Best restaurants on the Riverwalk

San Antonio's Riverwalk has it all from fine dining to barbecue!

San Antonio's Riverwalk is always a sight to see, whether you're visiting for the first time or you live here. The best part about wandering the Riverwalk is discovering new places to eat and drink. 

For something casual and affordable, you can't go wrong with Texas BBQ! However, The County Line likes to elevate with some fine china instead of the usual butcher paper. They serve up all of your favorites, from pork ribs to smoked turkey and homemade sides reminiscent of a good old-fashioned family picnic!

Acenar is also a great choice for something fun and affordable, with Tex-Mex favorites and original dishes that will have your mouth watering. We also love their spacious outdoor patio overlooking the river.

On the other end of the spectrum, for a special night out on the town, Biga On The Banks is everyone's go-to when you're looking to impress. This old-world fine dining establishment has mastered the art of upscale cuisine. We recommend the Prix Fixe, to take full advantage of their offerings, with star dishes including anything from Mustard Crusted Roasted Australian Lamb Rack to Scottish Salmon.

Keep reading and keep walking the Riverwalk to discover more!


Casa Rio has long been a tradition and a favorite for many families in San Antonio. The restaurant holds the distinction of being the first business to open its doors on the River Walk. This occurred back in 1946 not too long after World War II. Additional history tells us that the restaurant sits on land first granted a title by the King of Spain in 1777. Casa Rio serves delicious Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine but many do not know that the restaurant also provides riverboat dining on the San Antonio River. With a reservation, guests board a river barge during lunch, dinner or cocktail hours and spend about an hour dining as their riverboat captain takes them up and down the San Antonio River. While you munch on scrumptious enchiladas and sip your margarita you enjoy sights and sounds galore. Casa Rio often provides Mariachi singers so your dining experience will be one of the most memorable and musical.

Recommended for River Walk's Best Restaurants because: Casa Rio has been a tradition along the River Walk for longer than most locals can remember, serving up some favorite Tex-Mex.

Kimberly's expert tip: Casa Rio is a good choice if you're on a budget. You can get some bean and cheese nachos or crispy flautas for under $10.

Read more about Casa Rio Mexican Restaurant →

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.

Recommended for River Walk's Best Restaurants because: Ruth Chris has earned a reputation for crafting one of the most succulent steaks you will ever enjoy.

Kimberly's expert tip: A great place for a quick or relaxing lunch. Try the burger or Steak Sandwich, made with tender sliced filet and a velvety béarnaise sauce on garlic bread.

Read more about Ruth's Chris Steak House →

Photo courtesy of Jody Horton

Hotel Emma showcases its culinary prowess in multiple ways, but it's an on-site restaurant, Supper; located along the northern extension of the San Antonio River Walk, that 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 River Walk's Best Restaurants because: Supper is a chef-driven restaurant that features seasonal ingredients and has a gorgeous view of the Riverwalk.

Kimberly's expert tip: A great choice for breakfast and lunch!

Read more about Supper →


Acenar, located downtown on the Riverwalk, is a spectacularly innovative and contemporary Tex-Mex restaurant that Zagat has noted for its "killer food." Lisa Wong (who also owns Rosario's) and her partners took special care with this restaurant to ensure it could compete in style and taste with just about any other restaurant in any metropolitan city, and they did not disappoint. If you just want to check it out, they offer a Houston street-level bar called Atomar and a Happy Hour menu that's worth the walk. Although the regular menu is similar to Rosario's with a boost in price, Acenar offers items that are unique to it, such as the Buttermilk Fried Oysters, the Young Texas Goat served with Ancho Salsa Ranchera and the Duck Crepes. Looking for Tex-Mex with a twist? This is it!

Recommended for River Walk's Best Restaurants because: Acenar makes classy and scrumptious Tex-Mex in a festive environment.

Kimberly's expert tip: You can't go wrong with any of their enchiladas! Of course, this may be true city-wide!

Read more about Acenar →

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

The Valencia Hotel's new restaurant, Dorrego's, proves that some hotel restaurants can shine. Although Latin flavors are not rare in San Antonio, Dorrego's showcases Argentinean fare, something you're not likely to run across in the Alamo City. Chef Mesa visited Argentina and brought back his inspirations, incorporating those authentic ingredients into his cuisine. Start your meal out right with Mexican street corn and the Proveleta Flamado a la Mesa, a tequila flamed cheese grilled Argentian provolone. The entree choices are diverse, elegant and scrumptious, ranging from gulf prawns (head-on), duck empanadas, grilled octopus, TX pig meatballs, smoked short rib ravioli and more. For dessert, even if you're too full, try the DDL Panna Cotta. For downtown visitors, you might wish to stop in for some cocktails to enjoy on their lovely patio, situated along the riverwalk. Dorrego's is a veritable treat, and the perfect choice for late night eats!

