Diners in Universal City

Select Local Merchants

John and Herb McEwen initially named their eatery McEwen's Fried Chicken when they opened in 1949, but the name didn't stick. According to the San Antonio Express-News, they wanted people to know their soda shop sold food, everyone in the neighborhood still called the spot "the malt house." Voted best neighborhood restaurant by Express-News readers, the restaurant continues to serve the creamy malts that became its namesake. The menu abounds with all-American favorites such as burgers, juicy fried chicken, and fried fish served with coffee cups of tartar sauce for dipping or for playing a prank on unwitting coworkers. Chefs prepare flour tortillas in-house to add a more authentic flavor to Mexican dishes such as the Machacado plate, a medley of sun-dried meat, serrano peppers, onions, and tomato.

115 S Zarzamora St
San Antonio,
TX
US

The first IHOP?the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin?opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.

Today, the company stands strong with over 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.

CINN-A-STACK is a registered trademark of IHOP, Inc.

6519 FM 78
San Antonio,
TX
US

The chicken-fried steak at Lulu’s measures 15 inches side to side. Cooks dip it in buttermilk and hand-bread it twice, pan-fry it, then drench it in thick country gravy. Size is a common theme at Lulu’s; see also the three-pound cinnamon roll featured on Man vs. Food.

918 N Main Ave
San Antonio,
TX
US

Earl Abel was a musician in the silent movie industry until talkies drove him into the diner business. Since 1937, his kitchen has been charming diners with its popular fried chicken and hearty roadhouse entrees. It might be wise to opt for one of the “petite dinners” so you have room for one of Earl’s famous cakes and pies.

1201 Austin Hwy
San Antonio,
TX
US

Cuisine Type: American Comfort Food

Established: 1953

Reservations: Not offered

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Number of Tables: 25?50

Parking: Parking lot

Most popular offering: Top Chop't Steak

Kid-friendly: Yes

Alcohol: Full bar

Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only

Outdoor Seating: No

Pro Tip: Pie makes everything better.

Q&A with Deborah Donovan, General Manager

What is one of your most popular offerings? How is it prepared?

Our famous Frisco burger is an Angus patty with american cheese, our sweet-and-tangy special relish, Frisco thousand-island dressing, and shredded lettuce on a toasted bun.

Do you adhere to any sustainable or eco-friendly practices?

All of our to-go packaging is made of recyclable, reusable, or compostable materials. The restaurant recycles paper, glass, aluminum, and cooking oil. We are family owned and have been in business for over 60 years. We strive to leave a clean environment for many generations to come.

In your own words, how would you describe your menu?

We are a Texas diner. There is something for everyone. We have burgers, cut steaks, chicken-fried steaks, pork chops, and meatloaf. We serve grilled salmon, wahoo, and cod. We have daily lunch specials: smothered steak, chicken and dumplings, corned beef and cabbage, beef tips over rice, catfish, roast beef, and fried chicken. We make our own ice-box pies, and our coconut pie is award-winning. We bake fresh fruit pies every day.

Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?

Come on in and become part of the family.

6801 Burnet Rd
Austin,
TX
US

Only steps from the University of Texas campus, a blue neon sign flashes the name of one of the city's most iconic diners: Kerbey Lane Cafe. The location on Guadalupe reflects the retro style and ethical consumerism of the neighborhood: Austinites can't get enough of their locally sourced, seasonal food and large range of comfort dishes, including vegan and vegetarian options, of course. They even compost! Kerbey Lane is known equally for their breakfast items and their Tex-Mex. Specialty pancakes, like seasonal lemon-glazed flapjacks, are not to be missed, and the gooey Kerbey Queso is a beloved late night snack. This UT-adjacent Kerbey Lane outpost is newly remodeled, with soothing birch walls and a gleaming breakfast counter, updating the 13-year old location for a new generation of diner food lovers.

2606 Guadalupe St
Austin,
TX
US