17 Absolute Best Restaurants In San Antonio

With a unique blend of culinary influences, San Antonio is one of the two UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy in the United States, along with Tucson, Arizona. Here in San Antonio, BBQ incorporates traditions from African American farmers and German settlers, while flavors from Mexico travel easily across the border. And, of course, Tex-Mex, born in the Rio Grande Valley, is essential to local cuisine.

The marriage of these histories and the flavors they bring makes the San Antonio culinary landscape as eclectic as it is exciting, offering options that range from ultra-casual barbecue joints to creative Mexican eateries. Additionally, the city is home to the Culinary Institute of America San Antonio, located in the buzzing Pearl District. It helps San Antonio play host to new, emerging talents who are constantly refreshing the restaurant scene. Exciting restaurant concepts are opening all the time, but as it currently stands, these eateries are some of the best in the Mission City.

Mi Roti  

San Antonio's hip Pearl district, a former brewery transformed into one of the most exciting culinary hubs in town, is home to Mi Roti, located inside the Bottling Department Food Hall. As the name suggests, this street food eatery offers a build-your-own menu centered around roti, a traditional Indian flatbread that made its way to the Caribbean with the influx of foreign settlers.

Diners can choose between roti wraps or bowls with their choice of protein, rice, and toppings or one of the combos, such as the jerk chicken salad or the Curry Up, prepared with curry chicken and coconut rice. Sides of masala fries and fried plantains complete the Caribbean street food experience.

The duo behind Mi Roti are chefs Nicola Blaque and Lionel Blache. After serving in the army for a decade, Blaque followed her culinary passion and landed in San Antonio's Culinary Institute of America. A couple of years later, she and her husband, Cornelius Massey, opened the doors of their first restaurant, The Jerk Shack, where Blaque honors her Caribbean roots. At Mi Roti, her mission continues alongside Blache, formerly the Executive Chef at MAX's Wine Dive.


Once upon a time, Alamo Heights was home to the beloved Chez Vatel Bistro, known for its top-notch French fare. These days, its legacy lives on and takes a new form at Bistr09, where Vatel's previous chef Damien Watel pays tribute to classic bistro-style dishes and maintains his signature atmosphere of warm, welcoming service.

On the menu, you'll find favorites such as escargots, steamed mussels, grilled quail with parmesan risotto, and desserts include pear tart and chocolate mousse. The Sunday brunch menu — one of the best times to hit this brasserie — features omelets, croque monsieur, and lemon-ricotta pancakes paired with bubbly mimosas. Fashion fans will love Bistr09's fashion brunches when eggs are served with a fashion show on the side.

The space boasts an air of simple elegance, and its airy patio, decorated in blue hues, is particularly welcoming between Thursday and Saturday, when the restaurant holds its Pizza on the Patio sessions, doling out homemade pies from its wood-fired oven.

Rosario's Mexican Café y Cantina  

A San Antonio staple for more than three decades, Rosario's has been delighting San Antonians with hearty, comforting Mexican fare. Located in the Southtown Historic District, this restaurant boasts an extensive menu with touches of local South Texas flavors. Menu highlights include albóndigas (Mexican meatballs in tomato-chipotle sauce); pozole (soup made with hominy and pork); and house-made mole served with chicken. There is a long list of tacos to satisfy every palate, from shrimp to pork in spicy cascabel sauce, plus several versions of nachos and queso to represent the city's Tex-Mex legacy.

Decorated in soft green and pink hues, the space is cheerful and warm. The definitive highlight is the rooftop lounge, with gorgeous views of Downtown San Antonio. Open during the evening, it's an unbeatable stop for a refreshing margarita. Aside from representing Mexican culinary traditions, Rosario's is also known for supporting local artists such as Chilean-born INTI, who painted the stunning mural that graces the restaurant's back wall and celebrates owner Lisa Wong's history of Chinese and Mexican background and her dreams for future generations.

Rudy's Seafood  

Got a craving for fried seafood? Look for the Southside eatery with San Antonio Spurs-themed murals on the outside, and you'll have arrived at the right spot. A low-key vibe and funky basketball decor have made Rudy's a San Antonio institution welcoming to loyal diners and newcomers since the 1960s. 

