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Jerk chicken plate at the Jerk Shack
Photo: The Jerk Shack/Facebook

The 16 Hottest New Restaurants in San Antonio

Where to find peach-glazed baby backs, jerk chicken by the pound, and tequila almond croissants in Alamo City

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Jerk chicken plate at the Jerk Shack
| Photo: The Jerk Shack/Facebook

Today Eater returns to San Antonio, Texas, to check out 16 of the city’s hottest newcomers. Once again, San Antonio Current food and nightlife editor Jessica Elizarraras has kindly shared her picks for the buzziest openings of the past 12 months or so.

“There’s a little of everything this year,” says Elizarraras, “from sought-after carnitas to midcentury modern cocktails to two new barbecue joints.” Among her picks are a massive new food hall (Bottling Department Food Hall), a Vietnamese food truck-turned-restaurant (Singhs), and an al fresco tribute to the foods of Jamaica (the Jerk Shack) .

Without further ado, and in geographic order, the Eater Heatmap to San Antonio:

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Clementine

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John Russ (formerly with Luke San Antonio) and Elise Russ (the two are married) helm San Antonio’s most exciting eatery, where they feature a popular omakase-style “Feed Me” option that lets the couple wow guests with thoughtful dishes like a white mushroom salad, fresh cavatelli with broccoli pesto, and buttered turnips.

A salad at Clementine
Photo: Clementine official

Outlaw Kitchens

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One of San Antonio’s few live-work restaurants, Outlaw Kitchen is the offspring of chef Paul Sartory, a former Culinary Institute of America instructor, and wife Peggy Howe. She rehabbed the former hair salon into a working kitchen, and they open five nights a week for dinner service with only two menu items on the board, which use vegetables from their sprawling gardens. Favorites include a Greek pastitsio, paella, and just about any vegetarian dish.

Mussels at Outlaw Kitchen
Photo: Outlaw Kitchens/Facebook

Singhs Vietnamese

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A Texan son shares his Vietnamese mother’s recipes at food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar Singhs Vietnamese. The latest restaurant to hit the St. Mary’s Strip, Singhs brings a tight menu with chile oil ribs, hand-rolled egg rolls, banh mi, bun, and goi (a chicken and cabbage salad) with choice of protein (get the braised brisket or crispy shrimp).

Chili oil ribs at Singh’s Vietnamese
Photo: Singhs Vietnamese/Facebook

Still Golden Social House

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Owned by Jeret Pena and the Boulevardier Group, this laid-back patio bar is the successor to Stay Golden Social House, which was razed in 2017 as developers make way for a 10-story building. Just one block away, Still Golden packs in crowds with comfortable interiors and a sprawling deck.

Alamo BBQ Company

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Not content with opening Range in October and relocating Tuscan-inspired Tre Trattoria to the San Antonio Museum of Art, prolific chef Jason Dady ditched Spanish tapas for tried-and-true Texas barbecue. With Laura Loomis as pitmaster, Alamo BBQ Co. brings Two Bros. BBQ Market barbecue downtown with new items such as a peach-glazed baby backs and old favorites like smoked jalapeno poppers.

Alamo BBQ Company
Photo: Facebook/Alamo BBQ Company

The Modernist

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Midcentury modern cocktails and decor make up this Grayston Street bar, which recently added a patio complete with throwback flamingos, a refurbished trailer bar, and fresh-fruit sippers for those triple-digit days.

Bottling Dept Food Hall

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The Pearl unleashed its food hall in July of 2017 with five concepts, including Japanese bites from Tenko Ramen, doughnuts and churros by Maybelle’s, green goods by the Good Kind, Cajun flavors in Bud’s Rotisserie, and burgers and dogs by Fletcher’s Hamburgers. A capable bar delivers seasonal pairings and weekly frosty offerings such as frosé and peach sangria.

Bottling Dept Food Hall
Photo: Tenko Ramen/Facebook

The Jerk Shack

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Retired Army veterans Lattoia and Cornelius Massey are bringing Jamaican bites to the westside with their patio-seating-only restaurant that’s drawing lines for their jerk chicken and pork by the pound, jerk shrimp and grits, whole steamed fish, and braised oxtails.

A combination platter at the Jerk Shack
Photo: The Jerk Shack/Facebook

La Panaderia Bakery Cafe

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Brothers Jose and David Caceres opened a second La Panaderia location in Downtown San Antonio with more pan dulce and French patisserie classics with a twist, such as their tequila almond croissant. It’s a fast-casual stop for conferencegoers and locals alike.

Bear claw at La Panaderia
Photo: La Panaderia/Facebook

Playland Pizza

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Downtown’s Houston Street gains a new pizza spot and a fourth Andrew Goodman/Stefan Bowers project in Playland (Feast, Rebelle, and Battalion came before it). Here, space-age interiors meet accessible menu items like General Tso’s wings, pimento cheese-stuffed jalapenos, and charred sourdough pizza.

