What’s New in San Antonio
As the seventh-largest city in the nation and one of the fastest growing, San Antonio always has something new and exciting to explore. Here are a few of San Antonio’s newest offerings as well as developments on the horizon.
MCNAY ART MUSEUM’S $6.25 MILLION LANDSCAPE MASTER PLAN (Fall 2021)
The McNay Art Museum’s commitment to engaging a diverse community in the visual arts is reaching new heights with a $6.25 million Landscape Master Plan. This transformative plan will activate and enhance the outdoor museum experience with additional works of art, “invisible” fencing, new landscaping and increased accessibility—ensuring everyone feels welcome and at home at the first modern art museum in Texas. Phase I construction is underway and slated for completion by fall 2020. Vibrant florals, dozens of native and drought-resistant trees, scenic walkways, meditative seating areas and enhanced lighting will activate the 23-acre grounds. The museum remains fully open throughout construction.
SAN ANTONIO AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY ARCHIVE & MUSEUM (Feb. 2021)
The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAACACAM) is debuting a new exhibit location in the heart of the city at La Villita (218 South Presa St., Building 20). The materials collected in the museum’s archives serve as family-friendly educational material, with programs specifically designed for children, as well as inspire youth and adults from San Antonio and beyond. One of its permanent exhibitions presents a timeline that illustrates Black history in the city through photographs and documents from the archive.
BLACK HISTORY RIVER CRUISE (Feb. 2021)
The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum, working with GO Rio River Cruises, has launched twice monthly African American history tours focused on San Antonio’s city center. The tours, on the second Sunday and fourth Saturday of each month, will be limited to 19 people per cruise in observance of social distancing. Private group tours also are available.
ROBERT L.B. TOBIN LAND BRIDGE at PHIL HARDBERGER PARK (Dec. 2020)
The Land Bridge is the first in the world designed for the safe passage of both wildlife and people. At 150-feet long and 150-feet wide, it is the largest wildlife crossing constructed to date in the United States. Built across the busy lanes of Wurzbach Parkway, the Land Bridge unifies the previously divided 330-acre Hardberger Park located in north central San Antonio. Pedestrians and animals traversing the Land Bridge have the experience of climbing a peaceful hill, unaware of the roadway below. Amenities such as wildlife viewing blinds designed by local artists and a Skywalk that gently climbs through the treetops leading to the bridge offer park visitors unique new ways to connect with nature.
HOPSCOTCH (Oct. 2020)
Hopscotch, a curated experiential art experience, opened in downtown San Antonio with a view of Travis Park. The 20,000-sq.-ft. gallery features 14 immersive exhibits by more than 40 local, national and international artists ranging in location from San Antonio to Moscow. The gallery boasts outdoor patio and indoor lounge available to the general public as well as to ticketed guests. Popular local food truck Smack’s Chicken Shack has parked in the gallery’s patio and created the #LetsHopscotch sandwich, a decadent combination of fried chicken, powdered sugar, honey butter and donuts, that is only served at Hopscotch. The gallery’s bar program is inspired by the installations throughout the space featuring specialty cocktails, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. Hopscotch also offers an onsite gift shop offering unique gifts and custom curiosities as well as items from the installation’s artists and additional local artists.
SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL COMPLETES $20 MILLION EXPANSION RENOVATION (Aug. 2020)
The Education and Event Center at the San Antonio Botanical Garden made its debut in Spring 2020 and is the gateway to a 38-acre urban oasis of nature just minutes from downtown. This 3,500 square foot state-of-the-art indoor venue is surrounded by three sides of 16-foot floor-to-ceiling windows with the interior and exterior ceiling adorned by Sinker Cypress wood. Views include the lush Grand Lawn, wisteria arbor, oak trees, and the Santikos Fern Fountain. This modern building is ideal for events of all sizes from lectures and symposiums of up to 350 guests or receptions and banquets with up to 200 seated guests. The new Grand Lawn, adjacent to the Education and Event Center, can accommodate a sit-down dinner up to 720 guests or a festival for 2,300. This is the final piece of the Botanical Garden’s multi-year, $20 million expansion renovation.
RUBY CITY (Oct. 2019)
Conceived by renowned philanthropist and collector Linda Pace (1945-2007), and designed by preeminent architect Sir David Adjaye, Ruby City is a new 14,000 square foot art exhibition space on Camp Street. The modern, crimson-hued building transforms San Antonio’s arts community as it houses the Linda Pace Foundation’s growing collection of more than 900 paintings, sculptures, installations and video works by contemporary artists from around the world. The entire $16 million project was privately funded by Linda Pace Foundation. Ruby City is part of an arts campus that also includes Chris Park and Studio, which extends from South Flores Street to the San Pedro Creek. Admission is free.
