25 Essential Southside Restaurants You Should've Tried By Now 

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With Southerleigh Brewing Co., El Machito and The Friendly Spot all setting up shop at Brooks within the next year, the food scene on the Southside is changing in a major way. But before it does, make sure you've hit up all these 25 essential spots – a mixture of restaurants synonymous with the Southside and others that are still considered hidden gems.
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Casa del Kabob
1027 SW Military Dr., (210) 921-1200, facebook.com
No need to hop in the car to find Mediterranean food in the Medical Center, Casa del Kabob is where it’s at. Treat yourself to some Persian fare, you must try the falafel – either as an appetizer, plate or wrap.
Photo via Instagram / adriennei3
Griff’s Hamburgers
2418 Pleasanton Rd., (210) 923-1671, griffshamburgers.com
Griff’s is synonymous with the Southside, as it should be since it’s one of only seven locations in Texas. At this drive-thru spot you’ll find classic monster burgers, chicken sandwiches and a steak finger basket to boot. Top off your lunch/dinner with an ice cream float.
Photo via Instagram / itsmeabby.gayle
Pho Garden
2535 SE Military Dr., (210) 333-8899, facebook.com
The food scene on the Southside is changing (like we mentioned) but there’s already some been new cuisines setting up shop among the countless taquerias and Mexican restaurants. Get your pho fix or opt for a vermicelli bowl. Whether you’re dining in, taking it to go or having it delivered, Pho Garden’s menu should always be considered when in the mood for Asian fare.
Photo via Instagram / bettermadeeasy
Luna Rosa Puerto Rican Grill y Tapas
2603 SE Military Dr. #106, (210) 314-3111, lunarosatapas.com
While there’s plenty of Mexican restaurants and hole-in-the-wall taquerias on the Southside, there’s also a prime spot for Puerto Rican fare. Go for the paella your first time around, and venture out a bit and try the ropa vieja – shredded beef slow cooked in red wine, tomato sauce, bell peppers – when on your second visit (we know you’ll be back for more).
Photo via Instagram / hungrytravelingmama
Carnitas Lonja
1107 Roosevelt Ave., (210) 612-3626, facebook.com
Blue skies, puffy clouds, light breeze; chunky carnitas, great guac, savvy salsas … that seems like reason enough to get yourself to Carnitas Lonja. Plus, you’ll be able to find tacos here until 11pm on the weekend.
Photo via Instagram / jesselizarraras
Southside BBQ
6020 S Flores St., (210) 927-0227, southsidebb-q.com
Nestled in the heart of Harlandale, Southside BBQ brings traditional meats like brisket, beef ribs, sausage, pulled pork and chicken. Oh, and you can’t forget about turkey legs. This spot will have you lickin’ your fingers with just one taste.
Photo via Instagram / humpdayfunday
B & B Tamales and Food To Go
866 W Mayfield Blvd., (210) 921-0847
Don’t judge a book by its cover, and get your ass to B & B Tamales. This to-go spot lets you enjoy authentic home-cooked meals every day of the year. Rumor has it that Bill Miller (yes, THAT Bill Miller) used to buy his tamales here.
Photo via Instagram / injaimesshoes
Rosie’s Cafe
6507 S Flores St., (210) 924-8282
So it goes without saying that the Southside has plenty of taquerias and other spots to get Mexican food, especially tacos. But you’ve got to try Rosie’s and make sure that your order includes beans. Made just right like abuela does, these beans are hard to beat. Become a regular and owner Ray will treat you like family. Oh, and make sure you have cash (yep – it’s an old-fashioned mom & pop shop).
Photo via Instagram / lokisblunttothef
Uncle Barney’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers
7015 Interstate 35 Access Rd., (210) 922-6602
The cheese and mayo fuse together beautifully here, creating a slight creamy texture to your burger. Oh, and if you happen to visit when they’re cooking up the Texas-shaped patty, pour one out for the republic and enjoy.
Photo via Instagram / mchellrodriguez
Los Valles Produce
3915 Nogalitos St., (210) 927-9595, losvallesproduce.com
Snack stands are aplenty on the Southside, but Los Valles sticks out among them all. Stick with the fruteria and treat the fam/crew to a party platter with some fresh fruit, just remember the Tajin. Or kill some time at the fruteria and enjoy a raspa, corn in a cup, nachos, mangonada, or aguas frescas. Or you can dine inside, where you can enjoy freshly made Mexican food for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Photo via Instagram / city_at_night
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Che’s Chicken & Burgers
4303 S Presa St., (210) 533-7989
Pick up some fish, gizzards, burgers and – duh – chicken at this counter-serve fast food spot. Sit under the covered patio and enjoy the fried goodness. You can worry about the calories later.
Photo via Instagram / davistho_sa
Rolando’s Super Tacos
93 Shasta Ave., (210) 927-9449
If you find yourself on the Southside with a major appetite or major hunger, you’ll want to get yourself to Rolando’s. These plate-sized tacos (no – really!) allow you to order two fillings, so choose wisely.
