San Antonio— like its sister city, Austin—is in the midst of a culinary renaissance. While barbeque havens and Tex-Mex spots still abound, the past few years have breathed new life into SA's culinary scene, making dinner one of the best things to do in San Antonio. Our list of the best restaurants in San Antonio (like Mixtli’s menu) is always changing, but you can expect historic spots to mingle with newcomers and oyster houses to share space with pancake joints. Here are the best places to dine in San Antonio right now. And while you're out on the town, try one of the best bars in San Antonio, too.
Our experts scour the city for great dishes, great value and insider info. So the EAT List is a unique, authentic snapshot of San Antonio's ever-evolving dining experience right now. It could be a mega-hyped destination restaurant or a pop-up-turned-permanent joint in a shipping container: if it’s on the list we think it’s terrific, and reckon you will too.
Eaten something you love on this list? Share it under the hashtag #TimeOutEatList to show your appreciation.
Best restaurants in San Antonio
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, Bistro 09 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.
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 daily. The odd hours don't help—2M is only open Thursday through Sunday, from 11am to 4pm. 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.
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.
Located in a restored firehouse (complete with pole) in the center of Southtown, Battalion bring 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.
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.
Chef Pedro Cuellar's tongue-in-cheek menu runs the gamut from bahn mi and barbacoa sliders to the Lambshank Redemption and deconstructed chips and dip. Sunday Brunch is a must, where you can chow down on Toast Malone and absorb the farm-chic vibes.
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.
The Shuck Shack is, as you’d expect, a one-stop-shop for all things bivalves. The clam chowder, seared mussels and fresh oysters (order them by the dozen of half-dozen) are among the best you’ll find in Texas—despite being 100 miles from the ocean). Pop open a beer at the beachy restaurant and pretend you can feel the ocean breeze.
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.
Behind lit doors, Cured serves housemade, sustainable charcuterie, cured meats and locally sourced fowl, lamb, and seafood from Gulf suppliers. Meats are cured for up to a year, and offered with suggested beer and cocktail pairings that enhance the flavors of the meats and cheeses.
Head here for a stellar weekend brunch and tasty cocktails. Feast's menu is organized by adjectives like "oceanic” and “crispy" representing fresh dishes like ahi tuna tartare and pork belly tacos. Make a reservation to nab a spot on the patio, it's perfect people-watching to accompany your meal.
With a pair of locations in SA, Dough Pizzeria Neapolitan 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 a Bacon Jam pie that's a must-try as well as pastas.
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.
Erected in the 1850s as a private residence, the Guenther House offers museum galleries, a store and a place to host private events as well as a restaurant with deli sandwiches, housemade cookies, and breakfast tacos. Dine outdoors on the covered patio for breathtaking views of the historic Pioneer Flour Mills property.