Best Waterfront Dining in San Antonio

Luxuriate along the river at some of San Antonio's top restaurants

San Antonio's serpentine river winds throughout the city and is lined by some superb restaurants, from casual to fine dining. Cool off with some cocktails, brews and beautiful views at any of these hot spots! 

Sometimes the hustle and bustle of the riverwalk can be overwhelming, but not at Zocca, which features a large patio along the riverwalk that's just a little more peaceful than most. Add to that some delectable Northern Italian cuisine, from pasta to pizza, not to mention superior service, and you have yourself a fantastic first choice for waterfront dining. 

Another choice fine dining option includes Fig Tree, which showcases superb French-inspired cuisine and an outdoor villa-style terrace in charming La Villita. 

For casual dining that doesn't skimp on views, head straight to La Gloria, one of San Antonio's favorite restaurants for Mexican street fare. Located along the northern reach at the Pearl, it's a popular destination for evening revelry with friends and family!


Biga on the Banks
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Biga on the Banks has earned a stellar reputation. Request table 31 when you make a reservation at Biga on the Banks, and you'll end up with the best view in the house. You won't be gazing at the river, but you will have an eye on chef Bruce Auden as he concocts lobster ravioli on arugula and guinea ham in guajillo sauce. Tasting menus are a draw, but the food is equally as interesting when ordered a la carte. The loft-inspired space is airy and light, but don't worry, you'll have plenty of elbow room when you dig in.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Biga on the Banks offers old world fine dining with an extraordinary waterfront view.

Kimberly's expert tip: The made-to-order souffle for dessert is an absolute must! Flavors are subject to the whim of the chef.

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Acenar, located downtown on the Riverwalk, is a spectacularly innovative and contemporary Tex-Mex restaurant that Zagat has noted for their "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 Waterfront Dining because: Acenar is one of the top Tex-Mex restaurants in town, offering excellent food, drinks and riverwalk views.

Kimberly's expert tip: Acenar just updated their menu with some new items, such as the Shrimp Cocktail, made with large shrimp, spicy housemade cocktail sauce, cilantro, onions and avocados.

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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 Waterfront Dining because: A stunning restaurant option, from the cuisine to the views.

Kimberly's expert tip: Dorrego's features the only Argentinian-inspired cuisine in town and is shaking things up with their new chef.

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Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Not only is this Pan-Latin restaurant and bar located along San Antonio's picturesque Riverwalk, but it has one of the most stunning dining rooms in the country, with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall the opens up when the weather's cool enough to enjoy it. Chef Edward Villarreal is at the helm, serving up an array of Latin-inspired dishes that will make your mouth water, from their famous Chorizo con Queso and handmade Empanadas to Pan-Seared Trout with Shrimp. This savvy chef is also the star of a culinary series, Homegrown Chef, that inspires gourmands to cook, eat and explore San Antonio's delicious food scene. Go for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner. They also offer happy hour, and good eats from their downstairs speakeasy-esque bar and late night options, when most restaurants are closing down. The perfect choice before or after an event at the Tobin, as they're within walking distance.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Ocho is perhaps one of the most beautiful restaurants along the riverwalk that is both a visual and culinary treat!

Kimberly's expert tip: Ocho celebrates Happy Hour all day on Thursday. Stop in for a couple of mojitos and a plate of their amazing fried fish taquitos!

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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 Waterfront Dining because: Boudro's is a popular New American bistro with wood-grilled steaks, seafood, tableside guacamole, cocktails and a patio.

Kimberly's expert tip: Check out their website to sign up for their riverboat dining, a magnificent way to explore downtown San Antonio!

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The Gristmill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 as a part of the Gruene Historic District. Overlooking the Guadalupe River, this former cotton gin has been providing a romantic and relaxing atmosphere for over 30 years. Open for lunch and dinner. Sheltered by enormous oak trees and staffed by some of the friendliest people, it offers indoor and outdoor seating. You can enjoy a variety of foods and beverages, including their highly popular chicken fried steak. Situated right next door to Gruene Hall, it is ideal for dinner out and then a concert! The restaurant also caters.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Just a short jaunt from San Antonio, the Gristmill offers one of the most serene views of the Guadalupe River.

