La Fonda's History

La Fonda in October of 1959
From right to left
Jack Berry - Mary Moreno - Polly Moody - Rudy Berlanga - Franklin Hicks

  La Fonda Oak Hills can lay claim, with justification, to being the oldest continually operating Mexican restaurant in the Alamo City. Virginia Berry, the grandmother of La Fonda's current 3rd. generation owner (Mr. John Berry) spent her childhood years in Monterrey, Mexico, where her father worked for a mining company. While living there, she developed a love for the tastes and traditions of Mexico. When the family moved to San Antonio, Virginia, now a young woman, opened a small shop on Main Avenue offering fresh tamales, tostados, and hot sauce. That small shop soon evolved across the street into what would be the original La Fonda restaurant in 1932. For many years, the family lived above the restaurant.

  John's father, Jack, followed in his mother's footsteps and opened La Fonda Oak Hills at 350 Northaven. At that time, the current location was still "way out in the country". John has been operating La Fonda Oak Hills in the family tradition since his father's death in 1982, with just a few changes; one by design and one by serendipity. By design, the menu still offers many of Virginia's original recipes, with a nod to "Heart Healthy" items, using cholesterol-free canola oil for cooking and frying. Through serendipity, a 1986 break-in created an unexpected opportunity for renovations. Burglars spent an unsuccessful night trying to open the restaurant's safe. While bungling the safecracking, they did help themselves to the abundant supply of tequila in the bar. Eventually, in frustration, they poured spirits around the restaurant, and set it ablaze. Following the fire, John made the decision to add a function room to accomodate celebrations of all types; anniversarys, weddings, rehearsal dinners, office parties, club meetings, birthdays, etc.

  Today, as you enter through La Fonda's front door, you'll see above the host/hostess podium a portrait of Josie Alvarado which stands as a reminder of the long and enduring traditions at our restaurant. Josie worked at the original La Fonda for John's grandmother in the 30's, and retired only in 1993.

  Years ago, to circumvent restrictive laws about serving liquor, La Fonda asked that you become a "club member". The original club rules are posted below for your enjoyment. Take a moment to decipher the script. Check out "ARTIKEL II" It will give you a chuckle!

La Fonda Oak Hills
350 Northaven Street
(Just off loop 410 on Fredericksburg Road)
San Antonio, TX, 78229

Ph. 210-342-8981
Fax 210-342-9438

Have Questions? Email Us!

Here's a bird's eye view of the San Antonio Medical Center in the Northwest sector of San Antonio. We are about a half-mile away at 350 Northaven. If you'd like, just click on "Map Us" from our home page for a map of the area pinpointing La Fonda's location.

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