My boyfriend Matt and I recently took a long weekend getaway to San Antonio. It was my first visiting and was beyond impressed with it’s beauty and the culinary scene. Below is a recap of everything we did, and I’d honestly recommend repeating this entire trip to anyone.
On Thursday, we left behind the chilly, damp Chicago winter and landed in perfectly sunny and warm San Antonio. We hurried straight to our hotel, dropped off our bags, and headed straight to the river walk. I was in awe of the lush, peaceful environment surrounding the river. I could’ve sat on the edge of the river all day, listening to the babble of the river, the wind in the palm trees, and the ducks quacking.
Between the warm weather and promise of great Tex-Mex, Matt and I immediately decided we needed some margaritas. We grabbed a table on the patio of Iron Cactus, ordered a couple of margs, downed as many chips and roasted tomato salsa we could, and enjoyed the surreal feeling of eating outside in January.
We finished out afternoon exploring La Villita, shopping in adorable artisan shops and picked up an amazing jean jacket and jumpsuit.
After freshening up at our hotel, we grabbed a delicious dinner at Ocho. A green house on the side of the Havana Hotel, painted teal to compliment the river running along side it. Matt grabbed a fantastic Cubano, I had Texas red fish, and we split some ceviche. After a couple drinks in the Havana Bar, in the basement of the hotel, we walked our way back to the hotel and got ready for bed, excited with the anticipation of what we got to explore the next day.
Bright and early Friday morning, we headed north along the river walk to the Pearl. A community built around an old brewery, filled with shops, restaurants, a hotel, and apartments. They kept an updated, but rustic vibe to all parts of the Pearl. A combination of antique buildings, filled with overstuffed furniture, open grassy areas, great food and locally brewed beer.
We started out day strong at Bakery Lorraine, with salmon and avocado toast, a breakfast sandwich, and roasted potatoes. And of course, we got some macarons to go.
We spent the rest of the morning exploring the shops at the Pearl, checking out the lobby of the Emma Hotel, walked through the coolest grocery store I’ve ever seen, and eventually worked back up an appetite and grabbed some soup, fried pork, and freshly brewed beer at Southerleigh. I would honestly eat their smoke pork and roasted tomato soup every day of my life. It was the epitome of comfort food.
The warm sun convinced us to lay in the grass and soak up the rays for the rest of the afternoon. Matt and I chatted, relaxed, and got in full vacation mode. We somewhat reluctantly abandoned our sunny spot in the grass to make our way back to the hotel to prep for dinner.
Bella on the River proved to be exactly how it was described on their site: a quaint, European style restaurant right on the banks of the river. Through a red wooden door, and up a few stairs, we discovered the stone walled, wine and garlic-scented wonderfulness that was this Mediterranean restaurant. Reviews told us we had to try the Eggplant Josephine and they weren’t wrong. Fried eggplant and cheese covered in lump crab meat and hollandaise sauce. One other things that I could sit and eat for the rest of my life. I got the restaurant’s specialty, the Paella, and left so full and satisfied. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting San Antonio.
After a quick breakfast at the hotel, Matt and I put our tourist hats on explored The Alamo. It’s a beautifully maintained place, with a few really peaceful corners on the property. The history was amazing and I’m so glad we got a chance to see it.
On our way back to the river, we grabbed a couple of to-go liters of beer (there’s no open container law if you’re on the river!) explored all of the gift shops we could find, which is one of my guiltiest pleasures on vacation, and eventually made our way to Casa Rio, one of the old restaurants on the river. We had a classic Tex-Mex lunch enjoyed a couple more margaritas later that afternoon, and headed back to our hotel to relax before going out again that night.
For our last dinner in San Antonio, we went to Boudro’s. We sat on their patio, where they very conveniently leave out ponchos on every chair to protect you from the cool evening breezes. We enjoyed their classic prickly pear margaritas and guacamole, made with orange juice. From the start, it was the perfect meal to end our trip with. I enjoyed a blackened Gulf fish, while Matt had Texas-style Steak and Frites. After filling our bellies with the greatest Texan food we had the entire weekend, we jumped on an evening river tour where a guide takes you up and down the river, explaining the history of how it came to be today.
We rounded out our trip at Schilo’s with some breakfast classics, packed our bags and headed to the airport.
While waiting for our flight, we had some great reflection time of how blissful our trip was. I left so inspired to take every advantage I can to spend time out in the sun, it honestly does so much for my mental health. I was also incredibly inspired to begin cooking more and having friends and family over for dinners. Matt and I have always put a huge emphasis on food and love how it brings people together, but trying new foods on our trip and really taking a point to realize how much joy it gave us. I’d like to keep learning as much as I can about culinary, and bring the people most important to me around to try new foods, new drinks, and new experiences.