Pinch Boil House

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Best friends and Houston transplants Andrew Ho and Sean Wen (along with new business partner Ben Annotti) are spreading Southeast Asian-inspired seafood and snacks via their new downtown restaurant, with boils doused in OG (original garlic) sauce, noodle pop-ups in the winter, and regular bao pop-ups, in addition to their regular menu.

Crawfish at Pinch
Photo: Pinch Boil House official

Shotgun House Coffee Roasters

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The city’s latest coffeeshop landed in a West Side warehouse that serves as a co-op/incubator for new businesses and shops. Wood elements give way to green touches, and vegan horchata iced lattes are made with single origin beans from Costa Rica, Peru, and Ethiopia as roasted by co-owner Eddie Laughlin.

Shotgun House Coffee Roasters
Photo: Shotgun House Roasters/Facebook

NONNA Osteria

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The Fairmount Hotel’s latest addition adds Next Food Network Star Season 10 contestant Luca Della Casa to the downtown landscape, with Italian dishes like a cold seafood salad and pasta e tartufo.

Bites at Nonna Osteria
Photo: Nonna Osteria/Facebook

Maverick

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Chef Chris Carlson (formerly with Sandbar and Francis Bogside) has the reins of the Maverick, one of Southtown’s latest restaurants — with arguably the most thoughtful design — serving up global comfort food, such as crabcake sliders, curried chicken salad, and pillowy gnocchi. Le Palm, the restaurant’s patio, is the spot for wine-filled happy hours and sceney brunches.

Chicken and waffles at Maverick
Photo: Maverick Texas Brasserie/Facebook

Carnitas Lonja

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Michoacan native Alex Paredes opened Carnitas Lonja last April, serving moist carnitas and not a whole lot else. But what it lacks in menu options it makes up for in flavor and freshness, from the handmade tortillas to the bare-bones guacamole and bright guajillo salsa.

Tacos at Carnitas Lonja
Photo: Carnitas Lonja/Facebook

South BBQ & Kitchen

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Dignowity Meats co-owner Andrew Samia took his love of smoked meats to San Antonio’s Southside with the Missions-adjacent South BBQ. The brisket is moist, the pulled pork is savory, and sides like the tater tot casserole, house pickles, Mexican rice, and borracho beans only sweeten the deal.

The South BBQ & Kitchen
Photo: South BBQ Kitchen/Facebook

Clementine

A salad at Clementine
Photo: Clementine official

John Russ (formerly with Luke San Antonio) and Elise Russ (the two are married) helm San Antonio’s most exciting eatery, where they feature a popular omakase-style “Feed Me” option that lets the couple wow guests with thoughtful dishes like a white mushroom salad, fresh cavatelli with broccoli pesto, and buttered turnips.

A salad at Clementine
Photo: Clementine official

Outlaw Kitchens

Mussels at Outlaw Kitchen
Photo: Outlaw Kitchens/Facebook

One of San Antonio’s few live-work restaurants, Outlaw Kitchen is the offspring of chef Paul Sartory, a former Culinary Institute of America instructor, and wife Peggy Howe. She rehabbed the former hair salon into a working kitchen, and they open five nights a week for dinner service with only two menu items on the board, which use vegetables from their sprawling gardens. Favorites include a Greek pastitsio, paella, and just about any vegetarian dish.

Mussels at Outlaw Kitchen
Photo: Outlaw Kitchens/Facebook

Singhs Vietnamese

Chili oil ribs at Singh’s Vietnamese
Photo: Singhs Vietnamese/Facebook

A Texan son shares his Vietnamese mother’s recipes at food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar Singhs Vietnamese. The latest restaurant to hit the St. Mary’s Strip, Singhs brings a tight menu with chile oil ribs, hand-rolled egg rolls, banh mi, bun, and goi (a chicken and cabbage salad) with choice of protein (get the braised brisket or crispy shrimp).

Chili oil ribs at Singh’s Vietnamese
Photo: Singhs Vietnamese/Facebook

Still Golden Social House

Owned by Jeret Pena and the Boulevardier Group, this laid-back patio bar is the successor to Stay Golden Social House, which was razed in 2017 as developers make way for a 10-story building. Just one block away, Still Golden packs in crowds with comfortable interiors and a sprawling deck.

Alamo BBQ Company

Alamo BBQ Company
Photo: Facebook/Alamo BBQ Company

Not content with opening Range in October and relocating Tuscan-inspired Tre Trattoria to the San Antonio Museum of Art, prolific chef Jason Dady ditched Spanish tapas for tried-and-true Texas barbecue. With Laura Loomis as pitmaster, Alamo BBQ Co. brings Two Bros. BBQ Market barbecue downtown with new items such as a peach-glazed baby backs and old favorites like smoked jalapeno poppers.

