Life

Places to Dine in San Marcos, Texas

For the past 3 years, I have been living in San Marcos & attending Texas State University. Also during those 3 years, I have been trying all the places to eat I could. And let me tell ya, San Marcos has some pretty awesome food. This list of places range from different types of food, so you have a variety of places to hit when you visit San Marcos. Most of the places are local; I always love to support local restaurants. So, here are some of the places I enjoy eating while I lived here. 


Prik Nam Pla Thai Cuisine

Prik Nam Pla is a restaurant that is located in an Asian Market, thus, the seating area is pretty small. The market has such a good variety of Asian treats, food, and drinks. You will most likely be waiting for your food for awhile, but it is worth the wait because the food is fantastic. While waiting this either gives you the opportunity to look through the market or just enjoy conversations with your friends and family.

Thai food is one of my favorite foods. No matter what Thai place I visit, I must get wonton soup or egg rolls and either the Pad Thai or the Tom Kah Soup (which is a coconut milk based). Luckily, I go here a lot so I’ve been able to try all of those plus more!

A little about the food: While waiting for your food, they bring out these complimentary wonton chips. They are so plain and simple, but you can’t stop eating them. I love their egg rolls so much that I always burn my mouth off because I instantly try to eat them. I also appreciate that they give you two. Some place I go, I have paid the same price for this for just one egg roll. These egg rolls are honestly the best I have ever had. They are crispy and flavorful. Their wonton soup is wonderful. The wontons in the wonton soup are HUGE, but delicious. The broth is pretty flavorful and is definitely worth trying. Now, you can’t go to a Thai restaurant without getting the Pad Thai. Well, at least my family can’t. So, when I first visited, I got their Pad Thai. And let me tell you, their Pad Thai is one of the best I have had and thats saying something for the amount of Pad Thai I have consumed. I can’t tell you what it is that makes this the best, so you’ll just have to try it yourself.  My roommate gets this delicious curry dish called Masamun Curry. I highly recommend. 


Rail Yard Bar & Grill 

This is probably my favorite place to eat in San Marcos. I love burgers. And one of my favorite burgers is a BBQ burger. So, when I first came here and saw that they had a Hickory Burger I knew I had to get it. And every time after I still get the Hickory burger. I try to branch out, but it is just so good. This burger includes: red onions, Fried Wickles , applewood smoked bacon, melted American cheese and Hickory BBQ sauce on a toasted sweet bun. I’m a huge sauce fan, so I always need to get extra. Their fries are thin and crispy and can’t stop eating them. Their sweet potato fries are just as good. 

I went with my parents and best friend on my last day in San Marcos. I of course got my usual; the hickory burger, but this time I wanted to try their parmesan fries, which were great! My dad ordered some onion rings along with his burger, which were delicious and crispy. And my best friend ordered the French Dip. I asked to try it since I have only ever ate a burger there. It wasn’t half bad. The cheese was different; it was American Cheese rather than the Provolone Cheese I am used to. Along with her French Dip, she ordered Fried Wickles. I love their Fried Wickles; they are sweet and spicy fried pickle chips, beer battered and fried and served with chipotle ranch.  

Hickory Burger | A Splash of Love


They have a large patio with seating, hammocks, ping pong tables, and throwing horse shoes. It is a great place to go out at night for a great burger and a beer with friends. They are very pet friendly too!


A-Tan Sushi Bar 

This Sushi bar is also an Asian Bistro. It is small, but very nice (and a little pricy). Their food is unbelievably delicious. I got the Clear Soup, Fried Squid, and A-tan Sushi Roll. The clear soup was so simple, yet so delicious. The fried squid was very spicy, at least for me. They had fresh jalapeños on top with spicy mayo. But even though it was spicy, it was still delicious. Although the sushi roll was good, I probably wouldn’t get it again. But, that just gives me a chance to try more off of the very long list of sushi that they have. 

A-tan Sushi Bar | A Splash of Love

The overall experience was great. Service was fairly quick, the ambiance was nice, and quality of food was great. It is a great spot to go for a date or feeling like splurging a bit. 


