American • The Big Bib (104 Lanark Drive, 210-654-8400) takes its service and home-cooked barbecue seriously. Brisket, ribs, turkey and sausage are all available to satisfy your carnivore needs.
At Smoke Shack (3714 Broadway, 210-957-1430), the barbecue is traditional, and the sides have some additional flavors you didn't realize you loved.
The Filling Station (701 S. St. Mary's St., 210-444-2200) offers a large selection of more-than-satisfactory hot sandwiches and fresh, simple pizzas.
It doesn't get more American than a hot dog from the Original San Antonio Hot Dog House (1218 Bitters Road, 210-233-1139). Nosh on Chicago, New York and even SA-style dogs.
Asian • Asian fusion at Hot Joy (1014 S. Alamo St., 210-368-9324) uses the framework of traditional Asian cuisine to experiment with ingredients you'd never expect to find paired with fried rice.
For traditional Sichuan style Chinese food, Sichuan House (3505 Wurzbach Road, 210-509-9999) and Sichuan Cuisine (2347 NW Military Hwy., 210-525-8118) will give your taste buds a jolt of bold flavor.
If you're in the mood for Korean food, Ilsong Garden (6905 Blanco Road, 210-355-3508) and Arirang Korean Restaurant (2154 Austin Hwy., 210-650-3845) both offer traditional Korean dishes and barbecue. For curries, try Thai Dee (5307 Blanco Road, 210-342-3622). Bonus: It's BYOB.
Don't let the looks fool you as Niki's Tokyo Inn (819 W. Hildebrand Ave., 210-736-5471) offers some of the best Japanese food in SA, even if the building isn't much to look at. For a larger selection of sushi and noodles, Fujiya Japanese Garden (9030 Wurzbach Road, 210-615-7553) will satisfy your cravings.
Global • The Medical Center gets its fill of naan and tikka masala at India Palace (8474 Fredericksburg Road, 210-692-5262), and you should too. Visit Café Bahar (10227 Ironside Drive, 210-558-8289), which focuses on Indian and Pakistani cuisine using halal meats.
For Puerto Rican fare, head to Luna Rosa Puerto Rican Grill y Tapas (2603 SE Military Drive, #107, 210-314-3111) for beachy drinks and can't-miss pernil.
Peruvian fan? Visit El Ceviche De Waldito (5526 Evers Road, 210-681-8100) where chef Waldo Castro's legit ceviche is more than enough reason to visit.
When it comes to Mediterranean cuisine, options abound. Visit Pasha Mediterranean Grill (multiple locations, gopasha.com) for great vegetarian plates and even better grilled meats. The second location of Jerusalem Grill (multiple locations, jerusalemgrill.net) opened last fall and is already lining up fans on Wurzbach with creamy hummus and more. But if you're jonesing for magical moussaka, John the Greek (16602 San Pedro Ave., 210-403-0565) should be your go-to.
Italian • Chef Jason Dady has perfectly captured the essence and art of Italian cuisine through his restaurants Tre Enoteca (555 W. Bitters Road, 210-496-0555) and Tre Trattoria (4003 Broadway, 210-805-0333), and his concoctions are nothing short of masterpieces. The Tres feature hand-made pastas daily, sauces and wood-fired pizzas in addition to fine wines and cocktails.
With three locations, Paesanos (Multiple locations, paesanos.com) has killed the Italian food game since 1969. Their signature dishes include beautiful blends of seafood and Italian flavors, such as shrimp Paesano and jumbo calamari.
Fratello's Market & Deli (2503 Broadway, 210-444-0277) evokes the warm and inviting sense of authentic Italian via to-die-for pizzas, deli sandwiches and salads. Dine in or take out.
Little Italy (824 Afterglow St., 210-349-2060) offers the perfect NYC-style slice for a reasonable price. The altogether adorable Italian music ties the whole experience together.
At Dough (6989 Blanco Road, 210-979-6565), the word "fresh" really means something. The pizzeria proudly serves gourmet pies crafted with the mentality that "there are no shortcuts taken."
Brunch at Barbaro (2720 McCullough Ave., 210-320-2261) is on another level. Where else could you get baked eggs, bacon, smoked mozzarella and garlic cream, or even a Parmesan biscuit with Italian sausage gravy?
Stella Public House (1414 S. Alamo St., 210-277-7047) prides itself in locally grown, creative creations from the Blue Star Art Complex. In addition to a diverse menu — try the wild mushroom mac and cheese — Stella features tapped craft beers from across the country. And brunch!
A visit to II Sogno Osteria (200 E. Grayson St., 210-223-3900) is a must. Its mastermind, SA native chef Andrew Weissman, has gone above and beyond the traditional Italian food standard. From the antipasti, to the recent addition of Sunday brunch, II Sogno has elevated Italian cuisine.
Mexican • La Gloria (multiple locations, chefjohnnyhernandez.com) serves up interior Mexican street food that won't break the bank. Locations at both The Pearl and The Dominion offer classic tacos along with seafood specialties.
Los Barrios (4223 Blanco Road, 210-732-6017) is a family-friendly joint where you'll find the combination plate you're searching for. Except the nachos agrios (topped with beans, jalapenos, red peppers, and provolone and Swiss cheeses), there are no real surprises on the menu. In this case, that's a good thing.