FAMILY ADVENTURE GARDEN AT SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN (March 2018)
As part of its recent expansion, the San Antonio Botanical Garden opened its 2.5-acre Family Adventure Garden. With 15 adventure-themed areas carefully designed to encourage nature play and discovery, families can explore bubbling creeks, thundering ridges, beckoning hills, and sandy shores. The Family Adventure Garden offers a multigenerational design so people of all ages and physical abilities can unplug from devices and plug in to nature. The Garden’s transformational 8-acre expansion, much of which opened 2017-2018, also includes the Mays Family Display Garden, Halsell Welcome Building, H-E-B Discovery Center, The Zachry Foundation Culinary Garden, Goldsbury Foundation Pavilion and CHEF Teaching Kitchen.
SAN ANTONIO NAMED UNESCO CREATIVE CITY OF GASTRONOMY (Oct. 2017)
San Antonio has been named a member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s Creative Cities Network. This internationally recognized designation honors San Antonio’s rich culinary heritage and is the result of a collaborative community effort. San Antonio is only the second city in the U.S. to earn this distinction and the first in Texas. San Antonio’s culinary heritage is significant for its confluence of many world cultures such as Mexican, Spanish, German and French, as well as its geology and geography.
SAN ANTONIO ZOO JAGUAR HABITAT SKYWALK (Late Fall, 2021)
San Antonio Zoo plans to expand the jaguar habitat with a connected overhead cat walk. Plans include the addition of an overhead cat walk that will connect the jaguars’ existing habitat to another nearby habitat. The cat walk will not only go over guests as they stroll by the current jaguar habitat, but it will lead the jaguars into the Amazonia habitat where they can walk along the river bed before making their way into the secondary habitat. Costs to complete this innovative habitat are estimated at nearly $1.4 million. Once complete, San Antonio Zoo will be the only zoo in the country to offer this unique cat walk for jaguars. As it will reinforce two important natural behaviors – it lets them hang high in a canopy type setting and it allows them to explore the river’s edge.
ULTRA-ACCESSIBLE™ MORGAN’S WONDERLAND CAMP (2021)
The team behind Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first ultra-accessible theme park, is building a 102-acre recreational oasis in northern San Antonio that will offer year-round summer-camp-type experiences to those with and without special needs. The $28 million project will feature an ultra-accessible, multi-platform zipline, a stable and horses, hiking trails, a nature farm, multiple pools, a splash pad, archery range, enclosed sports pavilion, arts and crafts center, a challenge course for all abilities, a 30,000-square-foot welcome center and a 5,500-square-foot health center for round-the-clock medical assistance. Twenty on-site cabins will be built to accommodate up to 525 campers and staff members.
MORGAN’S WONDERLAND SPORTS (June 2021)
Morgan’s Wonderland Sports will be a 3-acre ultra-accessible™ sports complex, offering fitness and fun for athletes of all abilities. The new $4 million facility in northeast San Antonio will provide a home for adaptive and Paralympic-style sports programs for wounded service members and veterans, alongside youth and adults with different abilities. Morgan’s Wonderland Sports will be available for private events and offers 30 court or field combinations including two baseball/softball fields, five tennis courts, 20 pickleball courts, a football field, a basketball court and a volleyball court, as well as an 8,000-square-foot covered pavilion and LED field lights to assist guests with visual impairments.
SEA LIFE AQUARIUM OPENS AT SHOPS AT RIVERCENTER (May 2021)
SEA LIFE is the world’s biggest aquarium brand and highlights spectacular displays of diverse marine life. As its stunning centerpiece SEA LIFE San Antonio features a tropical ocean tank with a walk-through underwater tunnel, taking visitors on a seamless journey under the sea.
DARE DEVIL DIVE FLYING MACHINES ARRIVING AT SIX FLAGS FIESTA TEXAS (April 2021)
Six Flags Fiesta Texas visitors can now experience the thrills and sensations of weightlessness through aerial banks, loops and dives on the all-new Dare Devil Dive Flying Machines. The world’s tallest ride of its kind, the retro four-seater steampunk flying machines imitates the maneuvers of acrobatic dogfights soaring nearly five stories above Crackaxle Canyon.
TALLEST, FASTEST AND LONGEST WOODEN COASTER IN TEXAS OPENS AT SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 2020)
SeaWorld San Antonio opened the all-new Texas Stringray wooden roller coaster. This ride is the tallest, fastest and longest wooden coaster in Texas. It features a drop of 100 feet with more than 15 airtime hills with a top speed of 55 miles per hour.
HEART-POUNDING TONGA TWISTER SLIDES OPENS AT AQUATICA SAN ANTONIO (Summer 2020)
Tonga Twister, two thrilling, heart pounding body slides, each with distinct twists and turns was unveiled this summer at Aquatica, SeaWorld San Antonio’s waterpark. Tonga Twister features AquaLucent™ tubes that create special effect lighting patterns, giving riders an electrifying light show as they plummet and slide from a height of more than 50 feet, navigating 415 feet of twists and turns before splashing down into a refreshing pool. High-energy music piped into the tubes elevates the excitement and fun.
