NICK SIMONITE
Food & Drink

The Best Places to Eat in San Antonio Right Now

Published On 10/03/2017
Courtesy of Nick Simonite

Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery

Tobin Hill

One of The Pearl’s newer restaurants, Southerleigh dishes up what chef Jeff Balfour calls "Texas cross-cultural cuisine” and a dozen or so original beers brewed on the premises. The broad and easily navigable menu features hearty fare -- oxtail pie, steak, and fried chicken, plus an array of fish and seafood -- as well as unique smaller plates such as roasted beets and a wood-fired pretzel, all with recommended beer pairings. Housed in the old Pearl Brewery itself, Southerleigh is as much worth visiting for its architecture, ambience, and design as it is for its consistently good food.

Courtesy of Mezcalería Mixtli

Mixtli

Olmos Park

While there’s nothing wrong with a heaping plate of cheesy enchiladas, sometimes it’s nice to go for more nuanced Mexican food. The food and spirits menus at Mixtli draw from a variety of Mexico's regions, resulting in diverse pork, beef, and chicken dishes, creative sharing plates, and authentic desserts. Focusing on sustainable sourcing and featuring a menu that changes with the seasons and chef's ideas, Mixtli delivers consistency while offering eating and drinking experiences that are never the same thing twice.

Bliss

Bliss

Southtown

A welcoming atmosphere and constantly evolving menu of thoughtful contemporary American cuisine have built Bliss a loyal following. Specific dishes vary based on what ingredients are available, but chef Mark Bliss' commitment to backing up his restaurant's tagline -- “Food is Bliss” -- has remained constant since its launch in 2012.

Courtesy of Collette Orquiz

Feast

Southtown

This lauded foodie favorite garners scads of attention, and with good reason: the food is just that good, and the location draws a variety of diners, from local hipsters to tourists, brunch regulars, and even families making the pilgrimage from outside the Loop. Feast's menu changes daily, but crowd favorites are constant. And thanks to the creatively organized menus, no matter what you're in the mood for, you’ll always find something at Feast that satisfies.

Courtesy of Scott Martin

Cured

The Pearl

Cured’s charcuterie offerings are made in house, cured for up to a year, and offered with suggested beer and cocktail pairings that enhance the flavors of the meats and cheeses. Lunch, brunch, and dinner menus are creative and distinct from each other, as well as surprisingly eclectic. The dinner menu features a broad array of seafood, fowl, lamb, beef, and pork dishes, all masterfully executed and served by a well-trained staff that knows its stuff.

Courtesy of Dough Pizzeria Napoletana

Dough Pizzeria Napoletana

Olmos Park

A local favorite since it opened in 2007, Dough is the undisputed king of pizza in San Antonio. Unlike many of the city's top restaurants, Dough doesn’t change its menu very often. It doesn’t need to, because what diners have come to expect here is exactly what they want to get every time they come in the door: Neapolitan-style pizza crafted from locally sourced ingredients and prepared in a traditional wood-fired oven.

Shuck Shack

Shuck Shack

Government Hill

If you can’t get to the coast for lunch or dinner, Jason Dady will bring the coast to you. Family-friendly but definitely not kid-centric, Shuck Shack is a relaxed joint with standout lobster rolls, clam chowder, and oysters by the dozen or half-dozen. Grab a picnic table and a cold beer, close your eyes and breathe deeply, and you can almost (almost!) feel the warm breeze coming off the Gulf.

Grayze

Grayze

Government Hill

Chef Pedro Cuellar, formerly of Arcade Midtown Kitchen, offers comfort food with a twist just up the road from his old digs at The Pearl. Emerging favorites include sliders (barbacoa, bahn mi, meatloaf), balsamic-braised Lambshank Redemption and the gloriously decadent Queso Classico grilled cheese sandwich. Heading up the drink side of things is James Moore of TBA, whose still-emerging cocktail menu is the perfect compliment to Cuellar’s excellent grub.

Rebelle

Rebelle

Downtown

The renovated St. Anthony hotel is a beautiful setting for the steak- and seafood-centric menu with lively cocktail offerings. That Rebelle hit its stride from the get-go is no surprise, given that it is the brainchild of the guys who brought us Feast. The food here is decadent, eye-catching, and thoughtfully conceived while also remaining accessible. The upshot is that Rebelle is the best of both worlds -- a memorable dining experience that doesn’t need to be reserved for rare special occasions.

Jody Horton

Supper

The Pearl

Supper offers locally sourced and seasonal items served in an intimate and comfortable setting. Part of Hotel Emma’s stunning complex at the Pearl, Supper is friendly, welcoming, and accessible, offering menu items whose ingredients are simple but preparation and presentation are anything but average. If you never thought you could get genuinely excited by, say, a bowl of green beans, Supper will blow your mind.

Southtownpizzzeria/instagram

Southtown Pizzeria

Southtown

It's not hyperbole: Southtown Pizzeria makes the best damn pie in the city. The restaurant is incredibly consistent for how young it is, with pizzas that are always hot, thin, and layered with fresh ingredients -- you can't go wrong with the classic pepperoni pie. It doesn't hurt that the place looks good either; each menu is handwritten, the interior is warm and welcoming, and it's just about the perfect place for date night with a loved one.

Courtesy of The Cookhouse

The Cookhouse

Tobin Hill

San Antonians haven't had to drive 600 miles east on I-10 for a decent bowl of gumbo since Pieter Sypesteyn opened Cookhouse on Mistletoe Avenue in 2014. Always lively, loud, and full of the intoxicating smell of yellow onion & bell pepper simmering in hot oil -- Cookhouse feels like a mini-vacation to the bayou. Try the gumbo with andouille sausage and duck, but make sure to start with some fried Boudin Balls.

Down on Grayson

Down on Grayson

Tobin Hill

Down on Grayson enjoyed a meteoric rise through San Antonio's food scene, due in large part to the joint's location, drinks, and beautiful patio. You won't be seated quickly on a weekend evening, but don't be deterred; grab a drink, order the Double Dip, (house made guacamole & jalapeño pimento cheese served with warm tortillas), and enjoy the hustle and bustle of San Antonio near the Pearl. Then reward your patience with a char-broiled burger, because why not?

Botika Restaurant

Botika

Tobin Hill

The only spot in San Antonio where you'll find Chinese-Peruvian & Japanese-Peruvian fare, Botika is here to intrigue and puzzle our untrained palates. Tickle your tastebuds with dishes like Huancaina Noodles and Shrimp & Almond Fried Rice, or go a more familiar route with steak & frites -- whatever you do, though, don't forget about the fried bananas for dessert. There's also a pretty strong happy hour here as well, with half-off wines by the glass and $1 off beer from 3pm-6pm, Tuesday thru Saturday.

nola brunch and beignets

NOLA Brunch and Beignets

Tobin Hill

Pieter Sypesteyn is at it again, this time with brunch. The restaurant features a diverse menu with everything a diehard bruncher could ask for: sweets, drinks, and greasy fare all perfect for sobering up hungover San Antonians. The Nola Brunch Plate comes with scrambled eggs, grits, praline bacon, and fried green tomato -- get it and take a nap afterwards for the perfect Sunday.

Chisme

Chisme

Tobin Hill

Free chips and queso during happy hour is probably enough for most San Antonians to understand why Chisme makes this list -- but wait, there's more! The Pollo Asado is worth fighting through hordes of haggard, sleepless, and desperate Trinity students sure to infest the St. Mary's strip; chicken with charred spring onions, cabbage, rice, beans, and freshly made tortillas will make a San Antonian do crazy things. Free queso, though, will cause mayhem. Be careful.

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