Real talk: I went to San Antonio for the food. It had a little to do with all the best things to do in San Antonio, but my to-try restaurant list was growing out of hand to the point it demanded a visit. I think we did a pretty good job, though my to-try list now (at the end of this post) can easily take up another weekend! What I’m trying to say is San Antonio has a lot of great food and the chefs there are definitely raising the standard for good eats. The culinary scene is growing there, like much of the city, and it’s an exciting time to experience it. If you want a weekend trip to a Texas foodie town, you should definitely consider San Antonio.
I had three food requirements for this trip: dining at Mixtli, dining at a Jason Dady restaurant, and trying craft beers.
- If you search for the Mixtli restaurant, you’ll find word associations like James Beard Foundation and Andrew Zimmern. I wanted to see the magic of this honored restaurant for myself.
- Chef Jason Dady has participated in many Austin food events and I’ve been impressed every time. He has several restaurants in his hometown San Antonio so I had to visit at least one.
- Trying craft beers everywhere I travel is a passion of mine!
Here are my recommended San Antonio restaurants!
We stepped into the restaurant and discovered it was happy hour, which is always a great discovery! For happy hour, we enjoyed 50 cent fried quail legs and a discount on charcuterie. The fried quail legs were lightly fried and small nuggets of flavor. I almost wish we got more than two each! The charcuterie was a hit also. My favorite things on the board were the salmon rillette, smoked duck ham, and bresaola (dried, salted beef). The accompanying spreads and mustards on the board were perfect pairings.
Offering: lunch, dinner, brunch; American food and drinks
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-3pm; Mon-Sat 5-11pm; Sat 10am-3pm; Happy Hour Mon-Sat 3-6pm
Address: 306 Pearl Pkwy #101, San Antonio, TX 78215
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
While we were only able to try their in-between menu (short menu available between lunch and dinner service), we really enjoyed our time at Southerleigh. The inside of the building is really cool because you can see the old building mix with the new. You can try their many beers with a beer flight. Since they focus on flavors of the gulf, we snacked on fried snapper throats and raw oysters, both very tasty! We enjoyed a beer flight each, and my favorite beers were the Koalas, Cocker Spaniels & Unicorns (a cucumber Gose – my first! and best beer name ever?!?), Darwinian (IPA) and the Drop, Hop & Roll (a Pilsner).
Offering: brunch, lunch, dinner, late night; American food and craft beer
Hours: Mon-Tues 11am-11pm; Wed-Turs 11am-12am; Fri 11am-1am; Sat 10am-1am; Sun 10am-4pm
Address: 136 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215
As I mentioned, Mixtli was one of the big adventures we were looking forward to in San Antonio. To dine here, you must reserve and pre-pay your spot online. By serving 12 people every night they’re open, the restaurant is full every night, so get your tickets early if you want to try it. Every couple of weeks, the chefs focus on a different region of Mexico and create the menu around it. Paired drinks – alcoholic and not – are included with the price and they ranged from beer and red wine to tea. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, check out their occasional themed dinners.
Our menu was La Huasteca, featuring a region that is on the Gulf of Mexico. We enjoyed seven courses with variations of tamales, enchiladas, seafood, and beef. My favorite part of the impressive meal was dessert, of course! The lemon curd tart was perfectly cohesive and I loved the additional drops of coconut meringue, guava and raspberry. All-in-all, Mixtli was a fun, intimate and adventurous experience that I’d love to do again!
Offering: dinner; Mexican food and drinks
Hours: Dinner by reservation only; Wed-Sat promptly at 7pm
Address: 5251 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212
After dinner at Mixtli, we went to their sister restaurant/bar next door. This place is open to anyone and no reservations are needed. They focus on mezcal and Mexican spirits and have a great cocktail list. They also have food here, so you can enjoy dinner or Sunday brunch to get a taste of Mixtli. The bar has a lounge feel and is open late.
Offering: drinks, dinner; Mexican food and cocktails
Hours: Tues-Thurs 5pm-12am; Fri-Sat 5pm-2am; Sun 11am-3pm
Address: 5313 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212
This is the perfect breakfast spot and judging by the long line, many others agree! If you’re a lover of baked goods like me, you would probably like to know that this place was created by alumni of Bouchon Bakery! You’ll order at the counter, which will test your limits because you’ll be staring at a plethora of beautiful baked goods. We went with a kouign amann and some macarons. We also ordered the quiche du jour (with roasted red pepper and artichokes) and a sandwich with roasted red pepper, spinach and poached egg. Everything was fresh, delightful and filling. My favorites of the meal were the light quiche with flaky crust and the crispy and buttery kouign amann.
