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?!
Recommended for Best Value because: Big'z makes some of the most amazing burgers in town!
Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to order your burger with their signature beer-braised onions! Even better, add some avocado!
Azuca Nuevo Latino is not just a restaurant and bar, but an experience. It's a local's favorite for their happy-hour mojitos and caipirinhas. Located just south of downtown in San Antonio's arts district, Azuca offers fantastic drinks you can't find anywhere else in town in a vivid and vibrant atmosphere. Their outdoor patio makes you feel like you're vacationing in some tropical location and not only minutes from downtown. As for the food, Azuca's dishes are an exotic synergy of delicious flavors from South and Central America with Chef Rene's innovative touch, including a wide array of seafood options, including some scrumptious ceviche! The bar area is separate from the restaurant, and on Friday and Saturday nights, you can enjoy their electrifying live music of Salsa and Merengue until your feet get tired.
Recommended for Best Value because: Azuca is one of the most established restaurants in Southtown and offers a wide variety of amazing Latin cuisine.
Kimberly's expert tip: Order the Paella Latina!
Bird Bakery is like a little bakery heaven. The staff is overwhelmingly friendly, encouraging you to try the wide variety of samples, from carrot cake, salted peanut butter cups, and Mexican chocolate brownies. Make sure to ask which items are gluten-free, as this is not a dedicated gluten-free bakery but comes with a variety of wonderful options. They have an amazing honey cheesecake made with Greek yogurt, but it tastes just as decadent and delicious as any cheesecake you've every tasted. Of course they have an array of cupcakes from the Elvis cupcake with peanut butter frosting to the Lemon Blueberry Pancake cupcake. Yum! Bird Bakery also serves lunch and dinner in a chic atmosphere.
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!
Recommended for Best Value because: Piranha Sushi offers affordable and delicious sushi and sashimi in San Antonio.
Kimberly's expert tip: The sushi is so fresh and delicate, you'll want to start with the Crudo of Hamachi, Tuna and Escolar. If you're in the mood for something off the beaten path for dinner, try the Grilled Salmon with Mussels in a Saffron Cream Sauce. It's to-die-for!
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!
Recommended for Best Value because: Rosario's serves up some of the best Tex-Mex in town and you can eat for under $10 for lunch.
Kimberly's expert tip: They have live Salsa music on the weekends!
Fratello's is part restaurant, part deli, part market and wholly delicious! It's a great place to grab a quick bite to eat that's not only fresh but affordable. Their dishes come from hearty family recipes that inspire memories of sitting around the kitchen table, talking, eating, laughing and loving life. The "American Dream" brought many immigrants to America, including their Italian grandparents, uncles and aunts that settled in San Antonio, Texas. Fratello's offers beloved Italian classics such as Chicken Parmesan, Lasagna, Linguine with meatballs and traditional tomato sauce. Fratello's makes all their breads from scratch. Plus, it's the only place in town you can get a bowl of Bucatini al' Amatriciana! They use premium imported Italian ingredients as well as locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. They also use Volpi, America's Oldest Maker of Dry Cured Italian Meats. You'll find a love for tradition and flavor in every Fratello's bite!
Recommended for Best Value because: For scratch-made Italian fare at affordable prices, Fratello's is it!
Kimberly's expert tip: Fratello's easily makes THE best neapolitan-style pizza in town! If you like spicy, try the Salame Piccante. You can even watch your pie being made before it's put into the oven.
Known for its buttermilk pancakes that started from a recipe called 'The World's Best Pancakes,' the Magnolia Pancake Haus is a favorite among locals. Ask a group of San Antonians what their favorite place for breakfast is and you'll hear the name Magnolia many times. The Magnolia prides itself on making the type of food your great grandmother would have served to her guests. They even make their syrups right there in the restaurant. They offer a wide selection of breakfast products including omelets, waffles, Eggs Benedict and a variety of pancakes. Pancake flavors include bacon, bananas foster, blueberry, chocolate and of course their famous 'World's Best Pancakes.'
Recommended for Best Value because: Magnolia Pancake Haus is hard to get in on weekends because they're that good!
Krissy's expert tip: Kids under four get a free pancake.
This recent addition to San Antonio eateries is just one example of why San Antonio is a supreme vacation destination. The Luxury is Chef Andrew Weissman's (one of San Antonio's finest) newest restaurants. Located across the river from the San Antonio Museum of Art, this funky fun outdoor restaurant has a small but utterly delightful menu and an impressive list of beer and wine. There's no doubt it's all delicious, but you can't go wrong with the pulled-pig sandwich, slathered in grilled onions and red peppers or the crispy fish banh mi sandwich topped with dill, onion, cilantro, mint and, yes, even a sunnyside-up fried egg. Yum! For dessert, dip into the chocolate pudding with salted caramel and Chantilly cream. Are you in heaven yet?
Recommended for Best Value because: The Luxury offers great value in terms of quality, affordability and the overall venue.
Kimberly's expert tip: This place is super casual, so don't be afraid to go in shorts or swim trunks, before an afternoon at the pool.
Panchos and Gringos is an unexpected delight. Don't be put off by the dim surroundings. This family-owned and operated restaurant is truly a hidden gem. They offer a large menu of primarily breakfast foods and sandwiches. The food is inexpensive and always fresh and hot and the staff is extremely nice and attentive. For breakfast, you can enjoy a variety of omelets, pancakes, grits and scrumptious breakfast sandwiches, such as the Frenchie, HOBO, SOBO and BOBO. For lunch, enjoy their also creatively named and deliciously sandwiches such as the Brooklyn, which consists of hot grilled pastrami, hot grilled roast beef, melted cheese and house-made coleslaw on a lightly-toasted 12" bun from New York. You won't find breakfast potatoes this fantastic anywhere else in the city. The fries are also spot on. Enjoy!
Recommended for Best Value because: Panchos and Gringos is like going back in time to the old diners. You get big portions at cheap prices.
Kimberly's expert tip: Breakfast is served all day!
Somehow Cafe Dijon manages to stay surprisingly affordable while at the same time serving up fresh and flavorful cafe food made with locally-sourced ingredients. This classy little restaurant and bakery has some yummy offerings for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch on weekends. A crowd favorite is the Dijon Burger made with locally-sourced Wagyu and Angus beef, grilled onions, pancetta, gouda, pickle, arugula and roasted tomato aioli on a housemade bun and served with housemade chips, although you're welcome to get a salad or fruit instead. The Duck Club is another popular choice, served on a brioche with bacon, black garlic aioli, romaine lettuce, tomato and pickled red onion. Although options may change day-to-day, you can expect to find some beautifully hand-painted macaroons, pastries and colorful chocolate truffles. They also serve up some satisfying local coffee from Pulp Coffee for the perfect finish.
Recommended for Best Value because: One of the newest restaurants, located in Alamo Heights, with affordable locally-sourced food.
Kimberly's expert tip: They have gluten-free options, and they are outstanding! Oh, and you can order cakes or other treats for any special occasion.