I moved to San Antonio the year after Taco Cabana opened in the fall of 1978. During my senior year at Trinity, I lived in a duplex within walking distance of the original location on San Pedro at Hildebrand. It’s safe to say that I’ve eaten more meals at Taco Cabana than any other restaurant in San Antonio. Why? Consistently good food at a great price.
San Antonio is awesome for many reasons, but one of the main reasons has to be $1.50 margaritas during Taco Cabana’s Happy Hour every day from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Seriously. A buck fifty. Throw in a plate of bean and cheese nachos for $1.49, and you’ve got a $3 Happy Hour. Awesome? ¡Por cierto! (For sure!)
Taco Cabana’s salsa bar sets them apart from most Mexican restaurants. By adding pico de gallo, cilantro/coriander, your choice of salsas and a splash of lime, your plain bean and cheese nachos will become a work of art. (See my before and after photos in the slide show above.) Full disclosure: I ordered chicken fajita nachos, which come with guacamole and sour cream. My friend ordered chips and queso.
For out-of-towners who are new to real Tex-Mex food, you haven’t truly lived until you’ve eaten one of Taco Cabana’s bean and cheese tacos. You won’t be able to stop at just one of the gooey, bean-and-cheesy confections. The good news is that at $1.09 plus tax, you don’t have to stop at one. When I worked at the Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital back in the mid-to-late ’80s, I overheard a little girl who was being wheeled into surgery beg for a bean and cheese taco. Yes, they are that drool-worthy.
Recently, I’ve become addicted to Taco Cabana’s black bean tacos on corn tortillas, which contain about half the calories of flour tortillas. Healthy and tasty. You also can’t go wrong with bean and cheese chalupas for $1.09 plus tax. I order two. Doctor them up at the salsa bar, and you’ll have a satisfying meal for just over $2. (See awesome reference above.) My husband is partial to their crispy beef taco plate. Whatever you order from Taco Cabana’s extensive menu, you’ll be happy.
I had the privilege of interviewing Felix Stehling, the founder of Taco Cabana, while I was a reporter for The Trinitonian. As owner of the Bombay Bicycle Club and Taco Cabana, he had cornered the market on Trinity haunts. Stehling, a graduate of St. Mary’s University, began his journey at a hamburger joint on Austin Highway, where he invented the beanburger. RIP, Mr. Stehling.
Though not a HH item, Taco Cabana’s breakfast tacos are pretty hard to beat. For work-related functions, I’ve been known to pick up several boxes of 12 to feed the masses. Don’t forget the salsa!
Taco Cabana now has 165 locations in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Find the one that’s closest to you. For information on Taco Cabana’s on-going deals, you may follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Cheers!
For even more ideas of fun things to do and see in San Antonio, visit Barnes & Noble, The Twig, Whole Foods, Half Price Books on Broadway, Costco, Sam’s and Hudson News to purchase “100 Things To Do in San Antonio Before You Die” by yours truly. Gracias. ¡Viva San Antonio!