The past couple of years have marked an unprecedented arrival of new, independent restaurants in the city, according to San Antonio Magazine. The downtown, Pearl and Southtown areas “set the table,” and residents and visitors alike are continually impressed by the variety and quality of the food. So, for this month’s Eat Like a Local feature, we present five great dining options near San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. Enjoy!
Located in a relatively quiet corner of the River Walk, Restaurant Gwendolyn invites patrons to recall a time when local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients were a way of life. Owner/chef Michael Sohocki combines Victorian charm and traditional recipes with modern culinary standards. Here, every perishable ingredient comes from within 150 miles of the kitchen, enabling the team to create a truly unique dining experience. There are no blenders, no microwaves and no deep fryers at Restaurant Gwendolyn, and the result is an upscale menu that puts the region’s bounty on full display.
Located on the grounds of San Antonio’s historic Pearl Brewery, La Gloria celebrates the rich and delicious street foods from interior cities throughout Mexico. Chef Johnny Hernandez spent years researching dishes such as tacos al pastor (Mexico City), tlayudas (Oaxaca), and coctéles de mariscos (Veracruz). The staff here is all about authenticity and is changing the way diners taste, experience and – ultimately – think about Mexican food. La Gloria means “the heavens” in Spanish. As they say here: “No hace falta morir para llegar a la Gloria” or “You don’t have to die to go to heaven.” Indeed!
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
One of the hipper dining options in San Antonio these days, Hot Joy brings Tex-Mex and Asian cuisine together with surprisingly tasty results. Described by Zagat as “diabolically creative,” the restaurant’s eclectic, small plates are ideal for sharing and often deliver explosive flavors. Try the Tater Tot Chaat and Smoked Brisket Dan Dan Noodles, then maybe go for some Brussels Sprouts with sweet Thai Chili Sauce, cilantro and peanuts or Seven Mushroom Fried Rice. All of this - plus a fun bar scene with daily happy hour - awaits patrons at this former pop-up in Southtown.
The County Line
While San Antonio may not be quite as well-known as other Texas cities for its BBQ, you’ll be hard pressed to find a place that’s been doing it as well for as long as The County Line. Located right along the River Walk, it’s a fantastic place to enjoy a big plate of ribs or brisket and wash it down with an ice-cold beer — or maybe a margarita. Completely void of any pretense, the fun and funky Texas roadhouse vibe may leave you feeling like you’ve ventured into the nearby Hill Country – at least until the next boat comes by on the river. Walk off the meal by making your way back to the hotel on foot.
Cuisine: New American
Another popular option in the Southtown area is Feast, where the perspective is original and the execution is amazing, according to USA Today’s 10 Best. Prepared with a Mediterranean flair, the dishes here are divided into half a dozen different categories: oceanic, heat, chilled, grilled, crispy and hearty. From Duck Breast Tostadas to Cornmeal Fried Oysters to a great Ribeye Burger, there’s something for just about everyone at Feast. And if you’re in town for the weekend, do consider the Sunday Brunch. Grab a patio table and listen as the DJ spins some trendy sounds.
Satisfy your cravings at these restaurants or explore on your own as you spend four adventurous days in San Antonio!