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April 09, 2021 Slideshows » Food & Drink

The 23 most over-the-top restaurants in San Antonio 

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The Alamo City is a food city, and we also like to do things up big.

That means we've got no shortage of over-the-top dining and drinking experiences. By "over-the-top," we mean anything from extraordinary interiors to crazy uniforms to plus-size food servings where quantity is a quality all in itself.

We gathered 23 local spots that offer something wild for those of you like your food with a side of freaky. 
OF 25
604 S Alamo St, (210) 816-0088,
This Italian-inspired eatery is housed in a revamped fire station, with fancy AF details and an over-the-top, oversized lollipop, perfectly suited for a ‘gram or two..
Photo via Instagram / battalionsa
RD Speakeasy
8400 N New Braunfels Ave, (210) 824-0116,
True to the speakeasies from generations ago, the only way to gain access to this north central hidden bar is to text a special phone number and await instructions. Utter the secret password sent to you at arrival, and be led to a sexy little hideaway — replete with expertly-crafted cocktails, to boot.
Photo via Instagram / atanotherangle
Best Quality Daughter
602 Avenue A, (210) 819-4236,
This “New Asian-American” spot at the popular Pearl complex has arguably the most over-the-top SA-focused decor in town. Custom wallpaper features Alamo City landmarks in punchy colors to augment your culinary experience and panda pinatas occupy random seats to encourage social distancing.
Photo via Instagram / s.a.foodie
Josephine Street
400 E Josephine St, (210) 224-6169,
Known for its steaks and the huge oak tree growing through the floor, Josephine Street is a must for adventurous SA diners. Swing by for a happy hour tipple and a selfie with the centerpiece oak.
Photo via Instagram / thetexasexperience
Magic Time Machine
902 NE Loop 410,, (210) 828-1478,
Magic Time Machine is probably the only place in SA where your dinner can be served by any number of celeb lookalikes, from Nacho Libre to Black Widow to Scooby Doo compadres Shaggy and Velma. The food ain’t nothing to write home about, but the experience is certainly over-the-top.
Photo via Instagram / moneyshotphoto
Papa Dante's
8607 FM1976, (210) 658-5261,
This small, family-owned Italian joint offers huge portions and a dining area that features walls 100% covered in movie and sports memorabilia. Those with short attention spans might shy away from bringing a date here… you won’t be able to stop looking at the over-the-top decor.
Photo via Instagram / hazel.bone_
Buckhorn Saloon and Museum
318 E Houston St, (210) 247-4000,
Belly up to the bar at the “oldest saloon in Texas,” surrounded by hundreds of mounted taxidermy animal busts — if that’s your thing. The historic bar is purportedly whereTeddy Roosevelt recruited Rough Riders and Pancho Villa planned the Mexican Revolution, so history buffs who like to imbibe will feel right at home.
Photo via Instagram / visitsanantoniotx
Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia
218 Produce Row, (210) 239-9215,
Mi Tierra needs no introduction. Pedro and Cruz Cortez opened a three-table cafe in 1941, serving farmers and workers in the mercado. The rest, they say, is history. The now-famous landmark has seen much success, being a go-to for locals and tourists alike.
Photo via Instagram / sugar_alice
De Wese’s Tip Top Cafe
2814 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 732-0191,
This comfort food staple serves up over-the-top chicken fried steaks that hang clear off the plate. For cozy eats and comfy vibes, Tip Top is where it’s at.
Photo via Instagram / anthony.espinoza311
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
136 E. Grayson St, (210) 455-5701,
Dine on Southerleigh’s elevated southern fare in the historic building that once housed Pearl Brewery. Just look around for unique brewery-focused details.
Photo via Instagram / southerleigh
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146 E. Houston St, (210) 222-2362,
If you’re going to have Tex-Mex, head to Ácenar where the views are as great as the salads and the shrimp tacos. The interior of this eatery is a trippy marriage of soaring ceilings, fancy lighting tricks and architectural details.
Photo via Instagram / acenarhotmex
Cellar Mixology
1142 E Commerce St, (210) 592-1075,
Inspired by the speakeasies of generations past, Cellar Mixology offers dark, sexy, neon-lit vibes in — you guessed it — the cellar of East Side eatery Toro. make sure to peep the staff’s spiffy uniforms at this over-the-top drinkery.
