San Antonio's Best Dives

The 5 quintessential San Antonio dive restaurants you've gotta try

The 5 quintessential San Antonio dive restaurants you've gotta try

Tip Top Cafe San Antonio Chicken Fried Steak
If Tip Top Cafe's chicken-fried steak disappeared, there would be a revolt. Photo by H. Michael Karshis/Flickr

For every chef-driven concept in the Alamo City there is an equally delicious dive restaurant. Here are five tried-and-true San Antonio dive restaurants to put on your list.

Moroccan Bites
Our lives will never be the same after the lamb shank and cheesecake — we heard those were the two things to try no matter what, and now we get it. Everything about Moroccan Bites is delicious and priced reasonably. The service and the coffee alone is worth going back, but we can’t get the Moroccan chicken bites out of our mind.

Thai Dee
This place is so good you’ll make excuses to go: lunch dates, birthday dinners, or just because you can. The spicy basil leaves and pad woodsen are where it’s at. Who are we kidding? You can pick anything. Thai Dee excels at Thailand’s best flavors.

Tip Top Cafe
Tip Top has a reputation for never changing the menu, and it’s a good thing, because if the chicken-fried steak disappeared, there would be a revolt. The lemon meringue pie is also a must-have at this dive, which offers a true diner experience.

Phoenix Chinese Cafe
Do yourself a favor and order off the "authentic menu." The fave of our table was the Singaporean-style vermicelli; the scallop dish with hot garlic sauce was fairly amazing as well. Please note one very important detail: Red does indeed mean hot — even if you are from San Antonio and like hot, it’s hot. 

Guajillo's
Open seven days a week, Guajillo’s promises a "shortcut to Mexico" — and it delivers. Try the taco plates: We sampled the alambre (steak, bacon, pork loin); bistec; and al pastor (pork loin with pineapple), all of which were flavorful and reasonably priced. Bonus: There's a full bar to complement all of those flavors as well. 

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