Vote now in the 2021 Best of San Antonio Readers Poll.

November 02, 2017 Slideshows » News, Food & Drink

20 Reasons Why San Antonio Was Named a Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO 

Share on Facebook
Submit to Reddit
This week, UNESCO (which handles cultural distinctions as part of the United Nations) named San Antonio a Creative City of Gastronomy after a a collaborative “effort that included the City of San Antonio, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, local nonprofit organizations and private entities including local chefs Johnny Hernandez, Elizabeth Johnson and Edible San Antonio.” But lobbying aside, there are plenty of reasons why the SA is a creative town for foodies. Here’s a few reasons why we can’t stop exploring the food landscape in the Alamo City.
OF 20
Ray's Drive Inn
We Have Amazing Tex-Mex
You won’t find better carne guisada, cheesy enchiladas or puffy tacos than in San Antonio. From Mi Tierra to Los Barrios to Ray’s to Oscar’s Taco House on the Southside.
Photo via Instagram, joemillereats
La Gloria
Johnny Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Hernandez
The hometown boy that worked at his father’s Westside restaurant before leaving to New York’s Culinary Institute of America-Hyde Park to gain serious cheffin’ skills. He returned to San Antonio, opened his own catering company, opened La Gloria at the Pearl has accrued a seriously enviable resume that includes opening several La Gloria’s across San Antonio and Vegas, The Fruteria, El Machito, the upcoming Burgerteca and Villa Rica; hosted Andrew Zimmern. Oh, and he cooked President Obama’s Cinco de Mayo dinner in 2016.
Photo via Instagram, iamchefjohnny
It’s Not All Tex-Mexican
Yes, we make a mean puffy taco and Hernandez has helped bring San Antonio into the spotlight with interior Mexican street food, but the creativity doesn’t stop there. The city has a growing list of varied eateries that cater to just about every palate including the contemporary faves at the Pearl and surrounding areas, Southtown's expanding foodie neighborhood; the burgeoning East Side (that has some of the best Korean food in the area) the evolving pan-Asian cuisine in the Medical Center.
Photo via Instagram, gugulethutrudy
Pharm Table
We Have Vegetarian Delights
Found in eateries like Revolucion Coffee + Juice, Green, Bok Choy and Elizabeth Johnson’s Pharm Table, vegetarian fare is keeping San Antonio bellies happy and healthy.
Photo via Instagram, pharmtable
Our Italian Eateries are to Die For
From the upcoming Nonna by the restaurant group behind Silo, to beautiful Battalion, Tre Enoteca and Tre Trattoria, the city is delivering so much more than tasty red sauce Italian. The list keeps growing.
Photo via Instagram, jennrollins
2M Smokehouse
We Keep It Real When It Comes to Barbecue
Fight me. San Antonio’s ‘cue game is changing exponentially as led by pitmasters Esaul Ramos and Joe Melig of 2M Smokehouse, Laura Loomis of Two Bros. BBQ Market, and Emo Soliz of Kings Hwy. Brew & Cue. Let’s not forget chef Tim Rattray, who takes serves up market barbecue by day and beautiful smoke-filled plates by night at The Granary.
Photo via Instagram, s.a.vortooth
And With Our Steaks, Too
From the classics like Bohanan’s and Myron’s to the newness that is Range, steaks are still king when it comes to having a classy night out.
Photo by Jason Risner Photography (
Shuck Shack
Jason Effin’ Dady
San Antonio’s loved the chef since his early days of The Lodge. Nowadays, several eateries including Two Bros. BBQ Market, Shuck Shack; several mentees to his name (who own their own joints including Kings Hwy. Cue & Brew and Periphery), and a generally successful turn on Food Network’s Iron Chef Gauntlet later, Dady’s blessed us with Range. Bless up and head down to his modern chophouse now.
Photo via Instagram, sereenaamaya
Wild Goji
Our Ramen Ain’t No Joke
Though our ramen supply is small it is fierce. From first of its kind Kimura, which opened in 2013, we’ve grown to include several shops around town carrying the feel-good soup including Hot Joy, Nama Ramen, Tenko Ramen, Wild Goji, Suck It The Restaurant and upcoming JY Ramen and Ito Ramen.
Photo via Instagram, pbdrxx
Pinch Boil House
Our Vietnamese Joints Never Disappoint
