Texan by Heart: San Antonio

Okay, I admit it – I’m not a Texan by any justifiable root. But I dare you to spend some time there and not be lured in by the state’s charm. You’ll walk away feeling like you were born to wear the boots, the cowboy/girl hat will fit just right, and the country sunshine will simply draw you in. The state also has four large cities to dazzle: San Antonio, Houston, Austin and Dallas. I always say it: Texans seem to have more pride than any state I’ve ever visited and now I can see exactly why. Here’s a feature on San Antonio to start with, the rest are coming soon!

Food.

The Pearl area – a revived part of town with plenty of cool restaurants, chic boutiques, and a farmer’s market too. I suppose it’s the trendiest new area the city has to offer and certainly shouldn’t be missed.

312 Pearl Parkway San Antonio, TX 78215 / +1 210 212 7260 

Supper at Hotel Emma – new in 2015 and set by the river, it’s a romantic setting for a sunset dinner. The entire vibe of the place feels very New York-like, a different feel for San Antonio. Wander through the hotel’s library and old halls before heading to the restaurant. Oh, and the entrance itself, complete with a fireplace, is really something!

136 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215 / +1 210 448 8300

La Gloria – mexican street food at its best.

100 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215 / +1 210 267 9040

Ocho Lounge at Hotel Havana – a gorgeous boutique hotel with old world charm. The Ocho Lounge in the hotel is situated in a glass conservatory overlooking the River Walk – perfect for drinks!

1015 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205 / +1 210 222 2008

Casa Rio – an old institution on the famous River Walk. There are plenty of spots on the River Walk and while all are a bit touristy, this one is pretty delish!

430 E. Commerce St., San Antonio, TX 78205 / +1 210 225 6718

The Barbecue Station – walk in hungry, walk out full and smelling a bit smoky. Delicious barbecue!

1610 NE Interstate 410 Loop, San Antonio, TX 78209 / +1 210 824 9191

El Chris’ Martha’s – a really great local Tex-Mex restaurant. Go hungry.

818 NE Interstate 410 Loop, San Antonio, TX 78209 / +1 210 804 2334

La Fogata – another Mexican food mecca and San Antonio institution!

2427 Vance Jackson Rd, San Antonio, TX 78213 / +1 210-340-1337

Chart House – at the Tower of Americas, a spinning restaurant that lets you take in the sights of the city. Worth it for the view.

739 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78205 / +1 210 223 3101

Chester’s – if you like burgers (who doesn’t?), I think this is the best in town.

16609 San Pedro Avenue, San Antonio, Texas 78232 / +1 210 494 3333

Chris Madrid’s – another one for burgers and junk food in general!

1900 Blanco Road, San Antonio, TX 78212 / +1 210 735 3552

La Fonda – another Tex-Mex gem. This one has a pretty courtyard too!

2415 North Main Ave, San Antonio, TX, 78212 / +1 210 733 0621

Taco Cabana – okay, okay… you got me. I admit a guilty pleasure here. Chain junk Tex-Mex food but for all of you non-Americans visiting Texas, please give it a shot!

1255 N.E. Loop 410, San Antonio TX, 78217 / +1 210 822 6877

 

Shopping.

The Pearl – as mentioned above, full of charming boutiques with local goods.

312 Pearl Parkway San Antonio, TX 78215 / +1 210 212 7260

The Shops at La Cantera – a bit out of the city but so worth the drive. This is a beautiful outdoor shopping area, with spas and restaurants all around for a girls day out!

15900 La Cantera Pkwy, Suite 6698, San Antonio, TX 78256

The Alamo Quarry Market – a personal favourite. Not too many shops, but its outdoors and it mixes the usual high street shops well with some local shops. Good restaurants around too! Don’t miss Restoration Hardware if you are not American – home goods mecca!

255 E Basse Rd, San Antonio, TX 78209/ +1 210 824 8885

San Marcos Premium Outlets – about 45 minutes from San Antonio and an equal distance from Austin is this shopping wonderland. Prepare yourself, you and your wallet could spend all day there, or at least I could!

3939 S Interstate 35 , San Marcos, TX 78666 / +1 512 396 2201

North Star – if you’re looking for the typical American mall, this is it. I have to say the cowboy boots (especially at Christmas) at the entrance are not that typical – a bit of Texas charm!

7400 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX 78216 /  +1 210 340 6627

 

Spa.

Eilan Hotel & Spa – a perfect spa in every sense, I could spend all day here. The grounds look a bit like a cluster of Tuscan or Venetian buildings, so it’s wonderful to look out over the spa’s terrace!

18603 La Cantera Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78256 / +1 210 598 2900

 

 

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