Offering: breakfast, lunch; pastries and sandwiches
Hours: 7am–8pm Daily (Pearl location) and 6am–6pm Daily (Medical Center location)
Address: 306 Pearl Pkwy. #110, San Antonio, TX 78215; 7338 Louis Pasteur Dr. #201, San Antonio, TX 78229
We made a quick stop here because we had spent the last hour outside and were parched! We enjoyed some agua frescas of two different flavors: strawberry lime and cantelope. They were a little sweeter than I expected. La Fruteria also has a wide selection of juice, smoothies, and Mexican food options.
Offering: lunch, dinner, brunch; Mexican food, drinks and cocktails
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri 11am-11pm; Sat 9am-11pm; Sun 9am-2pm
Address: 1401 S Flores St, San Antonio, TX 78204
Accomplishing my second food goal of the trip, we ate at Jason Dady’s newest restaurant Shuck Shack. While our stomachs didn’t have enough room to indulge in a lobster roll (definitely need to return to try that!), we enjoyed raw oysters, a Caesar salad and the summer gazpacho soup. This meal was towards the end of our trip and with all the heavy dishes we ate before, this light meal was perfect and absolutely satisfying. The raw oyster selection was fresh and plump. I love that the gazpacho had chopped peaches on top for a little crunch and the flavor was bold.
Offering: lunch, dinner; seafood
Hours: Tues–Sat 11–10pm; Sun 12–8pm
Address: 520 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215
The last meal on my latest trip was incredible! First, Ocho is the restaurant at Hotel Havana and swoon-worthy. The room is filled with light and impeccably color coordinated. I especially loved the tabletops. I indulged in the Cubano con Huevo which was an open-faced torta with Achiote roasted pork shoulder, griddled ham, swiss cheese, and pickles with a side of dressed home fries. It was a mess of delicious that begged not to be left on the plate. Boyfriend had the avocado, bacon and queso blanco omelette that was good but no Cubano con Huevo!
Offering: breakfast, lunch, dinner; Cuban-flare food and drinks
Hours: Sun-Thurs 7am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 7am-12am
Address: 1015 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205
When I went to San Antonio to run a half-marathon a few years ago, I re-fueled with Dough after the race. This restaurant makes wonderful Neapolitan pizza in wood-burning ovens and they have a variety of combinations. Sit at the bar to see the pizza-making “show.” You also need to try their burrata made in-house!
Offering: lunch, dinner; Italian pizza
Hours: Mon–Thurs 11am-9pm; Fri-Sat 11am-10pm; Sun 11am–9 pm; Happy Hour 3-6pm
Address: 6989 Blanco Rd, San Antonio, TX 78216
Other suggestions on my to-eat list for next time:
If you like coffee, this shop comes recommended and the pretty interior is a plus.
Located at Pearl Brewery at Hotel Emma, this restaurant serves American fare and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had a bite from this restaurant at an event in Austin and it was superb!
Known for their wide selection of craft beers and finger-licking barbecue, The Granary was voted one of the 2014 Best Restaurants by Texas Monthly. Come here for lunch, dinner, or happy hour.
We tasted their dish at the inaugural Meat Sweats event in San Antonio and it was our favorite! I wouldn’t be surprised if their restaurant experience was great too. Open lunch, brunch and dinner.
Another restaurant by Chef Johnny Hernandez (same as La Fruteria above), this Pearl Brewery restaurant features the wonders of interior Mexico.
Located in the St. Anthony Hotel, Haunt is a lounge bar known for its cocktails and the pretty décor.
Come here for the spicy fried chicken and cold beer!
South Alamode Panini & Gelato
The name says it all: panini sandwiches and gelato. Sounds like a delish combo to me!
Garcia’s Mexican Food Restaurant
This is a chef-recommended place for tacos and Mexican food.
This restaurant is a dinner and late-night spot with Asian fusion food and drinks.
Freetail Brewing Company
In looking at craft breweries in San Antonio, this one was at the top of my list!
Where are your favorite eats and drinks in San Antonio?
Want suggestions of things to do in San Antonio besides eat? Check out this post!