Menudo on the Menu

Spice up your meal at San Antonio's hottest spots for authentic menudo

Spice up your meal at San Antonio's hottest spots for authentic menudo

Honeycomb menudo at Las Palapas
The honeycomb-style menudo at Las Palapas comes in two sizes — regular and jumbo. Photo by Edmond Ortiz

Menudo is a traditional Mexican soup that has become a favorite of generations of families across South Texas. For the uninformed, it's made with beef stomach (tripe or tripa) in broth and a red chili pepper base, although in some cases the base could be a green chili pepper or clear base. One typically adds hominy, chopped onions, cilantro, and lime to the menudo, which is then usually eaten with tortillas or bread.

In San Antonio and elsewhere in the region, menudo is a staple for many families wanting a warm, hearty, spicy breakfast, particularly on weekends. It really is a family food and, as such, it makes for great dining during special group occasions and the holiday season. Where Southerners go for a bowl of black-eyed peas for good luck on New Year's Day, many San Antonians go to the nearest place where menudo can be found. Speaking of mornings ... yes, menudo has turned out to be a popular remedy for hangovers too. 

It should be noted that it takes lots of time and labor to make menudo. One could take four to seven hours cooking up a batch of the soup, which is why menudo is not exactly widely available and, at that, it's offered mainly on weekends.

So, where are the best places in San Antonio to get some menudo?

Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia
Visiting Market Square, especially on a cool night, could be a trip best capped for a meal at Mi Tierra, a downtown restaurant that never closes. Tourists and locals can enjoy the comfort food with Mi Tierra's homemade tortillas. 

Taqueria Chapala Jalisco
If you're dragging after a long Friday or Saturday night on the town, you could combine a bowl of menudo with some tasty tacos at this Tobin Hill eatery, and you'll feel like a new person.

Roy's Taco Hut
One cannot go wrong with menudo, or pretty much any kind of soup, mixed with a choice from a variety of tacos at this West Side spot.

Tink-a-Tako
There are six Tink-a-Takos in town, and the local chain offers a great selection of tacos along with honeycomb menudo, either in a small or large bowl. Plus, it's available for a few hours during the week.

El Milagrito Cafe
A large or small bowl of menudo at this Tobin Hill eatery is delicious and as popular as the caldos and fideos. 

Tellez Tamales and Barbacoa
This restaurant specializes in regional traditional foods that are otherwise extremely popular on weekends (barbacoa) or the holidays (tamales). But menudo gets a special focus at this West Side spot, and tastes just right.

Abuela's Mexican Restaurant
This Castle Hills area eatery offers flavorful menudo that should do just fine for those sensitive to spicy foods. You can get it in a large or small bowl.

Taco Taco Cafe
When you get past the breakfast or lunch rush at this renowned restaurant near Olmos Park, you could be rewarded with some of the most delicious menudo north of downtown, and you can enjoy an array of tacos too.

Las Palapas
This local chain is famed for its "Macho Burrito," but menudo is a favorite for in-store diners and those on the go on weekends. Even a regular bowl of the honeycomb-style menudo is enough to be filling, and if it's not, there's always the jumbo bowl.

Chapala Taco House
This modest place near Terrell Hills and Alamo Heights seeks to dish out solid authentic Mexican food for breakfast and lunch. Menudo here comes in one size, but paired with an amazing variety of budget-friendly tacos and plates, it would be an impressive meal.

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