Don't get us wrong. We love trying out the latest trendy concept from a hot San Antonio chef, but sometimes we want to dine out without a lot of forethought. The perfect spot has to offer a little bit of everything, from bold flavors for foodies to a casual environment that makes everyone comfortable. Save the fancy eateries for date night. These six restaurants deliver everyday cuisine sure to solve any "where should we eat?" argument.
Brava Brava Pizza Napoletana
Though it doesn’t get as much attention as that other Neapolitan pizzeria, this Alamo Heights is still upper crust. The pies are, of course the centerpiece, with mostly traditional toppings like Calabrese chilis, housemade sausage, and prosciutto. But guests shouldn’t miss on the meatball panini with a sprightly squeeze of lemon nor the silky tomato bisque with a slick of the best EVOO available.
Tired of the same ole Bennies and Bloodies for brunch? This Caribbean eatery is waking up the weekly ritual with its new service every second and fourth Sunday. Try a take on Southern shrimp and grits sparked up with jerk or the Jamaican national dish — and ackee (a nutty fruit in the lychee family) and saltfish served with fried dumplings. Yes, some of the ingredients may be unfamiliar, but the naysayers will quickly quiet down while sipping a mimosa or munching on a classic egg sandwich.
John the Greek
As Greeks go, John is not as internationally famous as Zorba. Still, for San Antonians who love Mediterranean, the name should be as well known. During its more than 25-year run, this spot has perfected the classics of the cuisine, from tender gyro plates to luscious mousaka. Don’t skip out on dessert. Sweets like galaktombourico may be difficult to pronounce for non-native speakers, but the taste of the flaky vanilla custard treat needs no translation.
Marioli Mexican Cuisine
All-you-can-eat deals don't always deliver, but this sunny Mexican restaurant hits the sweet spot with a street taco feast available for $12.50 at lunch and $15 for dinner. The choices are varied so the palate never gets tired. Choose from succulent pork in salsa verde, earthy cochinita pibil, papas con chorizo, al pastor, and more. The options are endless. Wash it all down with a pitcher of horchata for only $5.
Ming’s Noodle Bar
This tiny Olmos Heights restaurant, converted from a train car, first became a neighborhood haunt on the strength of its tasty noodle served in hot broth. The chilled bowls keep ‘em coming back when the thermometer goes up. Carnivores are well served by the Lucky Dragon bowl — available with either pulled pork or pork belly — but the Summer Noodles were made for the South Texas sun with tender-crisp veggies, edamame, and a sprightly ginger dressing.
This South Side staple doesn’t much go for newfangled burgers. Guests won’t find trendy bison or a smear of aioli on the bun. Instead, generations of regulars return to this 46-year-old eatery for smoky bacon cheeseburgers, perfectly crisp onion rings, and a Frito pie that will knock anyone's socks off.