San Antonio, a city renowned for its historical landmarks, vibrant culture, and plenty of family-friendly attractions, is undergoing a quiet culinary revolution that expands far beyond the traditional flavors. Beneath the shadows of the iconic Alamo and along the picturesque River Walk, a diverse and thriving food scene is taking shape.
Many people associate San Antonio with their renowned Tex-Mex cuisine, but this city really is a melting pot of flavors, offering much more than just tacos and enchiladas. Here are 20 restaurants worth exploring.
Two Bros. BBQ Market
Two Bros. BBQ Market is a barbecue spot that stands out for its family-friendly ambiance and authentic Texas barbecue. They are known for their brisket, which is tender and smoky, and their pulled pork sandwich which is served up with tangy slaw.
The Jerk Shack
Located near SeaWorld San Antonio, The Jerk Shack offers a vibrant escape to the Caribbean right in San Antonio. Specializing in Jamaican cuisine, this restaurant is renowned for its Jamaican jerk chicken, which is spicy and flavorful. The jerk shrimp tacos, served with mango salsa, is another popular dish.
Dashi Sichuan Kitchen
Dashi Sichuan Kitchen is an unexpected gem serving authentic Sichuan cuisine. Their Kung Pao chicken is a fiery favorite and for non-meat eaters, their Ma Po tofu is a popular spicey dish.
Curry Boys BBQ
Curry Boys BBQ, located near the lively Olmos Basin Park, offers a fusion of Texas barbecue and Asian (Thai, Vietnamese) spices. The curry brisket marries the smoky goodness of Texas brisket with aromatic Asian spices. Another good option is pulled pork nachos—a unique Mex-Asian experience.
In West San Antonio, 2M Smokehouse adds a unique twist to traditional Texas pit barbecue. Their brisket, turkey and pork ribs are juicy and tender, great to pair with their chicharron (pork crackling) mac and cheese and their sweet cole slaw. For a true Texan experience, the Saturday special beef ribs are the size of a dinosaur.
Near the scenic Roosevelt Park, Carnitas Lonja is dedicated to perfecting the art of carnitas. The carnitas tacos are the star here – slow-cooked with tender with crispy edges. Pair them with house-made salsas for an authentic taste of Mexico.
Maria's Tacos, tucked away in the Woodlawn Lake area, is a haven for traditional Mexican cuisine. The chiles rellenos are a fan favorite—they are roasted poblano peppers stuffed with cheese and topped with a rich tomato sauce. For a taste of Mexico's soul, try the Birria tacos.
Fruteria Botanero offers fresh and healthy Mexican cuisine. The tostada de ceviche is one of their more popular dishes—it is marinated seafood atop a crispy tostada shell. They have a lot of interesting fruit offerings as well, including the tasty mango Chamoyada.
Ro-Ho Pork & Bread
Ro-Ho Pork & Bread, conveniently located near the airport, brings traditional Mexican flavors from Guadalajara to San Antonio. The torta ahogada (soaked sandwich) is the signature item and selected as the best sandwich in Texas by Food & Wine Magazine. For a unique twist, indulge in the chillakillers.
While San Antonio may not be renowned for pizza, Dough Pizzeria in Castle Hills in the heart of downtown offers a range of options. The Margherita pizza is a classic choice, showcasing a thin crust with fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil. For something unique, try the fig & prosciutto pizza—or customize your own toppings.
Clementine, also in Castle Hills, is a testament to San Antonio's farm-to-table movement. The duck confit is one of the most popular dishes—it’s cooked duck served with seasonal vegetables and a made-from-scratch sauce. Another fan favorite is the buttermilk fried quail—something definitely unique.
Botika, nestled in the Historic Pearl, is a culinary journey that explores the flavors of Peru, Japan, and China. The Nikkei ceviche is a refreshing fusion dish that combines Japanese and Peruvian influences. The Lomo Saltado is a hearty stir-fry that marries flavors from Peru and China.
South BBQ & Kitchen
On the East Side, South BBQ & Kitchen is the place to savor soulful comfort food. The fried chicken & waffles is a Southern classic, featuring crispy fried chicken paired with fluffy waffles and drizzled with maple syrup. Try their collard greens for an authentic Southern side.
Tre Trattoria, located at the San Antonio Museum of Art, brings Italy to San Antonio. The pappardelle with wild boar ragu is a comforting Italian classic, showcasing tender pasta and a rich wild boar ragu. The olive oil cake is a sweet conclusion to your meal.
Mrs. Kitchen Soul Food Restaurant
Mrs. Kitchen Soul Food Restaurant, located in the East side, is where Southern comfort resides. The fried catfish is a crowd-pleaser, featuring catfish served with classic Southern sides like mac 'n' cheese and collard greens.
Godai Sushi Bar
Near North Star Mall, Godai Sushi Bar showcases the artistry of sushi-making. The Omakase tasting menu is a good choice and allows the chef to create a personalized sushi experience based on the freshest ingredients of the day. Another popular option is the hamachi Sashimi.
Located near the famous River Walk, Schilo's is a historic spot that dates back to 1917. It is known for its German and American fare, with one of the most popular menu items being the Root Beer – a homemade brew that's been a hit for over a century. A good option is to pair it with their classic Reuben sandwich or split pea soup.
The Guenther House
Nestled within the King William Historic District, The Guenther House offers more than just a meal, it provides a glimpse into San Antonio's history. Housed in a restored home from the 1860s, this restaurant is known for its Southern-inspired cuisine. Popular dishes include the pecan waffles and the chicken and biscuits.
Little Em's Oyster Bar
Situated in the Southtown Arts District, Little Em's Oyster Bar brings the flavors of the coast to the heart of San Antonio. It is known for its fresh and diverse selection of oysters. Popular menu items include the gulf oysters on the half shell and the oyster Po' Boy which has fried oysters served in a baguette with tangy remoulade.