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Dining on a Budget: San Antonio’s Hidden Gems


Who doesn’t love to go out to a fancy restaurant once in a while? Sure, you’re getting married or it’s your 25th anniversary, don’t go to burger king. Go wild and visit that restaurant you’ve been dreaming about. For most of us, we want to go dining on a budget. Especially if we are living in an RV full time. Grilling tastes amazing, but we all know that it takes a bit more work to cook in an RV then at a home.

If San Antonio is known for anything it’s food. Of course, we have the best tacos (waayy better than Austin. Just sayin). There are dozens of great chains to try. Obviously there’s Whataburger, but you already knew that. There’s Texas Roadhouse and the ever-popular Cracker Barrel.

Below we have compiled a list of the hidden gems of San Antonio. Those places the locals love but spots that may not pop up as first in your search for places to go out. To make things even better, these are all very affordable locations whether dining alone or taking the whole family.



NOLA Brunch and Beignets

Of course you have an RV, so you can easily make a trek out to New Orleans and enjoy their world famous beignets. Or, you can stay at your comfy park and take a trip over to NOLA Brunch and Beignets for authentic New Orleans brunch. You won’t be able to tell the difference. Enjoy live jazz and arguably the best coffee in San Antonio. They are located in North Central part of town and open Tues-Sunday. Besides Brunch, NOLA is a great spot to sit and hangout or work for hours. Start with a beignet and Cafe au latte and then get a Blue Crab Omelette. You won’t be sorry you did!


Pancake Joe’s

Pancake Joe’s is a more traditional option for your breakfast lovers. They are so confident they actually put their live yelp reviews on their website! They’re most famous for having something for everyone, oh! And pancakes. Ihop ain’t got nothing on Joe. Only downside is the wait. Due to the big helpings of eggs and bacon and blueberry toppings for waffles, you are in for a decent wait Saturdays and Sundays. But hey, what are families for if not killing time in-between waiting for food?



The food at Feast has won it numerous awards. For that reason alone the price is slightly higher than the other places on this list. It almost doesn’t’t make it. However, their budget and hearty omelettes stuffed wish shaved brussel sprouts, Chiffonades  of chard and blue cheese. Wash it down with a $7 bloody mary.


Madhatters Tea House & Café

This is an editor’s choice spot!

For the funky atmosphere alone, this should win every prize in the book. Immediately upon walking in you feel as though you’ve been transported through Alice’s looking glass. The multi-colored walls and even the slanted floor work in its favor. To make things better, the breakfast is phenomenal and, even better, great on a budget! Your basic eggs bacon and toast breakfast is only $6. So grab a crazy hat, order yourself tea and breakfast and read Through The Looking Glass with the whole family.


Sea Island Shrimp House

Most of the places above are near the downtown area. Sea Island and the following restaurants are on the south side, near Woodland Oaks RV Estates.

NOTE: Kids eat free Mondays!

This place feels like a chain, but it’s a local one. There are six locations in San Antonio and one in New Braunfels. So you get the prices of a chain with the feel of a local hot spot. Best yet, the shrimp are from the Texas Gulf and the budget lunch specials ($7.49-$9.99) are a catch. The regular menu lets you off the hook too. Two fish tacos, fully dressed and garnished, are served with fries for just $8.49. Shrimp cocktails ($7.39) are filling on their own.


Casa del Kabob

If you’re staying in an RV park in San Antonio for more than five minutes, you have no doubt been stuffed with tacos. Even the best food can get a bit old. Why not try some diversity? Persia-meets-Greece at this artistically converted fast-food spot that is a beacon of culinary diversity in a taco world. Try their budget koobideh kabob ($6.99 for a wrap, $7.99 as a plate with fantastic seasoned rice and a salad), a typical Persian dish of seasoned minced beef, formed into long, flat patties and cooked on the grill. Or go Greek with a lamb gyro wrap for $4.99.


Bobbie’s Café

Bout as Texas as you can get here. They’re even humble like San Antonio. Their tagline is “probably the best place in town to eat.” They have been serving San Antonio for over 30 years now, so they must be doing something right. Maybe it’s just the hearty helpings or maybe it’s their budget prices. A breakfast standard of two biscuits with sausage gravy fills the bill and belly for $5, and breakfast tacos start at $1.25. There are “high-dollar” entrées like $16 steak and $8.75 fried shrimp at lunch and dinner, but choose the special club sandwich ($5.75) of ham, bacon and cheese. Feeling Tex-Mex? Two basic chalupas are on target at $5.25.


Little Red Barn

Now approaching its 55th year, the Hernandez family still runs this all-Angus steakhouse featuring hand-cut steaks and made-from-scratch everything else. Most entrées are in the $12 to $16 range. For the price conscious, choose the pulled pork sandwich ($9.95) or 8 ounce chopped sirloin ($10.99). Both are served with a salad (and legendary homemade dressings), a potato, a roll and a touch of Texas sass.