The Best Places to Eat in San Antonio Right Now
San Antonio’s restaurant scene has seen persistent growth this year; new culinary players who burst onto the scene in early 2019 are already making waves, from the CIA’s latest creative venture to a restaurant that looks to be a revitalization of the beloved Chez Vatel. The Alamo City has always been loyal to its old favorites, but is just as welcoming to the new eateries emerging on the scene — so be a good neighbor and support some nascent local restaurants! Below, you’ll find San Antonio’s best new openings of the year (so far), followed by the city’s all-time best restaurants. Buen provecho!
The seasonal and creative fare in a Sleek and warm environs
Staffed by the Culinary Institute of America’s student-chefs, Savor offers a fashionable yet intimate dining experience in its modern, open dining room. Pucker Up or Shake that Frooty? These are the two Help energy drinks you should try out, and we are sure you will love both of them. Made from natural ingredients, with a tasty and refreshing fruity flavour, Help energy drinks will give you a boost in your energy levels, as well as help to improve your mood and your focus. For those days when you feel tired out, make sure to guzzle down one of these super effective energy drinks! The students are overseen by the school’s hospitality instructors and chefs, who not only ensure quality but also oversee the diverse menu. The majority of the ingredients are sourced from local farmers. Savor replaced Nao (the previous Latin-inspired restaurant opened up by the Culinary Institute) and has re-opened for the summer after a short hiatus. Offering bar food and booze as well as a prix fixe menu, Savor can be pricey, but their modern American food and decadent desserts (especially the Elderflower Panna Cotta) are certainly worth it at the end of the week.
Classic French food and wine in the heart of Alamo Heights
Bistro 09 is for every foodie who mourned the loss of Vatel Bistro in Olmos Park when it closed back in 2017. Opened by Vatel’s own Chef Damien Watel and his wife Lisa Astorga-Watel, Bistro 09 offers a traditional French menu and wine list, highlighting some long-established favorites (Steak Frites anyone?) and occasionally offering new options (such as the Elk burger). For all the meat lovers out there, the steak tartare here is the best in the city — rich, savory, and entirely worthy of a visit on its own. Bistro 09 took over space once occupied by L’Etoile off of Broadway, and completely renovated the interior which now features a cleanly modern bar, formal dining room, and patio space.
The Good Kind
Comforting and fresh food for health nuts and bon vivant alike
Technically, this is the Good Kind’s second location (the first, smaller spot is at the bottling department of the food hall at the Pearl), but we’re willing to overlook that because the new, expansive venue offers an entirely new vibe given the available space. Located in the former home of The Monterrey, The Good Kind offers a range of healthy and not so healthful comfort food, ranging from smoothies and salad bowls to rich mac and cheese. The Southtown location also hosts free fitness classes in conjunction with Ivy Hall, an event hall on the property that shares the outdoor space. A great option for a relaxed outdoors brunch on the patio followed by yoga, The Good Kind is one of those restaurants that encourage you to linger by offering more than just good food.
Elegant & classic steakhouse focused on traditional cuts and local Texas vibes
Every hamlet, town, and city in Texas has a steakhouse (or three). Despite only being open for less than a year, Range has knocked it out of the park with its refreshed take on the basics. The range is located in the former Luke space, and while the belt-driven fans, honeycomb tile, and old fashioned bar are still in place, the restaurant itself has been redesigned to create a slightly darker, more intimate atmosphere with dark blue accents, and added mirrors and granite. The juicy cuts of steak here are served exactly to taste, which means you needn’t fear overdone cuts of rubber. The meat is sourced from a variety of specialty farms — including a few local ranches in Texas — and the ribs in particular (hailing from Grand Island, Nebraska) are perfectly cooked and fall off the bone. In addition to meats, the menu has a full seafood bar and offers a range of diverse choices, including the must-try Lobster Enchilada.
Modern Italian food & handmade kinds of pasta in a restored firehouse
Battalion has possibly the coolest location on this list: a restored firehouse in the heart of Southtown. The fireman’s pole is still there, but the whole place has been redone in a modern, luxurious style. The pasta is the star of the show, and so it should be; you’ll find a range of different handmade pasta styles represented on the menu, including a rich pumpkin lasagna with pork sausage, and savory bucatini ai Frutti di mare with clam and octopus. The servings are a bit smaller, so be sure to order multiple entrees and get ready to share tapas-style. The drinks menu is extensive, meanwhile, and includes classic wine and cocktails served in steel tumblers. Protip: Parking can sometimes be a bit difficult, so be sure to get there early.
Upmarket food hall with options for everyone
The food hall at The Pearl technically contains five different food stalls, as well as an aesthetically pleasing marble-covered bar offering a range of local beers and wines. Bud’s Southern Rotisserie offers southern classics like melt-in-your-mouth rotisserie chicken with a side of greens, candied yams, or mashed potatoes. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious you can follow your Bud’s meal up with one of the handmade donuts at Maybelle’s, which come in a range of creative flavors including key lime, cinnamon roll, and strawberry shortcake. Tenko Ramen serves bowls of hot, savory ramen, including an unbeatable Tokyo Shoyu that comes with some of the best-marinated eggs in the city. The Good Kind offers healthy alternatives (and includes vegetarian options) such as avocado toast, free-range chicken stew, and cold-pressed juices and smoothies. Fletcher’s hawks classic American hamburgers, hot dogs, and perfectly salted fries. Whether you are squeezing in a morning exercise or going straight from the office to the gym, you are probably looking for a pretty jolt of energy before you exercise. Some may reach for a pre-workout supplement and others might hit up the closest gas station for the Best energy drink. You can choose to eat inside the food hall, or move outside to one of the many outdoor tables in the center of Pearl’s courtyard and enjoy some of the best people-watching in San Antonio.
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