15 Best Restaurants in San Marcos, TX

San Marcos, TX
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San Marcos is a melting pot of diverse cultures while maintaining its true-blue Texan heritage.

Besides gorgeous attractions, this city offers a wide range of flavors at its local restaurants, diners, eateries, steakhouses, and hole-from-the-wall spots.

San Marcos is home to an eclectic collection of unique eateries; each has its way of treating your taste buds and giving you entertainment at the same time.

Besides the famed Texas barbeque, you'll find various dishes ranging from classic American comfort food, Italian, and Japanese, to Oriental and Middle-Eastern.

You won't run out of eateries to dine in San Marcos, which makes this Texan City an idyllic location for a gastronomic adventure.

For a mouth-watering experience, here's a list of the best restaurants in San Marcos, Texas, that are all worth the try:

54th Street Restaurant & Drafthouse

To start your food adventure in San Marcos, head to 54th Street Restaurant & Drafthouse.

You can find this restaurant along IH-35 S, where you can enjoy a range of menu choices, mainly serving classic American comfort food.

What makes this restaurant worth the try is its lively atmosphere, where you can enjoy drinks with your loved ones or travel buddies.

Over 150 menu items are available for lunch and dinner at 54th Street Restaurant & Drafthouse, most of which are a perfect match for its excellent selection of beer and drinks.

Don't miss out on ordering its signature fire-grilled mile-high burger, or perhaps its grilled baby back ribs, filet mignon, or Angus beef ribeye.

Besides red meat, they also serve fish, vegetables, and pasta.

54th Street Restaurant & Drafthouse - San Marcos, TX
Specialties: Great food starts with fresh produce, high quality meats and ingredients and meals prepared from scratch. With our amazing range of quality, scratch prepared menu items, we truly have something for everyone. The five-four promise is to forever uphold our tradition of serving generous po…

Root Cellar Cafe

Nothing can go wrong if you dine in one of San Marcos's best restaurants, Root Cellar Cafe.

You can find this restaurant along North LBJ Drive.

This restaurant, which opened in 2005, is consistently voted one of the city's best restaurants.

Many locals frequent this place to enjoy its charming rustic interior, homey vibes, and delicious food, mainly focusing on American meals.

In addition, it also serves signature craft beer, which you can enjoy for your happy hour any time of the day.

What makes Root Cellar Café a recommended restaurant is it serves food all day, from breakfast to dinner.

So, you know where to go to San Marcos right after waking up.

The Root Cellar Cafe - San Marcos, TX
Specialties: The Root Cellar Cafe has been a local favorite in the San Marcos community for 16 years. The menu is packed with American comfort food favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner; from chicken and waffles and biscuits and gravy, to savory sandwiches and the best breakfast in Hays County.…

Palmer's Restaurant Bar & Courtyard

Head to Palmer's Restaurant Bar & Courtyard if you're looking for a restaurant that offers unique, mouth-watering fusion flavors.

This restaurant along Moore Street is best known for its regional fusion cuisine combining New Orleans and New Mexico flavors.

It's been serving locals and visitors since 1978, featuring its signature Mexican martinis, margaritas, and classic cocktails.

However, customers love returning to this restaurant for its perfectly combined Southern and Mexican fusion cuisines that are cooked most straightforwardly.

Its bacon-wrapped meatloaf, short rib quesadillas, ribeye, and Palmer's signature salmon are must-tries at Palmer's Restaurant Bar & Courtyard.

In addition, you're also having a short historical side trip since the restaurant is housed in a 1920 building that served as a former German restaurant.

Palmer’s Restaurant Bar & Courtyard - San Marcos, TX
Specialties: Serving Sunday Brunch from 10am-230pm. Palmer’s is the place for your special events. Wonderful accommodations include the Courtyard, the Library, the Amethyst Room, and our Bar. Let us do the work so you can enjoy your guests. Groups of any size up to 200 can be served for all occasi…

Cody's Restaurant Bar & Patio

If relaxation is one of your requirements for a perfect dining experience, you must visit Cody's Restaurant Bar & Patio along Center Point Road.

