Dedicated to my med school friends who’ve been with me on this food adventure!
As my four years of medical school comes to a close at San Antonio, I decided to write a master post of one of my favorite topics and hobbies: FOOD.
From first year to these very last weeks, my friends and I have done our best with our limited time and money to sample what’s the best of San Antonio. I’m known in my class to have an Instagram that is basically a food Instagram, and I just wanted to close off my year with a compilation post of the best places to eat and drink in SA (in my opinion)!
(These aren’t full reviews – just my recommended places, hours, what to know, and what to order!)
Ctrl+F to find exactly what you’re looking for from these categories: New American | Korean | Vietnamese | Chinese | Thai | Japanese | Indian/Paki | Belgian | German | Spanish | BBQ | Brunch | Happy Hour | Mediterranean | Italian/Pizza | Steakhouse | Seafood | Cajun | Vegetarian | Burger | Hot Dog | Sandwich | Mexican | Latin American | Dessert | Coffeeshop | Boba | Juice | Bars
Biga on the Banks
What to Order: Do a tasting menu! Around $70-80 depending on 5 or 6 course meal. Really, really fills you up and gives you a good view of what their menu is like!
What to Order: Oyster sliders, George’s Bank Sea Scallops (some of the best scallops I’ve ever had! So buttery and tender)
What to Order: Pig cheek poutine, charcuterie boards
Boudro’s on the Riverwalk
What to Order: House guacamole (they make it at the table for you!)
Alchemy Kombucha and Culture
What to Order: Ramen. The great thing about this restaurant is that the menu changes often and by season so there is always something new to try.
What to Order: Southern fried chicken, 3 piece hot
Max & Louie’s New York Diner
What to Order: Pastrami chili cheese fries, philly cheese steak, reuben sandwich
Mash’D – The Rim
What to Order: The menu often changes and you can usually find something good on there to order.
The General Public
What to Order: Bone marrow, Fish ‘n’ Chips
Pam’s Patio Kitchen
What to Order: Chicken saltimboca
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Bella on the River, Restaurant Gwendolyn, Periphery, Picnikins Patio Café, Southerleigh, Supper, Josephine Street, Signature, J Alexander, The Fig Tree, Luce
What to Order: Kimchi seafood pancake, hot seafood tofu soup, bulgogi
Seoul Asian Food Market and Cafe
What to Order: Probably anything off the menu is extremely good! And best part? SO CHEAP for Korean food! I recommend spicy pan-broiled squid, bulgogi, kimbap, hot tofu soup
What to Order: Gogi fire bowl, hill country bowl
What to Order: Any of their vermicelli bowls (if you eat at the restaurant, you get complimentary soup and dessert!)
Pho & Grill
What to Order: Any of their vermicelli bowls, thai tea, rare beef salad
What to Order: Any of their bahn mi’s or vermicelli bowls! They have creative bahn mi’s like brisket, oyster, and shrimp!
Pho Ha Long
What to Order: Pho…duh
What to Order: Crawfish. They even have a crawfish pho (I haven’t had it but it looks good!)
What to Order: Personally I think this is the best pho place in SA (get that brisket pho – the brisket is so tender!)
What to Order: This is my FAVORITE restaurant in SA. Seriously – the food never disappoints. They are always trying to add new items to the menu too. But what to order? Spicy and savory shrimp, ma po dou fu, lamb, combination fiery dry hot pot, dongpo pork belly, spicy lamb with cumin, beef with chinese broccoli
What to Order: Lamb noodle soup, beef noodle soup (comes with wide or thin noodles), dumplings. Tip: make it spicy!
What to Order: Braised beef brisket noodle soup
What to Order: This is the best place to find cheap, fast food Chinese style.
What to Order: I know. You’re like – WHAT?! – a Chinese buffet? Having grown up eating a ton of Chinese buffets with my family (seriously my family is made of expert buffet eaters) — this is honestly the best Chinese buffet I’ve ever been to in my life considering quality of food.
Saeb Thai and Noodles
What to Order: Duck noodle soup (best I’ve ever had), flying duck, beef noodle soup
What to Order: Pad khee mao, nam tok, thai tea. Also it’s BYOB!
What to Order: Nam (one of the best I’ve had!)