TWISTED TRAILS ADVENTURE COURSE AT NATURAL BRIDGE CAVERNS
Twisted Trails Adventure Course is an all-new attraction at Natural Bridge Caverns, home to the largest show caves in Texas. The six-story-high adventure course features four levels and 50 elements to challenge all ages. Guests test their skills with activities such as lily pads, stepping stones, a weave walk, squid steps and a rolling log. Unlike traditional ziplines, which only travel along a straight line, Twisted Trails includes 685-feet of curved rails, offering a soaring roller coaster-like experience. Nearby, the new Twisted Trails Tykes allows pint-sized thrill seekers their own taste of the action.
THE JOKER: CARNIVAL OF CHAOS AT SIX FLAGS FIESTA TEXAS (July 2019)
A thrilling new pendulum ride inspired by DC Super-Villain The Joker is now open at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Joker Carnival of Chaos, located in the new DC Universe section of the park, is the world’s tallest pendulum ride, standing at a record-breaking 17 stories and reaching speeds up to 75 miles per hour. Guests can enjoy the ride 12 months a year, as the theme park has announced year-round operations, extending their season into both January and February, weekends and holidays.
TURTLE REEF™ DEBUTS AT SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO (May 2019)
SeaWorld’s all-new Turtle Reef™ is a fascinating habitat that enables guests to get an up-close look at threatened and endangered sea turtles, plus learn about the threats the species face in the wild. The focal point is a 126,000-gallon coral reef-themed environment, with natural bio filtration, featuring rescued and non-releasable green sea turtles, along with hundreds of multi-colored Caribbean fish. Turtle Reef also features SeaWorld’s second underwater viewing area where guests can watch from a floor-to-ceiling, panoramic portal as turtles swim just inches away.
LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER OPENS AT SHOPS AT RIVERCENTER (April 2019)
Premier family attraction LEGOLAND Discovery Center has opened at the Shops at Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio. LEGOLAND Discovery Center is the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground and is designed for families with children ages 3 to 10 to play together. The new attraction offers a range of themed LEGO play areas, creative workshops with LEGO Master Model Builders, exciting LEGO-themed rides, party rooms, as well as the popular MINILAND exhibit which will reflect the buildings and skyline of San Antonio.
RHINO RENOVATIONS AT SAN ANTONIO ZOO (March 2019)
The San Antonio Zoo has transformed its rhinoceros habitat to feature additional trees and landscape, a viewing deck, waterfall with creek and a mud wallow. The habitat is not only to rhinos, but to zebras, crown cranes, waterbucks, sitatungas and marbou storks. The new rhino habitat connects to the existing giraffe habitat allowing the animals to move freely between areas, creating a savanna-like setting. A nursery area was also added to accommodate two female rhinos the zoo plans to receive from other zoological facilities as well as a male rhino shortly, in order to begin a breeding program for Southern White Rhinoceroses.
CANOPY BY HILTON MAKES RIVER WALK DEBUT (April 2021)
Adding to San Antonio’s repertoire of exceptional hotels, Canopy by Hilton made its River Walk debut in March 2021. The hotel integrates the Civil War-era Alamo Fish Market building into its 20-story design. Incorporating the building into the hotel is not only an integral element of the authenticity of the Canopy brand, but also maintains an important historic element to the corridor. Canopy San Antonio River Walk features 1,102 square feet of meeting space, 195 rooms and a restaurant with an outdoor terrace overlooking the River Walk.
ESTANCIA DEL NORTE DEBUTS IN UPTOWN DISTRICT (April 2021)
Originally constructed as La Mansion Del Norte in 1978, Estancia Del Norte honors the culture, character, and beauty of San Antonio. Estancia Del Norte transforms a piece of San Antonio history into a modern space for celebration, designed to showcase the vibrant traditions of Mexico, Spain, and Texas. The hotel offers 277 guest rooms including 12 luxury suites, the Grand Courtyard replete with a luxury pool and gardens, local artwork throughout the hotel, conference center including the over 7,000 square-foot Estancia Ballroom, the Paseo Bar – featuring tequilas, mezcals and a curated selection of specialty bourbons – and Lazo with Don Strange, the first restaurant from renowned San Antonio catering company, focusing on regional South Texas cuisine.
THOMPSON HOTEL BRINGS LUXURY DEVELOPMENT TO RIVER WALK ARTS DISTRICT (Feb. 2021)
Thompson San Antonio Hotel and The Arts Residences, a $116 million mixed-use hotel-condominium tower on the San Antonio River Walk brings luxury living and hotel accommodations to the downtown area. The 20-story 337,000-plus-square-foot mixed-use development is across the River Walk from the esteemed Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. This 162-room Thompson Hotel is one of a collection of design-forward, boutique lifestyle hotels and resorts. It features amenities including a high-end restaurant, 20th floor rooftop bar with panoramic views of downtown, a 5,000 square-foot pool deck with pool bar on the fourth floor, a fitness center, spa, valet parking and 24-hour concierge and in-room dining services.
