Rosario’s has always been a colorful spot to dine, and not just because the food is an energetic and enthusiastic version of authentic Mexican cuisine. This neighborhood bar on the edge of the historic King William district is bright with vivid shades of the rainbow—purple ceilings and purple ceiling fans lend a whirring, psychedelic vista if you happen to look up; the purple neon bar with pink neon light overhead is a party all by itself. Pimiento-colored walls, dazzling turquoise accents, and pink Naugahyde fifty’s chairs at the tables have a way of seeming festive even on the rare occasions when the place is empty.

It’s a good place to wander in after a morning of sightseeing and shopping in this Victorian part of town. It’s a bit of a culture shock too, after you’ve looked at veddy, veddy British gingerbread-trimmed houses all day long, because Rosario’s is like a rollicking corner carved out of the heart of Mexico—doors flung open, tables outside for watching the passing parade of tourists and locals, and music merrily wafting out doors and windows. Inside, you’ll find a single space that serves as bar, dining room, dance floor, and even part of the kitchen—and some appealing food offerings emerging from that kitchen.

Plump grilled shrimp lavished with cilantro pesto will support your south of the border fantasy. Smoky, peppery salsa is the perfect all-purpose condiment—it somehow justifies all those tostadas you will consume, and it enlivens Rosario’s milder dishes such as posole and ceviche. For a simple meal, you can’t go wrong with a steaming caldo de pollo and the thick corn tortillas. Lucky you if you stop by Rosario’s on a Friday or Saturday night, because you’ll discover the good reason for the polished concrete floors. Dancing starts at 8—on Fridays salsa and merengue to the nine-member house band; on Saturdays you can call up the gypsy in your soul for an evening of flamenco guitar. Until Tito Puente or the Gypsy Kings come to town, the festivities here are a good substitute.

Recipe for Rosario’s Award Winning Salsa.

910 South Alamo Street San Antonio
Hours Mon-Thurs 11 am-10 pm
Fri-Sat 11 am-11:00 pm
Sun 11 am-9 pm
Friday late night bar until 1 am.

See Rosario’s current menu on the restaurant’s website.