So I figured that since I'm taking a trip, I might as well look into local cuisine. Why should I go to a McDonalds when I do that back home? So I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations. I'll have a car so I can go anywhere, plus my hotel is a like 19 miles away away anyways, I could arrange a small group to go check out the foods if anyone is interested.
Currently, the only things I really have in mind are pizza and chili. I've never had Texas-style chili before so figured why not?
There is one chain I want to go to that isn't local to my area, and that's Whataburger, because I hear people say I need to.
If you want a TEXAS SIZE steak this is where you go!
I can't comment on good chili places, and since I'm originally from New York I can't call anything made in Texas "pizza". LOL
And my bit on pizza, I'm not looking for anything super special, I just like to try out like mom and pop pizza restaurants and see how they are. That'd probably be my Thursday night dinner lol
For Brazilian, don't forget Texas de Brazil, which is also where the dinner meet up was last year (maybe this year?).
I can't believe you suggested Rudy's, though. While serviceable, I'd hardly call it good eats. Maybe - just maybe - if you get moist, burnt ends, do you get flavor. If you're in SA, have a car, and can drive a little, the better option is to take quick drive out to Lockhart, Luling, or any of the other BBQ hot spots that are reasonably close. Just don't go to Blacks, the lines are long enough as is.
I had a rental car last year and went to Lockhart. The line for Black's at lunchtime on Thursday was super short - just a small line inside the building. I was afraid they were closed for a minute it was so different from the one other time I'd been there.
Interesting. Rudy's is popular among everyone I know (I often take visitors there, too). This is the first criticism I've heard of it. I don't doubt there is better BBQ out there, but I find Rudy's far from flavorless. To each their own, but I think the OP would still enjoy the grub there.
Yeah, nothing against Texas de Brazil. Lots of those steak places around. I think I favor Chama Gaucha because of the mouth-watering little cheese rolls they bring around. Those are always a big hit.
I'm happy as long as people don't assume the Riverwalk represents the best of San Antonio dining. All the food is acceptable at the very least, but they are mostly designed to lure in tourists. So it's all about appearances. Very few locals make a habit out of dining at any of those places on the regular. But you won't have an awful experience at any of them, either. And for a tourist spot, prices are very reasonable.
Texas de Brazil also has the delicious tiny cheese biscuits fun fact there also gluten free Also I love there lobster bisque having said that yes there's lots of that type of steak house I just favor that one and find it a fun type of restaurant to host a big dinner at which reminds me I really need to get the signup sheet posted.
Then I've also enjoyed Bird Bakery; and Magnolia Pancake Haus was crazy good.
Fogo also has absolutely delicious cheese bread puffs that they bring out at the beginning. They also have those really delicious caramelized bananas they bring as a side. And my favorite selection of meats of any of the chain Brazilian steakhouses. Can't really go wrong with any of them though.
Cured (amazing happy hour from 3-6, half of majority of beers, half of their main cocktails and half off glasses of wine). There is also a farmers market in the am at the pearl on both sat/sun if you want to check that out also. Pearl will be best bang for your buck/time.
For pizza, go to Julian's Pizzeria. They have 2 locations now (original is on West Ave up 281N and the new one is in Alamo Heights on N New Braunfels). And when you're there, save room for dessert and get the Hannah's Huey (the vanilla one, NOT the chocolate). Seriously, get it. If you go there and don't get that dessert, I will hunt you down because everyone should experience that magic.
Is the pearl in reasonable walking distance from the convention center?
Also I will be getting Lockhart bbq for sure.
If you like apples/cinnamon/pancakes/sweet things for breakfast and don't mind consuming an outrageous amount of calories, the Apfel Pfannekuchen (Apple Fanny-ku-kin) is seriously the reason I go there. Once a month I must consume it. Everything else is great too, but that's the reason I go.
Be weary though; they're only open from 7am-2pm, which I know are prime PAX hours. It's worth it!