Kimberly's expert tip: While you're in the Gruene area, make sure to go for a float along the Guadalupe River for the ultimate chill on a hot day!

Read more about Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar →

La Gloria
Photo courtesy of La Gloria

Located along the gorgeous north extension of the river walk at the famous Pearl Brewery, La Gloria has earned a name for itself as a vibrant cantina that serves traditional Mexican street food. Renowned chef, Johnny Hernandez, truly made a name for himself with La Gloria. He's known for his ability to bring the rich, diverse flavors of Mexico to life in America. The extensive menu is full of delights you would normally find among the street vendors, taquerias, and kitchens of interior Mexico. La Gloria also has a lovely outdoor seating area with scenic views of the river. Inexpensive and perfect for large parties and festivities with friends and families, this eatery has become a favorite for locals and visitors alike. The best part is, if you don't get your fill, you can grab a bite to eat at their airport location on your way home!

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: La Gloria has a premium spot along the north end of the riverwalk with an exceptional view and affordable Tex-Mex.

Kimberly's expert tip: The street tacos or ceviche are always a safe bet! Try the battered fish tacos or Camarones Agua Chile (Shrimp in Fire Water) for a Tex-Mex treat.

Read more about La Gloria →

Koi Kawa
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Offering superb views of the San Antonio River and Brackenridge Park, this sushi and sashimi spot serves fresh, succulent creations, as well as a host of noodle-based dishes. Koi Kawa has been a sushi staple in San Antonio for a long time, which makes sense because their seafood is flown in every week from a Japanese fish market. They are easily a neighborhood favorite and always offer a truly enjoyable experience. Start off with their flavorful miso soup, edamame, fried oysters, and a sushi roll or two before heading into some more exciting choices. Try the lobster and vegetable tempura, chicken katsu, stir-fried vegetables or fried shrimp and you'll leave with a satisfied smile on your face.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Koi Kawa is unexpected find with pretty riverfront views and delicious sushi in a laid back atmosphere.

Kimberly's expert tip: Make an afternoon of it, by going for a walk or bike ride at nearby Brackenridge Park.

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Fig Tree

For fine dining in the heart of La Villita where you'll find an array of cute shops and boutiques, try the Fig Tree. This classy yet quaint little restaurant offers exceptional food, servers dressed in suits, tableside bottle service, a lovely complimentary amuse bouche before your entrée and a patio with a beautiful view of the riverwalk. This European-style restaurant is known for its impeccable food. Some of their amazing dishes include Roasted Texas Hill Country Quail Stuffed with Pâté, Black Truffles and Apple Cider Emulsion, Gulf Lump Crab Cake Sauce Dijon and Romaine Chiffonade and Seared Duck Breast, Leg Confit with Glazed Autumn Vegetables, Bigarade Sauce. Oh, my!

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: You can dine out on Supper's patio an enjoy a beautiful view of the north extension of the riverwalk.

Kimberly's expert tip: Give yourself extra time to window shop at the charming boutiques you'll find at La Villita.

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Zocca Cuisine D'Italia
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Located along a lush, more intimate part of the Riverwalk, you'll find Zocca, a modern Italian restaurant serving their twist on classic favorites from pasta to pizza. The dishes are representative of the Northern Italian comfort food you'll find in the town it's named after, in the Modena region. Grab a patio seat and watch the riverboats and ducks float by as you sip on a cocktail or nice glass of red wine. Start out your dinner with a fresh salad made of locally-grown lettuce or their crowd-favorite antipasto with imported meats, cheese, pickled veggies and a unique wine gelee. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with easy go-to's, such as their Margherita pizza, made with house-made mozz or dive into something more elaborate, such as their Grilled Calamari Steak Provencal with relish, tomatoes, olives, capers, couscous and seasonal veggies. Portions are hearty and the restaurant is upscale yet relaxed. It's a lovely place to grab any meal of the day!

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Zocca is tried and true Italian restaurant along the riverwalk, serving northern Italian comfort food that will leave you satiated and happy.

Kimberly's expert tip: They now offer happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 pm, with specials on cocktails, appetizers, beer and house wines.

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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