Food & Drink

The Thrillist Awards: San Antonio's Best New Food & Drink of 2015

Published On 01/05/2016 Published On 01/05/2016
Courtesy of Cookhouse

Best new restaurant

Cookhouse

Address and Info

Tobin Hill

We finally have a Cajun restaurant that would make Ignatius J. Reilly proud. The fried boudin balls will have you moaning audibly with pleasure, but we’re really just waiting until they put gumbo back on the menu. If you want to try those boudin balls, act swiftly because Cookhouse adjusts its menus per the season and before you know it, they may disappear.

Mezcaleria Mixtili

Best new bar

Mezcalería Mixtli

Address and Info

Olmos Park

With over 70 bottles of mezcal, Mezcalería Mixtli is frequently and fairly misidentified as just a “mezcal bar.” This place is much more than that and it’s probably the best bar in our city. Its Spanish gin and tonic was in rotation last August and would have inspired Hemingway to write another classic. Try its take on bar peanuts, cacahuates con chile too. The spice will entice you to drink more and that is a very good thing here.

The Old Main Assoc.

Best new burger

The Old Main Assoc.

Address and Info

Monte Vista

It sounds gimmicky, but The Old Main Assoc. is not playing with its Concha Burger. It’s messy, sweet, salty, and has a pink bun too! If you’re smart, you’ll order it with bacon to help cut the burger’s sweetness.

Shuck Shack

Best new seafood

Shuck Shack

Address and Info

Tobin Hill

Jason Dady is at it again, you guys. Clam chowder and half a baguette in Downtown SA? Order this and dip the bread into the broth and renew your love with life. Follow it up with an old fashioned and be content with the world.

Barbaro

Best new pizza

Barbaro

Address and Info

Monte Vista

Yeah, Barbaro has been around for a while (thanks pizza gods), but its margarita pizza is new and beautiful and completely delicious. Smoked mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, cilantro, basil, avocado, and pickled jalapeños + you = holy pizza matrimony. Support this pizza in sickness and in health.

Nama Ramen

Best new sushi

Nama Ramen

Address and Info

Northwest

This is not a joke: a ramen place with great sushi now exists on Babcock Rd. A lot of San Antonio residents patiently awaited the opening of Nama Ramen and the restaurant has delivered consistently. Try the salmon nigiri. For $9, you can’t beat it.

La Boulangerie

Best new bakery

La Boulangerie

Address and Info

Downtown

La Boulangerie has an excellent array of pastries and tarts to choose from, but its bread steals the show. Get a sourdough loaf on your way home from work and make a meatloaf sandwich with your leftovers. No other bakery in SA makes bread that comes close to how good this stuff is.

The Hoppy Monk

Best new craft beer joint

The Hoppy Monk

Address and Info

Stone Oak

Question: where else can you get a (512) Wit and a Ballast Point Sculpin IPA on draft in San Antonio? Answer: nowhere. If the beers aren’t enough for you, order a bowl of pozole and peruse its extensive cigar selection.

The Last Word

Best new drink

The Last Word

Address and Info

Downtown

The person who engineered these drinks might be a genius and the Seasonal Julep is the creator’s most impressive. With Jack Daniel's, seasonal simple syrup, and a heavy dose of fresh mint, it shouldn’t matter what season it is when you drink this thing. Drink it in summer, winter, fall, or spring for all we care.

Scott Martin/Courtesy of Hotel Emma

Best new first date spot

Sternewirth

Address and Info

Tobin Hill

Sternewirth is Hotel Emma’s resplendent bar. Unlike the lobby bars you’re probably used to, it has good alcohol and excellent bartenders making strong drinks. Order the Three Emmas for you and your date and walk next door to the library where you can intellectually stimulate each other for hours on end.

Scott Martin/Courtesy of Hotel Emma

Best new hotel

Hotel Emma

Address and Info

Tobin Hill

Excluding LaMarcus Aldridge, Hotel Emma was the most anticipated addition to San Antonio in 2015. The hotel’s interior is straight from a Wes Anderson movie, the book collection was donated by a Harvard Fellow, and every room comes with a fully stocked ice box. Buy a drink at the Sternewirth and take it with you as you tour the premises.

Dignowity Meats

Best new sandwich

Dignowity Meats

Address and Info

Dignowity Hill

Good barbecue in Texas without exorbitantly long lines + best new sandwich in SA = in your mouth tomorrow. Dignowity’s KC brisket sandwich comes with smoked brisket burnt ends, pickles, mustard cabbage slaw, and barbecue sauce on Texas toast. Order it with a side of sharp cheddar mac with smoked bacon and a Mexican coke. Make sure to stop by during your lunch hour: Dignowity has limited hours and is only open Monday through Friday from 11am to 3pm.