Mas banh mis! Pinch Boil House & Bia Bar is shaking things up downtown with their Vietnamese style seafood boils and funky specials while Savoureux Patisserie is doling out crunchy-toasty banh mis at Park North. Over on the Northwest Side, the city is enjoying Berni Vietnamese’s taro tapioca after every delicious meal.
Photo via Instagram, sacurrent
Skip ad in
Tang's St.
We Have Sinfully Delicious Chinese Food
Tang’s St., Sichuan Cuisine helped expand people’s palates and helped welcome a new wave of Chinese eateries in San Antonio including Sichuan House on Ingram, and Ming’s Thing.
Photo via Instagram, medfoodie
Luna Rosa
We Welcome Puerto Rican Fare with Open Arms
Even before hurricanes rocked the tiny island this September, plenty of Puerto Ricans have been making San Antonio home and bringing their uniquely boricua taste with them. Enter eateries such as Luna Rosa, Gusto Criollo, Cocina El Jibarazo, all joining La Marginal in sharing arroz con gandules, lechon and plenty of plantains.
Photo via Instagram, hungrytravelingmama
The Pearl is Literally One of the Greatest Places in America
As the hub of all things “foodie” in San Antonio, the rehabbed brewery complex has given us La Gloria, Il Sogno, The Granary, Cured, Boiler House, Southerleigh, Botika, Bakery Lorraine, Supper, Sternewirth and the city’s first food hall, the Bottling Department, where Tenko Ramen, Maybelle’s, Fletcher’s, The Good Kind and Bud’s Rotisserie keep us satiated.
Photo via Instagram, la_aventurera_
Southtown… Need We Say More?
The artsy neighborhood is home to some of the more beloved hot spots in town including Feast, Frank, Battalion, Liberty Bar, Bliss, along with the monthly First Friday celebration.
Photo via Instagram, chefbaimar
Mixtli is a Literal Game-Changer
One itty bitty restaurant is making the splashiest of splash with its unique flavors and technique-driven cuisine that tells the stories of Mexico, one elaborately plated dish at a time. After a nod from Food + Wine this year, it’s become one of the hottest tickets around.
Photo via Instagram, buttereggroad
San Antonio Beer Festival
We Know How to Party
From Paella Festival (March) to Culinaria’s Festival Week and Restaurant Weeks (January/August), to the San Antonio Cocktail Conference (January), to a huge Beer Fest (October), to Fiesta fare and every food event in between, San Antonio knows how to get down.
Photo via Instagram, sabeerfestival
Bakery Lorraine
We Ain’t Got No Type When It Comes to Desserts
Moderation is key when it comes to enjoying the sweets San Antonio has to offer. With the influx of quality bakeries across town including C’est La Vie, Baklovah, Bakery Lorraine, La Panaderia and more, and with more Hong Kong waffle, Thai-style rolled ice cream and boba tea than ever, San Antonio has shown it has a sweet tooth that won’t settle for frozen cheesecake.
Photo via Instagram, carancha_satx
The Esquire Tavern
Cocktails Keep Us Sipping and Happy
You could wash down all your food adventures with water and iced tea, but why should you when there are quality cocktails at just about every corner. What started out as a movement with the opening Bohanan’s, SoHo, Le Midi, and later Esquire Tavern, has turned into a full-fledged craft cocktail renaissance with several dozen quality bars ready to shake, stir and pour you a good night.
Photo via Instagram, ennuivette
Freetail Brewing
Craft Brews are A-Plenty
You won’t need a creative palate to enjoy all the craft beer coming out of San Antonio these days. From light and sessionable blondes at Southerleigh to toothsome and award-winning Imperial Stouts at Freetail, San Antonio’s booming craft beer scene has something for every beer-drinker.
Photo via Instagram, jakeapodaca
Dallah Mediterranean Grill
Mediterranean Cuisine is a Year-Round Treat
The Lebanese Food Festival isn’t the only time of year to enjoy Mediterranean fare. Joints like Pasha, Bella On the River, Jerusalem Grill and John the Greek have San Antonians spoiled with authentic eats.
Photo via Facebook, Dallah Mediterranean Cuisine
Skip ad in
Ray's Drive Inn
We Have Amazing Tex-Mex
You won’t find better carne guisada, cheesy enchiladas or puffy tacos than in San Antonio. From Mi Tierra to Los Barrios to Ray’s to Oscar’s Taco House on the Southside.
Photo via Instagram, joemillereats

Related Stories

Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future. Join the San Antonio Current Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 5, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation