Enjoy an Array of Luscious Lunches at San Antonio's Incredible Restaurants
By Kimberly Suta
San Antonio Local Expert
Located near the Pearl Brewery, Grayson Street Eatery is one of the newest additions to the San Antonio restaurant scene. Their focus is on redefining the farm-to-table concept with a small but eclectic and yummy menu. Cozy, cool and extremely affordable, this is the #1 lunch spot for infinite reasons!
If you're on the north side near the stunning Eilan property, you must stop at this gorgeous boutique hotel. Their elegant in-house restaurant, Sustenio, has developed a delicious and thoughtful menu, again using the freshest ingredients. If you have time, make sure to check out their incredible pool area.
There's nothing better for lunch than a juicy burger, and if you're on the northside then you've got to stop off at Bigz for one of their handmade burgers. Just make sure to order yours with the beer-braised onions. Deelish!
For pizza with a little class and exceptional ingredients, Barbaro serves up some of the best pizza in town, along with a fantastic selection of drinks. Not to be overlooked are their unusually delicious salads.
To satisfy your craving for Asian food, head to Ilsong Garden for great Korean BBQ or Piranha Sushi for fresh modern sushi! Great ready because lunch is on!
Corner Bakery Cafe
Corner Bakery is a great place to go to grab a quick and yummy bite to eat during a busy day of shopping, running the kids around, or whatever else you've got going on. They offer a wide variety options for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They are known for their fresh-baked breads, which is how they started out. Since then, they've evolved into a fabulous little cafe where we they serve equally remarkable sandwiches, sweets, savory panini, fresh salads, and hearty bowls of soups and pasta. The focus is on fresh, innovative food is served up with unsurpassed quality and consistency by passionate employees. A place still dedicated to keeping their neighbors, friends and guests happy! ((210) 441-4553)
Big'z Burger Joint
Bigz claims to have the best burgers in San Antonio, and they may be right! They are certainly worth the drive, no matter where you're staying in San Antonio. Bigz burgers are mouth-watering delights, whether you go whole hog with bacon and cheese or keep it simple. You can order your burger with one, two or even three patties and a variety of fun toppings such a pineapple and jalapenos. Patrons also swear by their milkshakes, which comes in Mexican vanilla, double-dutch chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and banana. Hungry yet?! (210-408-2029)
Piranha Killer Sushi Restaurant
Piranha Killer Sushi is a trendy Americanized Japanese restaurant with a bit of a twist. There is no confusion in this fusion! Whether for a business lunch or date night, Piranha's nouveau Japanese atmosphere and expansive menu, including a rockin' list of martini options as well as wine and sake, will not disappoint. Piranha's offers up super fresh sushi, inspired presentations and unique flavor profiles, such as the White Lotus Roll -- a crab, shrimp tempura, cream cheese roll topped with escolar and a colorful pico de gallo served with a delicate truffle oil sauce. Unexpected and savory items such as the Vietnamese beef salad with sriracha lime sauce and the Vietnamese summer roll of salmon, tuna, crab, micro greens, mango and asparagus in rice paper with a ponzu sauce are not to be overlooked. If you're a traditionalist, Piranha's has some classics you'll enjoy, but don't be afraid to venture out into the unknown. Sushi is not for the faint of heart! ((210) 822-1088)
Rosario's, which has been around now for over 20 years, has transported itself from a local favorite to a critically-acclaimed restaurant. They have been featured in Southern Living, Texas Monthly and The New York Times, and have been listed as one of the "Top 50 Restaurants in the U.S." by Hispanic Magazine. From their Chile Relleno de Pescado (shrimp and fish stuffed poblano pepper) to their fajitas and enchiladas, there is not one thing on the menu you won't be wanting to return for again and again. They offer live music on the weekends and specialize in gigantic margaritas that are almost a meal by itself! (210-223-1806)
Madhatters Tea House & Cafe
Madhatters is a local favorite for all things deli. If you're wanting some healthy, homemade-esque take out, this is an excellent choice. They have all the traditional favorites such as turkey and tuna salad sandwiches, but also offer some not-so-usual deli items such as couscous, turkey burgers and a grilled eggplant and hummus sandwich. Even if you're wanting something a little sweet to take back to the hotel, you can't go wrong at Madhatters. They have a bakery-style case filled with enormous cakes and scrumptious pies. Unfortunately, the only thing you can't take with you is the charming atmosphere, but everything else is up for grabs! (210-212-4832)
The Clean Plate
While the concept of farm-to-table hasn't quite caught fire yet in San Antonio, the fact is, for many people as well as restaurateurs, farm-to-table is the only way to go. There's no doubt that while your farm-to-table choices are limited in the Alamo city, you can be sure that the ones we do have are nothing short of excellent. The Clean Plate, which recently opened its doors, is at the top of this list and you'll see why. This small but cozy restaurant is dedicated to serving dishes made with locally-sourced and often organic ingredients that are as delicious as they are wholesome. They are doing more than their part to support local farms, ranches and other specialized vendors. They have no interest in using ingredients that are mass produced. Owners Chef Cat New and Melissa Polinard are passionate about the importance of utilizing local, sustainable ingredients. All of their proteins are locally-sourced and humanly raised while 95% of their produce is locally-sourced. If that doesn't impress you, the flavors certainly will!