Head to the ordering counter to explore the seafood options that range from fried fish, shrimp, or oysters, served with tartar sauce and cole slaw, to burgers made with shrimp or fish  — there are also chicken and Angus beef options. You can also find house specialties such as chicken-fried steak with gravy, and combos to satisfy multiple cravings, such as Rudy's combo (with two pieces of fish, two pieces of oysters, and two pieces of shrimp) or the Fisherman's platter, with three pieces of the aforementioned delicacies plus stuffed crab. Common Southern favorites — hush puppies, fried okra, and sweet potato fries — are on offer as side dishes.

Magnolia Pancake Haus  

When a restaurant promises to serve "the world's best pancakes," it's worth a visit. For more than two decades, the team at Magnolia Pancake Haus has been devoting itself to fulfilling that promise. Its story starts with Robert and Sheila Flemings, who dreamed of owning a restaurant that allowed them to share their love for food. After opening in 2000, the restaurant quickly became so popular among locals that the couple had to move their breakfast spot to a bigger location. To this day, it remains a family-run operation.

The menu is long and tempting, featuring numerous pancake options, including chocolate chip, bananas foster, and an authentic Bavarian dish made with Granny Smith apples, house spices, and powdered sugar, called apfel pfannekuchen. You can also choose from various types of French toast, omelets (including jambalaya or shrimp-and-avocado), and eggs Benedict. Magnolia's doesn't take reservations, so wake up early and show up with your entire party ready for a serious pancake feast.

Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewer

The Pearl District has positioned itself as a hotspot in the San Antonio food scene, and this brewery is part of the phenomenon. Led by chef Jeff Balfour, Southerleigh draws inspiration from Texas's many gastronomic and cultural influences, including Southern cuisine and beloved classics from Chef Balfour's hometown, Galveston.

The menu changes seasonally. You can find shareable appetizers such as duck rolls, deviled eggs, and the house's fried snapper throats with aioli. The menu also features fresh oysters, fried chicken, and a Galveston-style shrimp boil with sausage, potatoes, corn, butter, and remoulade. For the grand finale, you can't go wrong with the three-layer carrot cake.

The restaurant's interior blends an industrial feel with sleek decor, including a long bar, leather chairs, and a lovely patio perfect for warm San Antonio days. Custom-designed by Portland Kettle Works, the brewery honors Pearl's District history and pours 15 beers on tap for thirsty customers.


Once known as "the Waldorf on the Prairie," the beautiful St. Anthony hotel opened in 1909 and was renovated in 2015, boasting a stunning look that honors its past and celebrates San Antonio's exciting present. As part of its dining options, Rebelle offers an upscale seafood experience inside an elegant room outfitted with modern chandeliers, a master wooden staircase, and marble bars.

The menu opens with fresh options such as a jumbo shrimp cocktail and oysters on the half shell, plus appetizers like seafood bisque and mussels in green harissa cream. If you're in the mood for a shareable feast, the spectacular seafood tower is not to be missed. On the entrée front, you can enjoy specialty shrimp and grits, a lobster roll, or a classic seafood cioppino. The impressive wine list features labels from the U.S., France, Argentina, and Spain, providing myriad options for pairing. You can also sip on an assortment of craft Texas beer and cocktails such as the Envy, made with Tito's vodka, St. Germain, lime juice, and pear purée.


Housed inside a renovated historic building in the Pearl District, Cured is led by James Beard finalist Steve McHugh. Fine Texas ingredients and organic cooking methods are the base for a menu built around house-cured foods. This means you'll find gorgeous cheese and charcuterie boards ideal for sharing and lined with apple-jalapeño pork rillettes, smoked duck ham, and 90-day-cured lamb salami. The menu also features boudin empanadas with smoked tomato ranch dressing and entrées of heritage hog poutine or steak and frites. Decadent desserts such as organic soft-serve ice cream follow.

Wines from Europe and California are the stars of the drinks menu, alongside a beer selection that includes a few Texan brews. House cocktails such as the Pour Me (bourbon, Fernet Vallet, black cherry, Coke) are best enjoyed at happy hour, from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. And if you'd like to take home a bite of Cured, you can stop by the jar wall on your way out and choose a pickled souvenir.


