San Antonio is a city that wears many crowns. Known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture, it’s also a culinary destination that will make your taste buds dance with delight. Home to a diverse food scene, the city offers an exciting blend of traditional Tex-Mex, authentic Mexican, smoky barbecues, and innovative fusion cuisine. From mouthwatering tacos and enchiladas to tender, slow-cooked brisket, the best 5 Star restaurants in San Antonio (as voted by us) are as diverse as they are delicious.
The city’s culinary scene is a reflection of its cultural heritage, offering a unique blend of flavors that tell the story of the Alamo City. Whether you’re a food connoisseur or a curious traveler, dining in San Antonio is an experience not to be missed. San Antonio has attracted top chefs and our food scene continues to grow and be recognized for it’s rich history and influences.
Let’s take a culinary tour of San Antonio’s top-rated restaurants. Our list has been personally curated based on several key factors: the quality of food, ambiance and atmosphere, customer service, and the unique aspects that each restaurant brings to the table. We’ve also taken into consideration the diversity of the culinary offerings.
From high-end establishments serving gourmet dishes to cozy family-run spots famous for their home-style cooking, the restaurants featured in this list represent the best of what San Antonio has to offer. These eateries serve delectable meals and provide a glimpse into the city’s rich culinary traditions and innovative food trends.
So, buckle up, food lovers and culinary explorers! Get ready to embark on a gastronomic journey that will take you through the heart of San Antonio’s dining scene, one delicious bite at a time.
Best Fine Dining Restaurants
300 E. Travis Street
Rebelle is found inside the swanky St. Anthony Hotel, just across from Travis Park. It’s a favorite for inventive cocktails and seafood that are as delicious as they are beautiful.
From the moment you step into Rebelle, located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, you are immediately enveloped in an atmosphere that whispers of both elegance and excitement. The decor is a tasteful blend of modern aesthetics and classic charm, reflecting the restaurant’s location within the historic St. Anthony Hotel. The vibe is lively yet intimate, making it a perfect setting for a casual dinner or a special occasion.
The quality and presentation of the food at Rebelle are nothing short of stellar. Each dish is a visual delight, designed to entice your senses before taking the first bite. The oysters on the half shell are a must-try – their freshness is unparalleled, and they come served with a delicate mignonette that enhances rather than overwhelms their natural flavor.
The cioppino, teeming with king crab, fish, shrimp, mussels, and clams, is a symphony of seafood served in a rich, tomato-based broth. This dish is a testament to the kitchen’s commitment to sourcing high-quality ingredients and presenting them in a way that allows each element to shine.
The shrimp and grits deserve a special mention. The dish features perfectly cooked shrimp bathing in a Creole cream sauce, served atop creamy grits. The juxtaposition of textures – the firmness of the shrimp against the softness of the grits – makes every bite a pleasure.
There is an evident innovation in the culinary creations at Rebelle. Chef Stefan Bowers and his team have a knack for taking familiar dishes and elevating them with unexpected twists and flavors.
Rebelle is not just known for its sublime seafood offerings but also for its creative and intriguing cocktail menu. The bar at Rebelle takes mixology to a new level, offering patrons an array of inventive cocktails that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate.
Rebelle’s cocktails are more than just beverages; they’re an essential part of the overall dining experience, complementing the restaurant’s innovative dishes and enhancing the flavors of the sea. This commitment to creativity and quality has cemented Rebelle’s status as a premier destination for imaginative cocktails in downtown San Antonio
The service at Rebelle matches the quality of its food. The staff is attentive without being intrusive, professional, yet friendly. They are knowledgeable about the menu and are more than willing to make recommendations, ensuring a dining experience that is smooth and enjoyable from start to finish
926 S Presa Street
Tucked away in bustling Southtown, Bliss is a gem that lives up to its name. You’re greeted by an atmosphere of relaxed sophistication when you step inside. The interior design is chic and modern, with clean lines and warm lighting that create a stylish and inviting ambiance. The open air patio is perfect when the weather cools, reminding us of a European garden restaurant. “Culinary nirvana” was how my dining companion described it, and I can’t say I disagree.
The menu at Bliss is a well-curated symphony of flavors, showcasing an array of dishes that highlight local ingredients and innovative culinary techniques. Two standout dishes that are a must-try for first-time visitors are their hamachi tostadas and beef short ribs.