Bangkok 54 Thai Cuisine
What to Order: Any of their noodle or curry dishes
Ya Ya’s Thai
What to Order: Any of their noodle or curry dishes
What to Order: Because this place was pretty close to us, it became one of our go-to Thai places. I rec any of their noodle dishes.
What to Order: Nam
What to Order: Ramen
What to Order: Any of their sushi’s but try something more interesting off the menu like japanese tacos or japaritto!
What to Order: Ramen, okonomiyaki fries
What to Order: Any sushi
What to Order: One of my other MOST FAVORITE restaurants in SA! Can’t rave on enough about this place! Paratha, tawa chicken, bihari kebab, butter chicken, chicken boti roll
La Frite Belgian Bistro
What to Order: Mussels in any of their delicious sauces!
What to Order: Wienerschnitzel with German potato salad, potato pancakes
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Bavarian Restaurant
Carmens De La Calle
What to Order: Go try their Bossa Nova Brunch which consists of a bloody mary, appetizer, a main course, and live entertainment!
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Toro Kitchen + Bar
The Big Bib
What to Get: Loaded baked potato with brisket
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Dignowity Meats on Houston Street, The Smoke Shack
What to Get: Their crazy topped Bloody Marys or Mimosas
Snooze an AM Eatery
What to Get: Get a combination of two different egg benedicts with their delicious hash browns, corned beef hash with poached eggs on top with hash browns, pancake flight
What to Order: Different flavored mimosas, the macho, eggs in hell
What to Order: Salmon eggs benedict, any of their cakes
Mimosa Restaurant & Lounge
What to Order: Flavored mimosas – we got Elderflower, Rose, Lavender and it was amazing! One of the best mimosas ever
The Magnolia Pancake Haus
What to Order: Farmer’s scramble, they have some of the best pancakes in the world (and I am usually not a pancake fan)
What to Order: Soprano Crepe (yum!), salmon one is pictured below:
What to Order: the pancakes, the hash browns
What to Order: Farmer’s breakfast, pork egg and grits, chicken and waffles
Mash’D – The Rim
What to Order: Whether it’s migas or bennies or omelet or pancake – they have it all on their menu!
Hop and Vine
What to Order: Strawberry avocado toast, duck confit eggs benedict
Madhatter’s Tea House and Café
What to Order: Have a tea party with tea sandwiches for two here!
What to Order: Pioneer breakfast, strawberry waffle
What to Order: any of their baked goods or breakfast items
What to Order: anything off their menu
What to Order: Chicken and doughnuts (if you like sweet and savory)
J Prime Steakhouse
What to Order: Their Sunday breakfast buffet (but go inside and look at what they are offering first to see if it’s worth the money)
What to Order: shrimp boil, mac n cheese, fried snapper throats, country ham benedict (if you like cornbread), beer flight
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Stella Public House, Cappy’s Restaurant, Panchos and Gringos, Boiler House, Barbaro, The General Public, Tucker’s Kozy Korner, Malinalli Bakery and Bistro, Barrio Barrista, Nectar Wine Bar & Ale House, Rosella Coffee, Schilo’s Delicatessen, Cullum’s Attagirl, Supper, NOLA Brunch & Beignets, Panchos and Gringos
Hop and Vine (T-F — 4-6PM)
What to Order: Fried okra
Landry’s Seafood (M-F – 3-7PM; Sat/Sun – 12-7PM)
What to Order: Steamed mussels, fried zucchini
The Esquire Tavern (M-F – 3-7PM)
What to Order: Green eggs and ham nachos
What to Order: Sushi, flatbreads, calamari, chicken satay
Zinc Bistro and Wine Bar
What to Order: Escargot, faux gras
Stella Public House (4-6:30PM)
What to Order: Wild mushroom mac and cheese, lamb meatballs with country oven bread
Tower of America
What to Order: Mango mojito, ahi tuna nachos
What to Order: They have an amazing drink menu
Silo Elevated Cuisine & Bar
What to Order: Oysters, crispy calamari, crispy duck spring rolls
What to Order: Tacos!