Housed inside the renovated Firehouse #7, a historic building from the 1920s, Battalion is a stunner from the very first impression. Inside, the space boasts a warm atmosphere with low lighting, modern furniture, and the building's own historic elements.

Start your meal with a glass of wine from the extensive list or an aperitivo à la Battalion Spritz (Prosecco, housemade soda, and your choice of bitter liquor), then dive into the menu. Marinated eggplants (sesame, pickled fennel, lemon) and burrata with tomato crudo open the menu, followed by the house stars: the housemade pasta dishes. Orecchiette alla Campagnola features goat sausage, broccoli, and ricotta salata, and there's a wonderful vegetable-and-chevre lasagna. On the entrée front, you can find classics like eggplant or chicken parmesan and New York strip alla Florentine, prepared with lemon, rosemary, and fennel pollen.

2M Smokehouse  

Pitmaster Esaul Ramos is the mastermind behind 2M Smokehouse. Once a backyard griller, he dreamed of opening his own BBQ spot, a dream that came true when he partnered with Joe Melig. The duo opened 2M in their hometown, San Antonio. 

The joy of spending time with friends and family is the inspiration behind this low-key spot, resulting in a generous menu that includes meats by the pound — brisket, pulled pork, and pork ribs. These can also come in the form of beautifully-stuffed sandwiches. Imagine a half-pound of turkey between two buns. Sides include sweet cole slaw and chicharoni macaroni (mac-and-cheese topped with crispy pork rinds), and when it's time for dessert, leave room for the daily special. You can enjoy your feast at the restaurant's friendly, no-frills space or take it home to share with fellow BBQ lovers.

Best Quality Daughter  

A concept by chef and co-owner Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin, this Asian-American spot has earned buzz since it opened in late 2020. Dobbertin has worked at beloved San Antonio eateries,collaborated on Hot Joy (a pop-up-turned-restaurant), and opened Tenko Ramen, a fast-casual concept. She dreamed of creating a concept that placed the spotlight on Asian-American female chefs in Texas, which resulted in another series of pop-up dinners named Best Quality Daughter, now a restaurant in the Pearl District. The beautiful interiors boast flowered wallpaper and brightly colored booths.

The creativity-packed appetizers such as mochi-cheddar hush puppies, Taiwanese popcorn chicken, and super-garlicky noodle feature prominently. Entrées are served family-style. They include options such as orange chicken-fried skirt steak (marinated skirt steak with orange chicken gravy), Kurobuta pork belly ssam, and crispy tofu in a mapo sauce. Pair with the refreshing house cocktails or one of the boozy boba teas, like the I Used to Live in Thailand, with aged rum. For the perfect finale, don't skip the milk oolong ice cream sandwich.

Brasserie Mon Chou Chou  

Back in 2001, three Frenchmen — Laurent Rea, Philippe Placé, and Jérôme Sérot — met in San Antonio, which would eventually become home to their brasserie: Mon Chou Chou. Located in the historic Pearl District, this Paris-inspired spot is outfitted with black-and-white mosaic floors, a stunning bar, sleek leather banquettes, and velvet chairs.

The all-day menu brings traditional French fare to the table, including recipes from the founders' families. You can find quintessential brasserie items such as escargots in garlic butter, croque monsieur, and duck confit. The "Avec les frites" section offers a selection of dishes like Chou Chou's classic Prime steak, entrecôte (Prime ribeye), and fried fish; all served with crispy fries. The extensive wine list will tour you across France's winemaking regions and offers domestic options of California, Oregon, and Texas wines.


The iconic San Antonio Riverwalk is home to plenty of restaurants, among which Domingo is a definitive highlight. A beautiful building that echoes a modern hacienda and a patio overlooking the river is the perfect setting to pay tribute to the flavors and flair of South Texas.

