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Dor?ol Distilling Company, San Antonio, TX.
Dor?ol Distilling Company, San Antonio, TX.
Photo: Facebook

The Eater San Antonio Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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Dor?ol Distilling Company, San Antonio, TX.
| Photo: Facebook

Today Eater returns to San Antonio, Texas to focus on ten newish bars and restaurants that have been garnering some serious buzz. It's been about seven months since the last San Antonio map, and this time around San Antonio Current food and nightlife editor Jessica Elizarraras has shared her picks for the hottest openings of the past year or so.

So what's hot in San Antonio? A chef duo is lighting up the San Antonio scene with wildly different projects: a ticketed, Mexican-inspired tasting menu 12-seater (Mixtli) and a relaxed gastropub (Big Hops Gastropub). Bars with great food are leading the pack, whether that food is of the Southeast Asian (Tuk Tuk Taproom) or offbeat pizza (Barbaro) persuasion. And some big local names are on the list, with a surprising concept switch (Umai Mi), a restaurateur's shipping container-turned-restaurant (The Luxury), and an acclaimed solo venture (Cured). Here now, and in alphabetical order, the Eater Heatmap to San Antonio:


· All San Antonio Coverage on Eater [-E-]
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Barbaro

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This combination pizza place and bar garnered a Texas Monthly shout out as one of the best new bars for 2014. Elisabeth Forsythe recently joined as bar manager, overseeing the menu of house cocktails includingthe boozy Man About Town (rye whiskey, Cynar, Dolin rouge, brandied cherry). Inventive house made pizzas like the Muffaletta with soppressata and olives continue to please.

[Photo]

Big Hops Gastropub

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An exploding craft beer scene demands excellent bar eats. Enter Rico Torres and Diego Galicia (Mixtli). The duo prepares elevated bar eats using local ingredients to pair with the 50 beers on tap. Expect to find illustrious charcuterie plates, juicy burgers, and squeaky Wisconsin cheese curds.

[Photo]

History meets New American in chef Steve McHugh’s first solo venture. Called a Chef to Watch in 2014, McHugh nails just about every aspect of Cured from the aged meat and the pickled veggie charc boards, to the boozy cocktail and Saturday-only brunch. Chicken and doughnuts, anyone?

[Photo]

Dorcol Distilling Company

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College buds Boyan Kalusevic and Chris Mobley are adding rakia (a Balkan brandy made of fermented fruit, in this case apricot) to Southtown using an age-old family recipe. Bar manager Nick Kenna will turn you onto the distillery’s first batch of Serbian moonshine, or Kinsman for short, on weekends.

[Photo]

Local Coffee

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A bustling mix-use scene at the Pearl now boasts great coffee. This shop blends the Pearl’s forgotten equipment (owner Robby Grubbs has added tables and light fixtures made with Pearl Brewery brew tank legs and gauges) with quality beans via Coffee Co, Verve Coffee Roasters, and Dallas’ Tweed Coffee Roasters which satisfy drip coffee fans and espresso nuts.

[Photo]

The Luxury

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The two year wait for this San Antonio River-adjacent restaurant was definitely worth it. Andrew Weissman’s boxcar kitchen has diners coming out in droves even when temperatures reach hellish figures. Just about a year old, the Luxury nails it with classed up sandwiches and salads and the occasional fried Snickers bar.

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Mixtli Progressive Mexican Culinaria

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Rico Torres' and Diego Galicia's Mixtli is an ethereal boxcar-turned-restaurant that changes its menu every 45 days as the team takes on a different Mexican state or region (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Jalisco so far). Tickets are sold in place of reservations for 12 diners to experience a tasting menu-only dinner Wednesday through Saturday night.

[Photo]

What it lacks in signage, TBA makes up for in cocktails and laidback bar eats. Bar manager Jonny Yumol whips up punny potions with infused spirits made by owner James Moore, former opening chef at Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden. Try the Juan Collins, with cilantro and serrano chili-infused blanco tequila.

