27 classic San Antonio restaurants that have been around 35 years or longer 

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The restaurant industry has a high turnover rate. Places come and go. Fast. Every so often, though, gems come along that stand the test of time, riding out recessions, ownership changes, shifting tastes and — most recently — a pandemic.

Whether it's a 104-year-old downtown deli or a 38-year-old Chinese eatery on stilts, the Alamo City is home to a collection of restaurants that have served residents for generations. If you enjoy a side of culinary history with your entree, these local spots have all stuck around for more than 35 years, and each has its own unique story to tell.
OF 27
Acadiana Cafe, 1986
1289 SW Loop 410, (210) 674-0019, acadianacafe.com
When you’ve got a craving for Southern and Cajun cooking, 35-year-old Acadiana Cafe is the spot to tap. From catfish, turkeys and pickles to chicken and dumplings and gumbo, this family-owned joint serves up Cajun flair on SA’s far West side.
Photo via Instagram / acadianacafe
Alamo Cafe, 1981
Multiple Locations, alamocafe.com
These days, Alamo Cafe may be known for the puro queso fountain that makes appearances at catering events, but the eatery wasn’t always so flashy. The original location was opened on San Pedro Avenue in 1981 and boasted cozy, festive vibes. In March of 1996, Alamo Café relocated to its current home on US-281, which is now considered the flagship restaurant.
Photo via Instagram / alamocafe
Florio’s Pizza, 1980
7701 Broadway St, (210) 805-8646, facebook.com
Tucked away off Broadway near Basse Road, Florio’s has been slinging NY-style pies since 1980, serving up the perfect combinations of herb-infused sauces, cheese, toppings and slightly charred crust. For something a little different, try the white pie, which features a heavy bed of ricotta cheese as the foundation, rather than a layer of herbed marinara.
Photo via Instagram / eat_it_b
Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar, 1977
1287 Gruene Rd, (830) 625-0684, gristmillrestaurant.com
Gristmill River Restaurant opened its doors in 1977, serving up steaks and hamburgers from a tiny kitchen. Now, the sprawling eatery doles out popular South Texas fare such as chicken fried steak, fried catfish and Texas-sized sandwiches at its historic and picturesque creekside location.
Photo via Instagram / gristmillriverrestaurant
B&B Smokehouse, 1984
2619 Pleasanton Rd, (210) 921-2745, bbsmokehouse.com
What started as Hal's Drive-In and Bar-B-Que in 1958 now serves up smoked meaty treats and beer on SA’s South side. Do yourself a favor and order one of their homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Photo via Instagram / bbsmokehousetx
Capparelli's, 1964
2524 N Main Ave, (210) 735-5757, capparellisonmain.com
After serving home-cooked Italian food at their Nacogdoches location for 30 years, Gay Capparelli closed the doors when the building was condemned. The very next day, Capparelli's on Broadway opened and is still operating, serving up delectable, saucy dishes.
Photo via Instagram / capparellisonmain
Casa Rio, 1946
430 E Commerce St, (210) 225-6718, casario.com
This SA River Walk mainstay claims the title of first restaurant on the River Walk, serving up Tex-mex fare to thousands of visitors every week. According to the SA Chamber of Commerce, the restaurant sits on land first granted title in 1777 by the King of Spain.
Photo via Instagram / casariosa
County Line, 1975
Multiple Locations”, countyline.com
This barbecue chain may have gotten its start in Austin, but it’s been doling out smoked meats and live music in SA for decades. The north central SA location is known for hosting multiple summer live music series in cooperation with the SA Food Bank.
Photo via Instagram / countylinebbqsa
Don Pedro Mexican Restaurant, 1968
1526 SW Military Drive, 210-922-3511, donpedro.com
For 53 years, this family-owned spot serves up a huge menu of Mexican favorites from recipes passed down from Monterrey, Mexico native Leticia Sepulveda, who took over the eatery with her husband Ruben in 1979.
Photo via Instagram / donpedrotx
Los Barrios Restaurant, 1979
4223 Blanco Rd, (210) 732-6017, losbarriosrestaurant.com
In 1979, Mexico native Viola Barrios opened Los Barrios Restaurant in an old boat house, introducing SA to what she called “Casero Style” cooking. Now, the family operates a small restaurant empire, serving up tacos, enchiladas and everything in between.
Photo via Instagram / josephine_street
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Blanco Cafe, 1974
Multiple locations, blancocafe.net
This unassuming cafe is an undisputed local enchilada haven, run by the grandsons of the original restaurant’s owner. The local icon has expanded to a total of five enchilada-slinging spots, dotted across SA.
Photo via Instagram / chez.garza
Asia Kitchen, early 1980s
1739 SW Loop 410 #201, (210) 673-0662, asia-kitchen.com
This West SA spot offers simple — but expertly prepared — fare in an unassuming locale. At Asia Kitchen, be prepared to sate both Thai and Filipino cravings in one fell swoop.
Photo via Instagram / jdizzl9
Liberty Bar, 1984
1111 S Alamo St, (210) 227-1187, liberty-bar.com
The Liberty Bar opened in 1984 at 328 E. Josephine Street in a building that tilted so far to the left, you felt like you’d stepped into a carnival funhouse. Its new location in the King William District is decidedly more level, and still serves up legendary Bloody Marys, to boot.
Photo via Instagram / mayoo.tha
Aldo's Ristorante Italiano, 1985