What to Order: Great sushi specials
Luce Ristorante e Enoteca
What to Order: Salmon affumicato, gamberi al limone
Sushi Zushi (Every day — 3-7PM)
Liberty Bar (Daily – 5-7PM. 10PM-Midnight)
Sangria on the Burg (Taco Tuesdays – $2 tacos)
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people):
TNT (F-Sa — 11PM-2AM) – Tacos
Tre Trattoria (M-F — 3-7PM)
Wild Goji (M-Th – 5-6:30PM || F — 3-6:30PM || Sat – 2-5PM)
Edera (3-6 PM)
Ocho (M-Th – 4-7PM)
Paloma Blanco (M-F – 3-6PM)
Azuca (M-F – 5-8PM)
Houlihans (Sat – 9-11PM)
Wildfish (Every day – 4-7PM)
Tucker’s Kozy Korner (T-Sa – 5-7PM)
Red White and Brew
Luna Rosa (T-F – 3-7PM)
The Hoppy Monk
Cover 3 (M-T – 4PM-close; W-F – 4-7PM)
Hawx Burger (M-F – 4-7PM)
Copa Wine Bar
The Grill at Leon Springs (Every day – 4-7PM)
Toro Kitchen & Bar (4-7PM)
Barbaro (Late Night Menu – Pizza + Cocktail for $10)
What to Order: Kebab plates
What to Order: Quorma, combination kebab plates
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Casa del Kabob
Dough Pizzeria Napoletana
Umberto’s Italian Grill
What to Order: Chicken piccata
Fratello’s Italian Market & Deli
What to Order: The lombardo sandwich, bolognese
Big Lou’s Pizza
What to Order: Once in a life time experience to try the biggest pizza ever – go with a group of friends!
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): II Sogno Osteria, Edera Osteria – Enoteca, Southtown Pizzeria, II Forno, Russo’s Coal Fired Italian Kitchen, Tiu Steppi’s Osteria, Tre Enoteca, Cerroni’s Purple Garlic, Florio’s Pizza, Southtown Pizzeria, Piatti
Bohanan’s Prime Steaks & Seafood
Note: One of the best steakhouses I’ve ever been to
1718 Steak House
Note: Great view of The Alamo
Texas de Brazil
Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse
Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Bob’s Steak & Chop House
What to Order: Tartare, crab fried rice, crab cake, truffle mac n cheese, flaming banana foster cake
Sea Island Shrimp House
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): El Bucanero
What to Order: New Orleans BBQ shrimp, blackened drum, pan roasted duck breast
Bourbon Street Seafood Kitchen
What to Order: Crawfish etouffee
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Ma Harper’s Creole Kitchen
What to Order: Falafel burrito with sweet potato fries
5 Points Local
What to Order: Karma bowl
Moshe’s Golden Falafel
What to Order: Falafel plate with everything on top!!! So delicious!
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Sweet Yams, Senor Veggie
What to Order: Tostado burger
Fattboy Burgers & Dogs
Big Bob’s Burgers
Bigz Burger Joint
Note: So many interesting sauces!
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Tycoon Flats, Burger Boy
Alamo Hot Dog Co
Note: Best hot dog ever. The corner stand outside Howl at the Moon
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Pugels, Original San Antonio Hot Dog House, Wrigleyville Grill, Wiseguys A Chicago Eatery
What to Order: The Continental
Chicago Bagel and Deli
What to Order: Lox Bagel with Everything
Gino’s Deli Stop N Buy
What to Order: Steak Italian (some of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had!), Rabbi, Philly Cheesesteak
South Alamode Panini & Gelato Company
What to Order: Any of their delicious paninis!
The Station Café
What to Order: Turkey Chupacabra Sandwich (winner goes to the spicy serrano sauce – SO GOOD!)
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): La Panaderia, Bread Box, Zito’s Delicatessen & Sandwich Shop, Picnikins Patio Cafe
What to Order: My to go place for late night food and Mexican food. Mini tacos!
Pollos Asados Los Nortenos
What to Order: Seriously some of THE BEST MEXICAN FOOD I have ever had! Get the chicken and the fajitas!
Sangria on the Burg
What to Order: $2 Taco Tuesdays. Heard their sliders and corn are good as well. Try the Sangria Flight.
Note: Come here for touristy Mexican food
Note: Another version of Chipotle
Ernesto’s Mexican Specialties
La Tuna Grill
Get that margarita flight!
What to Order: Their breakfast tacos are great and cheap! They have a great variety of salsas!
The Original Donut Shop
What to Order: Cheap, filling breakfast tacos! Try the carne guisado
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Ro-Ho Pork and Bread, El Bucanero
What to Order: Havana papas bravas, chorizo con queso. Also such a beautiful restaurant!
