Best Restaurants & Places to Eat in San Marcos TX

This charming city is not only known for its picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture but also for its great food. From authentic Tex-Mex flavors and sizzling barbecue to sweet treats, San Marcos has some of the best restaurants in Texas!

Join us as we embark on a journey to find the best places to eat in San Marcos! You’re sure to stay fueled and hydrated as you explore San Marcos and all of its things to do, which you can read about here.

With our latest edition of our Texas Travel Guide, you can take an exciting vacation every weekend without breaking the bank and still have more to do! And in just one trip, the guide pays for itself! You’ll be amazed at all the hidden gems, international influence, and wacky attractions you’ll find all over Texas!

Not ready to purchase quite yet? We wanted to make this guide as accessible as possible, so we’ve shared our 1st edition of our guide, 50 Texas Trips Under $50. Click the button below to get yours for FREE!

Bars & Breweries in San Marcos

Roughhouse Brewing

When it comes to dining experiences in San Marcos, Roughhouse Brewing is a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts. Nestled in the heart of the city, this vibrant brewery and restaurant offers an inviting atmosphere and a delectable array of dishes. They have some of the best Tex-Mex snacks. With a variety of sandwiches, tacos, & BBQ (Th/F), Roughhouse Brewing has it all!

Of course, the highlight of the experience is their handcrafted beer selection. They even have their own beer that they brew in a cave! They also have a huge area for live music, a playground, and tons of picnic tables. Lastly, they are pet-friendly!

Outdoor picnic tables with trees all around

Red Bus Bar

As you enter the Red Bus Bar, you’ll be immediately captivated by its quirky and vibrant décor, with red bus seats and eclectic artwork lining the walls. The bar itself is a focal point, boasting an impressive collection of craft beers, signature cocktails, and fine spirits.

The bartenders are skilled mixologists, ready to whip up your favorite drink or recommend something new to tickle your taste buds. Pop into Red Bus Bar if you’re looking to relax, socialize, and enjoy your night out. In addition to its impressive drink offerings, the Red Bus Bar also hosts live music performances, trivia nights, and other exciting events throughout the week.

Zelicks Icehouse

Zelicks Icehouse is a local hotspot that combines laid-back vibes with a touch of quirkiness. Step inside, and you’ll immediately notice their amusing and entertaining signs in the bathrooms, which will never fail to put a smile on your face.

But Zelicks is not just about the jokes; it’s also known for its exciting monthly events from live music performances to trivia nights and themed parties.

As for the drinks, Zelicks offers an impressive selection of craft beers, creative cocktails, and refreshing beverages. And let’s not forget about the food! Zelicks Icehouse boasts a mouthwatering menu, featuring delicious pub-style fare like the best burgers, crispy fries, and flavorful appetizers that pair perfectly with your drink of choice.

Antique car out front of Zelick's

Ivar’s River Bar

Nestled alongside the scenic San Marcos River, Ivar’s River Pub is a true gem in downtown San Marcos. This inviting pub offers a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, where locals and visitors can unwind and soak in the picturesque views of the river.

View of the restaurant from across the river

But it’s not just the ambiance that sets Ivar’s apart; their extensive selection of drinks includes ice-cold beers, handcrafted cocktails and specialty spirits. Pair your drink of choice with their mouth watering pub fare, featuring yummy burgers, hearty sandwiches, and savory appetizers. They also have fantastic happy hour menu specials as well as all-day breakfast for those breakfast fanatics (or those who like to sleep in).

Middleton Brewery 

What sets this brewery apart is its pet-friendly policy, where visitors might even have the pleasure of meeting Banjo, the friendly dog who belongs to the owners.

Exterior of Middleton Brewery with picnic tables

When it comes to libations, Middleton Brewery offers an impressive selection of craft beers, wines, and their signature micheladas.

Beyond the beverages, the brewery hosts a variety of events such as live music performances, trivia nights, and open mic sessions, ensuring there’s always something entertaining happening. As a bonus, visitors can snack on complimentary popcorn while enjoying the festivities. To add to the fun, Middleton Brewery also offers lawn games like Jenga.

Bakeries & Coffee Shops in San Marcos

Dos Gatos Kolache Bakery

When you step into this charming bakery, you are instantly hit with the amazing smell of freshly baked goods. Although they have over 30 different flavors of delicious Texas kolaches & Czech pastries, their Cinnamon Loaf is a must! They sell out every day fairly quickly, so if you’d like to try one, make sure to get there early! You can also call the day before and have them hold one for you. This delightfully sweet and aromatic creation is a perfect mix of fluffy dough swirled with a generous amount of cinnamon and sugar. You can also buy the leftovers from the day before for a great price!

Babe’s Doughnut & Coffee

From classic, glazed doughnuts to creative and unique flavors like Maple Bacon or Cookies and Cream, there’s something for everyone! Babe’s Doughnuts are made with care and attention to detail, ensuring a light and fluffy texture that melts in your mouth. Pair your doughnut with a cup of freshly brewed coffee for the perfect morning pick-me-up or a delightful afternoon treat. 

The Coffee Bar

This charming café embraces a minimalist aesthetic, with clean lines and a warm ambiance that instantly puts you at ease. Located on a bustling street, the Coffee Bar provides a peaceful respite from the outside world.

Whether you prefer a perfectly crafted espresso, a velvety cappuccino, or a refreshing iced latte, their skilled baristas ensure every cup is a work of art. In addition to its exceptional coffee, the Coffee Bar also offers a delectable selection of pastries and baked goods, providing the perfect accompaniment to your favorite beverage.

Best Restaurants to Try in San Marcos

Casa Maria Restaurant & Bakery

If you’re looking for delicious, authentic Mexican restaurants in San Marcos, Casa Maria is definitely a spot you should check out. Their menu items include an array of traditional Mexican food, from sizzling fajitas to mouthwatering enchiladas and homemade tamales.

Not only are they known to have the best margaritas in Hays County, but they have a special item called “Taco Bout Love.” It is 24 tacos perfectly plated into the shape of a giant heart that you can fill with the meat of your choice. Bring some friends and share or see how many tacos you can eat in one sitting! We also got to try their filled concha for dessert and it was so good!