Gumbys 

Every Tuesday, Gumby’s has a special for 75 cent Pepperoni Rolls whenever you buy a drink. They are pretty good. It is pizza dough stuffed with pepperoni and cheese to which I then drench in Ranch. I like that it doesn’t have marinara sauce, since I am not a huge fan, but I am sure you can ask for marinara to dip it in. When I first went I thought they would be the size of a Tostitos pizza roll, but man was I wrong; these are almost the length of my fore arm. Getting 2 is enough, but 3 is still good. It’s the perfect meal for a college student. Cheap, delicious, and pizza. 

Pizza Rolls | A Splash of Love


Buzz Mill

“A 24hr coffee shop that features a full food menu, a variety of house-infused liquors, a large beer selection, a variety of vegan items and coffee from Austin-based Barrett’s Coffee.” They have seating inside, but outside they have a nice patio you can enjoy your meal.  Everyday they have some sort of event going on such as happy hour and comedy. 

I would see this place on my way home from school and every time thought “I need to go there”. So, finally my roommate and I went out for brunch and shared the Elk Hash and Range Breakfast Burger and paired our meal with $2 mimosas! If I have a chance I go back, I want to try the Frontier Biscuits & Gravy. 

Elk Hash – Hash browns topped with Elk chili and fried eggs

Elk Hash | A Splash of LoveThis hash was delicious. Very spicy for me, but still delicious. It was very flavorful and the runny egg definitely added another level to the hash. Although it was very good, I wouldn’t get it again because of the spice. However, I would definitely recommended it to those who don’t mind a kick to their meal. 

Range Breakfast Burger – Handmade patty blend of Antelope, Bison, and Bacon topped with fried egg, cheddar cheese and chipotle mayo.

This burger was so good. Just looking at this picture just makes my mouth water. I loved having the egg on it and dipping the burger in the dripping yolk. One thing I wish this burger had was more sauce! I am a huge sauce lover, so this is probably just me being picky. Definitely recommend. Range Breakfast Burger | A Splash of Love

Range Breakfast Burger | A Splash of Love


The Hitch 

This is a food truck park with about 6 different food trucks. All ranging from different types of food. 

 St. Pita's | A Splash of Love

 

St. Pita’s is a delicious pita spot. This food truck is open from 11am-8pm Mondays thru Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

I wanted to get a traditional pita so I got The Classic, which consists of traditional beef & lamb kabob with romaine, tomato, cucumber, red onion, and saintly sauce (spicy, but flavorful). If I have a chance to go again, I want to try the Holy Avocado. 

 

 

Smoked Out Barbeque is a great BBQ spot. This food truck is open from 11am-9pm Mondays thru Saturdays and closed on Sundays. I couldn’t choose between pork or brisket, so he gave me a mixture of both and dang it was good. The sauce was so flavorful and the fries were so crispy and delicious. If you know me, BBQ is not really a favorite of mine, but this was amazing.

 Smoked Out BBQ | A Splash of Love

 

El Sabor de Mi Tierra is a Columbian food truck that is open from 11am-7pm Monday thru Saturday and closed on Sundays.

My roommate got the beef empanada and an Arepas La Paisa: shredded beef, colombian beans, avocado, egg and creole sauce.. The empanada was delicious and she said that the arepa was so meaty and filled with beans. She got some pineapple salsa that had just the right amount of spice. *She wants to give a warning that it is VERY hot and will burn you if you drop it on your hand. Haha.
I got the Arepas La Campesina: shredded chicken, bacon, corn, cheddar cheese and creole sauce. I love avocado, so I added some for a little extra (so worth the extra cents). There was so much flavor to each bite and the arepas was thick and nicely cooked. Even though the arepas acted as a sandwich, it was so packed with ingredients, and it was piping hot, it was difficult to pick up and eat. So, we both ended up eating them with a fork. We each got some fresh salsa that was amazing on top of the arepas. All in all, this truck is worth the visit.  

 

Wanderlust This food truck is open from 2pm-8:30pm Tuesday thru Saturday.

