January 02, 2005
I know it needs to be revised. So pay me
to do it, okay?
At least you didn't have to pick up the check for all the research!
A Personal Guide to
San Antonio Area Restaurants
This guide includes restaurants that I have dined in and recommend. Call ahead for serving hours and to see if reservations are recommended.
Taco Bell is not real Mexican food.
|Alamo Cafe||281 and Bitters||495-2233||Inexpensive|
|10060 I 10 West||691-8827|
The Alamo Cafe has a good selection of Tex-Mex specialties and the prices are good too. Don't expect ferns and brass rails; people come here for the food. The new location on 281 features a grand setting done Alamo city style.
|Aldaco's Mexican Cuisine||1141 East Commerce||222-0561||Inexpensive|
This Mexican eatery is located in St. Paul's Square, just north of the Alamodome, making it a great lunch spot. Dining is available inside the quaint house or outside on the covered patio, but get there early before the downtown lunch bunch stand in line for a table. Good tortilla soup and margaritas. Also check out an off-shoot, Paloma Blanca at 5148 Broadway. -
2427 Vance Jackson 340-1337
Great Margaritas! A good place to go with a group of friends, complete with the requisite patio dining experience. Fresh chips and hot sauce proved to be as addictive as the margaritas.
|Paloma Blanca||5148 Broadway (moved)||Inexpensive to Moderate|
An off-shoot to Aldaco's, Blanca serves up serves up excellent Mexican cuisine at the Alamo Heights eatery just North of the Central Market. Excellent tortilla soup and other soups and margaritas. Great new location on the old Cafe Soleil location. Great food and great service!
1014 South Alamo
In the heart of the King William District. Good Chicken Mole.
Piedras Negras 1312 South Laredo 227-7777 Inexpensive
Located in a pink building just west of I-10, this is another favorite of the lunch-time crowd. Great Enchiladas Verdes.
Demo's (Greek) 7115
2501 N. St. Mary's 732-7777
Demo's has about everything a Greek food lover could dream of, including spanikopita and baklava. The portions are generous and the service is fast.
|John the Greek||281 and Thousand Oaks||403-0565||Inexpensive|
|2215 Harry Wurzbach||821-6335|
John the Greek is more than just the salad dressing you'll find at HEB, it's a real restaurant.
|Mina and Dimi's Greek House||7159 West Highway 90||674-3464||Inexpensive|
I've heard great things about this little restaurant located close to Kelly and Lackland. I've only had their gyros, but found them to be outstanding.
8539 Fredericksburg Road
An old house converted to a favorite northwest eatery. Great food and wonderful presentation. A great place to go for a quiet dinner for two.
Aldino Cucina Italiana
622 NW Loop
(Central Park Mall)
The first thing you will notice is the striking Roman-like architecture inside this tasty eatery. An open kitchen allows you to see the chefs prepare your food. Excellent ravioli and desserts.
This original location, located at the intersection of loop 410 and Broadway is said to be the best of the bunch. Spaghetti with huge meatballs and pizza are the favorites here. Take out pizza is also popular.
Italian food. Owned by the same folks that own the Outback Steak House. A wide variety of salads, extensive wine list, and innovative Italian entrees. Fresh baked bread served with an olive oil/herb mixture is a favorite. Great roasted chicken dishes too.
I-10 at Leon
The Forum (I-35 and 1604) Expensive
The original Macaroni Grill with great atmosphere, open grill kitchen, and lots of wine. Chances are you will have to wait awhile if you come on the weekend, but the huge jugs of wine help to pass the time. Before the meal, you can munch on the focaccio with "Italian butter." Macaroni's specializes in expertly prepared medleys served over homemade pasta in huge bowls. Try to save room for dessert. Everyone leaves with leftovers for a special next-day lunch. After six o'clock on Saturdays, expect to wait awhile.
