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Photograph: Courtesy Cured

The 14 best restaurants in San Antonio right now

The best restaurants in San Antonio are pretty darn spectacular. Time to get greedy in the Alamo City...

James Wong
Written by
James Wong
Contributor
Matt Charnock
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Hungry travelers will find plenty to excite them amongst the best restaurants in San Antonio. The Alamo City is Texas at its diverse best, a city where various communities come together to create delicious food that will have you coming back for more, time and time again. Don’t bother trying to fight it, you’ll just anger your appetite; give in and let the flavors wash over you.

Barbecue and Tex-Mex are every bit as popular in San Antonio as they always have been but the international atmosphere has diversified the culinary options, much to the delight of tastebuds and rumbly stomachs alike. Here you can chow down with your fingers, poke around with a pair of chopsticks or attack with a good old-fashioned knife and fork, there are no bad options; just delicious food. The best things to do in San Antonio cover a lot of ground and a fantastically colorful nightlife will have you dancing the night away, but the city’s best restaurants make a compelling argument for top billing.

Best restaurants in San Antonio, ranked

Not even a pandemic could stop this 2020 opening from being a runaway success. The pink bungalow is the town’s talk of Asian-American cuisine. Most of the mains are served family-style, such as the Hakka Stuffed Tofu and the ginormous Char Siu Roast Pork Shoulder that comes with heavenly little baos, but you’re welcome to go individual and have your own plate of Miso Ginger Noodles and Impossible Potstickers if you wish. A separate bar with Thai-tea cocktails and decent happy hour is worth coming in early for.

Behind grand illuminated doors of a renovated historical building, Cured serves housemade, sustainable charcuterie, cured meats and locally sourced produce and seafood from Gulf suppliers. Meats are cured for up to a year and offered with suggested beer, wine or cocktail pairings that enhance the flavors. Multiple James Beard award finalist Chef Steve McHugh’s mains reflect seasonality at its very best. Don't miss the Heritage Hog Poutine with Wisconsin cheddar curds and pickled cauliflower if its your first time.

 

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Brasserie Mon Chou Chou is a serious straight outta Paris situation. If it weren’t for the twang and extreme patio heat, you’d forget you were in Texas altogether. First, there’s the very French interiors - mosaic tiled floors, brass lights and petit seating, and then there’s the food. The Escargots, Chariot de Fromages and Demi-Poulet Roti are magnifique (translation: y’all will love the snails, cheese and roast chicken). Save both stomach and camera space for the gorgeous creme brulee and profiterole presentation at the end.

With a pair of locations in SA, Dough Pizzeria Napoletana reigns over San Antonio's somewhat sparse pizza scene, where Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in wood-fired oven is still hard to find. The menu is eclectic, including the meat feast pizza Amore Di Maiale (pork love) topped with their chunky house-made sausage. Triggered for more? Order up the Salsiccia too, an antipasti of their signature sausage with roasted red grapes and sweet bell peppers. To finish, we recommend Dough's signature tiramisu and beautifully crafted cappuccinos. 

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The Lone Star State and steakhouses go together like spurred-boots and rodeos, but if you're going to order a steak in San Antonio, it should be at Range. The restaurant takes a minimal approach with the spices, letting the meaty taste of their juicy, quality cuts shine through. Range also features a wide array of seafood options—we recommend the lobster enchiladas. 

If you’re thinking of a build-your-own lunch then look no further than Mi Roti, a Caribbean street food shack is housed in Pearl’s hipster Bottling Department Food Hall. Roti is a Caribbean flatbread, which is equally delicious both as a wrap or on its own (dipped in sauce). We recommend the wrap with jerk chicken and a side of masala fries. If you choose the bowl option, then definitely get a roti on the side with mango chutney.

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Brunch enthusiasts and hungover partiers both love and appreciate NOLA Brunch and Beignets for their hearty eggs, fried green tomatoes, eggs Benedict, and, arguably, San Antonio’s best beignets, made in small batches and coated with a healthy amount of powdered sugar.

Located in a restored firehouse (complete with pole) in the center of Southtown, Battalion brings Italian fine dining to San Antonio. The grilled mackerel and red meat dishes are scrumptious, but the handmade pasta dishes—like fettuccine, lasagna and spaghetti—are the real standouts. House favorites like savory bucatini ai frutti di mare (with clama and octopus) and classic eggplant parmesan are served in smaller, tapas-style portions, so order two or three to ensure you leave full. 

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This towering open-air restaurant along the famed riverwalk is alive and kicking pretty much every night of the week. They specialize in Mexican dishes with South Texas flavors, from Halibut Ceviche with watermelon and lime to Tuna Tostada with smashed avocado and pickled chile. Of course, everything tastes better with a Passionfruit Margarita on the table. The restaurant is also popular for brunch, but if you’re only in town one night, the sunset vibe is best.

When Vatel Bistro closed its doors in 2017, San Antonio's collective mourning for French food didn't have to last long. Spearheaded by former Vatel Bistro chef Damien Watel, Bistr09 dishes out modern French fare like steak frites and duck confit as well as new creations like elk burgers during the evening as well as a fantastic Sunday brunch that features one of the city's best Eggs Benedict. 

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2M Smokehouse shows up on "best barbecue" lists time and time again, so it's no surprise that the line snakes around the East Side restaurant on the regs. The odd hours don't help; 2M is only open Thursday through Sunday, from 11 am to 4 pm (or earlier, if they sell out). Pitmaster Esaul Ramos gives a Tex-Mex spin to the more traditional brisket-centered barbecue common in south Texas. Expect dishes like chorizo and jalapeno cornbread in addition to long-standing favorites like baby back ribs, potato salads, and sausage. In a hurry? 2M Smokehouse's turkey sandwiches and tacos are perfect on the go.

We have five words for you: Avocado toast and margarita pairing. Yum. If the Instagram-worthy toast isn't your thing, Down on Grayson also offers fish tacos, quality sirloins and crispy chicken sandwiches. Enjoy your choice on the stone patio. 

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There’s no shortage of authentic Mexican restaurants in SA, but Mixtli is a cut above the rest, offering seasonal menu items made with the freshest ingredients. For a special occasion opt for the family-style tasting menu, which takes place at the 12-seat chef's table. The multi-course experience takes you on a culinary tour of Mexico. 

This San Antonia flapjack establishment with two locations has been serving patrons stacks of griddled cakes for well over 21 years. Stop in to try their world-famous buttermilk pancakes, phenomenal omelets, and authentic pfannkuchen, a Bavarian, spiced, puffed pancake that’s dolloped with European-style whipped cream and powdered sugar. 

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