Photo via Instagram / dimasanthonymartinez
Del Rio Tamale & Tortilla Factory
1402 Gillette Blvd., (210) 922-4810, delriotortillas.com
Whether you want fresh tamales or tortillas to try to pass as your own, Del Rio is the place to trust. You can also get your hands on some delicious menudo and barbacoa. Del Rio seems like the perfect place to start your Sunday morning.
Photo via Facebook / Del Rio Tortilla Factory
Bud Jones
1440 SW Military Dr., (210) 971-4027, budjonesrestaurant.com
While this spot may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there are plenty of Southsiders that swear by this spot, open since 1958. Go the seafood route (like the all-you-can-eat fish platter) or the hearty chicken fried steak.
Photo via Instagram / s.a.vortooth
B&B Smokehouse
2627 Pleasanton Rd., (210) 921-2745, bbsmokehouse.com
The brisket sandwich is always a good choice, as is the pink lemonade if you feel like having something sweet. Plus, any King of the Hill fans can find a signed photo of John Redcorn (psst – voice actor Jonathan Joss went to McCollum HS).
Photo via Instagram / the_stephanator
Nicha’s
3119 Roosevelt Ave., (210) 922-3330, nichas.com
It’s great for breakfast, it’s great for lunch, it’s great for dinner. Nicha’s is great anytime! But, if you decide to visit for breakfast, go for the Huevos Divorciados. And we guarantee you’re bound to see an old friend here.
Photo via Instagram / lisapizzas
TJ’s Hamburgers
2323 W Southcross Blvd., (210) 927-7331
Have you really been to the Southside if you haven’t had TJ’s? It’s debatable. Do yourself a favor and stop by for a juicy, cheesy burger on a perfectly toasted bun. You can also find extra treats like milkshakes, Frito pie and chili cheese fries.
Photo via Instagram / candicemichelle_94
Don Pedro Mexican Restaurant
1526 SW Military Dr., (210) 922-3511, donpedro.net
If you want to dine like a true Southsider, hit up Don Pedro for some margs, and food of course. This is a go-to for special occasions, and comes through during the weekend when it stays open until 2am.
Photo via Instagram / donpedrotx
Mary Lou’s Cafe
1002 Pleasanton Rd., (210) 924-0478
Skip the McCullough Avenue location and venture out to the Southside for some classic Mexican fare. Guzzle down your share of tacos, or order something more health-conscious, like the vegan chilaquiles with tomatillo sauce. Plus, the service is known to impress (but we’ll leave that up to you).
Photo via Instagram / waltandwaker
Blue Moon Mexican Restaurant
3228 S Flores St., (210) 531-0093, facebook.com
Not only does Blue Moon bring you a taste of Mexico, it also brings you a slice. Known for hosting events inspired by the culture, Blue Moon does one even better with its daily lunch specials, including fideo con carne and enchilada plate for $6. Go. Now.
Photo via Instagram / tacoist
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Tai Sun Chinese Restaurant
1234 SW Military Dr., (210) 988-3599, taisunrestaurant.com
This Chinese restaurant is a treasure hidden in plain sight, just one of those spots you don’t really acknowledge when you’re honking down Military Drive. But this spot is definitely worth the visit with both lunch AND dinner specials. Take your pick from classics like Szechuan beef, chop suey and almond chicken.
Photo via Facebook / Tai Sun Chinese Restaurant
Mad Mack’s Burger Co.
2933 Roosevelt Ave., (210) 922-1500, facebook.com
Mad Mack really knows what he’s doing. Located on Roosevelt among all of the parks just a few miles south of Downtown, this burger joint brings the classics and even the innovative tamale burger during the holiday season. And because it’s guaranteed to be loved by all of your family, Mad Mack’s hosts a BBQ on most Sundays.
Photo via Instagram / burgerfridayforever_sa
South China Chinese & American
109 Crane Ave., (210) 927-1761
Looking for a solid mom-and-pop Chinese restaurant? One that serves up food tasty as can be? Look no further. No matter what you order, make sure you have the wonton soup and egg rolls as well.
Photo via Yelp / Angela C. B.
La Chinita’s Restaurant
1012 Avondale Ave., (210) 534-8010
Though technically on the Southeast side of town, we’ll let the Southside take ownership this time around. Here you’ll find both Mexican and Chinese food, as well as a selection of market-style goods. Stick with the classics at this spot – trust us! – and order the orange chicken.
Photo via Instagram / lizarrdqueen
Hometown Burger
3436 Roosevelt Ave., (210) 928-8646, hometownburger.com
Offering no-frills burgers, this menu mirrors an old-school diner menu, complete with creamy milkshakes.
Photo via Instagram / jersif1965
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Casa del Kabob
1027 SW Military Dr., (210) 921-1200, facebook.com
No need to hop in the car to find Mediterranean food in the Medical Center, Casa del Kabob is where it’s at. Treat yourself to some Persian fare, you must try the falafel – either as an appetizer, plate or wrap.
Photo via Instagram / adriennei3