creamy and tastes perfect in one of those homemade flour tortillas.
12. Garcia’s Mexican Food
Now in their seventh decade in San Antonio, Garcia’s Mexican Food is a staple in the SA restaurant scene and their brisket taco is, HANDS DOWN, one of the best tacos in San Antonio.
This is a very small, simple, no-frills family restaurant. Don’t expect a lot of frills in the dining room. What you can expect, though, is homemade flour and corn tortillas, Tex-Mex diner favorites, and friendly service.
Not into a brisket? The carne guisada with cheese is another crowd favorite at Garcia’s Mexican Food. We recommend getting it on flour because those fluffy tortillas are just so darn satisfying.
You might have seen this taco truck in our guide to the best food trucks in San Antonio. It’s been recognized by Texas Monthly as one of the best new taquerias in Texas, and locals seem to agree: this is the place to go for excellent Mexican street food tacos in San Antonio.
These tacos will absolutely knock your socks off! They’re made with care, each one perfectly crafted with excellent ingredients and packed with flavor. Take the Arebes taco, for example, they combine the flavors of Mexico and the Mediterranean and create unique fusion tacos that are unlike anything you’ve had. Or, of course, go with something a bit more standard like a plate of their asada, carnitas, or Chorizo.
No matter what you try, just get to Milpa soon and experience these excellent tacos in San Antonio.
14. Little Taco Factory
Open early in the day, Little Taco Factory is going to quickly become one of your favorite places for breakfast and lunch tacos in San Antonio. This no-frills taco joint serves simple tasty tacos in its small dining room (with to-go options available, too.) The chorizo/egg/cheese taco is where it’s at for breakfast, and the carne guisada is a lunchtime favorite. While the breakfast tacos are pretty small and inexpensive, the lunch tacos are served on plates with 3 tacos per serving + rice and beans…so arrive hungry!
15. Thlaco Mexican Kitchen
Tlahco Mexican Kitchen is straight up YUM. This combination of Mexican restaurant, Tex-Mex eatery, and taqueria truly have it all - from its wildly delicious street tacos to the more substantial antojitos and parrilladas that fill the expansive menu. Tlahco is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and would be well worth your while to try them for each meal.
Street tacos are a Tlahco taco specialty (which is a really fun sentence to say out loud). They have five protein options - pork, steak, chicken, shrimp, and barbacoa - to choose from and each order comes with five tacos served on homemade corn tortillas and a side of crazy good borracho beans.
We tried the pollo asado and camaron tacos and thought both were equally fantastic. The flavors were all robust and balanced. In particular, the spicy camarones (shrimp) paired perfectly with the avocado sauce, slaw, and cilantro - resulting in a tasty, but also colorful and fun, dish.
Tlahco has two locations in San Antonio to choose from and each is open 7 days a week.
16. Naco 210 and Naco Grayson
It all began with a taco truck. Naco 210 (currently parked right off of 410 at the Nacogdoches exit, next door to Theory Coffee) began a few years back and was quickly noticed on a national level when it was highlighted on season 3 of Netflix’s Taco Chronicles. From there, a second brick and mortar location was opened at Los Patios, and then recently that location was up and moved to San Antonio’s brand new SA Yacht Club. Naco Grayson is now open and serving the same menu as its prior Los Patios iteration.
Naco’s tacos are crazy good! Seriously, as in I-have-to-sit-down-when-I-think-about-them good. With a variety of both traditional and specialty tacos, all of which are on point in terms of tortilla quality and flavors, Naco 210/Grayson offers a fantastic variety while managing to maintain the highest of taco standards. Tortillas are perfect. Sauces are flavorful and spicy. And fillings are savory and delicious.
Just about anything you have will be fantastic, but we really liked the chicken and green salsa taco, and the Amerinaco taco with blue corn tortillas, angus asada, and huitlacoche (a mushroom delicacy known as the “Mexican truffle” and something that Americans NEED to get on board with right now).
You can sample huitlacoche at either the food truck or the brick and mortar location, so it all comes down to what you have time for. If it’s all about the speed, head to the food truck. If it’s all about the environment, head to the SA Yacht Club. If it’s just about the food, go to either, you won’t be disappointed.
17. Ray's Drive Inn
Yep, it's actually an old vintage drive-in restaurant! Ray's Drive Inn trademarked the term "puffy taco," so if you're just going to try one puffy taco in San Antonio, Ray's is a safe bet.
(Worth note: Henry, of Henry's Puffy Tacos, and Ray, of Ray's Drive Inn, were the two brothers who created the puffy taco. So to be safe, you should probably get puffy tacos at both of these San Antonio taco spots to see whose is best.)
The tacos at Ray's are deep-fried masa that's "puffed" up to a soft, crispy texture. It's then filled with refried beens, ground taco meat, shrimp, chicken fajitas meat, and other delicious fillings. It comes with shredded lettuce Ean tomatoes, and you can add cheese for an extra cost.
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