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Homestyle Cuisine in San Antonio May Be Better Than Mom's!



Everyone has a different idea of what defines home cooking. In San Antonio, it can often mean barbecue or fried okra and mashed potatoes, but it can also mean a million other delicious things. Check out these top 10 restaurants to find the homestyle cooking that best appeals to you!

Supper tops the list for offering superbly simple and elegant American fare. This farm-to-table restaurant, located in Hotel Emma at the Pearl Brewery, is the epitome of garden fresh cuisine. Another upscale option is The Cookhouse, for New Orleans-style home cooking. 

If you're wanting to get down and dirty with some old school American classics, try the historic Earl Abel's or Jim's, which have been San Antonio traditions for many decades. It's where they eat when Mom's not cooking. 

For the ultimate in breakfast goodies, enjoy your morning (or brunch) being wooed by some buttermilk biscuits, pancakes or an assortment of other baked delicacies at Guenther House. Don't worry, you can work it off by taking a walk along the river walk, which is just feet away from the restaurant. 


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For a relaxed atmosphere with great gluten-free food, including burgers, and great entertainment, The Cove has become one of the most popular places in town to grab a drink and a meal. This one-of-a-kind restaurant, beer garden, live music venue is also, strangely, a Laundromat and carwash. The picnic-style seating, both inside and out, make for a very casual yet intimate atmosphere that is both family-friendly and dive bar-esque at the same time. Expect to hear some great local bands every night of the week (except for when they're closed on Mondays), including big jazz bands, folk music, country and more. The menu is exceptional with a care for using local, organic ingredients, grass-feed beef and the like.

Recommended for Homestyle because: The Cove offers great American food with a focus on locally-sourced veggies and options for people who don't eat gluten.

Kimberly's expert tip: The fish tacos are very popular, but we recommend the daily specials.

Read more about The Cove →


Jim's Restaurant


Jim's has been a staple in San Antonio for longer than most people can remember. It's the place to go to find good, simple American food that's affordable. This member of Jim's Restaurant chain brews premium coffees. If you need a little something to nibble on with your cup of gourmet java, baked goods ably satisfy your sweet tooth. Folks a bit resistant to change can also rest easy: old favorites from Jim's other locations are still here. You can find most traditional American classics here from burgers to chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes. This is the kind of place you might settle in for a long evening with friends.

Recommended for Homestyle because: The Boiler House offers a diverse menu of delicious steaks, salads, veggies and entrees made from scratch.

Kimberly's expert tip: You can find Jim's all over the city. There's usually one within a stone's throw.

Read more about Jim's Restaurant →




Cascabel's is one of the best-kept secrets in San Antonio and sports a wonderful outdoor patio with umbrella-covered tables. It's different than every other Mexican food restaurant in the city because it features regional specialties from interior Mexico. You won't find the ubiquitous refried pinto beans here or even flour tortillas. Cascabel's serves everything with thick yet soft homemade corn tortillas and refried black beans that have an exceptional amount of flavor. If you want to try something unique, order the Birria, which is a rustic goat stew. If you want to play it safe, order the Huaraches, which are corn tortillas smothered in refried black beans, shredded cabbage, your choice of meat, a spicy red chile sauce and sour cream. Cascabel's will stimulate your palette without over-stimulating your bank account!

Recommended for Homestyle because: Some people's comfort food is chicken fried steak and for others it's a big plate of Mexican food. You're welcome!

Kimberly's expert tip: This quaint and quirky little restaurant is great for breakfast too. Try the Mexican hot chocolate or the Cafe de Olla. There is nothing else like it!

Read more about Cascabel Mexican Patio →


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Earl Abel's has been serving the San Antonio locals for nearly 80 years. There's a reason why this place is still around. Their breakfast menu includes homemade biscuits, omelets and fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juice. Fresh and home style foods please all appetites. The children are offered strawberries and cream with their pancakes and even an omelet. The atmosphere is pleasant and welcoming. Earl Abel's is a San Antonio tradition so if you are looking for a great breakfast in a great setting, this is the place! They also offer lunch and dinner, so stop by anytime for a classic homestyle meal.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Nothing says homestyle more than the most perfectly cooked homemade burger!

Kimberly's expert tip: Be sure to try a stack of Earl Abel's short thins - three sweet pancakes!

Read more about Earl Abel's →




If you're feeling homesick for some home cooking, then head straight to Lulu's for a bit of take out (or stay in) and they'll get you fixed right up! All of their portions are giant-sized and completely economical, homemade and, well, just fantastic down home cookin'! You may have seen them on TV as they've been featured on Man vs. Food. Their cinnamon rolls, which are decadent delights, cover an entire plate. Don't plan on eating one on your own. One of the most popular dishes is the Chicken Fried Steak which can come with fluffy mashed potatoes and fried okra or your choice of any of their multiple side dishes.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Lulu's is a San Antonio staple for families because they offer a wide array of traditional homestyle food.