I haven't had much luck finding a good pizza place. Maybe I'm just use to Cici's...
Yes, you need to. There's one downtown.
If you really want Pizza I would suggest Big Lou's
Late night fast food, definitely Whataburger.
And for the quintessential Mexican Restaurant check out Mi Tierra.
Yes, Big Lou's!!
I'd go Rosario's for texmex. Mi Tierra is too touristy.
Try working downtown .
The Esquire Tavern has pretty good burgers IMO.
lol I can imagine! And dude yes. Love Esquire! Only place I've found boiled peanuts in this city.
Mi Tierra is a personal MUST for me. I go for at least one meal every time i visit SA.
There is usually a Mariachi if you go for dinner.
I just had to give you a hard time about it, I've got friends here on the west side of Houston that do the same with guests (I may or may not also do that) - Rudy's is everywhere and is still better than what they'll get most anywhere else, and you don't have to worry about them running out like the best places.
I agree about the Riverwalk, too bad it's so close to the convention center. We ended up grabbing lunch there on Saturday since it was the quickest option (the Whataburger line was that scary).
It's all good. I'm the first to admit that I'm not a big fan of BBQ, which is why my enjoyment of Rudy's always makes me recommend them. Most other BBQ just doesn't rate a second visit from me. But my wife (who is Mexican, born and raised in SA) just laughed when I mentioned this conversation and said, "Arguing BBQ is like arguing religion--it's way too personal." Heh. I'll be checking out some of the other places that were mentioned, though, so that's a plus.
No complaints from me about having the Riverwalk so close. Prime has such limited food options, it's always a nightmare. And East was even worse, with nothing at all nearby. I love that we basically have a pedestrian tourist zone right around the convention center. I just try to manage expectations for the quality of food at most of the flashier places. Nowadays I'm happy to keep a cooler in my car and retire there for a nice, relaxing lunch. 8-)
Casa Rio - Some of the better Tex-Mex food I've had downtown and just a short walk from the convention center.
Schilo's - German Deli that has an amazing variety of sandwiches along with some amazing homemade root beer.
Michelino's - Good Italian place that does enough food that you could probably split a plate between two people if you wanted.
Republic of Texas - Good choices of burgers and other Tex-Mex style food.
Charlie Wants a Burger - This has become one of my recent favorites with a menu full of just about any burger you could dream of along with some good craft beer.
The County Line - Decent Texas BBQ with other good options. One drink I would recommend here is their Piña Colada because they put a scoop of their ice cream into the mix.
Sushi Zushi - My favorite sushi place downtown that you can't go wrong with anything you order.
Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse - All you can eat Brazilian style steakhouse with an amazing selection. Pricey but worth it if you're looking for a nice meal.
Rainforest Cafe - A bit pricey but the food a
Texas de Brazil - Another all you can eat Brazilian style steakhouse that we love to go. It's a tough choice between this and Fogo so we usually just go to whichever one we can get a table at quicker when we want to eat here.
(Haven't really explored much outside of the Riverwalk area because we're either on the Riverwalk or further outside of downtown with friends who live in the city.)
General San Antonio Area
Quarry Hofbrau & Beer Garden - Amazing variety of delicious food (I've never ordered something I didn't like), but their alcoholic drink selection is what really draws me here every time. Tons of options for every taste!
Freetail Brewing Co. - Way out on the NW side of town off Loop 1604 but worth the drive. Great craft beer with pizza, sandwiches, and wraps.
Magic Time Machine - All the staff is dressed in a costume of their choosing and they stick to their characters throughout the entire time you're there. Great atmosphere and a fun place for the whole family.
I'm sure there's a lot of good places I missed but this is a list of some of my preferred places to eat/drink.
It's standard sushi prices, but the food/presentation is great.
Here's the full list of participating restaurants: http://culinariasa.org/san-antonio/restaurant-week-2/