Photo via Instagram / cellarmixology
The Cove
606 W Cypress St, (210) 227-2683,
We consider this spot to be over-the-top based solely on the curious amalgam of amenities onsite — organic bites, boozy selections, live music, a laundromat, a car wash, a playground for the kids and a patio for the pups! Honestly, the Cove will quickly become a favorite if it isn’t already.
Photo via Instagram / thecovesa
The Esquire Tavern
155 E. Commerce, 210-222-2521,
The Esquire Tavern’s famed wooden top bar is the longest in Texas, clocking in at a whopping 109 feet. This River Walk staple also boasts over-the-top details such as custom velvet wallpaper and random taxidermy animals.
Photo via Instagram / fitfiftynblessed
Downstairs at Esquire
155 E Commerce St., (210) 222-2521,
This river-level bar dishes out small bites packed with flavor and top-of-the-line cocktails in a super swanky setting dotted with random stuffed fish and birds.
Photo via Instagram / sunnymartini
Little Red Barn
1836 S Hackberry, (210) 532-4235,
From the kitschy uniforms to the signature red walls, the South Side’s Little Red Barn is definitely over-the-top. This southside staple has been around since 1963, and we’re sure the charm of the place has contributed to its longevity.
Photo via Instagram / littleredbarnsa
Sternewirth at Hotel Emma
136 E Grayson St, (210) 223-7375,
Whether you’re looking to impress a date or a business associate, the bar at Sternwirthe is a perfect spot to do that. The space features old brew tanks that have been hollowed out into VIP-worthy seating areas as well as a 25-foot high vaulted ceiling and a bottle-labelling machine chandelier.
Photo via Instagram / sternewirthatemaa
Haunt Lounge
300 E Travis St, (210) 352-3171,
From the animal print textiles to the stainless steel martini glasses, Haunt is definitely for those who like to take a walk on the wild side. Swing by after dinner at Rebelle to try one of their decadent dessert cocktails.
Photo via Instagram / hauntlounge
El Bucanero
Multiple locations, (210) 314-3929,
The towering, overfilled ceviche setups at El Bucanero certainly warrant the “over the top” label. Order a round of molcajetes to feed your crew — they’re large enough to feed an army.
Photo via Instagram / fitchickfoodgasm
Rock & Rye
17631 La Cantera Pkwy RIM, Suite # 103, (210) 721-7753,
From the minds behind whiskey haven Bar 1919, Rock & Rye is a brand-new north SA spot that boasts 400 varieties of booze, ranging from cocktail staples such as whiskey, gin and agave spirits to more adventurous options like aquavit, grappa and absinthe.
Photo via Instagram / rockandryebar
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Howl at the Moon
111 W. Crockett Street St. #201, (210) 212-4770,
Can you say you’ve visited/lived in SA if you haven’t had drinks at this downtown dueling pianos venue? A favorite of bachelorette parties and visiting servicemen, Howl at the Moon is the epitome of an over-the-top experience.
Photo via Instagram / apexfilmmaking
Picks Bar
4553 TX-1604 Loop #1101, (210) 253-9220,
Owners Jessica Marinez and Amber Hernandez recently took over the live music venue, bringing local acts to the stage nearly seven nights a week. Stop in for their live band karaoke for a live band twist on the late night, booze-fueled activity.
Photo via Instagram / picks_barsa
JL Bar Ranch, Resort and Spa
3500 Private Road 2254, (855) 414-3337,
Just one look at this sprawling property, and you’ll see why we included it. Swimming, golfing, culinary classes, shooting, hunting, karaoke and horseback riding are just a few of the activities available for guests. Did we mention the on-site airport? Yeah, that’s a thing.
Photo courtesy of JL Bar Ranch, Resort and Spa
102 9th St #400, (210) 340-9880,
Paramour’s plush, bright couches, fun wallpaper and gorgeous views are enough to garner the “crazy” distinction, but the weekly drag shows push that to decidedly over-the-top.
Photo via Instagram / paramourbar
Heath Sparkling Wines
10591 East US, US-290, Fredericksburg, TX, (830) 304-1011,
In 2019, construction was completed on the dramatic, modern venue that houses Heath Sparkling Wines, the first winery in Texas dedicated to sparkling wines. The first and only wine destination of its kind in the Lone Star State is beautiful with over-the-top outdoor seating and bubbles galore.
Photo via Instagram / heathsparklingwines
604 S Alamo St, (210) 816-0088,
This Italian-inspired eatery is housed in a revamped fire station, with fancy AF details and an over-the-top, oversized lollipop, perfectly suited for a ‘gram or two..
Photo via Instagram / battalionsa

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