OMNI LA MANSIÓN DEL RIO UNVEILS MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR RENOVATION (Spring 2020)
Omni La Mansión del Rio has unveiled the completion of its multi-million dollar update of all 338 guestrooms at the hotel. Taking inspiration from the rich history of the property, the overall design maintains the originality of the existing building while adding brand new amenities. All rooms received new updated lighting and furniture including upgrading of any full-size beds to queen size beds, new artwork reflecting the heritage and beauty of the region with a modern and elevated aesthetic, smart high-definition TVs with the ability to stream and connect directly from personal devices, new Wi-Fi internet system, safe and secure radio-frequency identification (RFID) door lock system and fresh paint and carpet.
MARRIOTT RIVERCENTER HOTEL’S MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR RENOVATION (Feb. 2020)
One of the largest hotels in downtown San Antonio, Marriott Rivercenter, completed a river-to-rooftop, multi-million-dollar remodel in Feb. 2020 that captures the city’s artistic character. Indigenous architectural elements such as white limestone and local artistic glassmakers lend an upscale feel while still being traditional. The project included redesigning all 1,001 rooms and suites along with meeting space. Plus, common areas, lobby, restaurant and lounge space were also renovated and a new M Club for Marriott’s elite members has been added.
DUAL-BRANDED HAMPTON INN & SUITES AND HOME2SUITES BY HILTON OPENS ON RIVER WALK (Feb. 2019)
The dual-branded Hampton Inn & Suites and Home2Suites by Hilton is San Antonio’s newest River Walk hotel offering great views of the river, two styles of complimentary breakfast and easy to access to many of San Antonio’s downtown attractions. The Hampton Inn offers 122 rooms and the Home2Suites has 91 rooms.
EMBASSY SUITES BY HILTON SAN ANTONIO LANDMARK OPENS IN NORTH SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 2018)
This all-new, 203-room all-suite property is conveniently located near many of San Antonio’s top attractions including The Shops at La Cantera, The Rim shopping center and Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Guests staying at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Landmark can enjoy a free made-to-order breakfast and complimentary drinks and snacks nightly at the hotel’s evening reception. Additional amenities include on-site restaurant Brickstone’s Kitchen & Bar, 11,000 square feet of meeting space, a 24-hour convenience store, a 24-hour business center, a 24-hour fitness center and an outdoor pool with bar service.
HYATT REGENCY HILL COUNTRY RESORT RENOVATES ROGER-WISEMAN PAVILION (Aug. 2018)
Named in honor of the family who owned and operated a cattle ranch for more than a century on the land where the Hyatt Regency Hill Country now sits, the Rogers-Wiseman Pavilion was originally intended as a temporary venue space in 2010. The resort turned the space into a permanent structure in 2014, and in 2018, the resort completed a full renovation of the space to a full-use signature meeting and event space. The pavilion is now outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides and new luxury vinyl tile flooring to reflect the elegance and rustic feel of the property.
TRU BY HILTON DOWNTOWN SAN ANTONIO OPENS IN EXPANDED HISTORIC BUILDING (June 2018)
Tru by Hilton Downtown San Antonio offers an experience that’s vibrant, affordable and young-at-heart. Located just steps from The Alamo and the River Walk, the 94-room Tru features efficient rooms with free WiFi and 55-inch televisions with 150 channels. Guests enjoy an extensive breakfast bar, as well as gourmet snacks, drinks and beer and wine from the hotel’s 24/7 market. While located in a historic building, Tru offers high-tech perks including digital keys, a social media wall, lobby tablets and free remote printing. Guests can enjoy pool, board games, a fitness center, outdoor pool or a sound-absorbing alcove for reading or quiet time.
HILTON GARDEN INN SAN ANTONIO DOWNTOWN (March 2018)
Located in the heart of downtown, the new Hilton Garden Inn is within easy walking distance of The Alamo, San Antonio River Walk, the Majestic Theatre, the Henry B. González Convention Center and Market Square. The 125-room property features modern interiors, a 24-hour fitness center, a roof top heated pool overlooking downtown and a restaurant and bar serving breakfast, dinner and room service. Room amenities include complimentary wireless Internet, a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker. The property also offers 1,700 square feet of flexible meeting space with catering available.
THE JERK SHACK AT HEMISFAIR (Summer 2022)
Chef Johnny Hernandez expands his empire and authentic Mexican flavors to San Antonio’s Southside as he revives his grilled meat-focused restaurant El Machito and a new location of
EL MACHITO and LA GLORIA (Fall 2021)
Chef Johnny Hernandez expands his empire and authentic Mexican flavors to San Antonio’s Southside as he revives his grilled meat-focused restaurant El Machito and a new location of local favorite La Gloria. Located in the fast-growing mixed-use community of Brooks, Chef Hernandez’s concepts will be among the first San Antonio-based restaurants to be added alongside The Greenline, a 43-acre urban linear park connecting to the San Antonio River Walk’s Mission Reach. At El Machito, guests will enjoy a menu of Mexican style grilled meats including cecina asada, cabrito, chorizo verde, and more, while La Gloria’s menu continues its emphasis on popular Mexican street foods.
