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Where to Buy the Best Barbacoa in San Antonio

Where to find the best barbacoa in San Antonio

Written By: Nathan Pineda

I crunch numbers at La Luz Tortilla Factory and help businesses get more customers at Curious Laiman Digital.

February 20, 2024

Are you looking for the best Barbacoa in San Antonio? As a lifelong barbacoa consumer, I’m here to share my favorite places to get barbacoa so if you’re ready, let’s dive in!

  1. What is Barbacoa?
  2. How is Barbacoa Made?
  3. Why is Barbacoa So Greasy?
  4. Where to Buy the Best Barbacoa in San Antonio
  5. Papi’s Barbacoa on West Ave
  6. Papi’s Barbacoa on Culebra
  7. La Luz Tortilla Factory
  8. How Much is Barbacoa by the Pound?
  9. How Much Barbacoa Per Person?

What Is Barbacoa?

I’m sure you’ve heard about barbacoa before but what exactly is it? Allow me to tell you!

Barbacoa is seasoned slow-cooked meat. Thanks to the slow-cooking process, the result is an incredibly flavorful meat that’ll make your taste buds happy!
But before digging into a plate of mouthwatering barbacoa, let’s take a look at what kind of meat it usually consists of…

Barbacoa from La Luz

What Kind Of Meat Is Barbacoa?

Before you run around San Antonio looking for the best barbacoa, you should know what kind of meat is barbacoa.
Here’s a quick look at what to expect when buying barbacoa:

  • Beef – If you’re in the game for barbacoa in San Antonio, you’ll find that 95% of all places serve beef barbacoa. This cheek meat could come shredded or in chunks.
  • Lamb – On rare occasions, you’ll find some places that serve lamb barbacoa. Lamb meat is richer and gamier but harder to find.
  • Goat – Even more rare, goat barbacoa is sometimes served. This meat is a lot more expensive than beef and lamb because the taste is sweeter and allegedly more healthy.

What’s the Difference Between All Meat and Regular?

All Meat barbacoa is our lean barbacoa that’s cleaned up and has less fat. This is what everyone usually buys!

Whereas the Regular has more fat and is greasier. Although this barbacoa is fatty, it has a lot more flavor! Mix the Regular and All Meat to have the best of both worlds, we’ll do it for you!

Is Pork Barbacoa?

Although pork can be slow-cooked and served similarly, pork is not considered barbacoa.

This type of meat is called carnitas. Carnitas come from a different side of the body which is pork butt.

How Is Barbacoa Made?

What makes barbacoa so savory and delicious? Well, it has to do with the way the meat is cooked! Here’s how we make our barbacoa:

First off, the meat is seasoned and slow-cooked. Slow-cooking melts the fat and locks the moisture into the meat which gives it that amazing taste. Then when it’s done cooking, we shred the barbacoa into delicious pieces.

Why Is Barbacoa So Greasy?

Barbacoa comes from beef cheek or cow head. This part of the body is already a fatty cut and with fat melting from the slow-cooking process, this can make barbacoa so greasy.

At La Luz Tortilla Factory, we do our best to not let the barbacoa get greasy and not too dry. We believe that barbacoa should retain its juicy rich flavor.

Where To Buy The Best Barbacoa In San Antonio

Finding a place that makes barbacoa the right way and tastes delicious can be hard. Here are three places you can get the best barbacoa in San Antonio!

Papi's Barbacoa on West Avenue

Papi’s Barbacoa On West Ave

The original Papi’s Barbacoa on West Ave is one of the best places to snag amazing barbacoa.

The Pineda Family has been making barbacoa since 2001 and they’ve perfected the best taste from the start.

When it comes to preparation, these guys don’t mess around. They use only the highest quality ingredients and do all the hard work themselves – from slow-cooking overnight to hand-shredding the barbacoa. Every order is made fresh and served piping hot, ensuring that your meal will be as delicious and flavorful as possible.

And if that wasn’t enough, they also offer FREE charro beans with every order. How can you resist that!?

Honestly, the beans are so good, it’s a crime they’re free!

The atmosphere here is great too; warm lighting and friendly staff. Whether you’re coming alone or bringing family, Papi’s has something for everyone and is sure to please even the pickiest eaters out there. So come check them out this weekend- trust me when I say you won’t regret it!

Papi's Barbacoa on Culebra - Where to Get the Best Tamales in San Antonio

Papi’s Barbacoa On Culebra

If West Ave is a bit too far, Papi’s on Culebra has the best barbacoa on the northwest side of San Antonio!

They only use the freshest ingredients and respect the same cooking process as Papi’s on West Ave.

The staff is friendly and attentive as they go above and beyond to make sure their customers have the best experience.

La Luz Tortilla Factory Storefront

La Luz Tortilla Factory

When it comes to authentic, delicious San Antonio barbacoa, everyone knows La Luz Tortilla Factory is the place to go. The long lines on weekends and holidays are a testament to our amazing food! Here’s what makes this spot so special:

  • The Pineda Family is behind La Luz barbacoa so you know you’re getting Papi’s quality flavor.
  • La Luz has the best tortillas in San Antonio! They’re made fresh right there in the factory and you can get them hot!
  • They use only quality ingredients for all of their food, which means you’re getting a hearty meal without sacrificing flavor.

If you haven’t tried La Luz Tortilla Factory yet, then what are you waiting for? Our food speaks for itself!

Order barbacoa online today and see what the fuss is all about!

How Much Is Barbacoa By The Pound?

All three places have the same prices for barbacoa. Here are the prices for barbacoa per pound:

  • 1lb All Meat: $16.99
  • 1lb Regular: $15.99
  • 1lb Lengua: $24.99

How Much Barbacoa Per Person?

This question gets asked every weekend and it can be tough! Some factors are at play here: how big are your tacos? Are kids eating? Are adults eating? Are these big hungry working men?

I always recommend that one adult can eat half a pound of barbacoa, if they’re eating nothing else. A quarter pound can make two tacos if you’re using corn tortillas. That same amount can make one taco if you’re using flour tortillas and they’re a bigger size.

Where are you going?

Now that you know where to get the best barbacoa in San Antonio, where are you going to go? Are you going to see Papi? Or are you coming to see us at La Luz?

Wherever you decide just know that you’re getting top-quality barbacoa and tortillas!

If you want to stay up-to-date with everything going on at La Luz and get the best deals, sign up to join the La Luz VIP List! We can’t wait to see you!

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