Practically an institution in San Antonio, family owned
and operated Mi Tierra has been serving
world-famous Tex-Mex since 1941. Chicken fajitas and jumbo
margaritas keep patrons coming back, not to mention the
festive Christmas decorations which are up all year round.
Opened 24 hours every day of the year, they are impossibly
easy to fit into even the tightest schedule. Roving mariachis?
Landry's has done it again. They've picked
the perfect location to open a first rate seafood restaurant.
Their position at a bend in the river where tourists constantly
pass between lively entertainment venues and their hotels
make this restaurant an excellent destination for mingling
and people watching. The menu features delectable snow crab
legs, indulgent sauces, and a ton of oyster options. This
establishment is great for a romantic date, business dinner,
or even a fun night out.
If you are planning to dine on the riverwalk and crave Tex-Mex,
look no further than Rio Rio Cantina. Nachos
are practically a required appetizer and all the great Mexican
food staples are served: enchiladas, fajitas, tortillas,
rice, beans, and of course, chips & salsa. Interesting
specialties include ribs, chimichangas, chipotle chicken
(my sister’s favorite!), fresh fish entrees, and margarita
cheesecake for dessert. Servers are dressed in festive Mexican
garb, indoor and outdoor seating is available on two levels,
and vibrant, colorful decor sets the tone for lively conversations.
Inside the Loop:
Tomatillos on Broadway is the place to
go for excellent enchiladas. Try the Tres Colors Enchiladas
for a sampling of what they have to offer. If hot sauce
is your thing, you'll enjoy the fresh salsa delivered to
your table, but for a real treat, request that your server
bring you some Mata La Muela (to kill a mule). This stuff
is delicious, and as the name implies, muy caliente! Great
and fun margarita choices and an unbeatable tequila selection
can be found here as well. Try the Fiesta Margarita!
Posh, plush, extravagant, and definitely baroque describes
a new, unique dining establishment in San Antonio: Circa
1900. Many items in this lovely, white table cloth
restaurant are antiques for sale, even down to the candelabra
on the table. Recently they have opened an adjoining wine
bar with live music, a dance floor, and a loft for the more
Delicious and authentic Tex-Mex can be found at Los
Barrios. Go for the fajitas and carne guisada.
They also have some of the best pico de gallo around!
The Quarry is an area of town that combines entertainment
and shopping like so many other locations in San Antonio,
but in a more trendy atmosphere. Here you can stroll from
shop to shop enjoying the nice weather, catch a movie and
grab a bite to eat at a variety of restaurants. A great
choice is P.F. Chang for their excellent wine selection,
seared ahi tuna appetizer (try the dumplings, too!), and
Sea Bass that definitely shouldn't be missed! Their wait
staff is possibly the best in the city, offering suggestions
if you ask and catering to your every need without making
you feel rushed. Canyon Cafe is a Southwestern style eatery
with menu options to satisfy even the pickiest eater as
well as signature margaritas and lemonade. Familiar restaurants
such as EZ's, Chili's, and Joe's Crab Shack are here too.
In the mood for something different? Koi Kawa has everything
you'd require from a Japanese sushi restaurant and offers
grilled items, including chicken, pork and steak as well.
If you are looking for French food, you won't have to go
far. Metropolitain has some of the best pastries and coffee
available anywhere. They also offer delicious breakfast,
lunch, and dinner menus with a comprehensive wine list,
and all of this is served in a European-style cafe, replete
with miniature patio furniture and chairs.
Alamo (mission trail)
The Alamo has always been the biggest tourist
attraction in San Antonio. A wonderfully preserved historical
site with educational tours and lush grounds inside the
fort walls make this a popular location for individuals
and families alike. The Alamo is a monument to Texan pride
and perseverance. Located in the center of the city, it
is an opportune place to begin a walking tour of downtown
or start your trip down the Mission Trail.
The Mission Trail is a 9 mile path along
the San Antonio river, incorporating the five missions in
and around San Antonio, beginning with the Alamo and including
Missions San Jose, San Juan, Espada, and Concepcion. None
of these parks charge admission and the trail is accessible
Riverwalk - Everyone knows about the San
Antonio Riverwalk. This beautiful, glittering river runs
through the heart of downtown San Antonio, flanked by delicious
restaurants, colorful awnings, tempting shops, and the jubilant
sound of mariachi bands. The Riverwalk is a wonderful place
to sit and people watch or take an informational tour ride
on one of the festive barges that float down the river.
El Mercado, the Mexican Market, is a regular
stop for tourists. Texas-themed merchandise abounds, as
does locally created food and art for your shopping indulgence.
This is also the spot for the Museo Americano Smithsonian,
still under construction.
To Go Out:
Pat O'Brian's lives up to its New Orleans
namesake. Rambunctious patrons sing to requested songs provided
by a team of two joke cracking pianists. There are three
bars, a balcony, and a patio area featuring a water fountain
with flames leaping into the sky. You can also enjoy a meal
during the day at this location, but definitely have a Hurricane
or two when night descends.
Perhaps it's the men in kilts or sultry go-go boot wearing
cocktail waitresses that draw the masses to Mad
Dog's British Pub. This place is always packed
and guarantees a fun night out. Excellent bartenders serve
up any mixed drink you can fathom in a fast paced environment,
often swirling and tossing containers Cocktail-style into
the air. There is a dance floor, adjacent martini bar, and
back room with pool tables. Make no mistake, the energy
is intense and the singles are on the prowl. Pub fare is
available during the day.
Polly Esther's is unquestionably the most
popular riverwalk nightclub, with three levels of dancing,
drinking, and socializing. This venue caters to an array
of audiences. The 80's still reign supreme in the Culture
Club, Top 40 hits pulsate in Club Expo, and Suite 212 provides
respite from the electronic beats in a lounge environment
with high end liquor, cigars, and often live music.
Durty Nelly's Pub is a treat for your
senses. The sounds of Irish drinking songs will greet your
ears as soon as you enter, so you'll scarcely notice the
crunch of peanuts under your feet. A humorous piano player
leads the patrons in chorus and beer is on tap for the willing.
Don't overlook this dark, cozy tavern festooned with Irish
Sleek, dark, and booming with 30 somethings, Zinc
Bar is slightly removed from the downtown tourist
hustle and bustle. Still within walking distance of the
Riverwalk and Alamo, Zinc offers wines by the glass or bottle,
cocktails, cigars, and hors d'ouevres which you can order
to share in either the bar or backroom lounge area.
Read more of my writing here.