THE BOX STREET SOCIAL (Fall 2021)
A popular local food truck and catering business, The Box Street Social will be opening its first brick-and-mortar location at Hemisfair in downtown San Antonio. It will feature a 5,000-square-foot patio with view of the Tower of the Americas and other downtown landmarks. The tasty and eclectic menu will feature favorites such as pulled pork and spicy crab-stuffed avocados, Thai chile wings, chicken and doughnuts, and more items that will expand from its current food truck offerings. Its truck and catering business will continue operation.
BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB AT HEMISFAIR (Fall 2021)
Bombay Bicycle Club partners Bill Leighton and Satchie Seidlits have teamed up with Paula Sullivan of Carmen’s de la Calle for Bombay Bicycle Club’s second location. The team will highlight the best of both restaurants with a menu featuring Carmen’s globally inspired empanadas and Bombay’s famous burgers. Bombay Bicycle Club first opened in San Antonio in 1973 and is known for its laid-back atmosphere, margaritas and classic American menu. The restaurant and bar will open in the historic Espinoza House at Hemisfair’s Yanaguana Garden.
HUGMAN’S OASIS & HOUSE OF MÁ (May 2021)
Named for Robert H. H. Hugman, the visionary architect behind the River Walk, Hugman’s Oasis is a new destination tiki lounge from local restaurateur Chris Hill. It is complemented by South Asian comfort from House of Má. San Antonio mixologist and bar owner Jeret Peña and bar manager Maren Erickson have created elevated takes on tiki bar staples, including the Golden Triangle, a tequila-based sour cocktail with Sriracha honey syrup, cilantro, and a black sesame rim, and the Pinagroni, a spin on the traditional Negroni made with pineapple wash campari. Chef Louis Singh and Eric Treviño, from San Antonio’s Singh’s Vietnamese, are in charge of House of Má, in the street-level space above Hugman’s Oasis. Singh and Treviño also provide Hugman’s Oasis with a casual, izakaya-style snack menu, which encompasses smaller bites like candied jalapeno rangoons and seasonal yakitori skewers. In turn, Peña and Erickson have curated a South Asian-influenced cocktail menu for the restaurant. It features such original creations as a Ramos gin fizz with a candied egg yolk garnish.
DOMINGO (April 2021)
The River Walk-level restaurant of the new Canopy San Antonio Riverwalk hotel is a tribute to South Texas cuisine. The 3,265-square-foot, three-meal restaurant, helmed by executive chef Arturo Treviño, will feature unique takes on San Antonio and southwest favorites including ceviches, tacos, enchiladas, steaks and fresh fish. The restaurant’s bar focuses on agave-based cocktails rounded out by a selection of craft beers and wine with nonalcoholic cocktail options available.
DEVIL’S RIVER WHISKEY DISTILLERY (March 2021)
Devils River’s new home in the historic Burns Building hosts a working craft distillery with premium tastings and tours, access to live music on the building’s rooftop and a 1920s prohibition-era bar offering craft cocktails. The new distillery will recycle non-potable water for its production process and plans to donate spent grains to area farmers as protein for cattle.
LITTLE RHEIN PROST HAUS (March 2021)
Little Rhein Prost Haus, an authentic German beer garden, opened in the historic Otto Bombach House at La Villita. Little Rhein Prost Haus, “prost” meaning cheers in German, offers over 20 draft beers imported from Munich or craft-brewed locally and the largest selection of schnapps in the U.S. The menu is comprised of German fare including various schnitzels, German potato salads, brats and sausages of all types, sauerkraut, red cabbage, homemade beer cheese, German grain mustards, apple strudel, burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads and more. Indoor and outdoor seating with two levels of patios on the River Walk.
LANDRACE (Feb. 2021)
Noted San Antonio chef Steve McHugh launched Landrace, a restaurant focused on Texas-grown ingredients prepared largely on a wood-burning grill, in the new Thompson Hotel in the Arts District. The 200-seat restaurant serves dishes such as steak au poivre in which the beef is crusted with ground chile pequin, charbroiled Gulf oysters topped with New Orleans-style barbecue sauce, Berkshire pork chops with pear butter and other dishes. The setting evokes warm mid-century modernism with upholstered seating and custom-designed patterned screens in rose gold. A showstopping bar and a semi-open kitchen showcasing a wood-fired grill contributes to the inviting ambiance. Beyond the main dining room, Landrace offers two expansive private dining rooms, one of which features views of the River Walk.
THE MOON’S DAUGHTER (Feb. 2021)
The restaurant and bar at the new Thompson Hotel is helmed by chef Robert Cantu, a San Antonio native who’s cooked in kitchens across Texas and the Midwest. The 20th-floor rooftop restaurant has a Mediterranean approach with a menu of small plates designed for sharing, many made with local ingredients. The offerings include house-made feta burrata cheese with pesto, lamb ragu with hummus and pita, stuffed leek kebabs with squash and cashew cheese and other dishes.
