Veronica Meewe shares her must-eat San Antonio restaurants

I’ve been doing a ton of travel all across Texas for a barbecue book I’m working on—and what a sizzling summer to be confined within state lines! But looking on the bright side, Austin is perfectly situated in the center of the state, making it easy enough to get to all the major cities, and there’s such exciting (and delicious!) stuff happening in all of them. One city I tend to make it to more frequently, due to its proximity, is San Antonio.

I’ve stayed at a number of hotels around town over the years, and I can’t recommend the Thompson San Antonio enough, especially during these summer months. It’s located right on the north end of the River Walk, just steps from the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Alamo and the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Chef Steve McHugh handles the food, so you must experience a meal at Landrace, and the rooftop pool is the best in town—and as dog friendly as the rest of the hotel!

While you’re in town, check out these San Antonio restaurants:

San Antonio Restaurants: A plate of dak galbi—crispy half chicken with Korean rice cakes, cabbage, shishito, and gochujang from The Magpie.
The Magpie in San Antonio offers unique dishes from Sue Kim’s global experience.

Hands Down

This cozy bar has a great selection of minimal intervention wine, but I can’t help but order their inventive and well executed cocktails when I visit. The impressive Long Island Iced Tea (Improved) is made with a blend of aperitifs, fernet and vermouth, the celery daiquiri is a savory dream, and the Tiger’s Blood Sno-groni is the best adults-only shaved ice.

Leche de Tigre

This Peruvian restaurant, started by three young brothers, is serving up the ideal cuisine for summer in Texas: fresh ceviches and tiraditos along with bright, refreshing pisco- and tequila-based cocktails. 

The Magpie

Chef Sue Kim uses influence from her native South Korea, plus experiences cooking and eating around the world, in her “freestyle kitchen” at the Magpie. That’s why you’ll see linguine pomodoro on the menu right next to dak galbi (crispy half chicken with Korean rice cakes, cabbage, shishito, and gochujang), each one just as flavorful as the next.

Full Goods Diner

The breakfast champions behind Austin’s Paperboy opened Full Goods Diner in the Pearl district to immediate acclaim. While you’ll see some crossover in dishes like the Texas hash or Paperboy pancakes, the menu also leans a little Tex-Mex, with offerings like breakfast cheese enchiladas.

San Antonio Restaurants: A plate of BBQ with brisket and carnitas on tortas and tacos from Reese Bros Barbecue.
One of the best San Antonio restaurants, Reese Bros Barbecue offers a different, delicious take on classic Texas BBQ.

Reese Bros Barbecue

You should get to this barbecue spot before lines blow up anymore than they already have, because I wouldn’t be surprised if the Reese Bros end up in Texas Monthly’s next Top 50 list. And this isn’t your typical ‘cue spread: Instead, enjoy their brisket and carnitas on tortas and tacos (they even make their own flour tortillas), accompanied by poblano mac and cheese and bright, limey slaw.

Sojourn Trading Co.

This appropriately named downtown bar takes influence from around the globe in both its well-executed cocktails (made with fresh juices and homemade syrups and bitters) and bar bites like empanadas, hand rolls, aguachile, charcuterie boards, and Cubano sandwiches.

Sari-Sari Supper Club

The family behind Sari Sari, a traditional Filipino restaurant and market, opened this modern Filipino American concept to showcase some more creative dishes, including a daily brunch menu and Friday and Saturday night tasting menus. I recently experienced a delicious—and photo-worthy—kamayan feast here I won’t soon forget.

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