Kimberly's expert tip: Lulu's isn't far from downtown and you can easily find parking!

Read more about Lulu's Bakery & Cafe →


Panchos and Gringos Deli
Photo courtesy of Panchos and Gringos


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 Homestyle because: Panchos and Gringos serves up breakfast and lunch favorites at affordable prices.

Kimberly's expert tip: You really can't go wrong here, so order whatever sounds good.

Read more about Panchos and Gringos Deli →


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King William District
Guenther House
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pancake Haus


Sausage, biscuits, eggs, pancakes, waffles with sweet cream and a San Antonio mainstay: breakfast tacos. It is all at The Guenther House! Like so much of San Antonio, this restaurant has history behind it. The building is nearly 100 years old and even holds a museum and gift shop. It is a popular stop in the down town area. Whether you are in the mood for a full traditional breakfast or prefer a small plate of fresh and seasonal fruit, you are sure to find something to suit your breakfast attitude at The Guenther House.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Guenther House is an elegant tradition in San Antonio for delicious homestyle cooking.

Kimberly's expert tip: Guenther's might very well have the best biscuits and gravy in town!

Read more about Guenther House →


Dignowity Meats
Photo courtesy of Courtesy Dignowity Meats


Dignowity Meats is a smoked meat sandwich shop located in San Antonio's Eastside historical neighborhood of Dignowity Hill. The name may be hard to pronounce, but by the time you're done with your meal, you won't forget it. They offer elevated deli eats, sandwiches and sides, such as their incredibe sharp cheddar mac-n-cheese. Their menu includes KC Brisket Burnt Ends, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Pulled Pork, St. Louis Ribs and specialties such as their Dignowity Pie, which is brisket burnt ends or pulled pork with mac, served over fries and sliced jalapenos. This is not the place to go when you're on a diet, but you probably already figured that out! Owners Andrew Samia and Shane Reed grew up in the Northeast and Midwest and are the visionaries of Dignowity Meats. Having developed a strong appreciation for old school mom and pop deli's that smoked and cooked all of their products on site, they wanted to bring the same flavors and authenticity to the Alamo city... and they have!

Recommended for Homestyle because: Although the idea of what you consider homestyle depends on where you live. In Kansas City, this barbecue is it!

Kimberly's expert tip: Their delicious smoked meats can be ordered at a window or enjoyed on their outdoor seating.

Read more about Dignowity Meats →


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San Antonio
The Cookhouse
Photo courtesy of Kimberly A. Suta


The Cookhouse just opened their doors in early September of 2014 but is already the talk of the town, which comes as no surprise as it's the only restaurant in San Antonio that showcases traditional New Orleans cuisine, the kind you might find at some fine dining establishment in the French Quarter. The roasted Duck and Dumplings made with an exceptional marjoram potato gnocchi and served with tomato confit and a red wine demi-glace is utterly divine. Other favorites include the Tomato Artichoke Canoli, made with house-made pasta, goat cheese, tomato confit, artichoke hearts and marjoram, not to mention the Grilled Trout Amandine with muniere butter, toasted almonds and fresh green beans. If you adore fresh seafood, you can bet The Cookhouse serves up some of the freshest gulf oysters and shrimp from here to the coast. The New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp is served in a pool of savory spicy garlic butter and beer sauce (a secret recipe!) and charred French bread that is ideal for dunking. So addictively delicious, you may find yourself wanting to drink it. It's okay, nobody's looking!

Recommended for Homestyle because: The Cookhouse is currently the hot spot in town for homestyle New Orleans fare, just the way they eat it in Louisiana!

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to order yourself a slice of the oh-so-decadent Steen's Cane Syrup Pecan Pie for dessert. You won't regret it!

Read more about The Cookhouse →


Supper
Photo courtesy of Jody Horton


Hotel Emma showcases its culinary prowess in multiple ways, but it's on-site restaurant, Supper; located along the northern extension of the San Antonio river walk, is their best representation of what good food is all about. This farm-to-table restaurant almost dares you to not like veggies. Their menu is largely vegetarian, but each dish is so flavorful you don't miss the meat. Of course, that's not to say they don't also feature some amazing proteins, but they certainly don't rely on them. When they do feature dishes like their Duck Confit, it's balanced with a refreshing herb salad that accentuates the duck but doesn't weigh you down. A meal at Supper is an utter delight, not only because of the food and clear spirits cocktails, but also because of the stellar staff, beautiful views of the river from their outdoor patio, and the simple feeling that you're somewhere special. In truth, you are and all of San Antonio knows it!

Recommended for Homestyle because: This is home cooking at it's best, if you grew up in a family with a garden and your Mom was a chef!

Kimberly's expert tip: If you don't sit on the patio, make sure to ask for the Chef's table!

Read more about Supper →


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Meet 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,...  More About Kimberly

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