This restaurant is famous for its casual and relaxing ambiance, especially if you enjoy your meal on its patio.

Besides its relaxing ambiance, Cody's Restaurant Bar & Patio is best known for its small plates, such as its yellowfin tuna tartare, coconut panko shrimps, and crab and chorizo arancini.

Meanwhile, its main course comprises mostly prime cuts such as Angus and wagyu beef prepared in various dishes such as steaks and burgers.

The restaurant alsos serve tuna, scallops, salmon, and crabs as their main courses.

They recommend pairing their beloved dishes with refreshing beers, cocktails, and wines.

Cody’s Restaurant Bar & Patio - San Marcos, TX
Specialties: Award-winning menu, hand-crafted cocktails, wines and beers. Conveniently located in the San Marcos South End hub near IH35, Cody’s offers an exceptional overall experience in food, drink, fun, and community. We serve our full food menu daily until 10pm. Happy Hour Tuesday-Saturday 4p…

Hays County BBQ

Your San Marcos food adventure won't be complete without indulging in genuine Texas barbeque, which you can enjoy at Hays County BBQ.

You can visit this restaurant along South Interstate 35, featuring signature slow-smoked meats that have been satisfying Texans since 2007.

Also considered one of San Marcos's best diners, Hays County BBQ is widely known for its beef briskets.

These briskets are slow-cooked with smoke using the finest woods for 18 to 20 hours.

You can effortlessly pull the brisket apart while it melts in your mouth, making it a satisfying experience you mustn't miss when in San Marcos.

Besides its famous beef brisket, this restaurant serves other meats such as pork chops, smoked sausages, turkey hams, pulled pork, and roasted chicken.

Hays Co. Bar-B-Que and Catering - San Marcos, TX
Specialties: We are one of Texas Monthly Magazine’s Top 50 BBQ joints since 2013.We can accompany large groups and even have an event space that can seat up to 230.

Italian Garden

Most Italian restaurants across the nation are usually a hit-and-miss opportunity, especially if you've tasted authentic cuisine.

However, you can visit Italian Garden if you're craving authentic Italian dishes.

You can find this restaurant along N. LBJ Drive.

It mainly features authentic Italian dishes such as pasta and pizza using the best ingredients sourced from Italy and locally.

Despite its size, Italian Garden is considered a hidden gem for locals in San Marcos, especially students from Texas State University.

Their traditional margarita pizza, barbeque chicken pizza, chicken parmesan, and baked lasagna are all must-tries.

At the same time, it has seafood dishes, making it a fascinating place to try authentic Italian food.

Italian Garden - San Marcos, TX
Specialties: Homemade italian food!! Established in 2000. Been in san marcos for 17 years

Herbert's Taco Hut

Since Texas is adjacent to Mexico, you'll easily find authentic Mexican food spots around San Marcos.

To taste authentic Mexican cuisine, check out Herbert's Taco Hut.

You can visit this family-owned restaurant along Riverside Drive.

This restaurant has served San Marcos's locals for over 35 years, featuring its famous tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and margaritas.

However, the best way to enjoy its signature food items is to order its combination plates, which provide you with more variation in one plate served in generous proportions.

Just imagine burritos, quesadillas, and tacos, with fresh salsa verde on the side, all on one plate.

That's what you're getting at Herbert's Taco Hut.

So, now you know where in San Marcos to find the top-notch Mexican food you can enjoy.

Herbert’s Taco Hut - San Marcos, TX
Delivery & Pickup Options - 420 reviews of Herbert’s Taco Hut “Kinda shocked at some of the reviews of this place. I’ve been eating here for decades and have yet to have a bad meal. It’s not outstanding, but it’s consistantly good. The salsa is spicy, cheap and greasy tex mex, homemade tortillas! A…

Saltgrass Steak House

Care for a fancy dinner?