RE:ROOTED 210 URBAN WINERY (Feb. 2021)
Re:Rooted 210 Urban Winery brings Texas wine to Hemisfair, making it the first winemaking and tasting room facility in downtown San Antonio. Featuring six wines on tap and dozens of bottled wines, this urban winery specializes in local wine education and serving only Texas wines.
BRASSERIE MON CHOU CHOU (Dec. 2020)
Chef Laurent Réa and Southerleigh Hospitality opened this casual take on French comfort food at Pearl. The brasserie – a casual alternative to French fine dining – offers simplified takes on dishes including steak frites, lyonnaise salad, escargot, oysters, domestic and imported cheese plateau, raclette and baguette, braised Texas rabbit in Dijon mustard sauce. The bar offers handcrafted cocktails such as the ‘Pink French Fairy’ gin fizz featuring Citadelle gin, egg white, fresh lemon and wild strawberry liquor.
BEST QUALITY DAUGHTER (Nov. 2020)
Local culinary team Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin and Quealy Watson, chefs and owners of Tenko Ramen, opened an Asian-American concept at Pearl. The menu includes Thai curry babaganoush; crispy fried pig ears; and chorizo, egg and cheese potstickers. Noodles and rice selections include mochi gnocchi with sauce mornay and Chinese sausage, and phat kaphrao pork fried rice. Best Quality Daughter features dishes pulled from Dobbertin’s travels and comfort food from her youth as a first-generation, Chinese-American with heavy Chinese, South Texas and Southeast Asian influences.
HELLO PARADISE (Oct. 2020)
Located in the Government Hill neighborhood near the Pearl district, Hello Paradise is a casual bar with tropically inspired cocktails and authentic Thai food. The noodle-based dishes-focused food menu comes from Thailand natives Dara and Kusol Maknual with cocktails from James Beard-nominated barman Jeret Pena. Hello Paradise features a lineup of inventive frozen cocktails including three frozen drink machines dedicated to making rum, vodka and tequila bases that are customized into a wide range of drinks with fresh juices, herbs and other ingredients.
CHILAQUIL (Oct. 2020)
Created by husband-wife duo, Orlando and Susana Aguirre, Chilaquil is a Mexican street food concept inspired by traditional Mexican dishes. Formerly a popular food truck located on Broadway St., Chilaquil is set to open its first brick and mortar location at Pearl’s Bottling Department food hall. Chilaquil’s menu offers traditional Mexican street and comfort food fare, with its focus being chilaquiles, a Mexican comfort food consisting of tortilla chips covered in salsa, cheese, and more. Chilaquil’s more elaborate versions of the traditional dish also includes choices of beans, eggs, avocado, chicken, steak, pork, and nopalitos.
JARDIN AT THE SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN (Sept. 2020)
Guests will walk back in time as they enter the new restaurant inside the historic Daniel J. Sullivan Carriage House originally built in 1896. Nestled on 38-acres of natural beauty of the San Antonio Botanical Garden, the location makes for a picturesque fine dining experience. Jardin’s menu focuses on regions around the Mediterranean Sea featuring Greek, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and slight Moroccan influences. A full bar offers frozen Bellini’s, as well as a classic cocktail program and a wine list highlighting boutique selection of new and old-world wineries. During the warmer months, visitors can enjoy eating outside in Gertie’s Garden, a large outdoor patio area shaded by mature Texas ash trees; the patio also showcases colorful annual plantings and provides easy access to the formal and display gardens.
SOUTHERLEIGH HAUTE SOUTH (Sept. 2020)
Southerleigh Haute South, a new fine casual concept from the team behind Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery at Pearl, will open at The Rim in north San Antonio September 2020. The new concept will offer brunch, lunch, dinner and happy hour. Southerleigh Haute South will feature a menu based on Southern-style food including Southerleigh’s signature fried chicken, biscuits and a full oyster bar, paired with Southerleigh’s locally brewed beers. The restaurant will also feature a unique cocktail program and an approachable wine list. The 4,100 square-foot space will seat 120 guests with ample indoor and outdoor space.
MI ROTI (July 2020)
A new concept has debuted at Pearl’s Bottling Department Food Hall. An eatery by chef and owner Nicola Blaque of the popular San Antonio spot, Jerk Shack, Mi Roti takes inspiration from the West Indies and Caribbean. Mi Roti offers a “build your own” roti menu to include a choice of a protein, rice and an array of toppings. Roti refers to both the flat bread itself as well as the popular street food item, in which the roti is folded around a savory filling in the form of a wrap.
MI FAMILIA DE MI TIERRA (Nov. 2019)
For decades, the Cortez family have operated famous Tex-Mex restaurants in Historic Market Square, and now opened their first establishment on the north side of San Antonio at popular shopping district The Rim. Located a short distance from The Shops at La Cantera, La Cantera Resort & Spa and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Mi Familia serves breakfast, lunch and dinner composed of Tex-Mex bestsellers from their downtown restaurants along with new offerings. Mexican sweet breads and candies from the famous Mi Tierra bakery also are available.
