Here are some of the top bars and restaurants we love to frequent.
And if you want some company, we love to be invited :)
Spanish & Mexican
"I've seen zero evidence of any nation on Earth other than Mexico even remotely having the slightest clue what Mexican food is about or even come close to reproducing it." – Anthony Bourdain
If there is a place whose clue comes closest to Mexican food outside of Mexico, it's San Antonio. Both Mexican and Spanish influences shape our top recommendations.
We love the paella and sangria (especially while watching a live flamenco show) at Carmens De La Calle. 320 N Flores St, San Antonio, TX 78205, (210) 281-4349. Another favorite of ours is the live music, Jamon Iberica and cheese board, and spicy margaritas at Toro Kitchen + Bar. 1142 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205, (210) 592-1075. And the eclectic outdoor space, spicy margaritas, and authentic tortillas at La Fogata are worth the short drive north. 2427 Vance Jackson Rd, San Antonio, TX 78213. (210) 340-1337.
A few more worthy spots include, because we can't get enough:
- La Fonda, 2415 N Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212, (210) 733-0621
- Paloma Blanca, 5800 Broadway #300, San Antonio, TX 78209, (210) 822-6151
- El Mirasol, 10003 NW Military Hwy #2107, San Antonio, TX 78231, (210) 592-8576
- Panchitos, 4100 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212, (210) 821-5338
"The country of Mexico has just gotten its first Taco Bell. You’re Welcome. Finally, Mexicans will have access to… Mexican food. Bon appetit. I can’t imagine how confused they will be when they get a taco." – Jon Stewart
There is no shortage of amazing taco spots in San Antonio. Two of our favorites are Tacos El Regio St. Mary’s, 2726 N St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX 78212; and Tacos El Jarocho Veracruzana, 1430 S New Baunfels Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78210. (Don’t miss out on some incredible barbacoa tacos, and don’t forget the cilantro and onions). A 12-minute drive will take you to Taqueria Datapoint, one of our favorite places for a gordita and their (yes, this is quite gringo) crispy taco plate. 1702 W Gramercy Pl, San Antonio, TX 78201, (210) 733-1323.
"I'm a bit of a gourmet chef. I love cooking - mostly Thai food." - Will Ferrell
Drunkin Noodles at Thai Lucky Sushi Bar...just plain mmmmm, 102 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205, (210) 888-1096. At Hot Joy try the honey walnut shrimp and mystery wings! And if you're staying, they have a tiki bar! 1014 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78210, (210) 368-9324. A longer drive (25 minutes, but so incredibly worth it) will take your north to Thai Buri 160 N Loop 1604 W #110, San Antonio, TX 78248, (210) 476-5072. The owner had a restaurant in Bangkok, and is showing us that Thai food is so much more than just Pad Thai.
"Every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard and believe in yourself." – Bill Murray
So one of us is from New York, and a fierce critic of Italian food and pizza here in Texas. Staying close to downtown we do like Southtown Italian Pizzaría, 728 S Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78210, (210) 999-5401, and Dough Pizzeria Napoletana, 518 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205, (210) 227-2900. But if a New York style slice is what you are craving, we encourage you make the trip north to Mia Marcos, 15939 I-35, Schertz, TX 78154, (210) 667-8441. This unassuming food truck is closed Mondays and Tuesday, but is the best pizza this side of NYC you'll find.
"Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” — Anthony Bourdain
There is no shortage of barbecue in Texas, but not all B.B.Q is created equal. We like to skip the chains...'nough said. So we recommend those spots that do barbecue in just one place. You will find 2M Smokehouse, 2731 S WW White Rd, San Antonio, TX 78222, (210) 885-9352 on any top ten list; Smoke Shack, 3714 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209, (210) 957-1430 and Alamo BBQ Company, 511 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215, (210) 994-8099 are two of our favorites and regular go-to spots. And if a trip to Austin is on your schedule, let us know and we'll share some of our favorites up there, too.
Burgers & Steak
"The best stories are like the best burgers: big, juicy, and messy." ― A.D. Posey
Yard House is your typical sports bar. If they are serving the lamb burger or korobuta pork burger, grab one (or both). 849 E Commerce St #409, San Antonio, TX 78205, (210) 354-3844. The Cove, 606 W. Cypress Street, (210) 227-2683, and Mr. Juicy, 3315 San Pedro Avenue, (210) 994-9838 are our two "I feel like a burger today, how about you" destinations.
For a good steak, try Bohanan's Prime Steaks and Seafood. It's a steak house, so it's going to be pricey. But you know that going in, so just enjoy it (especially the lump crab cake...far more crab than cake, and isn't that what you want?), 219 E Houston St #275, San Antonio, TX 78205, (210) 472-2600
"Don't go and cook Indian food if you never cooked Indian food, you know?" — Wolfgang Puck
The vegetarian samosas and garlic nann at Spice Grill and Bar, 220 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78205, (210) 257-0390 are delicious. But we like getting out of downtown when we crave Indian. A winner of numerous awards is Tandoor Palace Indian Restaurant, 8783 Wurzbach Rd, San Antonio, TX 78240,(210) 592-1211 is our first choice. And boasting 7 different types of Tandoori specialties is India Palace, 8474 Fredericksburg Rd, San Antonio, TX 78229, (210) 692-5262, is a barely perceptible second.
"Vegetarian - that's an old Indian word meaning lousy hunter." — Andy Rooney
We are neither vegetarian nor vegan (at least not anymore...Texas barbecue ruined us, albeit we believe in a good way), but our colleagues on that side of the food court speak highly of Señor Veggie, 620 S Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78210, (210) 228-0073, and Viva Vegeria, 1422 Nogalitos St, San Antonio, TX 78204, (210) 465-9233. Let us know what you think, and if you discover what should be everyone else's favorite so we can add to our list.
Not Chicken Fried Steak
"Only a rank degenerate would drive 1,500 miles across Texas without eating a chicken fried steak." — Larry McMurtry
We have no chicken fried steak recommendations here, but two places we didn't know where to place on this page and that we love are Pharm Table, 611 S Presa St Suite 106, San Antonio, TX 78205, (210) 802-1860 where the Tamarind Amchur Curry Bowl (really, all of their bowls) and Roasted Beet Salad seem to always be on our table; and Botika (inside the Pearl) at 303 Pearl Pkwy #111, San Antonio, TX 78215, (210) 670-7684 where we love the eggplant noodles, and the octopus.
Expressing to you so much more than simply "enjoy your meal".