This truck has gourmet sandwiches, Asian noodles, and much more. The Nordic sandwich caught my eye. I love everything that goes on the sandwich. It was also a very light feeling sandwich and very flavorful. The lemon dill cream cheese sauce was more than I could have dreamed of; it was SO delicious. My roommate got the Kimchee Glass Noodles as well as an Avocado Smoothie that was pretty good.  She loves kimchee and she loves glass noodles, so this dish was perfect for her. She said it could do without the Kale, but it was still good. I took a bite of this and fire spread through my mouth; it was so spicy for me. But of course it was the perfect spice for her. My best friend got the Chicken Teriyaki; it was pretty yummy. The flavor was good and the noodles were thick. I would get this for myself.Nordic – Smoked Salmon on ciabatta, boiled egg, preserved lemon dill cream cheese, avocado, & pickled red onions. Korean Kimchee Glass Noodle – with crispy Kale greens & Korean BBQ sauce. You can add chicken or tofu for extra. Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry– This dish came with mixed veggies. 

 

Patty Wagon This food truck is open from 11am – 8pm on Tuesday thru Saturday, closed on Sunday and Monday. This is the first food truck in the park that I tried. It was great. The burger was juicy and flavorful. I got to create my own, so it was exactly what I wanted and they certainly delivered.

 

Mambofreeze This food truck is open from 11am-9pm Monday thru Sunday. They serve shaved ice with 200+ flavors, frozen yogurt, and smoothies as well as nachos, hot dogs, chili cheese dogs, frito pie, etc.


Wok n Roll 

Their menu is large, so be prepared for many options. Every entree comes with an egg roll which is awesome because I love egg rolls and usually order one as an appetizer. Since I was already getting an egg roll along with my meal, I decided to get wonton soup. I love wonton soup as much as I love a crispy egg roll. Every wonton soup is different than the next, this one for sure was different, but I enjoyed it. For my meal I got sesame chicken with fried rice. My best friend got the orange chicken, which had a strong orange peel flavor and was spicy, but tasted delicious. The overall experience was great. The place itself has that Chinese restaurant feel and is a friendly place for families to dine. Every time I have gone it has been pretty full of friends and families enjoying a good meal. Sesame Chicken | A Splash of Love


Root Cellar Cafe 

BREAKFAST & LUNCH: Tue-Sun 7am-4pm
DINNER: Tue-Sun 5:30pm-10pm
HAPPY HOUR: Tue-Sun 4:00pm-6:00pm

I had been hearing good things about this restaurant, so I had been dying to go. I finally was able to go when my parents came down for the weekend. We went Saturday morning for brunch. It was pretty packed. Then I went again with my best friends for brunch. It was also pretty packed. Both visits the service was quick and the food was amazing.

First off, you can’t go wrong with a Mimosa at brunch. They had several options for Mimosas: Traditional, Blueberry, and Peach. Plus they have a Mimosa Flight, which is a sample of all three!

Migas- Eggs scrambled with black beans, tortilla chips, and pico de gallo, topped with cheddar cheese. Served with a 12″ flour tortilla, fruit salad, and a side of cellar salsa. 

Eggs Benedict | A Splash of LoveEggs Benedict – Two poached eggs and grilled ham topped with hollandaise sauce. Served over an english muffin, served with: fruit and homestyle potatoes. They only serve this on Saturday and Sunday 8am to 12pm. I am not a huge fan of potatoes, but their homestyle potatoes were really great and flavorful. 

Beet Burger | A Splash of LoveBeet Burger House-made patty served with a goat cheese pesto and microgreens on a toasted onion bun. This is what my dad got, and even though I love Eggs Benedict, I wanted to throw mine aside and eat this. I’m sure the burger would be good as is, but he added Turkey bacon and a fried egg. [My dad’s burgers are never complete without a fried egg] This just made the beet burger so much more flavorful and mouthwatering. If you do get this, please add the turkey bacon and fried egg, you wont regret it. 


Rhea’s Ice Cream

This cute and funky ice cream shop is right by the square. They have flavors from Vanilla Cookies & Creme to Goat Cheese & Raspberry Jam. You can get your ice cream in a cup, a brownie, a homemade waffle cone, freshly baked cookies, or a milkshake. I decided to get the Circus Animal Cracker ice cream in a homemade waffle cone. My roommate got a cup of Avocado Coconut & Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip. Their flavors are certainly crazy, but are definitely delicious. 


Insomnia Ice Cream

One night my roommate and I were hardcore craving some sweets. It was about 10pm and we didn’t feel like going out, so my roommate mentioned that Insomnia Cookies delivers till 3am! What? Such a brilliant idea. Perfect for college students craving those late night treats.The delivery takes about 30-45 minutes, but it is worth the wait. 

