Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.


215 Losoya St. (Crockett St.) Send to Phone
Manduca’s brand of real Mex food may take time to conquer the River Walk, but the battle is worth fighting.

Lunch & Dinner daily

* Click here for rating key

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Manduca Restaurant Review

: Manduca is the northern outpost of a Mexican restaurant dynasty---a kind of reconquista of the sort seen more frequently hereabouts since NAFTA. Ironically, it has taken over the tired digs of a lackluster Mexican joint on the River Walk and has burnished them into a semi-precious gem form. Massive stone walls bracket the dining experience inside; a huge magnolia tree shelters diners at river’s edge. But if the setting now seems to be achieving its potential, the menu is still struggling for an identity. It began as a kind of Euro-clash-meets-Mexico document---with a little American thrown in to appease the locals. And it now seems to have morphed into something more classically Mexican---with a few steaks thrown in to appease the locals. Still, this is the best place on the River Walk to have a fresh, fish ceviche marinated in lime and orange juices, and the only one to indulge in epazote-scented mushrooms with toasted garlic and adobo sauce. Seafood enchiladas play a little fast and loose with classic precepts, utilizing a cilantro-mushroom cream sauce and an avocado hollandaise topping; Sabana Manduca, a grilled sheet of pounded-out tenderloin, is much more traditional; and Pollo Alamo plays to the tourist crowd with chicken breast marinated in Dijon mustard and rosemary. Despite all this, locals haven’t yet staked a claim to Manduca, but if only for the tequila-based specialty cocktails (the Vampiro pairs tequila with sangrĂ­ta and grapefruit soda), they should soon find their way here.


GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.