Located just south of Southtown, Carnitas Lonja may be off the beaten path, but it's most assuredly a path you want to go down. Although this "hole in the wall" is unassuming, it has earned tons of praise for their incredible food. There are not a lot of options here, but that's probably why it's so good. They hone in on what they do best and have perfected the art of carnitas. This is a family-owned business and they specialize in making the traditional dish of Michoacan-style carnitas using fresh daily ingredients. You can bet they throw in a bit of Texas flair to make this dish uniquely San Antonio. With fresh corn tortillas made from a mixture of corn nixtamalizado, juicy pork carnitas and perfectly-crafted accoutrements such as pico de gallo, pickled onions and salsa, this makes for one terrific meal to remember.
Recommended for Best Restaurants for Fall because: A local's favorite hole in the wall, Carnitas Lonja is a great place to grab some of the city's best (and affordable) Mexican food.
Kimberly's expert tip: Grab some carnitas to go and take a tour of the nearby missions!
East meets west at this Peruvian restaurant that gleefully plays with Asian-South American fusions. The cuisine is properly referred to as Chifa Nikkei. In Peru, Chifa refers to Chinese-Peruvian cuisine and Nikkei to Japanese-Peruvian food. The seasoned chef of Botika, Geronimo Lopez, is a world traveler from Caracas, Venezuela. His cuisine is inspired by all of a multitude of international cultures, offering diners a taste of something unique and exceptional. Unlike anything else you'll find at the Pearl or even in San Antonio for that matter, Botika is a fun and surprisingly affordable place to take a date before the game or any other kind of event. Start your meal with some Hoisin-shitake braised pork steamed buns or the duck confit and potato empanadas. As you roll into your main course, go light with some beautiful fresh sushi or dig into a signature dish.
Recommended for Best Restaurants for Fall because: Botika is a unique offering at the Pearl that offers a variety of scrumptious Peruvian dishes.
Kimberly's expert tip: Go a little early and sip on some cocktails on their comfortable and colorful patio while watching all the Pearl passersby.
A graceful, mirrored dining room provides an elegant accompaniment to Bohanan's top-notch steaks and seafood. Noted for serving Akaushi beef, three grades above Prime, and dramatic flaming desserts, the restaurant has a loyal contingent of regulars and attracts new customers nightly. Try a juicy filet from the mesquite grill, or split a massive double center-cut pork chop with someone special. Unusual seafood dishes like Macadamia Encrusted Gulf Red Snapper and Mero Sea Bass served with a shrimp and tomato broth provide a welcome change of pace. Make sure to start the evening early with a few cocktails at the bar. This is the kind of restaurant where you want to spend the entire evening.
Recommended for Best Restaurants for Fall because: Bohanan's is a great classic steakhouse for a fancy night out on the town!
Kimberly's expert tip: Their Banana's Foster is a showstopper!
Augie's barbecue has been a San Antonio staple for many years now. It's so delicious it repeatedly sells out, so make sure to get there early to get your favorites. Now, when it comes to favorites, Augie's has all the classics. He has mastered the art of Texas BBQ and that includes the sides, which are scratch made and, simply, exceptional complements to the barbecue. With succulent brisket, pulled pork, sausage, chicken and more perfectly smoked and ready to make your mouth water meats, Augie's is our #1 go-to for traditional Texas 'cue. As this is also a steakhouse, they offer affordable, hand-cut ribeyes and NY strips as well. The restaurant is spacious with fun décor you might expect. They also have a new dedicated bar with a long list of specialty bourbons and an outdoor patio where you can enjoy that brisket and bourbon on warm Texas evenings. Make sure to also check out Augie's other location, Augie's Barbed Wire Smoke House.
Recommended for Best Restaurants for Fall because: A local's favorite, this traditional Texas barbecue restaurant features all your favorite Texas BBQ.
Kimberly's expert tip: Go early for dinner and enjoy a couple of fine bourbons at their on-site bar, Brazed.
Clementine is a family-owned, visionary neighborhood restaurant created by two of San Antonio's favorite chefs, John and Elise Russ (husband and wife team). The menu focuses on seasonal Southern and American eats in a casual but elegant setting. They source from several local farms so you can expect fresh, seasonal fare. The Country Fried Bandera Quail is impeccable. You might also enjoy the Seared Tri-Tip with wilted greens, giant beans, front garden chimichurri, seared tomato and grilled bread. The truth of the matter is you can't go wrong here, whatever you choose. If you're in a daring mood, order the "Feed Me," prix fixe menu, where the chef sends out course after course of superb seasonal flavors. You may get so full you'll want to say, "no more," but you won't!
Recommended for Best Restaurants for Fall because: One of the most lovely, thoughtful restaurants to grace the San Antonio food scene.
Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to make reservations.
Little Em's Oyster Bar is one of the newest gems to adorn the Southtown Arts District and King William area. It's the first true boutique oyster bar in San Antonio, something akin to what you might find in Los Angeles, Miami or even Paris. The restaurant was lovingly built by husband and wife team, Emily and Houston Carpenter, a powerhouse couple that has travelled the world, eating at the best oyster bars they could find. They brought that experience and expertise back home to their own neighborhood to realize a dream come true in this absolutely adorable and chic restaurant. Although small inside, they also feature a cozy patio and bar seating outside, complete with umbrellas and heaters (as needed). Not only does Little Em's have a "fresh vibe," but they showcase some of the freshest oysters in town. Shucked to order, the oyster menu changes weekly and is curated based on quality and flavor with options such as Raspberry Point, Standish Shore, Fiddler's Cove and Thatch Island oysters. They offer or a true taste of the ocean with other menu items as well, including Salmon Ceviche, Crab Cakes, Crudo Plate, Crab Claws, a succulent Lobster Roll and more!
