December 20, 2018

The 11 Best New Restaurants That Opened in San Antonio in 2018

With dozens and dozens of new restaurants having emerged onto the local food scene this year, it was pretty difficult to narrow down the best new eateries. In no particular order, here were our favorite new spots to come out strong in 2018.
Scroll down to view images

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

Singhs Vietnamese
2805 N St Mary's St, (512) 940-9662, facebook.com
Photo via Instagram / _audwee_
Singhs Vietnamese
2805 N St Mary's St, (512) 940-9662, facebook.com
Photo via Instagram / _audwee_
Singhs is the story of Louis Singh’s mother, the Fall of Saigon, a family separated by revolution and a Texas-born first generation American teaming up with a few friends to spread the flavors he grew up eating.
Louis Singh was born in the ’80s, and he’s wanted to share his family recipes since he was 15. He teamed up with high-school friend Eric Treviño after dabbling in bands and sound-editing and catering, and Singhs was born.
Don’t go expecting to find your favorite pho – you won’t find it at Singhs. But do go to find great, 10-hour braised brisket atop vermicelli noodles or bún, paired with fresh cucumbers and lightly pickled daikon and carrots to help cut through that unctuous meatiness. There’s also fried chili-oil ribs if you’re feeling particularly ravenous, and Saigon egg rolls, rolled by hand — at times by Mama Singh as she shares her story. They’re the most labor-intensive menu item, but worth the cost for its crisp and delicate casing.
You’ll also enjoy Singh’s take on bánh mì, served on a buttery roll instead of a crusty baguette but just as good, with each protein somehow more tender than the next.
Opening a brick-and-mortar location (they sold the original trailer) on a new side of town means favorites have shifted. Those now include noodles and goi, a shaved cabbage salad, nearly perfect with shrimp or chicken, dressed with a light drizzle of aioli.
And then there’s the Mama’s jasmine rice, a fragrant number with turmeric, ginger and coconut topped with your choice of meat or seasonal veggies. It’s Singhs’ answer to arroz con pollo. It’s the result of Singh growing up in the heart of Texas, and sharing his Vietnamese mother’s recipes – and it’s a welcome addition to the St. Mary’s Strip fare.
Photo by Jessica Elizarraras
Singhs is the story of Louis Singh’s mother, the Fall of Saigon, a family separated by revolution and a Texas-born first generation American teaming up with a few friends to spread the flavors he grew up eating.

Louis Singh was born in the ’80s, and he’s wanted to share his family recipes since he was 15. He teamed up with high-school friend Eric Treviño after dabbling in bands and sound-editing and catering, and Singhs was born.

Don’t go expecting to find your favorite pho – you won’t find it at Singhs. But do go to find great, 10-hour braised brisket atop vermicelli noodles or bún, paired with fresh cucumbers and lightly pickled daikon and carrots to help cut through that unctuous meatiness. There’s also fried chili-oil ribs if you’re feeling particularly ravenous, and Saigon egg rolls, rolled by hand — at times by Mama Singh as she shares her story. They’re the most labor-intensive menu item, but worth the cost for its crisp and delicate casing.

You’ll also enjoy Singh’s take on bánh mì, served on a buttery roll instead of a crusty baguette but just as good, with each protein somehow more tender than the next.

Opening a brick-and-mortar location (they sold the original trailer) on a new side of town means favorites have shifted. Those now include noodles and goi, a shaved cabbage salad, nearly perfect with shrimp or chicken, dressed with a light drizzle of aioli.

And then there’s the Mama’s jasmine rice, a fragrant number with turmeric, ginger and coconut topped with your choice of meat or seasonal veggies. It’s Singhs’ answer to arroz con pollo. It’s the result of Singh growing up in the heart of Texas, and sharing his Vietnamese mother’s recipes – and it’s a welcome addition to the St. Mary’s Strip fare.
Photo by Jessica Elizarraras
Clementine
2195 NW Military Hwy, (210) 503-5121, clementine-sa.com
Photo via Instagram / clementine.sanantonio
Clementine
2195 NW Military Hwy, (210) 503-5121, clementine-sa.com
Photo via Instagram / clementine.sanantonio
From our review:
From the looks and tastes of the Clementine menu, John [Russ] spent the last year fine-tuning the restaurant’s concept of “seasonal Southern and American eats.”
Don’t visit Clementine expecting fried chicken or a burger or collard greens. Visit for some of the city’s best vegetable dishes (Fun fact: Elise is vegetarian, so John has had some practice). Start with the white mushroom salad with extra virgin olive oil, Valley Citrus, parsley, pecorino and pomegranate seeds. It’s rich, textured, and a new way to convert mushroom-averse eaters. 
Then pivot to the buttered turnips — yes, turnips — tossed with greens, red pepper flakes for some heat, fish sauce and a sassy sesame streusel. Again, there’s texture, there’s playfulness and there’s flavor. Try the green cabbage and spring garlic, which is served with lots of butter, and the thinnest, crispiest garlic chips (kudos to kitchen for their knife skills). Definitely don’t miss the ricotta cavatelli, pillowy one-inch pasta twirls with broccoli pesto, Sichuan pepper and toasted pecans.
This is where I implore you to spring for the “Feed Me” option, which asks the diner to “entrust Chef Russ with your dining experience, he and his team will create a menu especially for you highlighting the flavors of the season. Starting at $54 per guest (based on entire table participation).” – Jessica Elizarraras
Photo by Jessica Elizarraras
From our review:
From the looks and tastes of the Clementine menu, John [Russ] spent the last year fine-tuning the restaurant’s concept of “seasonal Southern and American eats.”
Don’t visit Clementine expecting fried chicken or a burger or collard greens. Visit for some of the city’s best vegetable dishes (Fun fact: Elise is vegetarian, so John has had some practice). Start with the white mushroom salad with extra virgin olive oil, Valley Citrus, parsley, pecorino and pomegranate seeds. It’s rich, textured, and a new way to convert mushroom-averse eaters. Then pivot to the buttered turnips — yes, turnips — tossed with greens, red pepper flakes for some heat, fish sauce and a sassy sesame streusel. Again, there’s texture, there’s playfulness and there’s flavor. Try the green cabbage and spring garlic, which is served with lots of butter, and the thinnest, crispiest garlic chips (kudos to kitchen for their knife skills). Definitely don’t miss the ricotta cavatelli, pillowy one-inch pasta twirls with broccoli pesto, Sichuan pepper and toasted pecans.