Old world charm in this little hideaway on the northside. Walls are plastered with photos, including the local clientele, reminiscent of the restaurants in Boston's North End. Good food and dessert, albeit a little on the heavy side. Families are encouraged to bring the little ones.
Naples Famous Italian Restaurant
4003 Broadway 822-7611 Moderate to
A reincarnation of the old restaurant complete with the favorite old recipes. Veal dishes abound here. Prices seem to have increased since the move to Alamo Heights.
|Zio's||18030 US Highway 281 North||495-7722||Inexpensive to Moderate|
|I-10 West North of DeZavala|
A restaurant with a wide selection of truly authentic Indian dishes. Several dinners allow you to sample a variety of items. The buffet on Sundays (lunch time) allows your best opportunity to sample the most.
Indian cuisine. Great buffet.
4979 NW Loop 410
I-10 and De Zavala 699-8840
717 NW Loop 410 349-7687
281 & Bitters 491-0467
Could this be the world's longest salad bar? Maybe not, but the selection is extraordinary. The salad bar contains 60 items, including fruits, pasta salads, potato salads and all the standard salad toppers. The salad bar, an "all-you-can-eat" fiesta also includes fresh gingerbread, blueberry bread, and corn bread. In addition to salad, they have baked potatoes, soups and sandwiches. The clientele ranges from young to old and even includes the local body building set. Other locations throughout the city.
I believe this is "the" Japanese restaurant for San Antonio. I haven't dined at another establishment that rivals the decor and charm of the staff of Kabuki. The sushi selection can't be beat and they even have a separate sushi bar and tepan-yaki area. The traditional meals are also excellent. The soup served with the dinners is quite tasty. For a challenge, use the chopsticks for the entire meal. Call ahead for hours of operation.
Great sushi bar with a humorous sushi chef. Koi Kawa also serves many sushi rolls names after some of their regulars. My favorite is the "Shannon" roll, filled with deep-fried shrimp, avocado, rice, and drizzled with teriyaki sauce. For a different experience, try the edamame. They also have a new high-tech location in the Quarry Market with a sushi conveyor belt.
Very good Japanese dishes, including tempura and yakiniku.
Tokyo Steak House
If you like your food cooked right before your eyes on the tepan-yaki table, then park yourself at the Tokyo Steak House. For the best entertainment, bring a group of 4 to 8 people. The quality isn't as good as Kabuki, but the entertainment is worthy of a visit.
Oyster Bar Expensive
This place is much more than an oyster bar, with it's festive atmosphere, two-level dining room and a fresh fish blackboard menu. The seafood is prepared in many exciting ways and the wait staff are friendly and helpful. Favorites include mesquite-grilled anything, and the picayune shrimp. Don't pass up dessert.
The Barn Door
8400 N. New Braunfels
In business for over 40 years, the Barn Door is "the place" for great steaks in San Antonio. The baked potatoes come with their own "topping bar" for a loaded potato. Great dinner rolls.
The Outback Steakhouse 12511
16080 San Pedro 490-7316
Loop 410 at Evers 509-4329
Great steak and grilled seafood selection. The salads are delicious and the fresh baked bread is a winner.
U.R. Cooks Steakhouse
For serious steaks at good prices this place rates highly. The draw for this establishment is the ability for you to pick out your own steak and cook it on one of the huge grills in the center of the restaurant. If you want, they will cook it for you. Great for large groups of people who want to barbecue, but don't want to mess with the grill.
The "adult" coffeehouse in Alamo Heights. Another fine example of Cappy's work, this smartly decored establishment provides a multitude of coffee and alcoholic drinks, lunch, dinner, and desserts.
|The Tasting Room||502 Embassy Oaks||495-7744||Moderate|
541 Highway 46
New Braunfels moderate
Just a short drive north on I-35, Oma's Haus has a good menu of German menu favorites. There are also twists such as German nachos and eggrolls. This restaurant offers a Southwestern slant on a European cuisine.