Smoke

Best new barbecue

Smoke

Address and Info

Stone Oak

You can tell how good a barbecue joint is based on the ribs and Smoke’s are fall-off-the-bone tender. Get an order of its beef short ribs with a side of macaroni -- if you like the meal, you can buy the kitchen a six-pack of Shiner Bock. Check it out Monday through Saturday from 4:20-7pm for its happy hour and $2 off drinks.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. The Cookhouse 720 E Mistletoe Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212

From the popular food truck Where Y'at comes this brick and mortar New Orleans-inspired restaurant specializing in Creole and Cajun cuisine. The menu is seasonal, and The Cookhouse supports local farmers and growers whenever possible. They serve beer and wine and also allow guests to bring their own bottles for a corkage fee.

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2. Mezcalería Mixtli 5313 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212 (Olmos Park)

You're going to want to try the Mexican street corn.

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3. The Old Main Assoc. 2512 N Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212

With weekend brunch, inverse happy hour (that's happy hour from 10pm to 1am) and cocktails to kill for, there's not much not to love about The Old Main Association.

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4. Shuck Shack 520 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215

Jason Dady's seafood joint pulls out all the stops. Pair a drink from their generous cocktail list with the clam chowder, fresh to order served with half a baguette. Trust us on this one.

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5. Barbaro 2720 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212 (Monte Vista)

Nestled into the corner of an unassuming building and adjoining bakery, Barbaro is a quaint bar and restaurant featuring rustic, wood-fired pizzas and craft cocktails. The brick-walled space has a full bar with a menu (sorted into Spaghetti Western categories, “The Good," "The Bad," and "The Ugly") brimming with carefully designed, seasonally rotating cocktails. The pizzas consist of innovative flavor combinations and high-quality ingredients, (our favorite is the Clams Casino) and are rolled out on house-made dough. They're best enjoyed with a signature cocktail, during happy hour or for a late-night snack and nightcap.

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6. Nama ramen-ya & sushi bar 6565 Babcock Rd Ste 19, San Antonio, TX 78249

Slup-worthy ramen and quality sushi. Enough said.

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7. La Boulangerie 207 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78205

The pastries and baked good may be great at La Boulangerie, but the bread really takes the cake (haha, get it?). Their sourdough loafs make for perfect sandwiches, or just eat it plain for some serious carb-y goodness.

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8. The Hoppy Monk 1010 N Loop 1604 E, San Antonio, TX 78232

With 99 beers on tap, The Hoppy Monk is your go-to destination for San Antonio craft beer.

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9. The Last Word 229 E Houston St #10, San Antonio, TX 78205

Whether you're after a traditional cocktail or one of the 15 craft choices in their lineup, The Last Word has you covered. The bartenders here are anything but pretentious, are are ready and willing to help you find your ideal drink. Our recommendation? Start with the Seasonal Julep, then work your way from there with the help of the experts behind the bar.

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10. Sternewirth 136 E Grayson, San Antonio, TX 78215

This rustic cool bar, located in Hotel Emma, has soaring ceilings and no shortage of wooden accents or intimate sofas. Craft beers, carefully selected wines and handmade cocktails pair perfectly with small plates or conversation. The top bartender recommendation is The Three Emmas, which combines gin, gran classico, apricot and absinthe.

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11. Hotel Emma 136 E Grayson, San Antonio, TX 78215

Hotel Emma's 2015 opening was much anticipated, and seriously lived up to the hype. Get a drink at the Sternewirth, indulge in the ice box available in every room, or peruse through a book in the library donated by a Harvard fellow.

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12. Dignowity Meats on Houston St. 1701 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78202

This counter-order sandwich shop is so much more than a sandwich shop. With midwestern smoked meats and classic east coast slices, Dignowity Meats serves up some serious high quality hand-crafted sandwiches.

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13. Smoke: The Restaurant 700 E Sonterra Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78258

Smoke's fall-off-the-bone ribs are drool worthy, and with a side of macaroni and cheese, you might end up having to roll out of the restaurant. This fully loaded barbecue restaurant serves hickory smoked meat (duh), but also serves up a mean brunch with elevated bar food and breakfast cocktails (marys and mimosas). The elegant, tavern like space provides the perfect setting for this savory and satisfying fare.

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