They offer several cookies, ice cream, and brownies. I wasn’t feeling a cookie, so I decided to go with the brownie and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Oh man. It was AMAZING. I heated it up in the microwave and then topped it off with the ice cream and it all just melted in my mouth. The brownie was great on its own, but the ice cream just made it so much better. My roommate got oatmeal raisin cookies with butter pecan ice cream. She loved it. She said it was one of the best oatmeal raisin cookies she’s had. 

*Side note: we were delivered the wrong order. We got our ice cream, but had someone else cookies which meant they now had ours. I couldn’t catch the guy in time, so we called customer service. The man was really friendly and they were able to send us the rest of our order and we got a free coupon for more cookies (as long as we bought $6 order). Since the delivery takes long in the first place, we had to wait even longer. The poor guy tried to give us his tip back, but he still deserved it. Especially since he had to drive to our place twice and I’m sure he wasn’t having a great night anymore. 



Gil’s Broiler

Gil’s Broiler is San Marcos’ Oldest Restaurant and home of The Original Manske Roll. Their menu features burgers, sandwiches, and other yummy stuff. Ever since I have been at Texas State, I have heard about these rolls. It only took me 3 years to finally try them. We decided to make a trip out of it and also try their burgers. My roommate ordered a Gil-A-Monster burger which comes with St. Louis dressing, tomatoes, and grilled onions and she added thick peppered bacon and jalapeños. 

I got the Hickory Burger which came with hickory sauce and grilled onions and I added sautéed mushrooms. You also had the option to add a side for extra. They had the option of fries, tater tots, onion rings, and sweet potato fries. The tater tots were the perfect crispiness. 

The main reason we came to Gil’s was for the famous Manske Roll. They lived up to the hype. These were so yummy. However, it wasn’t your typical cinnamon roll. Rather than it being doughy, it was more bread like. But, that didn’t stop it from being delicious. You can get toppings on your Manske Roll: chopped bacon, caramel, melted Hershey’s, and ice cream. I decided to try it plain and my roommate got caramel. The caramel tasted great on the roll! 

You could tell the restaurant was definitely one of the first here in San Marcos. But the food was great and a decent price for college students. If anything, you should try one of the famous Manske rolls. 


Pie Society 

This is a great pizza joint located extremely close to campus. They serve large slices of creatively topped pizzas. You can also build your own, which is nice. They also serve calzones, subs, and salads.The most recent pizza I had was called The Enlightenment. It has Brussel sprouts, bacon, fresh mozzarella, red onion, parmesan, honey balsamic reduction, & garlic infused olive oils. It was surprisingly delicious. The other slices I have tried that were great were The Diablo: Spicy Sriracha, roasted chicken breast, grape tomatoes, red onion, pineapple & fresh cilantro, and The Pyramid: Fresh spinach, ricotta, fresh mozzarella, Texas goat cheese, & garlic infused extra virgin olive oil. The other day I got a slice of the Pie of the Day: Canadian Bacon, Bacon, Mushrooms, and Feta. They have many more pizzas and they can be bought whole or by the slice, which is offered daily between 11-2 & 5-8. Definitely one of my favorite pizza places, so if you’re craving a slice, you need to eat here!


Other Places to visit:

Grin’s Restaurant – I’ve been here once and it was alright. I don’t think I got the best thing there. But, I have heard great things about this place. It is a place right next to campus and is full of students and families. So, its definitely a crowd favorite. It is far from my apartment so I haven’t been since my first time there. My boss use to go to Texas State and she loved to get their Broccoli Cheddar Soup. So, that is my recommendation if you take a visit here. 

Italian Garden– Its been awhile since I have dinned here, but it was delicious. This is located right by campus. It is a cute little Italian place, with great food and service. I always get chicken marsala whenever I try a new Italian place, its kind of how I decide if its a good restaurant. They had a pretty decent chicken marsala, but I enjoyed the bite I had of my friends Alfredo dish. They serve you bread while you are waiting and it is pretty yummy bread. My friend introduced me to dipping it into ranch. My mind was blown, how have I never done that? Weird, but awesome. So, if you’re in the mood for a local Italian restaurant, this is your place. 

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