As one of the most iconic spots in the city, and possibly the state, the riverwalk sees millions of people a year and spans 15 miles as the nation’s largest urban ecosystem. It binds old downtown charm with the beautiful missions of San Antonio and many of the city’s other attractions. As with any major hotspot, it is plagued with mediocre tourist trap restaurants claiming to be the “best of the city” for one reason or another.
We felt the absolute need to let you know our top places for the best San Antonio Riverwalk restaurants to ensure you have the best dining experience in one of the most unique places in the country. A hassle-free dining experience at these restaurants during the dinner hour almost always includes reservations as waits can be long on the Riverwalk during peak times.
Kicking off our guide to San Antonio Riverwalk restaurants is Boudro’s. Delicious food, great outdoor seating, and a cozy indoor option give Boudro’s a solid standing on our list. Their menu has creative classics and Texas favorites all made at a quality any foodie would enjoy. Blue crab tostatas, tabled side guac and Texas tapas are good starts to this bold tex-mex menu. Situated right in the heart of the downtown Riverwalk area, Boudro’s is great for an impromptu lunch but be sure to make reservations for dinner.
$$$ American (New), Seafood
421 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205
New to the best Riverwalk restaurants guide is Supper. While not in the crowded, popular Riverwalk destination in the heart of downtown, Supper is located on the part of the Riverwalk that sits just a few miles from the city center in the Pearl district. The patio overlooks one of the Riverwalk’s most beautiful sections, without the hustle and bustle of downtown noise. When operational, you can even take one of the famous river taxis from downtown, up the river to the Pearl if you’re feeling adventurous. Supper is the restaurant of the renowned Hotel Emma and certainly upholds it own reputation for elevated American cuisine. True to the area, their menu is seasonal, fresh, and local, sourcing as much as possible from neighboring Texas towns. The food is familiar and innovative and always manages to both comfort and surprise. If you’re looking for a quieter spot with amazing Riverwalk vibes, Supper is the place! Reservations are strongly recommended.
$$ American (New), Breakfast & Brunch
136 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215
Tucked alongside Hotel Havana’s historic mansion, is Ocho, a Latin-inspired eatery situated in a beautifully designed glass conservatory, overlooking a less crowded section of the San Antonio Riverwalk system. Serving a Sunday brunch, daily lunch and dinner, drinks, and late-night snacks, Ocho’s culturally curated menu reflects roots of South Texas, with a strong Latin influence. Their Salsa Platter or Panela a la Plancha are starter favorites and we recommend the Al Pastor Pork or Chimichurri Steak for dinner. When making reservations definitely ask for a table with a view of the river and don’t forget to order the churros!
$$ Lounges, Latin American
1015 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205
3. Acenar Mexican Restaurant
The San Antonio Riverwalk is saturated with very underwhelming Mexican and Tex-Mex options, but a go-to spot for quality Mexican dining on the edge of N. St. Mary’s St. and E. Houston St., right next to historic hotel Valencia is Acénar. This multi-level eatery offers innovative dishes and elevated classics in a vibrant setting with a stunning riverside balcony. The short-rib tacos are Tex-Mex at its finest– tender, flavorful short rib on a beautiful corn tortilla, topped with a spicy, tangy slaw. Perfection. The Alambres mini skewers are a great start to any meal and absolutely try the bread pudding to finish.
Acenar Mexican Restaurant
$$ Mexican, Bars
146 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205
2. Biga On The Banks
One of the Alamo city’s first downtown fine dining establishments, Biga on the Banks, lies along the Riverwalk on the first floor of the International Center and serves some of San An’s finest New American cuisine. Their menu prep begins each morning for the nightly dinner service and highlights fresh, local ingredients. The menu changes seasonally, but always carries high quality options so don’t be afraid to dive in. With 11 times James Beard Foundation ‘Best Chef / Southwest’ nominee Bruce Auden leading the kitchen, Biga on the Banks delivers superb service, with an ever-changing menu and a stunningly simple view of the Riverwalk to match.
Biga on the Banks
$$$ American (New), Venues & Event Spaces, Desserts
203 S St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78205
1. Restaurant Gwendolyn
Our top pick of the San Antonio Riverwalk restaurants for the best of reasons. Not only are the ingredients above reproach, but they’re handled most impressively. Never dropped off, always picked up from the farm or ranch, and prepared using pre-1850’s tech. Yes, that’s right…no blenders, fryers or modern food equipment. Their animals arrive whole and all sub-primal cuts are made on-site. This speaks volumes because it means THEY KNOW FOOD. Not just how to cook it, they know it, inside and out. It’s upscale American with a relaxed lunch option. Their prix fixe menu is truly a fine dining experience but if you’re new to the scene and feeling intimidated, their a la carte menu can offer more flexibility. In a place where they care as much about the soup as the steak, don’t be afraid to trust the chef with your pairings.
$$$$ American (Traditional), Modern European, Caterers
152 E Pecan St #100, San Antonio, TX 78205
Finding Restaurants with Female Foodie – Sweets of San Marcos
[…] talk about a group of them. For instance, in a post by Katie Harper and Jennifer Bumgardner called San Antonio: 5 Best Riverwalk Restaurants, the authors mention a variety of places people could go to. Something I like most about the […]
I think the Gwendolyn is closed…