Photo of historic San Marcos by Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0
San Marcos, Texas is a historical city full of good eats. The city is believed to be one of the oldest, continuously inhabited sites in the Americas. In the city today, you can see evidence of the traditions and recipes handed down through generations in the local restaurants. There are many local, family-owned restaurants to choose from with diverse menus. We’ve chosen five of the best restaurants in San Marcos that we strongly recommend you try!
Herbert’s Taco Hut is a family-owned restaurant serving flavorful Tex-Mex dishes. They’re best known for their enchilada recipe, which is kept secret. The restaurant has been around since 1976 and has become a staple for families and students in San Marcos. They place a high priority on using fresh ingredients and providing quick service, even to large groups. The impeccable customer service makes the dining experience that much more enjoyable. Their dedication to delicious, quality food and great customer service has landed them multiple awards, including Best Mexican Food and the Best of Hays County. After you’ve finished dining at Herbert’s Taco Hut, you can stop into Herbert’s Grocery next door, where their homemade sauces can be purchased.
Location: 419 Riverside Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666
The Tap Room is the perfect place to get a cold beer and watch football or your favorite sport event. They serve over 42 beers on tap and 60 bottled beers from around the world. You can catch the game on one of their nine flat-screen TVs while enjoying great food and drinks. They have a different food special every day, such as 40¢ wings on Wednesdays. They’re also known for juicy burgers, which come buy one, get one half off on Sundays. In addition to the TVs, The Tap Room provides entertainment with events and challenges. They host trivia on Tuesday nights and happy hour from 3–8 p.m. every day. Test your appetite with the Chupacabra Challenge, or taste different beers with their Around the World Challenge. The Tap Room is a great place to gather with friends and have fun!
Location: 129 E. Hopkins St., San Marcos, TX 78666
Grins Restaurant has been serving San Marcos since 1975, and continues to put smiles on the faces of its customers today. Located near Texas State University and home to the Grins Girls waitresses, the restaurant draws in mostly a college crowd. Their food is great for anyone, though. On the menu, there are the World Famous Hamburgers with Texas-size homemade onion rings, delicious catfish, steaks, sizzlin’ fajitas, and more. During happy hour, try the strawberry margarita or sangria wine coolers. You can dine outside on the tree-shaded deck or indoors in their spacious rambling rooms.
Location: 802 N. LBJ Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666
Pie Society is one of the best places to get a pizza in San Marcos. They serve New York-style pizza prepared with the freshest ingredients. Along with delicious pizza pies, the menu offers mouthwatering starters like garlic knots, Texas goat cheese, and spinach artichoke dip. Other main dish options include calzones, subs, and salads. To drink, you can choose from fountain drinks, beer, wine, and spirits. The atmosphere of Pie Society revolves around the open kitchen, where savory smells of fresh-baked dough saturate the air. The setting is a contemporary parlor that’s as unique as the menu, with pie names like The Holy Grail, The Illuminati, and The Enlightenment.
Location: 700 N. LBJ Drive #107, San Marcos, TX 78666
The Root Cellar Café & Brewery is a must-visit restaurant in the heart of historic downtown San Marcos. Located in the historic Donaldson building, the restaurant provides a rustic atmosphere. Their bright, colorful dishes are like works of art, making for a true artisanal dining experience. Early birds can grab breakfast between 7 a.m.–4 p.m. They serve favorites like French toast, waffles, and breakfast sandwiches. The bakery also offers hot coffee and sweet pastries. The Root Cellar also has an impressive lunch and dinner menu. With a motto of “It all starts at the root,” it’s no surprise that their hand-picked ingredients are of the finest quality and match the seasons. They also house a microbrewery that serves seasonal craft brews and an extensive wine list.
Location: 215 N. LBJ Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666