Hey! The hubby and I are headed for an overnight at Hotel Havana here in a few weekends, and I wanted to know what else “The Wanderer” recommends for us in San Antonio. I’m clueless! Pearl Brewery area? A great breakfast spot or someplace for us to check out after our hotel check out?

I think we will eat either dinner or breakfast at Ocho at the hotel, but would love other ideas for the first afternoon we are there, and then the following day!


An Austin Newlywed

Hello MRS. ––––––––– !

How are you? So excited to hear that y’all will be enjoying a mini ’moon in SA! I love the Havana and Ocho (I can still taste the sweet plantain griddle cakes I had there once for breakfast!). There are B-cycle bikes for rent right outside the Havana (the minibar and one of the queen rooms pictured below) that y’all can ride along the River Walk (there’s easy access to it nearby; check out the maps here). You could also take one of the Rio San Antonio river taxis or one of their leisurely river tours to get to various spots along the North River Walk, like the San Antonio Museum of Art or the Pearl Brewery area.

Lots of great things in the Pearl. A few shops I like: Melissa Guerra, a kitchen/home goods store owned by an 8th-generation Texan (last time I stopped in I bought a molinillo and some Colombian caña flecha rings); Adelante Boutique, which has been open since 1975 but sells of-the-moment clothing; and the Twig Book Shop, pictured below (I love their Texana section).  

As for places to eat there, try La Gloria Ice House (pictured above) for tacos and frozen margaritas on the riverside patio. I also love both of chef Andrew Weissman’s restaurants: Il Sogno Osteria (upscale Italian, see below; people rave over their coddled eggs at breakfast) and Sandbar Fish House & Market (great fish dishes, like the one below, plus oysters galore!). For desserts, there’s the Culinary Institute of America’s Bakery Café; there’s also a CIA-run restaurant, Nao, but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet.

In fact, several new places have opened up at the Pearl since my last visit—Arcade Midtown Kitchen, Blue Box Bar, Boiler House, the Granary ’Cue & Brew, Green (vegetarian!), Dos Carolinas (handmade guayaberas), LeeLee Shoes, Leighelena (jewelry, vintage cowboy boots), etc.—so you will have to do some scouting for me and report back!

Ok, now for a few non-Pearl suggestions: Weissman has just opened the Luxury, next to the San Antonio Museum of Art. Word on the street is it’s got a cool vibe (it’s a grouping of cargo containers) and tasty lunch options (burnt-end barbecue sandwiches, kale salads). During my last visit to San Antonio, I went to Bliss, in Southtown, and had a great meal; plus, it made Pat’s latest list of the state’s best new restaurants. Plenty more great SA restaurants, but I think this should give you enough to choose from for now.

Oh, and I never go to San Antonio without a visit to the McNay—it’s one of my favorite Texas museums. I love the juxtaposition of the historic Spanish Revival–style mansion on one side and the very modern new wing on the other.

Have fun!


P.S. If you haven’t already booked your room at the Havana, they offer a 15% discount to Texas residents, so be sure to ask for it!