My San Antonio

San Antonio Travel Blog

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HEB
BUY GROCERIES

HEB
Various Locations
H.E.B is a regional chain of grocery stores that has exactly what you're looking for -- literally.  H.E.B. tries to tailor their products to suit the needs of a given neighborhood. It is really neat as you shop around various stores and various aisles and the various products that fit that community.  Grocery shopping on Saturdays is the best day because they load you up with all kinds of free samples throughout the store. The prices are good and the variety is great. Many of their store sell gasoline at a great price.  I would suggest that you get some of their fresh seafood. They have been upgrading quite a few of their stores to look a lot like their Central Markets, a higher, much higher, end store.

GET TEX-MEX TO GO

Taco Cabana
Various Locations
It all started with a taco stand in 1978 and now this is by far one of the best food-to-go Tex-Mex restaurant chains of (in) San Antonio.

One of the many missions along the Mission Trail
From breakfast tacos and chips and queso to always hot flour tortillas which are made fresh all day right there in the store. Taco Cabana is perfect for the on-the-go lunch or late night takeout. They have plenty of indoor and patio seating and some even have the garage door that opens in good weather, which is pretty much all the time. Their menu is pretty extensive with a variety of beers and soft drinks. The stores look like a little piece of Mexico: pink and fun.

 


SIT DOWN FOR TEX-MEX

The Mexican Manhattan Restaurant
110 Soledad St.
(210) 223-3913
For more than 50 years, the Karam family-owned Mexican Manhattan Restaurant has been the place for San Antonio's best Tex-Mex food.

The front sign
Perfect for family outings or special occasions (graduations, birthdays or anniversaries), Mexican Manhattan features a full service bar and an outdoor patio overlooking the San Antonio River. Sooner or later, everyone must try the Manhattan Dinner (guacamole salad, enchiladas, beans, rice with chili) or upgrade to the Manhattan Royal (additional beef taco and tamale).

GRAB A BURGER

Chris Madrid’s
1900 Blanco Road at Hollywood, 3 blocks south of Hildebrand Avenue
(210) 735-3552
A locally owned family business, Chris Madrid's is perfect for a family outing on a Saturday afternoon. The specialty of the house is the made-to-order tostada hamburger with homemade refried beans, chips, onions, and creamy cheddar cheese on a delicious beef patty then they top it with homemade salsa for a delicious treat.

Mexican Manhattan Restaurant
I tried mine without the cheese and it was great. Those with a love of cheese give high praose to their crowd-pleasing Cheddar Cheezy. Also, the macho nachos (meat, beans, cheese) make a great appetizer.


GET BAR-B-Q TO GO

Bill Miller Bar-B-Q
Various Locations
For nearly 60 years, Bill Miller Bar-B-Q has been San Antonio's most reliable food-to-go barbecue chain. With a cafeteria-style setup, each location serves the usual assortment of beef, chicken and sausage plates, hot and fresh. It is not uncommon to stop at a Bill Miller drive-through for a po' boy or two chopped beef sandwiches. And no meal at Bill Miller is complete without their sweet iced tea.

 
ENJOY A BIG BREAKFAST

The Magnolia Pancake Haus
606 Embassy Oak, Suite 100 (between West Avenue and Highway 281-S, south of the Bitters Road-West Avenue intersection)
(210) 496-0828
The Magnolia Pancake Haus has prided itself on offering the best breakfast experience seven days a week.

The stars along the River Walk
A mixture of homegrown recipes and those collected from scouring the country for the best, The Magnolia Pancake Haus serves up omelets, waffles, muffins and a healthy assortment of fresh fruits. Their world-famous pancakes have quickly become the standard that all other pancakes are measured by. Even though they are considered the best, the best tourist spot has to be at the old Pioneer Flour Company where you can eat a great breakfast at the Guenther House and some even better cinnamon rolls. I must pack a to-go bag for friends who will pay all kinds of money to have one. You can reach them at 205 E Guenther  78204 (210) 227-1061

SATISFY YOUR LATE-NIGHT APPETITE

Jim’s Restaurant
Various Locations
In business for over 60 years, Jim's Restaurant (or Jim's) is a family friendly coffee shop chain that caters to power lunches, late night bull sessions and cram sessions during final exam weeks.