Check out Saltgrass Steak House, situated along Interstate-35.

This steakhouse has served San Marcos its delicious steaks and barbeques since 1991.

Moreover, it has received numerous awards through the years because of its perfectly cooked steaks using Angus beef prime cuts.

Fascinatingly, Saltgrass Steak House boasts its Saltgrass-7 Steak spice, a secret concoction that elevates the flavor of its steak.

At the same time, its sides, from loaves of bread, soups, and entrees to dressings, are created from scratch daily.

Now, you know the go-to place for a fancy steak dinner with your special someone or your whole family.

Saltgrass Steak House - San Marcos, TX
Specialties: Saltgrass Steak House is an award-winning steakhouse in San Marcos, TX famous for serving Certified Angus Beef® steaks. Each steak is cooked to perfection with Saltgrass-7 Steak Spice, and topped with garlic butter. All breads, dressings, soups and desserts are made from scratch daily.…

Cracker Barrel

Who doesn't recognize Cracker Barrel?

This classic American icon has served everyone with its heartwarming food since 1969.

You can find one of its locations along Interstate Highway 35 S. in San Marcos.

Cracker Barrel is famous for its traditional Southern dishes cooked the way your momma does at home.

Don't miss trying out Cracker Barrel's hand-breaded crispy fried turkey paired with herbed pan gravy that is completely comforting.

You can add more sides to your meal, such as buttermilk biscuits or cranberry relish.

Also, try its casserole with hashbrowns, bacon, and eggs.

Besides being a famous restaurant, Cracker Barrel also has a unique store featuring classic items and groceries.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store - San Marcos, TX
Delivery & Pickup Options - 162 reviews of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store “This is the absolute best restaurant! With its affordable prices coupled with its simply amazing down home country menu, you would absolutely be in love. Spoil yourself with these stick to your ribs and leave with love hand…

Babes Doughnut Co.

After indulging in rich fatty foods, Babes Doughnut Co. must be your next stop.

This family-owned donut shop offers some of the most delicious donuts and breakfast sandwiches in downtown San Marcos.

It's located along North LBJ Drive, which you can visit any time of the day to grab signature donuts and excellent coffee.

The  gourmet donuts, especially the Reese's Peanut Butter flavored donut, bacon maple donut, Captain Crunch, and Sourdough donuts, are all must-tries.

In addition, they also make seasonal donuts such as King Cakes to celebrate the Mardi Gras.

Babes Doughnut Co. also serves biscuits, sandwiches, and brunch meals if you arrive at this place hungry.

So, now you know where in San Marcos to go when you're craving sweets in the middle of your food adventure.

Babe’s Doughnut & Coffee - San Marcos, TX
Specialties: Serving up Hand Cut doughnuts, breakfast and Coffee

The Pita Shop

The Pita Shop is renowned for its top-notch authentic Mediterranean dishes.

You can find this restaurant along Ranch Road 12, featuring famous pita wraps that have been grabbing locals' attention since 2015.

It's one of San Marcos's recommended restaurants because its authentic Mediterranean pita gyros virtually transport you to Greece after a bite.

The pita gyros have different variations comprising lamb, beef, and chicken, combined with fresh onion, lettuce, tomato, and taziki.

You can also assemble your ultimate Mediterranean rice bowl with meat, vegetable, and lots of options you can choose.

Of course, don't forget to order freshly fried falafel and freshly-made hummus to complete your dining experience at the Pita Shop.

For authentic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, check out this local favorite.

The Pita Shop - San Marcos, TX
Specialties: Our business specializes in Middle Eastern pitas and more! Established in 2015. The Pita Shop is a family owned establishment that serves fresh Mediterranean pitas! Perfect for a quick lunch or to take dinner home to the family.

