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Mar 21, 2001 12:32 PM

Gonna be in San Antonio in May...

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...and we are looking for advice on the whole San Antonio experience: places to eat, places to stay, things to do.

Regarding places to stay: we could, of course, stay in one of the chains (probably quite happily), but we're interested in high quality Texas B&Bs or small inns around San Antonio, if anyone knows of any.

I haven't been to Texas for over 20 years, and my wife has never been there. We are from NYC (live in Brooklyn, work in Manhattan), and we are long-time restaurant-goers. We are going to be in S.A. for about a week, so we have the time and the inclination to try a number of different places.

Any great old-time restaurants that have been around for years that are local legends? Any places that make you proud to be a Texan?

And what about surrounding areas? We'll have a car and we're willing to do day trips to broaden our experience.

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

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  1. My wife presented at a conference there and we split after 2 days so we could enjoy Austin which is only a few hours drive from SA. It's well worth the drive.
    As for San Antonio Bigas on the Banks is very good.
    In general the Riverwalk is lovely to look at etc. but full of tourist traps.
    We did enjoy lunch at a charming local legend called Schilos Delicatessen on Commerce St. not far from the River walk and giant hotels.
    Go North young man! Go North!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Scottso

      La Mansion del Rio is on the river but offers a charming oasis from the din of the river-walking crowd. It's a beautiful property in a really old building (a converted convent, I think).

      If the Alamo doesn't stir Texas pride, nothing will. Still, you could to the Capitol in Austin and check out the Rotunda, which is the largest in the United States and happens to be made from the very same granite that you climbed at Enchanted Rock (town mountain granite, see next paragraph). It really is a neat place.

      Go wander around the Mercado for some good fun and ask around about currently good food places. Drive to Fredricksburg for some antique shopping and then press on a few more miles to Enchanted Rock, a huge granite monolith which you should climb to enjoy the sunset and a romantic picnic dinner. Don't forget a couple of flashlights for the walk down.

      The town of Geronimo has great antiqueing that'll sure beat Fredricksburg on prices.

      Look at some of the earlier postings for more ideas on Austin and SA.

      Oh, if you want to go swimming at one of the most beautiful waterfall/swimming holes anywhere, Hamilton Pool is a fantastic place. It's kinda near Dripping Springs; if you need a map, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

      1. re: Greg Spence

        Here's a list of some of my favorites:

        Paloma Blanca on Broadway

        Niki's Tokyo Inn on Hildebrand

        DeWese' Tip Top Diner on Fredericksburg

        Acapulco Ice House (might not be open yet - it's a seasonal thing)on S. Alamo

        Adelante on Bress/New Braunfels

        Definitely go to Liberty Bar on Josephine

        1. re: Courtney

          I agree with the previous posting about Biga's....I used to live in SA and that was one of my favorite places. Get the beef tenderloin if available. Otherwise, generally, the Riverwalk is a tourist trap. Also, if you have a car, drive out to the Hill Country to Salt Lick BBQ ( The drive is beautiful, and hopefully, the bluebonnets and wildflowers will still be in bloom. Salt Lick is out in the middle of nowhere, has a huge smoke pit,great BBQ, and is the quintessential TX experience. It's also BYOB. Just thinking about it makes me homesick....

          1. re: Jane

            Careful of the Salt Lick. It ain't what it used to be. In my opinion, they now serve some of the worst 'cue in the area. I know it's popular and it is a pretty drive and a neat place, but the food there just isn't much good anymore. Except the cole slaw. If you're a cabbage freak, then drive on out.

            Review some of the less recent postings here or get a copy of Texas Monthly and check out the restaurant reviews. They're pretty reliable.