Travel Guide to San Antonio
In September, I had the chance to travel to San Antonio with my boyfriend to discover and eat our way through the vibrant city! San Antonio has quickly taken the title of “little big city”, as it is one of the fastest growing towns in the U.S. Not only is San Antonio rich in colonial heritage, but it has quickly become a foodie destination with some of the hottest and up and coming restaurants! San Antonio is only the second city in the U.S. to be apart of UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
During our stay in San Antonio, we also had the chance to attend the Culinaria Food + Wine Festival, which promotes locally sourced food and wine in San Antonio. This year was Culinaria’s 20th year of the festival and it was hosted at La Cantera Resort & Spa. Events at Culinaria covered everything from Bubbles, a celebration of champagne, sparking wine and cocktails, to the festival’s most popular smoky finale of Burgers, BBQ, and Beer! As well, this year was extra special, as the festival introduced a twist on the Best of Mexico event with Arte Agave. This was an event filled with an abundance of mezcal and Mexican art. There was no shortage of fun and food at Culinaria!
Our four-day visit to San Antonio involved a whole lot of eating, drinking and walking around and exploring the Creative City of Gastronomy. Keep reading below for a full travel guide to San Antonio!
Where To Stay
Hotel Valencia Riverwalk ($$)
Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, Hotel Valencia is located right on the quiet side of the river and surrounded by great food, entertainment and shopping. Hotel Valencia Riverwalk blends Spanish Colonial and Modern Mediterranean design; making it steeped in history and charm. When staying at Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, make sure to check out the terrace with views of the river and the restaurant next door to Hotel Valencia called Acenar.
La Cantera Resort & Spa ($$)
Overlooking the Texas Hill Country, La Cantera Resort & Spa is a luxury resort in San Antonio where you will experience total relaxation. From the beautiful infinity pool to the peaceful resort atmosphere, La Cantera Resort & Spa is the place to be when looking for a treat-your-self type of getaway!
Where To Eat & Drink
Moet & Chandon Champagne Vending Machine…shall I say more? Paramour is an award winning rooftop that offers curated and crafted cocktails that are unique in flavor! The rooftop is nothing short than some of the most beautiful views of San Antonio and the bar is full of vibrant colors from the décor! If you’re looking for a fun night out in San Antonio, I highly recommend checking out Paramour.
Alamo BBQ ($)
If you’re looking for authentic Texan BBQ, make sure to put Alamo BBQ on your list! A Classic Texas Pit BBQ Restaurant located in San Antonio near The Pearl; Alamo offers bbq staples like Peach Glazed Baby Back Ribs and their signature Cheesy-Chop made with chopped beef and mac & cheese. Whether you’re looking for a casual outdoor lunch or a fun-filled family dinner on their large patio, make sure to check out Alamo BBQ!
Mi Tierra ($$)
San Antonio is the home of authentic Tex-Mex, and Mi Tierra encompasses authentic Mexican and Texan food. The Landmark Mexican café & bakery offers a classic fare, margaritas and mariachis in festive digs! Opened 24/7, Mi Tierra is located in the heart of Market Square and will definitely leave you feeling satisfied! Make sure to try the Huevos a la Mexicana; a Tex-Mex spin on eggs!
Pharm Table ($$)
Since opening their doors in 2015, Pharm Table has received local and national attention for its innovative plant forward cuisine, use of anti-inflammatory super foods. As well, Pharm Table uses a Ayurvedic approach to healing through food using local farm to table products with a global spice pantry. A top-rated organic restaurant in San Antonio, one of my favorite menu-items that we tried was the Ginger Meal Starter, which is made with house pickled ginger, marinated in lemon juice, turmeric, raw local honey, Himalayan salt and fresh herbs. This shooter hits all six flavors in the Ayurvedic flavor wheel and jumpstarts digestion!
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery ($$)
One of nine restaurants located in the Pearl, Southerleigh is definitely a charmer. Southerleigh serves up Texas cuisine in a historic space, where the southern hospitality is nothing short than amazing! Southerleigh offers delectable dishes like Southern Fried Chicken & Waffles served with Maple Syrup and Crystal Hot Sauce Butter and Grilled Ham Steak and Eggs served with Thyme Cream Gravy. Southerleigh is definitely a brunch spot you want to make it too!
Lala’s Gorditas ($)
Lala’s Gorditas defines rich in family tradition! Lala’s Gorditas is a place where family recipes have been recreated into original dishes. Steven, the owner has poured his heart and soul into each dish, which you can taste in every bite. Make sure to try Lala’s Puffy Taco and Gordo Gordita! Also the Guacamole and Beans are served in house-made crispy cups, which are delightful!
Nola Brunch & Beignets ($$)
New Orleans flavor and dishes meet in the heart of San Antonio at Nola Brunch & Beignets! Nola offers freshly made beignets in either lemon curd or seasonal flavors. We had the chance to try their Banana Cream Beignets and I am still dreaming about them. Definitely make sure to head to this trendy brunch spot when visiting San Antonio!
More places to eat
- Holy Pops ($)
- The Art of Donut ($$)
- Tre Trattoria ($$$)
- The Esquire Tavern ($$)
- Boudro’s ($$$)
- Down on Grayson ($$)
- 2M Smokehouse ($$)
- Range ($$$)
- Battalion ($$)
- Cured ($$$)
- Barbaro ($$)
Where To Explore
San Antonio River Walk
No visit to the “River City” is complete with out a stroll on the iconic River Walk. Whether you are looking to dine or shop, the River Walk is the place to catch beautiful sights of San Antonio. If you are looking for an educational route, opt for the GO RIO narrated river cruise!
The Pearl was one of my favorite spots to visit in San Antonio and it is filled with trendy restaurants, shops, hotels, breweries and so much more! When visiting The Pearl, make sure to go on the weekend to be able to walk around the farmers market, which is a producers-only so you can be sure that all the goods found are hand-planted, raised and harvested within 150 miles of San Antonio.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden
The San Antonio Botanical Garden is a 38-acre museum of living plant life, which Architectural Digest has named one of the most beautifully designed botanical gardens in America! At the Botanical Garden they have a test kitchen, where you can cook with local ingredients from the culinary garden. The Botanical Garden also has a overlook, which offers a stunning panoramic view of San Antonio.
Thank you, Visit San Antonio for an unbelievable trip! We can’t wait to head back soon!