Prik Nam Pla

Speaking of diversity, San Marcos is also home to an authentic Thai restaurant called Prik Nam Pla.

The restaurant, located along Dutton Drive, features the most famous Thai dishes.

Owned by San Marcos locals, Prik Nam Pa features top-quality dishes like Pad Thai, Papaya Salad, Thai spring rolls, Tom Yum noodle soup, and more.

Of course, your meal won't be complete without dessert—traditional Thai sweet sticky rice paired with ripe mango.

What makes Prik Nam Pla such a highly recommended restaurant is the freshness of its ingredients.

The owners source most of their fresh ingredients from local vendors, while others are imported from Thailand to offer an authentic Thai dining experience.

Prik Nam Pla - San Marcos, TX
Specialties: Asian market with Thai food take-out Established in 2010. we open thai restaurant restaurant and market have different hours

Blue Dahlia Bistro

Head to Blue Dahlia Bistro if you fancy a European dish.

You can find this restaurant along East Hopkins Street, featuring a straightforward menu of sandwiches, cheeses, salads, and loaves of bread, prepared the European way.

This restaurant boasts using organic and the freshest ingredients they can find.

Meanwhile, the restaurant's interior offers a rustic and cozy feel, especially if you wish to enjoy your meal in its open-air dining area.

Blue Dahlia Bistro's Egg Benedict, Egg White Frittata, Coq Au Vin Blan, Goat Cheese Tartine, Egg Salad Tartine, and Lemon Bars Sandwich are some of the best menu items you must try.

If you're curious about eating European food, this restaurant is your go-to place.

Blue Dahlia Bistro - San Marcos, TX
Established in 2017.

Pie Society

Pie Society is not your typical pizzeria.

This one you can visit along North LBJ Drive is known for its creative but uberly delicious New York-style pizza menu.

However, this locally-owned pizza parlor is widely known throughout San Marcos for its odd pizza names.

The signature pizza flavors have odd names, such as the Illuminati, Holy Grail, El Diablo, Balance of Power, Garden of Eden, and the San Martian.

These uniquely named pizzas come with excellent flavors that satisfy your cravings.

Pie Society uses fresh ingredients from its cheese, olive oil, flour, meat, and vegetables to tomato sauce to ensure you'll be coming back for more.

Moreover, you can order a slice or a box of its famous pizzas, which you can chow down by yourself or share with your loved ones.

Pie Society - San Marcos, TX
Delivery & Pickup Options - 550 reviews of Pie Society “Oooooh, San Marcos just got more marvelous. This new pizza joint opened just a few days ago, and the word is spreading fast. Brought to you by the same people that brought you Dos Gatos Kolaches, and Zelicks Ice House, Pie Society brings you Ne…

Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse is one of the best places to treat yourself to affordable steaks in San Marcos.

You can find this Classic American steakhouse along Purple Heart Trail, featuring signature steaks and fries.

It's been serving nice-quality steaks since 1993.

Texas Roadhouse has been famous not just in the nation but worldwide for having locations in numerous countries.

If you're on a tight budget, this steakhouse offers prime cuts and budget cuts affordably in generous proportions, including sides.

Some of its must-tries are its fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs, ribeye, sirloin, and striploin.

In addition, it also serves chicken and seafood.

Texas Roadhouse - San Marcos, TX
Delivery & Pickup Options - 167 reviews of Texas Roadhouse “This Texas Roadhouse location is a wonderful addition to San Marcos so you can once again enjoy a good steak without being burned at the stake. The menu and service is the same as other Texas Roadhouse locations, and the staff is reasonabl…

Final Thoughts

The best restaurants in San Marcos, Texas will highlight your trip to this charming city.

San Marcos isn't just one of Texas's best travel destinations; it's also one of Texas' best cities to satisfy your cravings.

So, where will you be grabbing your first meal in the city.

Also, pin this list if you haven't decided which of these restaurants you'll be visiting.

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