Long gone San Antonio restaurants people miss most

Christie's Seafood Restaurant on Broadway (Postcard)


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San Antonio has lost the Old San Francisco Steakhouse, Fatso’s Sports Garden, Lüke San Antonio, Buck’s Landing, Zuni Grill, The Sand Bar, Hsiu Yu,  Salsita’s, Dresden Café, Tip Tops (second location on Nacogdoches at O’Connor Road), Tom’s Ribs and many more restaurants in the last few years.

The Alamo City still has the Little Red Barn, Schilo’s, Don Pedro, Magic Time Machine, Mi Tierra’s, the original Tip Tops, Blanco Café, Chris Madrid’s, Grey Moss Inn, Jim’s Restaurant, the Mexican Manhattan, Bud Jones, B&B Smokehouse, Bun N’ Barrel, Teka Molino, La Fonda, Henry’s Puffy Tacos, Los Barrios, Little Rhein Steakhouse and the last remaining Pig Stand.

Favorite San Antonio restaurants.

But what about the restaurants of yesteryear—the all-time favorite and traditional cafés, hamburger joints and eateries that no longer exist?

Based on surveys and comment input from various social media (NEWS LEGIT, Examiner.com and Facebook groups) here are the top enduring, cherished, and most-missed dining establishments of San Antonio.

Which long gone restaurant in San Antonio do you miss the most?

The Top Five most missed restaurants.

1. Christies

Pan American

Christie’s Seafood restaurant, off Broadway in San Antonio, was a beloved eatery for over 50 years before closing in the 90’s. They were especially recognized for their homemade Thousand Island salad dressing. Favorite memories include their aquariums and a water fountain at the entrance (for coin tossing).

2. Pan American

The Pan American Mexican Restaurant was a Southside institution. During its early days, it was small and there would be long lines of people waiting to enter. It expanded over the years and became the place to eat Mexican dishes in San Antonio.

Taco Hut on Shasta at Pleasanton Road

3. Taco Hut

Hidden a half-block east off of Pleasanton Road, on the side road Shasta, the small Mexican Restaurant was always busy. Their guacamole cups, puffy beef tacos, bean cups and bean rolls were great carry out choices, while their enchiladas and tamales were favorites for dining in.

4. Earl Abel’s

A San Antonio dining tradition since 1933, the original Earl Abel’s at Broadway and Hildebrand served its many loyal customers delicious comfort foods, outstanding customer service and pleasant memories of days gone by.

5. Little Hipps

Little Hipps was the absolute neighborhood establishment, attracting downtown workers, San Antonio College students and anyone hungry for a burger or fried food. They were known for their gigantic, juicy burgers and crispy tater tots, all at inexpensive prices. A legendary specialty were their “Shypoke Eggs” which was actually large nachos designed with the appearance of fried eggs, but they were fried with cheese, and topped by jalapenos, ham, and tomato.

Earl Able’s on Broadway menu


Other restaurants, in descending order beginning with the the 6th most popular, are:

6. Karem’s









7. Maggie’s

8. Captain Jim’s

9. Spanish Galleon on San Pedro.

10. Chelsea’s Street Pub

Original Chelsea Street Pub menu.

















11. Coney Island

Coney Island in downtown San Antonio near the Majestic, Aztec and Texas theaters.








12. Skee’s Burgers

Skee Burger at Pleasanton Road and Hutchins.








13. Po’Folks

Whisperin’ Bill Anderson’s Po’ Folks.








14. The Manhattan

15. First Mate

First Mate Seafood










16. Valerios

17. Old San Francisco Steak House

Old San Francisco Steak House is now a catering and special events organization.












18. Naples

19. Shakey’s Pizza

20. U are Cooks

21. Big John Hamilton’s Steak House

22. Bull Moose

23. Night Hawk

24. Colonnas Pizza

25. Do Drop Inn

26. GW Jr

27. Texas Tumbleweed

28. The Bean Pot on Austin Hwy

Which is your most missed San Antonio restaurant? 


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22 Comments on "Long gone San Antonio restaurants people miss most"

  1. Joanne Cruz Tenery | July 23, 2017 at 7:27 am | Reply

    I miss El Rancho!

    • gilbert abundis | February 17, 2018 at 1:56 am | Reply

      i worked there when i was a kid. henry westrup was the owner, that was my first job…he was the originator of the puffy taco…

  2. Bryan Dempsey | July 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Reply

    George’s Drive in. Can’t believe it didn’t make the list.

  3. You forgot Mario’s on what is now UTSA. Mario’s has the best after hours meals. Everyone and anyone would go the for the music and friendlyness. It was Mine Tierra, pan American and Mario’s where everybody met for all occasions or just to go.

    • Texasjackson | July 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Reply

      While Mario’s was not on the top of the list, it was mentioned 3 times out of the 2000+ responses. I agree it was a prominent restaurant. Thank you for your response.

  4. I miss The Flame, that was on SE Military Dr, long for their fish and shrimp…

  5. Barbara Ball | July 23, 2017 at 9:22 pm | Reply

    La Louisian fine French cuisine that was located off of Broadway.

  6. I miss Tom’s Ribs!!! That place was my favorite spot!!!!
    Also Home Town Buffet!

  7. Lorenzo’s Italian restaurant on San Pedro.

  8. Fargo’s Pizza. Several locations , but my favorite was the one at Evers and Wurzbach. Live music on weekends, and vintage cartoons, as well as The 3 Stooges movies in the little theater daily.

  9. U didn’t mention “HOT DOG HAVEN ” on Bandera and Culebra.

    • Texasjackson | July 25, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Reply

      It wasn’t cited because no one mentioned “HOT DOG HEAVEN.” However, I agree that is a place I miss. Thank you for pointing it out.

  10. Christie’s was really good. Mama worked there back in the day.

  11. Deborah Stahl Rinks | August 19, 2017 at 6:28 am | Reply

    Sizzler on SW Military Dr.

  12. MaryAnne Schweers | November 7, 2017 at 10:38 pm | Reply

    Sil’s Snack Shack in Alamo Heights.

  13. Well before Jim’s Frontier came back I missed the days of Frontier on Goliad. I’m glad several did make the list. First Mate the one on Goliad There was a “Whopper Burger” off Goliad they had the frozen Orange soda. GW Jr’s When I was at Butter Krust as a ‘Bread man’ I delivered to Coney Island and the Texas theater at the end of their business.

    • Good memories.

      • gilbert abundis | February 17, 2018 at 2:02 am | Reply

        whopper burger is now burger boy, on n.st marys and josephine, same burger fries and orange freeze, still taste the same….how can we bring back first mate, and gw jrs…that was some great fish and burgers….why did churches change there recipes???

  14. gilbert abundis | February 17, 2018 at 2:04 am | Reply

    one of my favorite rest. was LOS APACHES////GREAT BARBACOA….

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