Recommended for River Walk's Best Restaurants because: One of the most elegant restaurants located along San Antonio's Riverwalk.

Kimberly's expert tip: A great stop for a glass of wine an appetizer while wandering around the downtown landscape.

Read more about Dorrego's →

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 prix fixe 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.

Recommended for River Walk's Best Restaurants because: Although you can really only see the river from the balcony, once you get a taste, you won't care if you're sitting on the moon.

Kimberly's expert tip: The menu changes from day to day based on seasonal availability so be sure to check out the website for details.

Read more about Restaurant Gwendolyn →

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Boudro's Texas Bistro is the ideal spot for intimate lunches or dinners as well as large parties and convention groups. They can accommodate you inside or on one of their special river barges, catered exactly to your taste. The Chef offers culinary inventiveness with the use of fresh, local ingredients that help make this restaurant so sought after. The delicious frozen margaritas are made with swirls of crimson prickly pear juice, and the menu revels in dishes like black lacquered duck leg, papaya-marinated flank steak, mesquite-grilled Texas quail, and shrimp and crab enchiladas. Boudro's truly has some of the best food on the River, from smoked shrimp enchiladas and blackened prime rib to seafood straight from the Gulf.

Recommended for River Walk's Best Restaurants because: Boudro's is always packed because they make some of the best food and drinks along the Riverwalk.

Kimberly's expert tip: A great choice for large parties or special events. Ask about their private rooms.

Read more about Boudro's →

Elsewhere Garden Bar & Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Elsewhere Garden Bar & Kitchen

Elsewhere is one of the most charming options to lounge along San Antonio's famed Riverwalk. Located across the river from the San Antonio Museum of Art, this funky fun outdoor bar and restaurant is known for its craft beer, fine wine and elevated bar eats. Enjoy everything from hearty burgers to Baja Shrimp Tacos to juicy chicken sandwiches, including a yummy Chicken Parm made with chicken fried chicken breast, mozz, marinara, parmesan and creamy pesto that's topped with a Ceasar salad on a brioche bun. Perhaps the best part of the experience here are the swings situated along the river's edge. It's the perfect option for a romantic date!

Recommended for River Walk's Best Restaurants because: An unexpected gem along the Riverwalk, without having to worry about downtown parking.

Kimberly's expert tip: A great place to start the evening off right before strolling north to visit the historic Pearl Brewery!

Read more about Elsewhere Garden Bar & Kitchen →

Biga on the Banks
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Biga's is perfect for a theater evening downtown. They offer a three- or four-course selection from their menu at a prix fixe price. The Seasonal Menu is available daily, for orders placed before 6:30 or after 9:30 pm. Chef Bruce Auden's daily menu is just that â€" refreshed daily with the best picks of the season. A sample menu might be something like lobster ravioli on arugula, lobster sauce and fennel or Szechuan pepper cured salmon, orange chili noodles and sweet mustard or Boudin-stuffed quail with pears, blackberry jus, zucchini cake. Chef Auden lets his imagination run wild and keeps locals and travelers alike coming back again and again for his delectable culinary creations.

Recommended for River Walk's Best Restaurants because: Biga's is an elegant, successful restaurant and patrons won't be disappointed.

Kimberly's expert tip: Ask for table 31 when you make a reservation at Biga on the Banks, known for the best view in the house.

Read more about Biga on the Banks →

County Line Barbecue
Photo courtesy of The County Line

If you want to know what "real" Texans eat, make it a point to stop by The County Line. Packed with memorabilia and looking like an authentic roadhouse, this BBQ joint gets everyone in the mood for a good time! The food is just as unpretentious as the atmosphere but doesn't disappoint with finger-licking-good smoked brisket, pork ribs, sausage, chicken, sandwiches, all your favorite house-made sides and their signature bread served with honey butter. Rich and dense, they compare it to eating a great piece of cake. It's also worth mentioning, that the service here is superb. You are served on china as opposed to the traditional butcher paper, making the experience a little more upscale and perfect for special occasions!

Recommended for River Walk's Best Restaurants because: Located along the Riverwalk, The County Line offers great BBQ and great service that visitors and locals alike can enjoy!

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to order their creamy, yummy Banana Pudding for dessert!

Read more about County Line Barbecue →


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