Cascabel Mexican Patio's (1000 S. St. Mary's St., 210-212-6456) dining room is an intimate space. Its humble environs in Southtown match the restaurant's authentic Mexican fare. Try the caldo tlapeno.
Rosario's Mexican Café y Cantina's (multiple locations, rosariossa.com) large menu has you covered. And their locations — both north and south of Downtown — are handy, too
Head to SoLuna (7959 Broadway, Suite 204, 210-930-8070) for a full complement of Mexican classics, and even some gluten-free and vegetarian options. Stop in on Sunday for the paella Valencia.
El Mirador (722 S. St. Mary's St., 210-225-9444) serves up Mexican comfort food in Southtown. If you enjoy the occasional stogie, you're in luck: El Mirador also houses the Puro Social Club, a cozy spot to smoke a cigar.
Ray's Drive Inn (822 SW 19th St., 210-432-7171) is the place for puffy tacos. Whether the puffy, deep-fried concoction began at the late Arturo Lopez's establishment (or at his brother Henry's) is up for debate. But there's no argument about whether Ray's puffies — beef, avocado or another variety — get a thumbs-up.
Here there be cheap eats. Teka Molino's (multiple locations, tekamolino.com) specialties will only cost you a few bucks, and the restaurant prides itself on its house-milled masa.
Modern • The only semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation Award in town also happens to own Cured (306 Pearl Pkwy., 210-314-3929) inside a historic building that serves as one of the Pearl's epicenters. Find seasonal fare focused on Texan flavors inside this airy eatery.
A visit to Hotel Emma isn't complete without a stop at Supper (136 E. Grayson St., 210-448-8351). The gnudi, gnocchi-like dumplings made with ricotta, are heavenly, while the burger is made for big appetites after a walk through the Museum Reach.
Chef Stefan Bowers might be toiling away at his latest restaurant with Andrew Goodman, but the original flavors of Feast (1024 S. Alamo St., 210-354-1024) are still kicking — hard. The perennial brunch favorite also features off-menu specials on weeknights by chef Cody Clark, like a 30-day aged Wagyu N.Y. Strip over creamy parsnip purée with chili-roasted broccoli.
While Feast is the Southtown mainstay, Rebelle (300 E. Travis St., 210-352-3171) pleases palates inside the St. Anthony Hotel where Bowers leads a team of culinary badasses in a haunting setting. Stop in for fresh takes on seafood, sexy cocktails and excellent service.
Brigid (803 S. St. Mary's St., 210-263-7885) has already found a niche for itself by delivering Insta-worthy food — oh, and it's also freakin' delicious. A recent Valentine's Day special of sous vide and fried duck confit was luxurious and colorful, and yielded an intoxicating crunch.
A relatively new restaurant on the block, Grayze (521 E. Grayson St., 210-481-8776) is brought to you by James Moore (TBA, formerly with Boiler House and Max's Wine Dive). Don't let Grayze's neighborhood café vibe fool you. The food, created by chef Pedro Cuellar, brings back familiar flavors once found at Arcade Midtown Kitchen.
Toss most of what you know about Mexican food out the window. At Mixtli (5251 McCullough Ave., 210-338-0746), chefs Diego Galicia and Rico Torres deliver themed tasting menus to 12 diners four days a week that help reinvent Mexican dining. Named after the Nahuatl word for "cloud," this boxcar restaurant created elaborate menus for Oaxaca, the D.F. Metro and, most recently, La Conquista, which merged ingredients from Spain and the New World to fantastic and historically accurate results.
At Tobin Hill's Creole kitchen The Cookhouse, (720 E. Mistletoe Ave., 210-320-8211) chef Pieter Sypesteyn and crew whip up classic po'boys by day and illustrious dishes come dinnertime. The charbroiled oysters and barbecue shrimp are can't-miss items.
When you want to get your daily serving of vegetables, chef Elizabeth Johnson and her team at Pharm Table Café (106 Auditorium Circle, 210-802-1860) use pan-Latin and Asian techniques to turn local produce into delectable bowls and entrees that adhere to an Ayurvedic lifestyle. No sugar, no dairy, no gluten — no problem.
Seafood • A chef Jason Dady joint, Shuck Shack (520 E. Grayson St., 210-236-7422) is now an SA seafood destination. Shuck Shack's open and inviting patio includes children's toys and umbrellas, as well as humble inside seating if the weather doesn't cooperate. The concise menu features oyster options to mix and match, jalapeño hush puppies and crab cakes.
Las Islas Marias (Multiple locations, lasislasmarias.net) blends Mexican culinary innovation with seafood to create unique marine cuisine. Whether you're looking for octopus, paella or simply a top-notch Sangria, Las Islas Marias is a deserving staple.
El Bucanero (Multiple locations, bucanerosanantonio.com) serves up some of the best micheladas in town. Their most memorable creations includes the Molca-Campechana appetizer, which features an array of sharp-edged cucumbers, avocados, tomatoes, lime, seafood and spice. Their hot seafood stew overflows with cheesy, seafood-y goodness – and it's served out of a sliced, grilled pineapple to boot.
Andrew Weissman has done it again with The Sandbar (200 E. Grayson St., Suite 117, 210-212-2221) located in the historic Pearl Brewery. The restaurant delivers a seafood experience that makes the bill well worth it. The Sandbar boasts an extensive, diverse menu, featuring items such as sushi and mussels next to plates of steak and roasted eggplant.
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