This family-owned and operated business is led by Young Chu Cacy who learned how to cook traditional Korean food as well as Asian fusions from her mother, Sun Nam, who was born in Korea. Il Song Garden primarily serves traditional Korean food and you can expect to find your favorites here, including Bulgogi, marinated thin strips of tender ribeye steak cooked over an open flame, Kalbi, marinated beef short ribs, Spicy Bulgogi, Baby Back Ribs and other Korean delicacies. Locals can't get enough of their unique Vegetable Pancake, a crispy pan-fried concoction of veggies and seafood. You can add oysters, kimchi or shrimp to your pancake. Yaki Mandu, their version of pan-fried dumplings filled with a mixture of beef, noodles and fresh vegetables is also a great way to start your meal. The menu is extensive and also offers an assortment of Japanese entrees, such as Chicken Teriyaki and Shrimp Tempura. ((210) 366-4508)
Barbaro isn't just any pizza joint, think of it more as a pizza speakeasy � a neighborhood bar that features craft beer and absolutely fantastic pizza, salads and desserts showcasing the finest ingredients in combinations you wouldn't come up with on your own but make perfect sense once they're on your palette. If pizza had its own Oscar's, Barbaro's would be the Scarlet Johansson of the evening � sexy, sophisticated, clever and unique. We'd like to add cheesy, but you get our meaning. Barbaro's recently moved into the quaint Monte Vista neighborhood next to Lilly's cookies on McCullough and is yet another brilliant culinary creation birthed by the restaurateurs of The Monterey and Hot Joy. ((210) 320-2261)
If you don't have the pleasure of staying at the beautiful Eilan Hotel Resort and Spa, make sure to include dinner plans at Sustenio on your itinerary. One of the perks is complimentary valet service for all restaurant guests, but that's just the beginning. The decor is beautifully contemporary with classy yet comfortable seating and fashionable light fixtures. The menu is an amalgam of influences from Chef Pyles' travels to Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Lebanon and showcases ingredients often sourced locally. Farm-to-table is a natural fit for Sustenio being that the "Ripe" Farmer's Market takes place at Eilan every Sunday. Sustenio uses approximately two dozen of these fabulous vendors, including a purveyor of Texas-raised Wagyu beef. Dishes range from fresh and light, such as the Whole Roasted Branzino and Grilled Swordfish to rich and decadent, such as the Berkshire Pepperoni De Arrabbiata (house linguini), the gluten-free Gnocchi with scallops and brown butter, and the Cinnamon and Ginger Spiced Pork Osso Bucco. ((210) 598-2900)
Grayson Street Eatery
Grayson Street Eatery is a uniquely eclectic bistro, located near downtown and within walking distance of the ever-popular Pearl Brewery. Restauranteurs, Montiel and Moreno have managed to transform this 1940's bungalow into something quite special and unlike anything else you'll find in town. Surrounded by gallery walls filled with avante-garde artwork, genuinely passionate staff and cuisine that is as surprising as it is delicious, it's no wonder locals are all abuzz about this little eatery. Chef Diaz, who perfected his skills in Italy, has designed a scrumptious menu that also features favorite recipes from the owners' families. The dishes highlight fresh, local ingredients and fantastic flavors while keeping it light. Dishes such as the smoked red and yellow beet salad exemplify what this place is all about. Everything is made from scratch, including the ketchup! Sandwich specials are offered daily for lunch, and you should try every one of them! (210.437.0138)
About Kimberly Suta
Kimberly A. Suta is a professional freelance writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur with a background in marketing, advertising and social media. Her first business, Midnight Sun Innovations, involved a partnership with Regal Cinemas, the largest theatre chain in the world. Kimberly has written, directed and produced several films that have screened at Texas film festivals and she produces an annual film competition at the popular Alamo Drafthouse theatre. She recently published her second novel, The Rain Queen, which can be found on Amazon.com. Kimberly currently lives and works in San Antonio, Texas, a place of much inspiration to her.
Read more about Kimberly Suta here.