Recommended for Best Restaurants for Fall because: Small but charming and artfully presented, Little Em's is the newest hot spot in Southtown.
Kimberly's expert tip: For something ultra special, order Little Em's new "Dressed Oysters," a revolving special lovingly prepared with accoutrements such as avocado crema, trout roe and dill. Yum!
Somehow, perhaps by pure magic, Brassiere Mon Chou Chou managed to capture the essence of a Parisian bistro in the heart of South Texas, and it's utterly delightful! This new restaurant succeeds on every level, from the cuisine to the service, environment and vibe. Let's start with the food. You simply can't go wrong. The Raclette cheese sandwich on a crisp baguette with smoked paprika aioli, cornichon and (if you so choose) Bayonne ham has received rave reviews, but when it comes to must-haves, the Lyon-style onion soup with Emmental cheese and Cognac is as close to heaven on earth as one can get. The Lobster Bisque with its puff pastry cap is also impressive. Dishes may come and go, but hopefully the crisp duck confit in a green peppercorn sauce will stand the test of time. Every single bite here titillates the tongue.
Recommended for Best Restaurants for Fall because: Mon Chou Chou is one of the newest offerings at the historic Pearl Brewery that's simply slaying with their fabulous menu!
Kimberly's expert tip: They also feature a phenomenal brunch on Sunday, but you'd better make reservations weeks in advance.
DASHI is the newest offering from restauranteur, Kristina Zhao, who has made a name for herself with Sichuan House. Similarly, DASHI will be serving mouth-watering contemporary Sichuanese cuisine, a rare treat in San Antonio, where Tex-Mex typically rules. Not here. This extensive and diverse menu is filled with Sichuan delights as good as if you were dining in the Southwest region of China at this very moment - the area where Sichuan food first originated. Your biggest challenge here is deciding what to eat. The owner herself recommends the succulent Mongolian ribeye, spicy and savory lobster, the popular Burning Man Noodles (made with crispy beef and veggies), the wok-seared chicken, Combo Sizzling Rice, baby bao and the DASHI Spicy Whole Fish, just to name a few. Is your mouth watering yet? Good thing they also have a menu of specialty cocktails to balance all of that spicy deliciousness, such as the Kowloon Station, made with sake, rice milk, mango and orgeat.
Recommended for Best Restaurants for Fall because: DASHI is a new Sichuan restaurant offering an array of scratch made Chinese food that will have you coming back again and again!
Kimberly's expert tip: An ideal dining option for groups of families and friends. The Family Surf and Turf with fresh live lobsters made two ways, spicy cumin lamb lollipops and more is a must!
Gunslingers is the home of insanely delicious, over-the-top burgers, chicken sandwiches and chicken wings! It's also home of the incredible James Beard award-winning Concha Burger from Chef Adrian Cruz, made with a vibrant, colorful concha bun, a traditional Mexican pastry. This scratch kitchen just opened up in September of 2021 at the lush Los Patios property not far from the airport. Other favorites at this elevated fast casual restaurant include mac-n-cheese topped with juicy brisket burnt ends and a Chicken Fried Chicken with Gravy sandwich that's topped with a perfectly-cooked sunny side up egg. Make sure to order the combo with fries or a side of the Truffle Parmesan Fries, as these may be some of the best you'll ever eat! These scrumptious bites can be enjoyed dine-in using contactless digital ordering, to-go or delivered through Doordash and Uber Eats. For entertainment, the restaurant (true to its name) will also be playing vintage cowboy movies for guests to watch while they eat. Go get 'em, cowboy!
Recommended for Best Restaurants for Fall because: Gunslingers is a fun, fast casual restaurant that offers all of the jaw dropping, insta good eats that everyone craves!
Kimberly's expert tip: Olla Express Coffee will be sharing the Gazebo space with Gunslingers, opening up a new brick-and-mortar Mexican coffee shop that specializes in cafe de olla and traditional Mexican drinks.
The Moon's Daughters rooftop restaurant and bar hits every note, from the ambiance to the exceptional service, incredible food, gorgeous views of downtown San Antonio and phenomenal cocktails. This is an ideal place for a date night or special occasion of any kind. Start the evening out with a few cocktails at sunset out on the terrace, often accompanied by live music or a DJ. There are options to dine on the various patio spaces or inside at a high-top table or in the lounge area. The Mediterranean-inspired menu is small but thoughtfully-designed. If you're aiming to impress, order the epic seafood tower that includes Chef Cantu's signature Char Grilled Octopus Skewers, which are sous vide to perfection. From Crispy Meatballs to Artichoke Hummus, Straw and Hay Ricotta Gnudi and Panzanella, there are plenty of stunningly flavorful bites to share. For entrees, go bold with the Braised Lamb Shank or Seared Black Bass. Just make sure to leave room for dessert!
Recommended for Best Restaurants for Fall because: This rooftop venue takes the downtown San Antonio scene to a whole new level with chic fine dining and elegance in all aspects.
Kimberly's expert tip: The staff is so wonderfully accommodating, don't hesitate to make special requests for celebrations.