[Photo]

Tuk Tuk Taproom

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Acclaimed chef David Gilbert helms this Southeast Asian kitchen as partners Jody and Steve Newman (Friendly Spot, Alamo Street Eat Bar) handle the 70 odd craft beers on tap. Nightly specials (whole fish, Burmese wings, and Thai-style fried rice) have yet to disappoint.

[Photo]

Umai Mi - Modern Asian Fare

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Jason Dady recently scrapped 9-year-old Bin 555 in favor of modern Asian fare at Umai Mi. The sometimes-controversial restaurant is billed as “so not authentic, it’s absurd,” with a menu of mish-mashed Asian favorites like beef tongue steamed buns and tamarind-glazed brisket and a thumping hip hop soundtrack.

[Photo]

Barbaro

This combination pizza place and bar garnered a Texas Monthly shout out as one of the best new bars for 2014. Elisabeth Forsythe recently joined as bar manager, overseeing the menu of house cocktails includingthe boozy Man About Town (rye whiskey, Cynar, Dolin rouge, brandied cherry). Inventive house made pizzas like the Muffaletta with soppressata and olives continue to please.

[Photo]

Big Hops Gastropub

An exploding craft beer scene demands excellent bar eats. Enter Rico Torres and Diego Galicia (Mixtli). The duo prepares elevated bar eats using local ingredients to pair with the 50 beers on tap. Expect to find illustrious charcuterie plates, juicy burgers, and squeaky Wisconsin cheese curds.

[Photo]

Cured

History meets New American in chef Steve McHugh’s first solo venture. Called a Chef to Watch in 2014, McHugh nails just about every aspect of Cured from the aged meat and the pickled veggie charc boards, to the boozy cocktail and Saturday-only brunch. Chicken and doughnuts, anyone?

[Photo]

Dorcol Distilling Company

College buds Boyan Kalusevic and Chris Mobley are adding rakia (a Balkan brandy made of fermented fruit, in this case apricot) to Southtown using an age-old family recipe. Bar manager Nick Kenna will turn you onto the distillery’s first batch of Serbian moonshine, or Kinsman for short, on weekends.

[Photo]

Local Coffee

A bustling mix-use scene at the Pearl now boasts great coffee. This shop blends the Pearl’s forgotten equipment (owner Robby Grubbs has added tables and light fixtures made with Pearl Brewery brew tank legs and gauges) with quality beans via Coffee Co, Verve Coffee Roasters, and Dallas’ Tweed Coffee Roasters which satisfy drip coffee fans and espresso nuts.

[Photo]

The Luxury

The two year wait for this San Antonio River-adjacent restaurant was definitely worth it. Andrew Weissman’s boxcar kitchen has diners coming out in droves even when temperatures reach hellish figures. Just about a year old, the Luxury nails it with classed up sandwiches and salads and the occasional fried Snickers bar.

[Photo]

Mixtli Progressive Mexican Culinaria

Rico Torres' and Diego Galicia's Mixtli is an ethereal boxcar-turned-restaurant that changes its menu every 45 days as the team takes on a different Mexican state or region (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Jalisco so far). Tickets are sold in place of reservations for 12 diners to experience a tasting menu-only dinner Wednesday through Saturday night.

[Photo]

TBA

What it lacks in signage, TBA makes up for in cocktails and laidback bar eats. Bar manager Jonny Yumol whips up punny potions with infused spirits made by owner James Moore, former opening chef at Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden. Try the Juan Collins, with cilantro and serrano chili-infused blanco tequila.

[Photo]

Tuk Tuk Taproom

Acclaimed chef David Gilbert helms this Southeast Asian kitchen as partners Jody and Steve Newman (Friendly Spot, Alamo Street Eat Bar) handle the 70 odd craft beers on tap. Nightly specials (whole fish, Burmese wings, and Thai-style fried rice) have yet to disappoint.

[Photo]

Umai Mi - Modern Asian Fare

Jason Dady recently scrapped 9-year-old Bin 555 in favor of modern Asian fare at Umai Mi. The sometimes-controversial restaurant is billed as “so not authentic, it’s absurd,” with a menu of mish-mashed Asian favorites like beef tongue steamed buns and tamarind-glazed brisket and a thumping hip hop soundtrack.

[Photo]

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