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Find The Best Puffy Tacos in San Antonio at These Hot Spots

Texans love Mexican food but perhaps love Tex-Mex food even more. Texas is known for Tex-Mex, which combines the best elements from Mexican and Tejano food cultures. No trip to Austin is complete without enjoying a Migas breakfast taco, a tex-mex specialty. One of the most well-known tex-mex items is puffy tacos. Many South Texans are familiar with San Antonio puffy tacos, but these specialties can be found statewide. If you're not local to the area, you may not even know what a puffy taco is, let alone where to find the best ones. We've rounded up where to the best puffy tacos around the state.

What Is a Puffy Taco?

A puffy taco is a filled tortilla that has been fried to achieve a crispy shell. It's not quite as crunchy as a crispy taco, yet not as pliable as a regular soft taco. Instead, it combines the best elements from all types of tacos to create a unique taco experience. Puffy taco shells remain light and crispy on the outside while allowing the juicy meat filling to ooze into the crevices of the tortilla.

The traditional fillings for a puffy taco are chicken or beef, lettuce, tomato, and cheese. Each restaurant will have its own original spin on the tacos, so if it's your first time, we recommend trying several restaurants to get the true puffy taco experience.

Where to Find the Best Puffy Tacos In San Antonio, Texas

1. Ray's Drive-Inn 

Ray's is credited with being the first restaurant to serve the infamous puffy taco. Ray Lopez started his restaurant in 1956 in San Antonio. Ray's started as a drive-in, showing free movies to families and serving affordable hamburgers, fried chicken, beer, and lemonade.

Ray's brother Arturo opened his own puffy taco store in California but eventually bought out Ray's. With the purchase, the original puffy taco made its debut in San Antonio. After Arturo's passing, his wife Gloria took over the family business.

While Ray's is most known for its puffy tacos, they serve enchiladas, fajitas, and even seafood plates.

Check out the menu here.

2. Henry's Puffy Taco

Henry Lopez started Henry's Puffy Taco in 1978, after following in the footsteps of his older brother Ray. His tacos became so popular that he eventually expanded to two locations.

In 1989 Henry the Taco mascot was invented. The mascot is still in use for the San Antonio Missions minor league baseball team.

Henry's operates as a traditional Mexican restaurant, serving picadillo, carne guisada, burritos, and quesadillas. The restaurant offers seven different options for their puffy tacos. Among the most popular are guacamole and shredded chicken.

You can get your Henry's puffy tacos at 3202 W. Woodlawn ave and 6030 Bandera Rd in San Antonio.

Check out the menu here.

3. Alamo Cafe

The Alamo's cafe motto is: "A fiesta at every table." In San Antonio, Fiesta is an annual celebration remembering the battle of The Alamo and San Jacinto.

The Alamo's puffy taco plate is truly an impressive feat. It comes with two masa fried tacos, seasoned ground beef or chicken, lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese. It's also served with guacamole, rice, and refried beans.

Check out the menu here

4. Los Barrios

Los Barrios is another restaurant keeping family front and center. Los Barrios serves a combination of traditional Mexican fare as well as Tex-Mex favorites. If you go during lunch, you can enjoy their specials like tamales or pollito en salsa, with their spicy chipotle sauce.

Check out the menu here

5. Taco House

This San Antonio institution is known for its large puffy tacos. Their large tacos are stuffed to the brim, making them a great choice for breakfast or lunch. Taco house operates a drive-thru and has dine-in service. The restaurant is only open from 7 am till 2-m, so be sure to get there early.

Check out the menu here.

Sarah Abrams is a writer living in Austin, Texas with her husband, 1-year old daughter and cat. She's loved cooking and trying local restaurants for as long as she can remember. She only got a Twitter account to stalk the burgeoning food truck scene in Los Angeles. She has every Ina Garten cookbook and is slowly working her way through those the recipes. When she isn't cooking or eating, she loves hiking around the city and being with her family.