San Antonio's attractions run the gamut from the austere and historical (like the Alamo) to the wild and wooly (like Six Flags). It stands to reason that the food culture in San Antonio would be similarly diverse. Whether you're looking for a quick, delicious bite with your family or an atmospheric four-course meal with a loved one, you can find it in San Antonio. The list below is an attempt not at creating a definitive list of the city's restaurants but at capturing the best restaurants across a broad spectrum of price ranges and food types. After all, every traveler is going to be looking for something a little different.
Pollo Asados Los Norteños
Pollo Asados Los Norteños is one of those magical holes in the wall where everything lines up just right for a budget eater. The food is fantastic, the portions are insane, and the prices are incredibly reasonable. The authentic street tacos and grilled chicken garner high praise, but the side dishes also have a large contingent of online devotees. Have you ever been to a Mexican restaurant where you cared about the rice and beans? No, because those don't exist. And yet, here one is.
Bella on the River
Bella on the River focuses on Southern European food, primarily Mediterranean. Seafood is a big draw here, from scallops to paella to Texas red fish. The menu changes to bring out the best of what's in season, and the bruschetta changes daily. The restaurant is also noted for its wine bar and its riverside views. If a River Walk seat is really a crucial part of the experience, you'll probably want to make a reservation as those tables fill quickly. Given the food, however, you'll probably be too happy with your meal to care.
Bliss is an upscale, contemporary American restaurant in a renovated gas station. From breads that are baked in-house to Australian lamb loin, Bliss prides itself on quality and unpredictability. Chef Mark Bliss changes the menu daily, sometimes to keep up with what's in season and sometimes just to keep people on their toes. While the menu changes too much to recommend specific dishes in confidence, consensus seems to be that you can't go wrong here. The place strives to have a "relaxed, yet elegant" experience, and this choice eatery certainly hits the mark.
The Big Bib
The Big Bib is good, old-fashioned Texas barbecue done well. The brisket has a lot of fans, as well it should after smoking for 14 hours. Side dishes include sweet potato casserole, which is a great shorthand for knowing that you're dealing with the real deal in barbecue. You can also get ribs, catfish, or an enormous turkey leg, My Cousin Vinny-style. When the place gets busy, seating spills over into Big Bib Too, an event center next door that's also owned by the restaurant. In addition to extra restaurant guests, Big Bib Too hosts local live music twice a week, and special ticketed events throughout the year.
Dough Pizzeria Napoletana
Dough Pizzeria Napoletana does traditional, wood-fired Neapolitan pizza with an eye towards responsible sourcing. They proudly display their farmers, vendors, and brewers on their website. They also go above and beyond your standard pizzeria. They have a house-made mozzarella and burrata bar serving fresh cheese made from BelGioioso curd. Pizzas range from simple margheritas to the loaded "pork love" pizza.