San Antonio from the sky
Coffee, Texas-style breakfast (biscuits and gravy), soups (Jim's famous Tortilla or Canadian Cheese) and the legendary Frontier Burger all give them bragging rights as a San Antonio-living staple.

 
DO LUNCH WITH THE LOCALS

Bunsen Burgers
5456 Walzem Road (in the Walzem Shopping Center)
210-590-6066
A rarity: A themed restaurant that isn't tacky and possesses personality. Operated by a group of movie enthusiasts who also know how to cook and run a business, Bunsen Burgers is a 1950s sci-fi burger joint. With items like the Manhattan Project (chili cheeseburger), the Mushroom Cloud (mushroom burger), Atomic Fries (chili cheese fries) and Milky Way shakes, Bunsen Burgers is quickly becoming San Antonio's best kept secret for lunch or dinner.

EAT ASIAN FOOD

Il Song Garden
6905 Blanco Road
This family-owned Korean restaurant has relied on old-fashioned word-of-mouth to maintain its steady business.

The Alamo Dome
(They still don't have a website.) Specialty dishes like Kalbi (beef short ribs) and chop chae bop (stir-fried noodles) are just two reasons why people return for more. The service is pretty good, the prices are reasonable and the place is pretty clean.

Thai Pikul
5136 Fredericksburg Road
Many of you know that Thai food is right at the top of my food chain. I could eat it everyday, if I had the chance. This is a nondescript establishment that happens to serve some of the best Thai food in the city. From soups (Thai chicken and rice) and spring rolls to basil eggplant and tofu to the catch of the day (basil fish, ginger fish), Thai Pikul is a welcome alternative to the typical buffet-style Asian restaurants.

ENTERTAIN THE KIDS

San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium
3903 N. Saint Mary's St.
Opened in 1914 (thanks to the generosity of leading citizen Col.

Sam's Burger Joint
George W. Brackenridge), the San Antonio Zoo has become a rite of passage for everyone living in S.A. Depending on your sensibility, you will love either the Hixon Bird House or the Reptile House.  Not much more needs to be said. Go out and explore.

HAVE FUN FOR FREE

The Mission Trail and the Alamo
There are bike trails and nature walks that connect the unique missions to downtown and make up Missions National Park: Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission San Francisco de la Espada. Visit the Alamo (Mission San Antonio de Valero) in the heart of the city. Museum hopping on Tuesdays because Tuesdays are free at many of the museums including the Witte Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art and the McNay Art Museum, which is always free but appreciates a donation.

A Mariachi band along the Riverwalk

The River Walk
This is a great place to get out and stroll through the heart of the city and get away from the noise above. The restaurants, photo spots, the hotels and all the fun this place offers is a must experience more than once because you will catch yourself saying, “When did they change that?” Something new to see each time you visit. See my review.

La Villita
You can walk or stroll through the artisan shops that surround La Villita, which means "little village," a historic neighborhood on the south bank of the San Antonio River. The shop doors are open and the shopkeepers are very welcoming. It is a tourist stop, so be ready to pay a little extra. The little extra, though, is worth the fun. They have some really good places to eat, there is a cute little church and there always seems to be a party going on.

San Antonio Public Library
www.

River Walk at night with all it's lights
mysapl.org
Various locations throughout the city. I took some pictures of this branch. Wow, the colors, the architecture, the everything. Just walking around the outside is worth the price of admission, which is free.

 
Farmers Market at Market Square
514 W Commerce St

(210) 207-8600‎
The Farmers Market at historic Market Square in downtown San Antonio always has live music from mariachis to conjunto bands on weekends. You will find fresh fruits and vegetables and specializes in Southwestern and Mexican foods. There are even some arts and crafts to buy.

