20 downtown San Antonio restaurants that aren't just for tourists
Downtown San Antonio is chock full of dining spots that offer visitors varying degrees of the "authentic Alamo City experience." Some are worthwhile, but others are bland tourist traps.
Understandably, that leaves some locals skeptical about heading downtown for a meal. They shouldn't be. The center city is home to plenty of places that show off the best our culinary community has to offer.
These 20 spots — all just a quick Lyft or scooter ride from the heart of the city — deserve the attention of SA foodies. Or visitors curious about where the locals eat!
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La Tuna Icehouse & Grill
100 Probandt St., (210) 212-5727, latunasa.com
Southtown is full of new eye-catching culinary concepts nestled into lavish spaces but local favorite La Tuna Icehouse & Grill has been serving killer comfort food and ice-cold beers for three decades now.
Courtesy Photo / Tokyo Cowboy
135 E. Commerce St., (210) 305-7075, tokyocowboytx.com
Nestled right across the San Antonio river from the historic Bald Cypress some call “Geronimo,” this chic Japanese street food spot markets itself as a “whisky diner” and features menu items such as Viet-Cajun BBQ prawns and a sukiyaki burger. Come for the trendy eats, stay for the inventive whisky-based cocktails.
The Station Cafe
108 King William St., (210) 444-2200, thestationsa.com
Station Cafe offers a variety of sandwiches on fresh-baked bread for under $8. Filled with protein and veggies, diners are sure to get a bang for their buck while enjoying the ambient patio. Wash down any sandwich with your selection of soft drinks or lagers at the adjacent Filling Station Taproom, open after 5 p.m.
Photo via Instagram / cuishe_cocina
Cuishe Cocina Mexicana
119 Heiman St., (210) 960-8935, cuishemx.com
This San Antonio-born restaurant brings the native flavors of Central Mexico to the heart of downtown for a culinary experience that is second-to-none. Experience it for yourself, especially from 2-7 p.m. on weekdays during happy hour.
Toro Kitchen + Bar
1142 E Commerce St., torokitchenandbar.com
Toro Kitchen + Bar is a local mini-chain with two locations in the Alamo City — one of which is in a prime downtown location off Commerce Street. Serving up Spanish tapas and often featuring live music, it's a great spot to meet up with friends — or take a date.
1420 S. Alamo St. Suite 102B, (210) 788-8000, southalamodepaniniandgelato.com
Located in the Blue Star Arts Complex off S. Alamo St., the aptly named South Alamode specializes in freshly crafted paninis made with imported Italian meats and cheeses — not to mention their many different flavors of colorful gelato. Order and dine in South Alamode’s cozy wood-furnished interior, or take it to go.
Courtesy Photo / Francis Bogside
1170 E Commerce St. Suite 100, (210) 314-2994, francisbogside.com
It isn’t common to see Irish neighborhood bars in San Antonio but Francia Bogside, a rustic chic take on a traditional Irish pub, has changed that narrative for downtown. Recently relocated to Commerce Street, Francis Bogside offers upscale pub fare alongside expertly-prepared craft cocktails, wine and beer.
Photo via Instagram / mingsthing
914 E. Elmira St. Suite 101, (210) 600-4083, mingsthing.com
Bringing authentic Chinese cuisine to all San Antonians, Ming’s provides delicious comfort food with classic dishes like their ma-la noodles, orange chicken and iconic steam buns, adding to the identity of the city’s diverse palate.
302 Montana St., (210) 598-0496, cherritybar.com
Seated comfortably at the corner of Cherry and Montana streets on the East Side, Cherrity Bar covers nearly an entire city block, combining cocktails, charitable giving and a ramen shop. Guests can sit in the huge covered patio area, where a spectacular view of the Tower of the Americas adds to the vibe.
Photo via Instagram / kuenstlertaphaus
Künstler Tap Haus
510 S. Alamo St. Suite 101, instagram.com/kuenstlertaphaus
This freshly opened Hemisfair spot is Künstler’s second, and it operates out of the more-than-a-century-old Pereida House. Here, you can find gourmet bratwursts and hot dogs, as well as the brewery’s trademark suds.