One of San Marcos’s most popular restaurants is the consistently satisfying Herbert’s Taco Hut (419 Riverside Dr., 512/353-7440, $6–11). Originally a takeout taco stand, Herbert’s has evolved into a first-rate Tex-Mex establishment, drawing students and locals with its flavorful tacos and extremely prompt service (food often arrives in mere minutes). The most popular dish is Herbert’s Special, a combo plate featuring a taco, enchilada, and chalupa.
Another well-liked Mexican food joint is Mamacita’s Restaurant (1400 Aquarena Springs Dr., 512/353-0070, www.mamacitas.com, $6–12). This family-friendly spot is a favorite for quick lunches and group outings, and it’s an ideal place to take newcomers, since the spices are relatively mild. Popular dishes include the sour cream chicken enchiladas and the beef fajitas.
There’s something to be said for a college-town restaurant that’s endured for more than 30 years. Grin’s (802 N. LBJ Dr., 512/392-4746, www.grinsrestaurant.com, $8–19) is a classic all-American family restaurant that’s been (here it comes) putting smiles on people’s faces for decades with its tasty burgers, steaks, and sandwiches. The chicken-fried chicken is another signature dish. Located just up the hill from Texas State University, Grin’s is popular with students and families, and the huge tree-shaded deck is an ideal place to enjoy a meal.
More student-oriented is San Marcos River Pub & Grill (701 Cheatham St., 512/353-3747, www.riverpubandgrill.com, $8–17). Pub grub is the specialty here (anything fried is good) but the other menu items are also noteworthy, including salmon, catfish, and pecan-crusted chicken. The restaurant contains two levels of outdoor decks overlooking the river and features live music most weekends.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition