Enjoy Some of San Antonio's Finest Restaurants Before or After the Alamodome



The Alamodome in San Antonio is always busy with events, from concerts to Disney on Ice. If you're looking to grab a quick bite to eat or a leisurely meal in a fine dining atmosphere, you won't have to stray far with these excellent restaurants.

Unfortunately, with all of the downtown traffic, it's not always easy walking from the Alamodome, but if you're up for it, then you can head to Southtown to find a plethora of great restaurants, including Cascabel's, Hot Joy and Liberty Bar. Any one of these should satisfy your cravings. 

You're in luck! One of the best barbecue restaurants in town is very nearby. Dignowity Meats offers KC-Style barbecue that is seriously finger-licking-good. This outdoor eatery is a great place to go before or after an event. Enjoy a few brews and play a few games while you're at it!

For fine dining, you can't get any closer than Ruth's Chris and their tasty steaks, although Restaurant Gwendolyn, with their pure farm-to-table concept, may just be worth the few extra blocks. 



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King William District
El Mirador
Photo courtesy of El Mirador


 

Packed houses attest to El Mirador's popularity with locals, and its traditional cuisine ventures beyond the standards to include grilled goat, wild boar, and tongue. Its soups are especially lauded, particularly the much-requested sopa Azteca. Fruit tacos are similarly favored. Sunday brunch draws a crowd, and eager folks come early to stake out a table and leisurely enjoy the bounty. The menu features filling breakfast fare and a handful of even heartier main-course options. Dinner here is equally as popular, with affordable classic Tex-Mex such as enchiladas and fajitas. They also have a great outdoor patio. If you're staying downtown, it's not that far of a walk.


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Texas de Brazil
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta


 

Texas de Brazil opened in San Antonio in 2010 and hasn't stopped serving delicious, succulent Brazilian meats and traditional favorites ever since. While there is more than one Brazilian-American Churrascaria (steakhouse) in San Antonio, Texas de Brazil is possibly the most luxurious and decadent one in town. Conveniently located downtown, they are within walking distance of many of the popular hotels and tourist attractions. Start your meal off with the salad bar complete with everything under the sun from their signature lobster bisque to smoked salmon, grilled pineapple, charcuterie and a rainbow of salads and specialties. However, make sure to not overdo it on the salad bar because what comes next will become the stuff of legends. Prepare yourself for an onslaught of the most mouth-watering cuts of beef, pork, chicken and lamb, from the Picanha to ribs, bacon-wrapped chicken, sausage and more. It's a meat-lovers dream come true!


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Gwendolyn, located downtown along the Riverwalk, is a fine-dining American restaurant that, like the Grandmother it's named for, inspires deep love and devotion. A cozy, romantic venue, Gwendolyn is an ideal place for a first date, anniversary or if you're simply a foodie who appreciates impeccable food. Gwendolyn is committed to serving handmade food made from local ingredients. Chef Michael is a devotee of the Slow Food Movement which emphasizes eco-awareness. Even more impressive, Gwendolyn refuses to use all the modern gadgetry that most restaurants can't seem to live without. The menu is small, offering a three course or five course pre-fix menu with two options for each course that changes daily. You can check the website to see what the current day's menu will be, and you'll want to call ahead to book your reservation.


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Saveurs 209
Photo courtesy of Saveurs 209


 

If you're looking to experience an afternoon or evening in Paris right here in downtown San Antonio, all you have to do is go to Saveurs 209, the new contemporary, family-owned French restaurant you won't want to miss! Although they've only been open a few months, Saveurs has already garnered a number of loyal local clientele, and we know why. The menu is short but distinctive, allowing the Chef to offer dishes that are heavenly and unlike anything else you'll find in San Antonio. This fresh and light cuisine is created with a level of care and precision that leaves no doubt in your mind that Chef Nykiel's skills have been honed in Michelin Star restaurants. Her special flair for inventing unique culinary creations is something the Nykiel family and San Antonio should be very proud of. The menu includes some stellar seafood dishes and is always evolving, depending on what ingredients are in season and locally available. Although in the states, we are just now catching on to the local farm-fresh craze, this is how they've been doing it overseas for, well, since the beginning of time.


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San Antonio


 

Liberty Bar has been a staple of San Antonio for longer than most people remember. It has a history of being in creative locations. Orignally, it was in a building that was listing so much it looked like it might fall over. Now, they're located in Southtown in what used to be an old nunnery. Liberty Bar does justice to this historic building by offering traditional favorites for brunch as well as homey dishes like old-fashioned pot roast and daily specials earn high praise from locals, as do salads, sandwiches, pastas, and mesquite-grilled meat dishes. The place also makes its own pies, geranium cream, and shortbread cookies.


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Hot Joy
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta


 

Hot Joy started out as a pop-up restaurant on Monday nights when The Monterey was closed. Their Twice-Fried Chicken Wings made with crab fat caramel is now the stuff of legends and partly responsible for why they quickly gained a loyal following. Get ready for extreme sensory overload, from the explosion of color in the decor to the explosion of flavor in every dish! Hot Joy is not for the faint of heart but the daring palette. Chef Quealy Watson has an obsession with Asian food and a talent for combining ingredients in a surprisingly delicious way. "I would have never thought of that, but it really works," can often be heard around the tables at their restaurants. The Crispy Pork Belly tacos made with a Malaysian flatbread, mole ssamjang, Kewpie and herbs works. The Hot Fried Chicken made with chili oil, Szechuan peppercorn, sour chilies and oyster sauce works. Quite frankly, it all works. There is not a dish on this menu that isn't worth trying, so let you're own adventurous palette decide.


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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!


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Las Ramblas
Photo courtesy of Hotel Contessa


 

Las Ramblas is a local hot spot and one of the most beautiful places to dine in San Antonio, whether you want to sit inside or on the limestone patio with exceptional views of the river walk. The talented Executive Chef, Jeff Axline, is at the helm of this upscale restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner. The menus are designed to appeal to a wide audience and features popular favorites showcasing high quality ingredients. For brunch you might enjoy a San Antonio classic of Huevos Rancheros or an Andalusian Breakfast Skillet of spiced potatoes, sweet onion, torn herbs, chorizo and sofrito served with fried eggs and country-style bread. Dinner is an elegant affair. The low lighting, warm colors and sophisticated accents make Las Ramblas an ideal spot for a romantic meal for two or a festive family feast. Dinner favorites include Wild Caught Gulf Grouper with a poblano prawn corn butter, a lovely Roasted Chicken with Spanish olives and smoked almond pesto and (yes!) even a Texas Sirloin, served with a bearnaise sauce and crispy frites! It should also be noted that the staff are always well-trained, friendly and professional.


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Ruth's Chris Steak House
Photo courtesy of Ruth's Chris Steakhouse


 

Founded by a woman entrepreneur who was ahead of her time, Ruth's Chris Steak House is well known for its prime cuts. Ruth Fertel showed spirit and determination in choosing her restaurants. The quality of the restaurant steaks is a clear reflection of her eye for the best. Choose from a wide variety of full-flavored classic steaks, such as a T-Bone or Cowboy Ribeye, for an outstanding example of USDA Prime at its best. The steaks come out sizzling on a plate of butter and herb, and the smell alone will have you salivating. Complement your steak with a lettuce wedge salad or lobster bisque. You can wrap it all up with their customer favorite, Chocolate Sin Cake. Ruth's Chris Steak House may be a chain, but they continue to win points with steak lovers around the country for many delicious reasons.


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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!


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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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