San Antonio Restaurants

San Antonio is a terrific dining town. It's big enough and has enough demanding conventioneers to support fine dining you'd usually find in much larger cities. But it still has a relaxed small-town feel that makes it easy to eat out almost anywhere without much fuss. You can count on one hand the number of restaurants requiring jackets; the dress codes at most other nice restaurants pretty much stops at "no shorts, please." Reservations and long waits are rare except at a few high-end restaurants and at peak times on the River Walk.

Essentially, San Antonio cuisine is about two things: Mexican-inspired flavors and meat. Mexican, Tex-Mex, Latin, and a variety of other fusion variations crowd this bi-cultural town. You'll find wonderful Mexican breads and pastries, rich sauces with complex flavors heavy with chilies, fresh peppers, even chocolate. Margaritas and local beers, courtesy of the local German immigrant brewing tradition, remedy the occasional chili overdose (though not all Latin food here is spicy—far from it). If your idea of a perfect meal is a steak, ribs, or just a killer hamburger, this is your kind of town. But San Antonio isn't stuck remembering the Alamo at every meal: chef-driven restaurants with a wide range of offerings, including sushi, offer a break from beef and tortillas.

Most restaurants, especially downtown and at the River Walk, are open seven days a week. Outside the downtown tourist area, restaurants generally close at around 10 on weekdays, 11 on weekends. River Walk restaurants and bars stay open later, generally until 2 am. San Antonio bans smoking in all restaurants except in designated outdoor areas (bars do allow it). Tipping conventions are standard, generally 15% for lunch, 20% for dinner.

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  • 1. Biga on the Banks

    $$ | River Walk | American

    Like Texas, enthusiastic chef Bruce Auden's menu is big and eclectic, and the dining atmosphere manages to be both bigger than life and romantic...Read More

  • 2. Francesca's at Sunset

    $$$$ | Northwest | American

    As the name would suggest, stunning views of the evening sky are part of the draw at the Westin at La Cantera's showcase restaurant. But chef...Read More

  • 3. Il Sogno

    $$$ | Italian

    This sophisticated, yet casual follow up to Chef Andrew Weissman's popular Le Rêve, which closed in October 2009, is just the kind of regular...Read More

  • 4. Mi Tierra Café and Bakery

    $ | Market Square | American

    In the heart of Market Square lies one of San Antonio's most venerable culinary landmarks. Opened in 1941 as a place for early-rising farmers...Read More

  • 5. Silo Elevated Cuisine

    $$ | Northeast | American

    Just a few miles northeast of downtown, Silo has beautiful views of the city from its sleek first-floor bar and second-floor restaurant. The...Read More

  • 6. 20nine Restaurant and Wine Bar

    $$ | Alamo Heights | American

    Part of the Alamo Quarry Market shopping complex, this upscale spot may make you wonder whether you're going to dinner or a wine tasting. Well...Read More

  • 7. Acenar

    $$ | River Walk | American

    This nouvelle Tex-Mex hot spot sits astride a less-traveled section of the San Antonio River Walk. Start out with excellent margaritas—many...Read More

  • 8. Alamo Café

    $ | Northwest | Mexican

    A perennial favorite with locals, the Alamo Café is far from the actual Alamo, but you'll still remember it for its fresh tortillas (made while...Read More

  • 9. Aldo's Ristorante Italiano

    $$ | Northwest | Italian

    This outpost of northern Italian fare near the Southwest Texas Medical Center and USAA is in a warm and homey century-old house. Fresh, simple...Read More

  • 10. Antlers Lodge

    $$$ | Outskirts | American

    Known for upscale takes on Texan fare—rattlesnake fritters, quail with chorizo and grits, bison tenderloin—this restaurant in the Hyatt Hill...Read More

  • 11. Azúca Nuevo Latino

    $$ | King William Historic District | Caribbean

    If you want something different from San Antonio's usual Mexican or Tex-Mex offerings, venture south to find festive fare hailing from the Caribbean...Read More

  • 12. Bakery Lorraine

    $ | Bakery

    This charming little craftsman-style house a few blocks from The Pearl is the product of two former Bouchon Bakery (Napa Valley) alums who,...Read More

  • 13. Barbecue Station Restaurant

    $ | Northeast | Barbecue

    When you walk into a true Texas smokehouse, expect to see smoke and taste fire. Though the location is inconspicuous—apart from the long line...Read More

  • 14. Bistro Vatel

    $ | French

    The bistro is named Vatel, the chef is named Watel, but no matter how you spell it, this up-and-coming spot takes fine French dining to new...Read More

  • 15. Bohanan's Prime Steaks and Seafood

    $$$$ | Downtown | Steakhouse

    Executive chef and owner Mark Bohanan dishes up only prime-grade, center-cut Aberdeen Angus beef with exclusive selections of ultra-marbled...Read More

  • 16. Boiler House

    $$$ | Steakhouse

    Built within the renovated boiler house of the original Pearl Brewery, this self-proclaimed Texas Grill and Wine Garden is every bit as Texas...Read More

  • 17. Boudro's on the Riverwalk

    $$ | River Walk | American

    A little bit Gulf Coast, a little bit Mexican, and a whole lotta Texan, this landmark River Walk establishment caters to almost every taste...Read More

  • 18. Cappy's Restaurant

    $ | Alamo Heights | American

    The antidote to big and brash national chains, Cappy's caters to a local crowd craving innovative food, classy but cheerful environs, and solid...Read More

  • 19. Chart House at Tower of the Americas

    $$$ | Downtown | Steakhouse

    This steak house, opened in 2007, reigns over the San Antonio skyline, perched at the top of the Tower of the Americas. Its predecessor was...Read More

  • 20. Cheesy Jane's

    $ | Alamo Heights | Burger

    Big burgers, milk shakes and malts, and nostalgic decor dominate this throwback to old-time malt shops. But Jane's is anything but vanilla—literally...Read More

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