Rocoto’s Sabor Latino Grill
What to Order: Causa, shrimp and lomo saltado, chicken, alfajores
Festejo Peruvian Grill
What to Order: Lomo saltado (the best one I’ve had in SA)
What to Order: Chilito’s famous bowl, tamales, ultimate worst burrito. I can’t believe I just found this amazing food truck!
Nao Latin Gastro Bar
Empanada Stand at Pearl’s Farmer Market
What to Order: Get the sangria on farmer market weekends at the Pearl! For empanada, get the peruvian chicken with spicy sauce!
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): El Ceviche de Waldito
What to Order: Finally a restaurant that serves Hong Kong waffle ice cream!
What to Order: Taiwanese shaved ice. Not your typical shaved ice and so good.
What to Order: Very legitimate Belgian waffle!
What to Order: Macarons and their seasonal treats! They are always coming up with new creations!
El Paraiso Ice Cream
What to Order: Come here to get your paleta cravings fulfilled! So many flavors and so cheap! Can take an ice box and take plenty home to put in your freezer!
CIA Bakery and Café
What to Order: Alfajores! This bakery comes and goes as a pop-up at the Farmer’s Market.
What to Order: Treasures (berry and the mango ones) and cupcakes!
South Alamode Paninin & Gelato Company
What to Order: Best gelato in SA hands down! And they give so much!
The Original Donut Shop
Nothing Bundt Cakes
The House Boozy Ice Cream & Brews
What to Order: What can I say? Ice cream + alcohol
What to Order: Paletas! Get the pistachio chocolate dipped one
What to Order: Delicious cupcakes and the CUTEST bakery in SA!
What to Order: Gelato!
Lick Honest Ice Creams
What to Order: The flavors are so unique! Can buy pints for home and ice cream sandwiches!
Note: Yay for cookie delivery!
Munchies Shakes, Snacks & More
What to Order: Mangonada
The Cheesecake Factory
Delice Chocolatier & Patisserie
What to Order: Macarons!
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Honeysuckle, The Ginger Snap Donuts, Chocollazo, Savoureux Patisserie, La Boulangerie, Creamistry, Las Nieves, C’est La Vie Baking Company, Sol Y Luna, Larder at Emma
Larder at Emma (holiday flavors)
Commonwealth Coffeehouse & Bakery (great sandwiches)
Revolucion Coffee + Juice
Aspen’s Brew (get the white chocolate mocha – never disappoints)
Estate Coffee Company
Indy Coffee (cool flavors like coco loco and cereal flavors, get green tea latte)
Madhatter’s Tea House and Café
Summer Moon Coffee Bar
Candlelight Coffeehouse (get the italian steamer – I like the english toffee syrup)
White Elephant Coffee
Mila Coffee (get the iced horchata latte)
Olmos Perk (the best chai latte in SA)
The Cracked Mug Coffee House
Halcyon (love that they give animal crackers with lattes)
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Barrio Barista, Pendlebury Brew, Theory Coffee Company, Brown Coffee Co, Cyclo Coffee and Barista Academy
Jollicup Bubble Tea and Desserts
What to Order: Ring around the Roses (jasmine green tea with rose). And this place has mini boba!
What to Order: Matcha green tea boba
Jugo Juicery and Bar
Urth Juice Bar
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Revolucion Coffee + Juice
The Esquire Tavern
Downstairs at The Esquire Tavern (gives popcorn!)
Zinc Bistro and Wine Bar
Jazz TX (jazz bar with a cover charge – feels like you’re in La La Land)
The Pigpen (get the loaded nachos too)
High Street Wine Company
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
The Friendly Spot Ice House
Bar Du Mon Ami
Davenport Lounge (feels like you’re in The Great Gatsby)
Paramour (rooftop bar)
Halcyon (coffee shop converted to bar at night)
1919 (downstairs bar)
SoHo Wine & Martini Bar (different types of martinis)
The Last Word (downstairs bar)
Who’s Who Cocktails
The Edison Experiment
Sternewirth Bar (in Hotel Emma)
Howl at the Moon (piano bar)
Didn’t Get to Try (but heard good things about from other people): Nectar Wine Bar & Ale House, Burleson Yard Beer Garden, Copa Wine Bar