22211 I-10 West #1101, (210) 696-2536, aldossa.com
Post up on one of Aldo’s several sunlit, covered porches for a heaping bowl of pasta Italiano and a glass of red wine, like droves of San Antonians have been doing for 36 years. This Medical Center-area staple is cozy and understated, just as a pasta hotspot should be.
Photo via Instagram / aldossatx
Henry's Puffy Tacos, 1978
Various Locations, henryspuffytacos.com
Henry Lopez started his restaurant career at the age of fourteen working for his brother Ray at another SA: staple Ray’s Drive Inn. Lopez opened Henry’s Puffy Tacos Mexican Restaurant in 1978, serving only 8 tables in a tiny, 900-square-foot building. These days, the joint serves over 1,000 Puffy Tacos a day.
Photo via Instagram / henryspuffytacos
Boudro's Texas Bistro, 1986
421 E Commerce Street, (210) 224-8484, boudros.com
This self-proclaimed Texas bistro is famous for tableside guacamole and prickly pear margs, but not many folks know that the riverside eatery also offers meals on San Antonio’s iconic fleet of river barges for those who like to dine on the water.
Photo via Instagram / boudrostexasbistro
Cappy's Restaurant, 1977
5011 Broadway, (210) 828-9669, cappysrestaurant.com
This 44-year-old Alamo Heights institution serves up elevated fare all day long, but the brunch is where most of the eatery’s rave reviews stem from. The Weekend Breakfast offering may be pricey, but you’ll certainly not be hungry once you put away the impressive plate.
Photo via Instagram / cappysrestaurant
Mi Tierra, 1941
Multiple locations, mitierracafe.com
What is there to say about this local cultural gem that hasn’t already been said? The 80-year-old downtown eatery draws thousands of tourists annually, thanks to its festive decor, in-house panaderia and Tex-mex flair.
Photo via Instagram / mitierracafesa
Chris Madrid's, 1977
830 W Hollywood Ave, (210) 735-3552, chrismadrids.com
Known for ultra-cheesy hamburgers and a cozy atmosphere, Chris Madrid’s has garnered an impressive following over the last 44 years. Though a 2017 fire ravaged the space, the burger haven reopened in 2019, and has been slinging patties nonstop ever since.
Photo via Instagram / chrismadrids
Demo's Greek Food, 1979
Multiple Locations,demosgreekfood.com
The founder of one of SA’s most beloved Meditteranean mini-chains was only 19 years old when he started the original location on Blanco Road. These days, the locally-owned spot operates three SA-area locations, providing the Alamo City with authentic Greek fare.
Photo via Instagram / demosgreekfood
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Ding How, 1983
4531 NW Loop 410, (210) 340-7944, dinghowsa.com
Known as the building on stilts, Ding How off 410 and Callaghan has been serving up favorites such as sesame chicken, egg rolls and hot and sour soup using traditional Chinese cooking techniques for four generations.
Photo via Instagram / dinghowsa
Josephine Street Cafe, 1979
400 E Josephine St, (210) 224-6169, josephinestreet.com
The neon in the window says “Steaks & Whisky,” and we’re wondering what more you could want in a cozy spot? The funky, historic building dates back to the early 1900s, and even features a 500-year-old tree right in the middle of the dining room.
Photo via Instagram / josephine_street
Niki's Tokyo Inn, 1970
819 W. Hildebrand Ave., (210) 736-5471, facebook.com/nikis.tokyo.inn
Since the 70s, Niki’s has offered diners the unique experience of sitting cross-legged on the floor while they nosh on fresh shrimp, tuna, whitefish, yellowtail and smoked salmon. Its unfussy vibe has kept Niki’s around for more than 50 years.
Photo via Facebook / Niki’s Tokyo Inn
La Fogata, 1978
2427 Vance Jackson Road, (210) 340-1337, lafogata.com
Longtime favorite Mexican restaurant La Fogata has been known for its sprawling patio dining areas and water fountains since it opened on Vance Jackson in 1978. In fact, the margs are also legendary — the spot has won the San Antonio Margarita Pour Off so many years in a row that the eatery has retired from the competition.
Photo via Instagram / lafogatasa
La Fonda on Main, 1932
2415 N Main Ave, (210) 733-0621, lafondaonmain.com
The oldest Mexican restaurant in San Antonio, La Fonda has served at least two American presidents — Teddy Roosevelt and Lyndon B Johnson — and a slew of SA royalty. The colorful, casual atmosphere is a vibrant background for the Mexican fare this historic spot serves up.
Photo via Instagram / lafondaonmain
Paesanos, 1969
Multiple locations, paesanos.com
When restaurateurs Joe Cosniac and the late Nick Pacelli opened Paesanos in 1969, they wanted to create a welcoming place for San Antonians to enjoy Italian food and good company. They must be doing something right — the mini-empire now includes three locations.
Photo via Instagram / paesanossa
Schilo’s Delicatessen, 1917
424 E Commerce St, (210) 223-6692, schilos.com
Founded in 1917, this South Alamo Street saloon wasn’t phased when prohibition hit the Alamo City. The deli quickly replaced their booze kegs for ones filled with the family’s smooth, creamy root beer. Authentic German fare and ambiance have kept this place famous for nearly 105 years.
Photo via Instagram / schilosdeli
Acadiana Cafe, 1986
1289 SW Loop 410, (210) 674-0019, acadianacafe.com
When you’ve got a craving for Southern and Cajun cooking, 35-year-old Acadiana Cafe is the spot to tap. From catfish, turkeys and pickles to chicken and dumplings and gumbo, this family-owned joint serves up Cajun flair on SA’s far West side.
Photo via Instagram / acadianacafe

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