San Antonio is known as one of the best gourmet cities in the United States. With strong Mexican and Southwestern influences and top-notch chefs who have embraced the city as their own, it’s a great place to live or travel if you love food. Many new restaurants have opened here, while others have been serving locals for generations. To help you navigate this exciting culinary scene, here are the top 10 restaurants in San Antonio to get you started!
Cove is not only a sustainable and local restaurant in San Antonio, but also a place for live music, a car wash, a self-service laundromat, a dog-friendly hangout and a playground for kids! Seriously, what more do you want? This is a great place to eat if you want to live a healthy lifestyle, support local producers and have a great time with great people. You’ll find creative tacos, grass-fed beef patties, kids’ menus and frozen treats on the menu. The Cove offers more than 50 Texas beers, and every day there’s something special happening on the Cove’s calendar of events. This restaurant doesn’t take reservations unless you’re interested in holding tables for a fee for your party. Just stop in to eat, starting at 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
Biga on the Shore
If you’re looking for a good dining spot right on the Riverwalk with great food, look no further than Biga on the Banks. This restaurant regularly serves new American cuisine with creative menu twists, and it’s a favorite among tourists and locals alike. The kitchen is run by chef Bruce Oden, who was a James Beard Award nominee for best chef in the Southwest. Entrees start at $25 and include such favorites as bay crab stuffed with American Lucian, 13-ounce roast beef ribeye, Hill Country venison with 11 spices and grilled quail meat. There are also some delicious desserts on the menu, such as Grand Mariner soufflé and panna cotta with buttermilk and blackberries. Make dinner reservations any night of the week.
Another great place for eclectic New American cuisine is Cappy’s Restaurant in San Antonio. Come here for fresh seafood, regional dishes and steaks. Opened in 1977, Cappy’s is open for brunch, lunch and dinner and is a short drive from downtown and the airport. Reservations at this restaurant are also recommended, and you can do so online. Some popular dishes on the dinner menu include Allen Bros. ribeye, rack of lamb, gumbo and salmon in Skuna Bay. After dinner, save room for a sticky toffee pudding or a slice of coconut cream pie. The bar also has a great selection of wines by the bottle or glass, as well as cocktails.
Iron Cactus Mexican Restaurant & Bar Margarita
This San Antonio staple has been on historic 6th Street since 1996. It serves modern and redefined Mexican food and actually has three establishments in Texas (the others are in Dallas and Austin). In San Antonio, the restaurant is right across the street from the La Mansion Hotel. The hotel has a private patio on the riverfront. You’ll love the three pork loin with chili, pork and tamales, vegetarian enchiladas and queso composto. Come here for happy bar hours too!
Magnolia Pancake House
To start your morning right in San Antonio, be sure to stop by Magnolia Pancake Haus. This restaurant serves dishes made from scratch that are just like Grandma’s. In addition to pancakes, Magnolia offers delicious waffles, omelets, salads, soups and sandwiches. The restaurant opened its doors in 2000 and has since become one of the best breakfast spots in town. It has even been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Guy Fieri’s Dives. More than 70 percent of the menu is gluten-free if you’re food sensitive. It’s open every day from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Smoke Shack in San Antonio offers great barbecue sandwiches and appetizers with sides to help you feel the spirit of Texas. This local barbecue shack is open every day, but on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and also at Nacogdoches, which is open for lunch. In fact, the restaurant actually started as a barbecue cart and served customers for four years before a full-fledged restaurant opened in town. Go here for brisket, braised pork, fried chicken and Frito pies for a Southern-inspired meal.
Dough Pizzeria Pei
San Antonio also has some great pizzerias, including Dough Pizzeria Napoletana. This restaurant serves authentic Neapolitan-style pizza in two San Antonio restaurants (downtown and Blanco Road). The restaurant has been in town since 2007 and specializes in delicious pizza typical of the cuisine of Naples, Italy and Southern Italy. Try the signature Truffle Burrata pizza or the signature Pork Love pizza when you stop by.
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
San Antonio breweries also offer delicious food, including Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery. Here you can order brunch, lunch, dinner, or late night. For example, you’ll often find fried chicken, bone-in roast pork chops, grilled red lucian and oysters on the dinner menu. Chef Jeff Balfour creates a modern take on Texas cross-cultural cuisine. Also, be sure to try a pint of Future Recognizes Us, In the Hands of Morpheus, or another local beverage. Order online to secure your table.
For a special dinner in San Antonio, choose Bliss. This new American-style restaurant is stylish and offers excellent food in a sophisticated atmosphere. Come here for upscale and impressive cuisine just south of downtown. Popular dishes on the dinner menu include prime beef tenderloin, duck foie gras, vegan platter and meat dishes.
We also love Cured restaurant in San Antonio for its creative cuisine and craft cocktails. It’s chef Steve McHugh’s new restaurant, which is housed in a historic building and specializes in hand-crafted dishes. It’s open for brunch, lunch, dinner and happy hour. It’s the perfect place to visit if you like meaty appetizers, both with small plates and large plate options to make your mouth water