This east side restaurant looks like it could be in the home country itself. The food is prepared with care and is authentic German cuisine.
Schilo's German Restaurant 424 East
Another great San Antonio lunch stop. A German and American deli specializing in sandwiches and their famous split pea soup and root beer, both made on the premises. A huge variety of sausages are offered.
This BBQ joint is complete, with indoor and outdoor seating and the screen doors give the feeling of dining on your grandparent's back porch. BBQ here is rich and smoky, the way it's supposed to taste. The fare includes beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. Located close to the airport and North Star Mall, this eatery is worth taking a break from shopping at the mall.
I-10 North of Wurzbach
Barbecue Riverwalk at St. Mary's 229-1941
County Line is my bet for smoked ribs, sausage and chicken and the large crowds attracted to this northside establishment seem to agree. They also have an "all you can eat" country style dinner that will leave you well fed. A restaurant reminiscent of the Memphis rib scene.
Smokehouse New Braunfels Moderate
6450 N. New Braunfels 826-6008
16607 Huebner 493-9626
The first thing you notice is the smell of a variety of smoked meats greeting you in a country-store style restaurant. There is a good variety of sandwiches and dinners that will delight the traveler. Don't forget to try the hot "German-style" potato salad. The same meats sold as part of the meals are available to go from the deli case. The smoked chicken salad is a special favorite.
Rudy's is a throwback to the old days with your barbecue selection handed to you on white butcher paper with slices of bread to the side. Many side orders, including creamed corn, and ice cold beer are also offered in this eatery marked by red-checked table clothes and a family picnic atmosphere. If the line's too long, get it to go at a separate take out window.
Great Jalapeno cheeseburger. Good chalupas.
Great Burgers and beer. Renovated to provide even more indoor seating.
Definitely different, with an eclectic decorating scheme. Great two fisted hamburgers and fries are the main course. They even have Shiner Bock on tap.
Great big, juicy burgers of all types along with bushels of fries and rings make this a popular northside attraction. Get here early because it gets busy fast.
9845 IH 10
115 Alamo Plaza 223-9944
6759 NW Loop 410 522-1235
Great 1/3 and 1/2 pound hamburgers cooked as rare as you want them. Complete your burger at the toppings bar. Also known for their curly fries. And for dessert, fresh-baked cookies and ice cream are the winners. And now they have Mexican food too.
EZ'S 5720 Bandera 681-2222 Inexpensive
734 W. Bitters 490-6666
Great designer pizza cooked in a oak-fired oven are great here. Good burgers, curly fries, and Caesar salads are also specialties in this unique, colorful venue.
Good food at reasonable prices. Pan-fried dumplings are a favorite. A favorite place for families.
|China Bowl||2250 Thousand Oaks||496-1122||Inexpensive to Moderate|
Great Chinese food for a good price. Check out their dinner specials that include soup, egg roll, entree, and rice for about $7.
Great food. Great lunch prices. The only place in town to get dim sum daily. If you can make it for lunch on Saturday or Sunday, you will get the true dim sum experience, like San Francisco.
Good food with healthy portions. Good hot and sour soup and twice-cooked pork. Very popular spot.
Great food. David Robinson has been seen here. Always excellent service.
|Taipei||2211NW Military Hwy||366-3012||Moderate|
Great food. Great lunch prices.
Yang's 6407 Blanco 341-6345 Inexpensive
(inside the loop) to Moderate
A great mix of variety in a classy establishment. The food's always good and the waitstaff friendly and efficient.
Restaurants you can frequent when your party just can't decide what
|Silo||1133 Austin Highway||824-8686||Moderate to Expensive|
Awesome is the best word to describe this upscale eatery located above the Farm to Market store. Chef Mark Bliss comes up with very creative dishes that melt in your mouth. Recent favorites included a Chilean sea bass and and Australian lamb tenderloin that was fork tender. Creme Brulee and Chocolate Soufle are two dessert favorites. A wine by the glass list is incredible. Call a week or two ahead for seating on Friday or Saturday evening.
