This week, I was in San Antonio, Texas, staying at a hotel. I had a mini fridge and a microwave, but I couldn’t cook, other than my morning oatmeal. I could not believe how much I missed cooking. It’s definitely something that relaxes me each night, and I always look forward to cooking dinner… but actually missing one of my daily chores is kind of funny. I mean, at least I didn’t miss doing laundry. Then I’d think I’m really losing it!!
Since we couldn’t eat my home cooking, my boyfriend Scott and I have been eating every meal out at restaurants. I come to San Antonio on day-trips about five times a year, so there are a few places I know about and usually stop at when here. However…
I’ve only eaten at about three different restaurants in SA! And we needed to eat at a lot more places than just the riverwalk Tex-Mex spot we checked out years ago, haha. So I did a lot of online research, and wanted to share the places we checked out on our trip!
Some were hits😍, and some were MISSES☹️.
Sometimes our restaurant choices are narrowed down even further, since Scott had to work until 9, or he had less than an hour for lunch so the choice needed to be local to our hotel. It was a challenge!
LUNCH, DAY ONE: Manola’s Thai and Vietnamese 🙂
I had to pick somewhere VERY close to our hotel this day due to a time crunch, so I found a little Thai restaurant nearby. It was empty when we walked in, but then again it was 3 PM and in between breakfast and dinner. I got massaman curry, and Scott got the Manola noodle bowl special. This place was good! My Thai iced tea was the best one I’ve ever had.
DINNER, DAY ONE: Hopdoddy Burger Bar 🙂
We LOVE Hopdoddy, which started in Austin. I can never decide which burger I like better- Hopdoddy or Shake Shack. Anyway, we headed to the Hopdoddy in the Quarry shopping center in SA, and ordered our usual. It was pretty good, but my Little Larry margarita wasn’t that great, and they didn’t have the horseradish mustard that pretty much makes Hopdoddy meals mind-blowing. It was good enough, but it made me miss Austin!
LUNCH, DAY TWO: Green Vegetarian 😍
This is one of the places we ALWAYS go to when in SA. I got a cup of soup (tortilla, no chicken) and a sandwich that sounded boring- tomato, onion, spinach, cucumber, sprouts, and spread, but it was amazing! I also got the boring steamed broccoli- but that was amazing, too! This place is a 10/10. The only thing I don’t like is that a lot of the menu is fake fish and fake chicken. To me, vegetarian cuisine is NOT about fake meat… It’s about vegetables. Still, this place is probably the best in the city, to me.
PS- if you go, ask for a side of their house ranch! Sooo good 😋.
DINNER, DAY TWO: Piatti 😍
Another challenge- I had to pick somewhere open late, and had officially run out of places I know and like in this city. So I narrowed my options down to restaurants in the Quarry, which is a nice upscale area with a big movie theater and a ton of places to eat, drink, and shop. I found this Italian restaurant online, and it was beautiful inside! I ordered spinach ricotta ravioli with lemon cream sauce, which was delicious. Scott got the rigatoni with house-made sausage, tomatoes, goat cheese, and basil, which was also amazing (but not as good as my ravioli!). I was SO glad to have found this place!
LUNCH, DAY THREE: Wild Goji Japanese ☹️
This was another time crunch pick! I found a Japanese place with a somewhat emphasis on health near our hotel, and Scott was excited when we headed inside. Gyoza, ramen, sushi- all good stuff to see on a menu. But there was one person working the front of the house, so it took a minute to get seated, to get water, to order. Then the food was not good. Not bad enough to complain or send it back, but just sooo meh. The kind of food where you’re disappointed the whole time that you wasted your money there. How do you mess up kung pao chicken and miso ramen? Oh well. At least I had a good Kashi bar back at the hotel when I got hungry an hour later.
DINNER, DAY THREE: Halcyon ☹️
Halcyon is a bar that I like in Austin- Scott and I went there for our second date, and it was a really special night downtown. They have table-side s’mores and fancy martinis and coffees and stuff. They also, apparently, have food and a location in San Antonio. We drove all the way across town at around 10 PM, utterly discouraged by the lack of options for healthy, late-night eating in SA. We ordered two sandwiches at Halcyon, and I got a cocktail. We were both so exhausted at this point that we couldn’t even talk and just stared at each other in our seat outside. People around us were vaping and reading bibles. SA is much, much more religious than Austin. Our sandwiches were covered in cheese and housed in fat white rolls. It was not a good call. Not Halcyon’s fault- it’s a good place. But damn, we were missing Austin at this point.
LUNCH, DAY FOUR: Savoureux Patisserie 🙂
On our last day, Scott needed to eat FAST and our options were this French cafe with Vietnamese food or Earth Burger, which is a fast-food vegetarian chain that keeps with SA’s mentality that vegetarian food means fake chicken, fake fish, and fake beef (unlike Austin’s mentality, where vegetarian means veggies and creativity but almost never chik’n patties *eye roll*). So we picked Savoureux, which I have NO idea how to pronounce since I took Spanish in college, and he ordered a banh mi sandwich on great French bread. I went cray-zay and ordered the spicy hummus wrap on whole wheat. It was legit so spicy, I was glad I had a Thai tea boba to balance it out. But I was pretty proud that I have worked up to being able to order and happily eat things straight up labeled ‘spicy’ now. Ten years ago I was crying over mild salsa, practically. Savoureux was good and if you’re using this post as an actual guide to San Antonio for some insane reason, definitely go here! Good drinks and wraps and sammies!
DINNER, DAY FOUR (the final stretch): Whole Foods 🙂
With just hours until we were back on I-35 and cruising towards the liberal oasis that is Austin, we stopped at Whole Foods. Scott worked and I ate a delicious cookies and cream cake ball (made by Austin’s Cake Ball Kitchen, which is also a restaurant in the domain and my number one suggestion for where you should go on a mother/daughter date or grandma visit or 13 year old’s birthday party). The cake ball was amazing. I said it was because they put a tiny bit of salt on it to balance the sweet, since I watched a lot of Food Network all week and am now a culinary expert. Scott got vegan brown rice sushi. We also grabbed some mint chocolate chip marshmallows for the long drive home! Then we hit the road, and were home by sunset.
Eating most meals out at a restaurant is WAY harder than I was expecting. Normally, to save money, we eat at home back in Austin and going out to eat is a fun, exciting treat. Yet when it’s the norm, it’s a little less exciting!! I am glad I brought my oatmeal packets and oatmeal accouterments, because at least breakfast was normal for me!
What do you do when you travel? Just eat whatever you want, or try to mimic how you eat at home? Let me know in the comments! It’s definitely the hardest part of traveling, to me…!