Attend SMART Airports in San Antonio to experience how top airports drive regional economic development while implementing the latest innovations. Register now here. While you’re in town, make sure to check out San Antonio’s vibrant food scene! Keep reading for some of the best restaurants in every category and make a reservation at your favorite. Whether you’re craving Tex-Mex or Southern, fancy or laid-back, old or new, we’ve got just the restaurant rec for you.
The chef, Steve McHugh, has been a finalist to win the James Beard Award for Best Chef 4 different times. Although he’s never won the prestigious honor, any foodie would appreciate his Pearl District restaurant, Cured. As its namesake suggests, Cured makes all of its charcuterie in-house and has it displayed front and center in their humidity controlled locker. Order some small plates perfectly paired with different vegetables, cheeses, crackers and spreads to share with the table.
If you’re interested in islander cuisine, trying out two-time Food Network star Luna Rosa Tapas is a must. The restaurant was first featured on Guy Fieri’s renowned show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and then again on Fieri’s follow up show, Triple D Nation, where he revisits his favorites from the former show. Want to sample the food that was delicious enough to catch Guy’s attention? Order the Carribbean nachos or the Chuleta Kan-Kan fried pork chops for some authentic Puerto Rican flavor.
A favorite among San Antonians, Bliss’ building was once an old gas station, but now houses an upscale contemporary American restaurant with an elevated take on classic fare. To back up its claim to popularity, Bliss boasts making the list for Trip Advisor’s 2017 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in the U.S. as well as Open Table’s 2016 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America. It’s a little on the pricey side, but pays off with extraordinary service, bright flavors, and a memorable fine dining experience. Try the Duck/Foie Gras or Oyster Sliders for a couple of popular options.
What’s a trip to Texas without barbecue? To get your fix, head to the lively, rustic, and beloved BBQ joint Augie’s. There are two locations: Augie’s Alamo City BBQ Steakhouse right downtown, or Augie’s Barbed Wire Smokehouse, a little further north but with an outdoor beer garden. A larger-than-life cartoon pink pig will greet you at the entrance, and inside you can find Southern classics like Brisket, Ribs, Pulled Pork and Mac & Cheese, done right.
For dinner with a view, 750-foot tall Tower of the Americas gives visitors the best panoramic view of the city while they wine and dine downtown. Check out the view in all of its glory while you wait for a table at the Observation Deck, and then enjoy an elegant dinner with seafood-focused options like Mahi Del Mar and Coconut Crunch Shrimp at the Chart House Restaurant while overlooking San Antonio. Keep the fun going after dinner and experience gliding across Texas during Skies over Texas 4D Theater Ride, also in the Tower.
Arguably the best Tex-Mex in all of Alamo City can be found downtown at Mi Tierra Cafe. It was originally purchased in 1941 by Pedro Cortez for $150, and was opened as a tiny three-table cafe for farmers and workers. Today, family-owned Mi Tierra remains a historic landmark that people flock to for its authentic Tex-Mex food and experience. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day, so order the Huevos Rancheros anytime, or try their famous Menudo Sopas or Enchiladas if you prefer dinner food. With their colorful adorned ceilings, live mariachi, and award-winning Margaritas, you won’t want to leave.
Shuck Shack is right near downtown and is leading the San Antonio seafood scene, serving up fresh fish, lobster bisque, and other ocean-caught fare. Come for the seafood but stay for the beachy vibe, outdoor seating, cold brews, and live music if you’re lucky. Make it there Tuesday through Friday from 2:30-5 p.m. to enjoy their Happy Hour while you enjoy oysters from the Gulf Coast or the East Coast. Not a fan of raw oysters? “Shuck & Cluck” with Chef Jason Dady’s Maine Lobster Roll or Hot Fried Chicken Sammy.
Just earlier this year in January of 2019, the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio opened Savor, a Modern-American restaurant in the Pearl neighborhood. CIA students produce globally-inspired, locally-sourced, and seasonally changing dishes with the supervision of the school’s world class faculty. Build your own three or four course meal with options like Steak Tartare, Mussels Provencale and Braised Veal Osso Bucco, all with optional sommelier pairings. Or if you prefer, enjoy the lounge while indulging in small plates and shareables with friends and family.
For more ideas on what to see and what to do, head over to Visit San Antonio. If you come to visit, make sure to let us know! Post your photos on social media using #SMARTAirportsSanAntonio and share your experience at the conference.
Next Step? Register for SMART Airports and start planning your trip! Stay tuned for our next installment in our San Antonio for SMART Airports series. To read the previous article, click here