This is where I implore you to spring for the “Feed Me” option, which asks the diner to “entrust Chef Russ with your dining experience, he and his team will create a menu especially for you highlighting the flavors of the season. Starting at $54 per guest (based on entire table participation).” – Jessica Elizarraras
Photo by Jessica Elizarraras
South BBQ & Kitchen
2011 Mission Road, (210) 437-0070, southbbqkitchen.com
Photo via Instagram / southbbq
South BBQ & Kitchen
2011 Mission Road, (210) 437-0070, southbbqkitchen.com
Photo via Instagram / southbbq
From our review:
Green beans at a ‘Q joint, though they may taste just fine, are normally cooked to military mush in color and consistency. But South has presented a perky salad of crisp beans with halved cherry tomatoes, crumbled cotija and slivered almonds; it’s worthy of a white tablecloth establishment. The garlic butter roasted green onions also stray notably from the norm. Try them, too.
The “loaded” tater tot casserole, seemingly tarted up with tiny bits of meat and other seasonings, comes across almost like orthodoxy — at least in comparison to the above. Here’s where I confess to an unnatural fondness for tater tots, and accordingly would like to see a few crunchier bits in this mashup. But otherwise, aces. Same goes for the deeply satisfying borracho beans; they are among the best in town.
A scattering of sliced scallion is about the only unexpected component in the otherwise catholic South Texas potato salad; it’s mustardy, yet mild, and might serve as a perfect foil for some of the house’s pickled, roasted jalapeño with carrot. And it also serves as an appropriate introduction to the barbecue itself. There are no canonic deviations to be expected in South’s chapter-and-verse renditions.
Starting, where one must, with brisket-by-the-quarter-pound (there are no combo plates), South’s Angus is sourced from Colorado, and it’s supremely tender. There’s not a lot of difference between the lean and the fatty, and some folks might prefer cuts with a little more tooth to ‘em. But there’s no faulting the simple salt-and-pepper prep, the just-smoky-enough flavor, and the classic bark-with-a-bite. – Ron Bechtol
Photo by Jessica Elizarraras
From our review:
Green beans at a ‘Q joint, though they may taste just fine, are normally cooked to military mush in color and consistency. But South has presented a perky salad of crisp beans with halved cherry tomatoes, crumbled cotija and slivered almonds; it’s worthy of a white tablecloth establishment. The garlic butter roasted green onions also stray notably from the norm. Try them, too.

The “loaded” tater tot casserole, seemingly tarted up with tiny bits of meat and other seasonings, comes across almost like orthodoxy — at least in comparison to the above. Here’s where I confess to an unnatural fondness for tater tots, and accordingly would like to see a few crunchier bits in this mashup. But otherwise, aces. Same goes for the deeply satisfying borracho beans; they are among the best in town.

A scattering of sliced scallion is about the only unexpected component in the otherwise catholic South Texas potato salad; it’s mustardy, yet mild, and might serve as a perfect foil for some of the house’s pickled, roasted jalapeño with carrot. And it also serves as an appropriate introduction to the barbecue itself. There are no canonic deviations to be expected in South’s chapter-and-verse renditions.