Meals at Domingo can start with creamy guacamole or wagyu taquitos, followed by tuna tostadas, green chile-and-chicken enchiladas, or a wagyu burger topped with bacon, cheese, and roasted poblano peppers. The grand finale comes with the toasted chile brownie or, on a hot Texas day, refreshing paletas (popsicles). As the name suggests, Sundays are particularly fun at Domingo, with a Sunday brunch featuring plenty of egg options and the house's special churro waffles. Go for the cocktails; a particular Mai Tai Mimosa (rum, Dry Curacao, lime juice, orange juice, orgeat, and sparkling wine) is especially fun.


Named after the Aztec word for "cloud," the culinary concept at Mixtli seeks to take diners on a trip across Mexico, exploring its immense culinary landscape. Mexico City and Puebla have inspired past menus, while the current one centers around Guatemala. The food can be enjoyed a la carte or as a seven-course tasting menu and currently includes prawns with chile, chocolate, and sweet potatoes; churrasco of grilled mushrooms and black beans; and Korean short rib with pacaya kimchi. The feast ends with assorted traditional candy — cocadas and tamarind sweets.

The experience occurs inside a sleek dining room with modern wooden tables and soft lighting. Mixtli's Executive Chefs and co-owners, Diego Galicia and Rico Torres, were James Beard Semifinalists in 2018, while the restaurant and its pastry chef, Sofi Tejeda, were nominated in 2022. Sommelier Hailey Pruitt oversees the impressive wine program, featuring more than 1,200 labels.

Dough Pizzeria Napoletana

Neapolitan pizza is known and beloved for its thin, slightly charred crust and fresh, simple toppings. To ensure its quality and uniqueness worldwide, the Association Verace Pizza Napoletana has several rules and guidelines. At San Antonio's Dough, these fresh ingredients and techniques are honored with every pie baked in the restaurant's two wood-burning ovens, named Il Cuore and Scintilla.

The pizza menu includes three Neapolitan-style pizzas: Margherita (with San Marzano D.O.P tomato sauce, housemade fior di latte, basil, and Locatelli pecorino romano), Vera Margherita (switching the fior di latte for mozzarella di bufala), and Marinara (with tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, and pecorino romano). There are also American-style pizzas, including pepperoni and cured prosciutto, plus appetizers including roasted olives and meatballs in marinara sauce. A selection of Italian wines and draft beers rounds up the experience. Dough has two locations in San Antonio and a third in Plano, all equally relaxed and welcoming.


It's all about fresh, seasonal ingredients and warm hospitality at this Castle Hills eatery. At the helm is chef and co-owner John Russ, a finalist in this year's James Beard Awards. Born in New Orleans, he arrived in San Antonio in 2012, where he and his wife Elise started to run a series of pop-up dinners that eventually became a bona fide restaurant group. At Clementine, Elise is co-owner and pastry chef, showcasing the expertise gathered in restaurants, hotels, and bakeries in London and several cities in the U.S.

The constantly-evolving menu can feature white mushroom salad and country-fried quail, while platter options might show chamomile-brined Spatchcock chicken and Niman Ranch beef with red wine Bordelaise sauce. For a sweet ending, the dessert menu is currently lined with strawberry shortcake or a Clementine Crunch Bar (chocolate mousse and toasted hazelnuts). For the ultimate Clementine experience, go for the "Feed Me" experience, a tasting menu available for tables of eight or more guests. The feast features seasonal flavors and is served family-style in a series of lovely surprises.

Curry Boys  

Talk about a perfect blend of flavors and cultures. At this funky spot, smoked Texas BBQ joins forces with Southeast Asian curry, resulting in a delightfully eclectic menu. Developed by the team behind South BBQ and Pinch Boil House, Curry Boys occupies a bright pink house that cheerfully announces the bold flavors that await inside.

Start your feast with shareable appetizers plates of curry queso and chips, or pulled pork nachos topped with honey sriracha. The main event comes with the curry BBQ bowls; there's the Good Luck Cluck (smoked chicken thighs with yellow curry); the Tony Porker (smoked pulled pork with Penang curry); and the Magic Mushroom (marinated button mushrooms with green curry), among others. Sides of curry creamed corn and cucumber slaw keep the creativity coming and lead to the grand finale: the Flan Solo, a buzzy flan topped with cold brew and whipped cream.