MR. JUICY (June 2019)
Celebrated chef Andrew Weissman tackles the art of the burger with his latest concept, Mr. Juicy, in the Olmos Parks neighborhood just a few miles north of downtown. Featuring house-made poppyseed challah buns, this restaurant’s slogan “home of the wet burger,” translates to the addition of a peppery au poivre sauce to enhance the burger experience. Add a salted caramel chocolate shake and crispy double blanched fries for a complete Mr. Juicy experience.
MAVERICK WHISKEY (May 2019)
The legend goes, Samuel Augustus Maverick left a jug of whiskey to be passed among the heroes who died at the Alamo after being elected to represent San Antonio de Bexar in the new Republic of Texas. Kenneth Maverick’s great (x3) grandfather Sam Maverick lived and went on to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence and became The Maverick for which all others were named. The Maverick and Alamo Whiskeys live on. All spirits at Maverick are handmade in San Antonio and aged in Texas-made Oak barrels in the tradition of the original Alamo Whiskey from 1836. Maverick Whiskey’s distillery, tasting saloon and gathering space is housed in the restored Historic Lockwood Bank Building (1918). The menu includes some Texas favorites and new spins such as Chicken Fried Quail, Bison Filet and Mushroom Ceviche.
LITTLE DEATH WINE BAR (March 2019)
Located on the St. Mary’s Strip inside a renovated former gas station covered from ground to roof in colorful street art, Little Death makes drinking wine fun and approachable. The 550-square foot space is an intimate setting designed to encourage patrons to try something new or share a bottle with friends. A small selection of bar snacks and cheeses are also available.
CHOCOLLAZO AT HEMISFAIR (February 2019)
Favorite local chocolate shop, Chocollazo, is now open in Hemisfair in downtown San Antonio. The new Chocollazo shop features handcrafted chocolates, truffles, desserts and pastries along with truffle-painting classes and special events. The shop is housed in the historic and recently restored Pereida House.
SAVOR: NEW CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA RESTAURANT (January 2019)
The Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) San Antonio campus debuted SAVOR, its new student-run concept, in January 2019. Located in San Antonio’s popular Pearl district, adjacent to the CIA campus, the restaurant focuses on modern-American cuisine and the menu features local ingredients from Texas farmers and ranchers. There is also a full bar and curated wine and beer lists. The school’s world-class chefs and hospitality instructors lead the students who prepare and serve dinner as part of their associate degree studies.
LA GLORIA AND BURGERTECA – AT&T CENTER (Nov. 2018)
Chef Johnny Hernandez brings San Antonio Spurs fans a taste of his local Mexican cuisine favorites La Gloria and Burgerteca to the AT&T Center. Located in Section 200, and available to all levels of the center, the new culinary destination features La Gloria’s popular Mexican street foods and reimagined classic hamburgers with a Mexican twist at Burgerteca. A premium bar anchors the space, offering rare tequilas, fusion blends, signature margaritas and more.
MEADOW NEIGHBORHOOD EATERY AND BAR (Sept. 2018)
One of northern San Antonio’s newest gourmet, chef-lead restaurants, Meadow features inventive dishes and hearty staples such as biscuits and fried chicken, creamed corn fritters and charcoal grilled ribeye. Owners, Chef PJ and Lindsey Edwards, work together with local farmers to curate the menu. The pair both come from strong restaurant backgrounds. PJ was formerly with Contigo in Austin, and Lindsey was previously part of the Jason Dady Restaurant Group.
PLAYLAND (Aug. 2018)
The newest restaurant from Chef Stefan Bowers, this downtown pizzeria goes above and beyond with more than pizza offerings and is “nostalgic, modern and playful.” Bowers is known for restaurant concepts including Feast, Rebelle and Battalion. As an homage to the former Playland Park, the bar program features seven cocktails with memorable names like Tilt-a-Whirl and Bubble Bounce.
TRE TRATTORIA AT THE SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART (June 2018)
Dining amid centuries-old art has come back to the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA). Nationally known Chef Jason Dady, who competed last year on Iron Chef Gauntlet, has moved and reconcepted his Italian trattoria, Tre Trattoria. In addition to menu favorites—house-made pastas, cast-iron flatbread pizzas and a variety of antipasti—Dady features a selection of items to complement the museum’s exhibitions.
ALAMO BBQ COMPANY (June 2018)
Remember the barbecue! Chef Jason Dady and his current barbecue spot, Two Bros BBQ Market, present the latest in classic Texas pit barbecue: the Alamo BBQ Co.
Located just north of downtown near Pearl, diners will find a family-friendly spot with a large outdoor playground, live music weekends and under the tree-lined patio. Pitmaster Laura Loomis was honored on Eater Young Guns list in 2017.