Starting, where one must, with brisket-by-the-quarter-pound (there are no combo plates), South’s Angus is sourced from Colorado, and it’s supremely tender. There’s not a lot of difference between the lean and the fatty, and some folks might prefer cuts with a little more tooth to ‘em. But there’s no faulting the simple salt-and-pepper prep, the just-smoky-enough flavor, and the classic bark-with-a-bite. – Ron Bechtol
Photo by Jessica Elizarraras
The Jerk Shack
117 Matyear St, (210) 776-7780, facebook.com/thejerkshacksatx
Photo via Instagram / thejerkshacksatx
The Jerk Shack
117 Matyear St, (210) 776-7780, facebook.com/thejerkshacksatx
Photo via Instagram / thejerkshacksatx
Lattoia Massey misses the proximity to water, but that desire to recapture the magic of island life has driven her and husband Cornelius to open her own Caribbean restaurant in the city’s West Side.
The couple’s story started in 2010 when they met while deployed in Iraq. After ending up in Hawaii, the now-veteran Lattoia decided to follow her passion for the culinary arts and apply to the Culinary Institute of America-San Antonio.
Billed as “San Antonio’s first artisan Caribbean restaurant,” The Jerk Shack is a quaint and polished open-air restaurant similar to Dignowity Meats. The menu features meats by the pound, starters, Chef’s Specials, and sides. The jerk chicken and pork aren’t to be missed, and if you need amore conventional vessel, try the jerk tacos, jerk shrimp and grits with maque choux, or jerk wings and mac. For those wanting a taste of the big island, try the steamed fish, braised oxtails and curry goat.
The shack will be BYOB (it neighbors a KIPP Academy campus), but Jamaican sodas and set up mixers will be available for purchase.
Photo by Jessica Elizarraras
Lattoia Massey misses the proximity to water, but that desire to recapture the magic of island life has driven her and husband Cornelius to open her own Caribbean restaurant in the city’s West Side.

The couple’s story started in 2010 when they met while deployed in Iraq. After ending up in Hawaii, the now-veteran Lattoia decided to follow her passion for the culinary arts and apply to the Culinary Institute of America-San Antonio.

Billed as “San Antonio’s first artisan Caribbean restaurant,” The Jerk Shack is a quaint and polished open-air restaurant similar to Dignowity Meats. The menu features meats by the pound, starters, Chef’s Specials, and sides. The jerk chicken and pork aren’t to be missed, and if you need amore conventional vessel, try the jerk tacos, jerk shrimp and grits with maque choux, or jerk wings and mac. For those wanting a taste of the big island, try the steamed fish, braised oxtails and curry goat.

The shack will be BYOB (it neighbors a KIPP Academy campus), but Jamaican sodas and set up mixers will be available for purchase.
Photo by Jessica Elizarraras
Meadow Neighborhood Eatery + Bar
555 W Bitters Road #110, (210) 481-4214, meadowsanantonio.com
Photo by Jessica Elizarraras
Meadow Neighborhood Eatery + Bar
555 W Bitters Road #110, (210) 481-4214, meadowsanantonio.com
Photo by Jessica Elizarraras
From our review:
Chef couple John and Elise Russ gifted us Clementine (“seasonal Southern and American eats”) late last year, with a menu that tweaked Southern standards and introduced new classics such as heretical hush puppies. And now we have Meadow, bought to us by another culinary couple, San Antonio natives PJ and Lindsey Edwards, she formerly with the Jason Dady Restaurant Group, he  most recently culinary director of Austin’s Contigo. “Seasonal, Texas, Southern” is their mantra.
There are references to Texas products on the menu — pecans, apples and beef among them, but plates seem to suggest more “I Suwanee” than “boy howdy.” Wood oven cornbread with jalapeño pimento cheese and honey lard butter both reinforced that impression and started us out with a bang. OK, the cornbread was a tad crumbly, but its smoky-savory flavor played beautifully against both irresistible honey-lard butter (you could slather this stuff on almost anything) and exemplary pimento cheese that had the sort of snakebite heart that is often masked by Southern politesse. ‘Nduja, a spiky/spreadable Calabrian sausage, enlivened the savory marmalade that gave a nestful of crusty creamed corn fritters a needed boost; they were good, but the pudding-like filling needed a little more textural push-back. Individually house-pickled green tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers, or their seasonal counterparts, are a must-order, no matter what else you’re having. – Ron Bechtol
Photo by Erin Winch
From our review:
Chef couple John and Elise Russ gifted us Clementine (“seasonal Southern and American eats”) late last year, with a menu that tweaked Southern standards and introduced new classics such as heretical hush puppies. And now we have Meadow, bought to us by another culinary couple, San Antonio natives PJ and Lindsey Edwards, she formerly with the Jason Dady Restaurant Group, he most recently culinary director of Austin’s Contigo. “Seasonal, Texas, Southern” is their mantra.

There are references to Texas products on the menu — pecans, apples and beef among them, but plates seem to suggest more “I Suwanee” than “boy howdy.” Wood oven cornbread with jalapeño pimento cheese and honey lard butter both reinforced that impression and started us out with a bang. OK, the cornbread was a tad crumbly, but its smoky-savory flavor played beautifully against both irresistible honey-lard butter (you could slather this stuff on almost anything) and exemplary pimento cheese that had the sort of snakebite heart that is often masked by Southern politesse. ‘Nduja, a spiky/spreadable Calabrian sausage, enlivened the savory marmalade that gave a nestful of crusty creamed corn fritters a needed boost; they were good, but the pudding-like filling needed a little more textural push-back. Individually house-pickled green tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers, or their seasonal counterparts, are a must-order, no matter what else you’re having. – Ron Bechtol
Photo by Erin Winch