Alamo BBQ Company
Photo: Facebook/Alamo BBQ Company

The Modernist

Midcentury modern cocktails and decor make up this Grayston Street bar, which recently added a patio complete with throwback flamingos, a refurbished trailer bar, and fresh-fruit sippers for those triple-digit days.

Bottling Dept Food Hall

Bottling Dept Food Hall
Photo: Tenko Ramen/Facebook

The Pearl unleashed its food hall in July of 2017 with five concepts, including Japanese bites from Tenko Ramen, doughnuts and churros by Maybelle’s, green goods by the Good Kind, Cajun flavors in Bud’s Rotisserie, and burgers and dogs by Fletcher’s Hamburgers. A capable bar delivers seasonal pairings and weekly frosty offerings such as frosé and peach sangria.

Bottling Dept Food Hall
Photo: Tenko Ramen/Facebook

The Jerk Shack

A combination platter at the Jerk Shack
Photo: The Jerk Shack/Facebook

Retired Army veterans Lattoia and Cornelius Massey are bringing Jamaican bites to the westside with their patio-seating-only restaurant that’s drawing lines for their jerk chicken and pork by the pound, jerk shrimp and grits, whole steamed fish, and braised oxtails.

A combination platter at the Jerk Shack
Photo: The Jerk Shack/Facebook

La Panaderia Bakery Cafe

Bear claw at La Panaderia
Photo: La Panaderia/Facebook

Brothers Jose and David Caceres opened a second La Panaderia location in Downtown San Antonio with more pan dulce and French patisserie classics with a twist, such as their tequila almond croissant. It’s a fast-casual stop for conferencegoers and locals alike.

Bear claw at La Panaderia
Photo: La Panaderia/Facebook

Playland Pizza

Downtown’s Houston Street gains a new pizza spot and a fourth Andrew Goodman/Stefan Bowers project in Playland (Feast, Rebelle, and Battalion came before it). Here, space-age interiors meet accessible menu items like General Tso’s wings, pimento cheese-stuffed jalapenos, and charred sourdough pizza.

Pinch Boil House

Crawfish at Pinch
Photo: Pinch Boil House official

Best friends and Houston transplants Andrew Ho and Sean Wen (along with new business partner Ben Annotti) are spreading Southeast Asian-inspired seafood and snacks via their new downtown restaurant, with boils doused in OG (original garlic) sauce, noodle pop-ups in the winter, and regular bao pop-ups, in addition to their regular menu.

Crawfish at Pinch
Photo: Pinch Boil House official

Shotgun House Coffee Roasters

Shotgun House Coffee Roasters
Photo: Shotgun House Roasters/Facebook

The city’s latest coffeeshop landed in a West Side warehouse that serves as a co-op/incubator for new businesses and shops. Wood elements give way to green touches, and vegan horchata iced lattes are made with single origin beans from Costa Rica, Peru, and Ethiopia as roasted by co-owner Eddie Laughlin.

Shotgun House Coffee Roasters
Photo: Shotgun House Roasters/Facebook

NONNA Osteria

Bites at Nonna Osteria
Photo: Nonna Osteria/Facebook

The Fairmount Hotel’s latest addition adds Next Food Network Star Season 10 contestant Luca Della Casa to the downtown landscape, with Italian dishes like a cold seafood salad and pasta e tartufo.

Bites at Nonna Osteria
Photo: Nonna Osteria/Facebook

Maverick

Chicken and waffles at Maverick
Photo: Maverick Texas Brasserie/Facebook

Chef Chris Carlson (formerly with Sandbar and Francis Bogside) has the reins of the Maverick, one of Southtown’s latest restaurants — with arguably the most thoughtful design — serving up global comfort food, such as crabcake sliders, curried chicken salad, and pillowy gnocchi. Le Palm, the restaurant’s patio, is the spot for wine-filled happy hours and sceney brunches.

Chicken and waffles at Maverick
Photo: Maverick Texas Brasserie/Facebook

Carnitas Lonja

Tacos at Carnitas Lonja
Photo: Carnitas Lonja/Facebook

Michoacan native Alex Paredes opened Carnitas Lonja last April, serving moist carnitas and not a whole lot else. But what it lacks in menu options it makes up for in flavor and freshness, from the handmade tortillas to the bare-bones guacamole and bright guajillo salsa.

Tacos at Carnitas Lonja
Photo: Carnitas Lonja/Facebook

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South BBQ & Kitchen

The South BBQ & Kitchen
Photo: South BBQ Kitchen/Facebook

Dignowity Meats co-owner Andrew Samia took his love of smoked meats to San Antonio’s Southside with the Missions-adjacent South BBQ. The brisket is moist, the pulled pork is savory, and sides like the tater tot casserole, house pickles, Mexican rice, and borracho beans only sweeten the deal.