First Friday ArtWalk
This is a free monthly event that my friends said used to be the area's best-kept secret, but after several stories in the local paper, the crowds can be quite  large checking out the work of local artists in galleries and restaurants that line Alamo Street.

San Antonio Library
At the end of the night, many people like to head to the local microbrewery near the Blue Star Art Space.

 
MEET NEW PEOPLE

Blue Star Arts Complex and Blue Star Brewery
1414 South Alamo, Suite 105
This is one place that takes part in the First Friday Art Walk.  The Blue Star Brewing Co likes to showcase a South Texas artist. This first Friday gives the smart young people of Southtown (and surrounding areas) an opportunity to eat, drink and interact. It’s a lot of fun even if you don’t drink beer.

 DO HAPPY HOUR OR GRAB A DRINK

Club Cohiba
1015 Navarro (in the basement of the Havana Riverwalk Inn)
Club Cohiba is a bar and grill with a Latin flavor that attracts a mix of singles, couples and young professionals looking for a place to meet up and/or hang out.

The San Antonio Zoo flamingos
It is not unusual for people to be seen taking in the famous Riverwalk while drinking a martini and smoking a cigar.

DANCE

Sam’s Burger Joint
330 E. Grayson
210 223-2830
www.samsburgerjoint.com
The city's swing dancing society shows up every week for their events. The music and food are great, and this is a place where you are free to get up and cut a rug. Who would have thought you could have so much fun at a burger joint. Check out their extensive calendar of events on their web page as well as photos from past shows.

 

BE ACTIVE OR HAVE A PICNIC

Brackenridge Park
3700 N. Saint Mary's St.
Adjacent to the San Antonio Zoo, Brackenridge Park is probably the most popular and most visited park in all of S.A. They say it is spread over 340 acres, Brackenridge Park is highlighted by the San Antonio River, which creates idyllic paths for walking, jogging and bicycling.

The market area
The park is also home to the Brackenridge Golf Course which is supposed to be the oldest municipal golf course in Texas.

 
TAKE FIDO
McAllister Park
13102
Jones-Maltsberger
The dog park here offers plenty of room for your pets to roam. All the trails are well the cities dog lovers unite annually for the Pooch Parade in Alamo Heights during Fiesta, the city's annual heritage festival.

 
ENJOY GREAT CITY VIEWS
There's always the panoramic views from the Tower of the Americas’ observation deck, at 600 Hemisfair Plaza Way. Or, of you are feeling adventurous, you can get a quick peek from various rides at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

One of the many doors around town
There are costs with both of these, but there are many free locations to get a good view including:

Eisenhower Park
20099
NW Military Highway
Only pedestrians are welcome, meaning no bikes, inline skates, etc. But there's plenty of hiking trails and an observation deck that show off the city skyline.

University of the Incarnate Word
4301 Broadway
The best-kept secret for beautiful views of the Alamo city. Take a walk near the upperclassmen dorms to see them. I promise you will also say: wow.

SEE SOME GREAT HOOPS
The Alamo dome which is the home of the San Antonio Spurs.

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HEB
HEB
One of the many missions along the…
One of the many missions along th…
The front sign
The front sign
Mexican Manhattan Restaurant
Mexican Manhattan Restaurant
The stars along the River Walk
The stars along the River Walk
San Antonio from the sky
San Antonio from the sky
The Alamo Dome
The Alamo Dome
Sams Burger Joint
Sam's Burger Joint
A Mariachi band along the Riverwalk
A Mariachi band along the Riverwalk
River Walk at night with all its …
River Walk at night with all it's…
San Antonio Library
San Antonio Library
The San Antonio Zoo flamingos
The San Antonio Zoo flamingos
The market area
The market area
One of the many doors around town
One of the many doors around town
La Villita
La Villita
La Villita
La Villita
The little church
The little church
Shops in La Villita
Shops in La Villita
Clouds were coming in this evening
Clouds were coming in this evening
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