Major Projects & Neighborhoods
SAN PEDRO CREEK CULTURE PARK
San Antonio is in the process of transforming the historic San Pedro Creek, heavily utilized during the Spanish colonial era, from a concrete-lined drainage ditch back into a natural creek habitat and world-class linear park. This $175 million redevelopment will reflect San Pedro Creek’s rich history and create a sense of place by making the two-mile stretch more accessible with hike and bike trails and through the addition of public art by local and international artists. The first phase of the creek’s transformation opened in May 2018 as a part of Bexar County’s Tricentennial celebration. It features installations from prominent San Antonio artists including murals, ceramic art, tiled benches and historical text and poetry.
BROOKS DEVELOPMENT TO ADD THREE NEW RESTAURANTS AND BREWERY
Brooks, a former Air Force base now transformed into a blossoming mixed-use community on San Antonio’s southside, will house four popular locally based restaurant concepts to open in 2021. Chef Johnny Hernandez will bring his popular existing concept La Gloria (Mexican street foods) as well as new concept El Machito (Mexican barbecue). Chef Jeff Balfour will open an outpost of his new fine casual concept restaurant, a Southern-style food menu and brewery, Southerleigh Haute South. Balfour has also announced the opening of a new 6,000 square foot Southerleigh Brewery and tasting room on the Brooks campus.
NEW ADDITIONS TO PEARL
Long hailed as the home of Pearl Beer, this former brewery from the 1800s has been reimagined into a bustling neighborhood along the San Antonio River Walk. Its mix of reuse and new developments is home to Hotel Emma, the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus, local boutiques, chef-driven restaurants and a farmers market on Saturday and Sunday. New offerings include The Bottling Department, a food hall featuring five restaurant concepts and a bar area from top local chefs and restauranteurs, Hiatus Spa, as well as new events, culinary celebrations and exciting developments at the Pearl Farmers Market.
HEMISFAIR GETS A FRESH LOOK
A three-phase renovation project is enhancing the downtown experience by bringing additional open parkland, activities, restaurants and more to Hemisfair, the home of the 1968 World’s Fair. The first phase of the project, Yanaguana Garden, is complete and open to the public. It features a 4.1-acre play environment designed for all ages and abilities, a splash pad and eateries including Paleteria San Antonio, Dough Pizzeria Napoletana, Chocollazo, Commonwealth Coffeehouse and the nearby ’68 Apartments. As the redevelopment moves forward, visitors will see the addition of new buildings and offerings, including a hotel, retail shops, workforce housing, cultural and educational amenities and additional restaurants.
BROADWAY CULTURAL CORRIDOR
Just north of downtown, Broadway Street connects many of San Antonio’s significant cultural attractions including the San Antonio Museum of Art, The DoSeum, Brackenridge Park, Witte Museum, San Antonio Zoo, Japanese Tea Gardens, San Antonio Botanical Garden and the McNay Art Museum. In addition, revitalization is occurring rapidly on this stretch of Broadway from just north of downtown to Brackenridge Park, and the city is planning a $42 million project to transform the stretch of street into a landscaped boulevard that is bike and pedestrian-friendly. In addition to outstanding cultural institutions, visitors will find local favorites such as the Shops at Broadway News, a collection of mobile retailers selling a variety of unique items, JoyRide Cycling Studio and Brown Coffee Co., which was noted by Food Network host Alton Brown as having the “best cup of coffee in the world” along the corridor.
At the southern tip of historic downtown lies Southtown, an eclectic arts district set apart by its intermingling of 1800s German architecture, repurposed warehouses, art galleries and now an alluring culinary scene. Longtime dining favorites such as Taco Haven and the Guenther House are sidling up next to newer eateries such as Southtown Pizzeria, an artisan pizzeria influenced by the owners’ time living in an old farmhouse near Florence, and Battalion, a creation from chef Stefan Bowers and restaurateur Andrew Goodman that is housed inside a renovated firehouse offering a menu of indulgent Italian dishes. Another popular Southtown stop is the Liberty Bar, a San Antonio favorite with a made-from-scratch menu that is housed in a hot pink former convent.
TRANSPORTATION VIA VIVA BUS ROUTES
VIVA is a new service line from VIA Metropolitan Transit that takes you to the most-visited sites and attractions in the heart of San Antonio. Three distinct VIVA routes connect riders with historic places, opportunities to learn and discover, classic and contemporary art, and popular dining and entertainment spots. There’s something for everyone on VIVA, including stops at the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site, the Alamo, King William Historic District, Southtown, Downtown, Market Square, the River Walk, Pearl, and the South Broadway corridor.
RECORD NUMBER OF FLIGHTS FROM SAN ANTONIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
With a record number of additional nonstop flights recently announced, it’s easier and faster than ever to get to San Antonio. San Antonio has year-round and seasonal routes to 53 destinations. The airport is among the fastest growing medium-hubs in the U.S., with more than 10 million travelers flying in and out of San Antonio in 2018.
Media information, photos and video: media.visitsanantonio.com
About Visit San Antonio:
Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes 41 million visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $15.2 billion into the local economy and employing more than 140,000. More information about Visit San Antonio can be found at VisitSanAntonio.com.