Explore San Antonio

Mariachi: The Sound of San Antonio

Discover the mariachi experience in the Alamo City

While the cultural phenomenon that is mariachi music has extended far and wide across the globe, perhaps nowhere outside of its native Mexico is the music more prominent than in San Antonio. The Alamo City has become the cradle of mariachi music education, with instructors teaching students as early as the 1960s.

“Mariachi music is a beautiful style of Mexican folklore that is deeply rooted in the culture here in San Antonio,” said Cynthia Muñoz, President of Muñoz Public Relations. “Much of [mariachi music’s popularity] is due to the traditions that are rich and vibrant among the Mexican and Mexican-American community that makes up [the majority] of the total population in San Antonio.”

'Volver, Volver'

Mariachi Bar (©Travel Texas)

A trio of the city’s most famous Mexican restaurants play host to some great music. The iconic Mi Tierra has been a staple in San Antonio since 1941 and it is one of the best spots in the city to take in a classic mariachi performance. Guitars and trumpets intricately perform almost every night with the bands roving from table to table.

Experience the same at Mi Tierra’s sister restaurants, La Margarita and Pico de Gallo. Nothing makes for a better evening than being serenaded by trained musical professionals, bellowing out the classics like “Volver, Volver,” “Guantanamera” and “Cielito Lindo.” For an even more authentic glimpse into the history, culture, and tradition, visit the Mariachi Bar. Housed in a former liquor store next to Mi Tierra, the bar has embraced the mariachi aesthetic unlike any other place in San Antonio. The murals, the decoration, the cócteles all reflect the mariachi way of life and make this a must-visit nightspot.

Mariachi serenade (©VisitSanAntonio.com)

Mariachi events

“Mariachi music is incorporated into every day events here in San Antonio such as birthday celebrations, weddings, funerals, grand openings, business events and traditional holiday celebrations,” said Muñoz. “The popularity of mariachi music among school based mariachi music programs, and the fact that San Antonio serves as the home base for the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza [December 1-7], are additional reasons San Antonio serves as a worldwide hub for mariachi music.”

Strolling Mariachi band (©Shutterstock)

Celebrate the music this summer at the 63rd annual Fiesta Noche del Rio, performed at the historic Arneson River Theatre on the River Walk from June 21 through August 10 on Fridays and Saturdays. Complete with mariachi music and folklorico dancing, the program is a fan favorite and has been for decades.