Bennigan's 7439 San Pedro 342-6087 Moderate
Home of the Copper Clover International Beer Fest with 104 beers on the menu.
Cafe Camille 517 East
Recently closed! It's too bad as this was a favorite dining spot.
Jason's Deli I-10 @ Wurzbach 690-3354 Inexpensive
25 NE Loop 410 524-9288
It may not be Chicago, but Jason's feeds our cravings for deli sandwiches piled high with meats and cheeses. Great muffeletta sandwiches, southwestern style pitas and soups. Many Healthy Heart selections on the menu.
TGI Friday's 8203 IH 10 West 340-8401 Moderate
I 10 @ Callaghan
Marie Callender's 4788 NW Loop 410 680-4257 Moderate
Good homemade style food, but the specialty here is pies.
|Bourbon Street Cafe||2267 NW Military Hwy||979-8666||Moderate|
I found a good one. This place does Cajun right, complete with live Jazz music Tuesday nights.
The Riverwalk is a great place to visit and people watch. The food along the Riverwalk can vary from excellent to tourist-standard to tired. The best advice is to look at the menu and the clientele.
Boudro's 421 East Commerce 224-8484 Moderate to Expensive
Seafood, Steak, and Southwest Cuisine. One of the best restaurants on the Riverwalk. Succulent steaks cooked over pecan. Great pork roast. Imaginative appetizers include seafood cakes and crab and shrimp stuffed tamales. If you sit outside in the winter, they provide ponchos to keep you warm.
|Las Canarias At La Mansion Hotel||on the Riverwalk||225-2581||Expensive|
The best Sunday brunch in town with a mountain of cold-boiled shrimp, made to order salads, omelets, sushi, soup of the day, a variety of hot and cold appetizers and entrees, and a vast array of decadent desserts. Brunch includes champagne and fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Marie Callender's 4788 NW Loop 410 680-4257 Moderate
Pies, Pies, Pies. The largest selection of fresh baked pies in town.
Marble Slab Creamery Rivercenter Mall and North Star Mall Inexpensive
Ice Cream extraordinaire! The Creamery makes their own ice cream and then you get to specify what you would like to have mixed in. Choose one of there many waffle cones for an extra taste boost.
Nadler's 1621 Babcock 340-1021 Inexpensive
7053 San Pedro
Although they're known for wedding cakes and sandwiches, the famous dessert that draws the crowds is the strawberry shortcake.
Restaurants I've Tried But Haven't Had a Chance to Write About
Tomatillo's XX Broadway Inexpensive to Moderate Mexican
Guenther House 129 East Guenther 227-1061 Inexpensive to Moderate
Soups, salads, sandwiches, pastries. A great outdoor arbor to dine on nice days.
Fourth Street Inn 207 Fourth 226-0680 Inexpensive
Copper Kitchen Southwest Craft Center Inexpensive
St. Mary's Street
Soups, salads, sandwiches. A great place if you're in a hurry for lunch.
Pecan Street Market Inexpensive to moderate
California Pizza Kitchen
Great pizza, soups, and salads
Biga on the Banks - excellent duck
Restaurants I plan to try soon
Restaurant's I don't care to patronize again
The Tower Restaurant - Also known as "Jim's on a stick." This is the most mediocre restaurant I have been to for lunch. And they make you wait for the mediocrity. The only good thing is the view. I had the tortilla soup which appeared to be tomato sauce with a ton of uncooked onions and avocado, served lukewarm. The Caesar salad was served with soggy croutons. My daughter had the cheese pizza with it's soggy crust and cheese that didn't even cover the crust. I feel embarrassed for the thousands of tourists that frequent this landmark. I can't wait for Landry's to take over.
Dumpet's - those of you in SA know...
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