The hamachi tostadas are a triumph of texture and flavor. Fresh, thinly sliced hamachi is laid atop a crisp tostada, which provides a satisfying crunch that perfectly complements the softness of the fish. The dish is further elevated with a drizzle of a dressing so well matched to the fish that it brings out the natural sweetness of the hamachi. I cannot say enough about these – I thought they would be tasty, but they are otherworldly.
The beef short ribs are a testament to the magic that can happen when high-quality ingredients meet slow, careful cooking. The beef is tender to the point of falling off the bone, and the accompanying sauce is rich and flavorful, enhancing the meat’s natural flavors without overpowering them. The surprise on the plate? Horseradish tinged mushrooms.
What sets Bliss apart from many other 5 star restaurants in San Antonio is not just the quality of its food but also the impeccable service. The staff are genuinely passionate about providing a memorable dining experience. They are more than willing to guide you through the menu and recommend pairings from the restaurant’s extensive wine list.
Oh, and one more thing…butter cake. I won’t bother trying to put it into words; just do it.
Restaurants at The Pearl
Brasserie Mon Chou Chou
312 Pearl Parkway
Dining at Brasserie Mon Chou Chou is akin to strolling the boulevards of Paris and stopping at some charming café where the vibe is homey, but the food is pure French fine dining.
The French more or less invented food, so you know it will be rich and full of flavor, and Mon Chou Chou delivers precisely that. You’ll find quintessential French dishes on the menu, and I have not been disappointed each time I’ve visited. I do have a complaint, though – they removed their bouillabaisse from the menu, and I may never forgive them for doing so. You’ll know what I mean if you were lucky enough to have it while it was on the menu.
Of course, everyone loves the raclette – that gooey, melted, toasty cheese given to the world by Switzerland but brought down from the Alps and into French restaurants worldwide. It’s a bit of a show when done right, and let’s face it, toasted cheese is one of the greatest foods ever invented.
You may struggle to pronounce everything on the menu, but your fumbling French will ultimately thank you.
Best Quality Daughter
602 Avenue A
Best Quality Daughter started as a collaborative effort between chefs Jennifer Dobbertin and Ann Ng and artist Jennifer Ling Datchuk, who brought their unique perspectives and expertise to create an exciting series of pop-ups named Best Quality Daughter that soon led to a restaurant housed in the historic Mueller House at The Pearl Brewery.
Before Best Quality Daughter existed, Dobbertin had already made her mark on the San Antonio food scene with her work on the Asian fusion concept, Hot Joy. Additionally, Dobbertin was the powerhouse behind Tenko Ramen, further showcasing her culinary prowess and passion for Asian cuisine.
We didn’t know it, but the restaurant’s distinct name apparently comes from a reference in the 1993 film “The Joy Luck Club,” reflecting its Asian-American roots and cultural influences. We had always wondered about it and never thought to use the powerful supercomputers in our pockets to search Google for the answer.
If you’re a bit adventurous, we highly recommend asking the server for some recommendations. You’ll find new flavors and dishes you didn’t know existed, and I have yet to be steered wrong by any of their friendly staff. Dishes are served with the intention to be shared, so bring a friend and be prepared to leave with take-out containers.
Places the Locals in San Antonio Crave
2195 NW Military Highway
Situated in Castle Hills, Clementine is not just a restaurant; it’s a celebration of fresh, local, and seasonal cuisine. The menu at Clementine is a testament to the creativity and skill of chefs John and Elise Russ. Every dish tells a story of their passion for food, respect for quality ingredients, and commitment to culinary excellence.
Not satisfied with just running a restaurant, Chef Russ spends his free time advocating for commonsense immigration reforms that would assist employers in finding and hiring talented young individuals legally – an issue that has always been tightly woven into the fabric of the restaurant industry.
While their menu offers a truly international mix of flavors and cooking styles, Clementine’s “Feed Me” family style meal keeps many coming back. Rooted in seasonal ingredients and Chef Russ’ imaginative and creative use of them to make something spectacular, you will make the whole table happy when you convince them to go this route.
And let’s not forget about the desserts. Elise Russ is a pastry master. The Clementine Crunch Bar is something out of a French confectioner’s dreams, and its chocolate mousse and hazelnut combination is a definite nod to the European continent and their mastery of their craft. And while it’s rare that you can find me complaining about dessert, the carrot cake here is beyond any other cake I have ever tried (candied pineapple is the perfect touch!).
Clementine is more than just a place to eat; it’s a place to savor, enjoy, and create memories. Whether casual dinners or special occasions, Clementine never fails to deliver an exceptional dining experience.
El Jarro de Arturo
13421 San Pedro Avenue
El Jarro de Arturo is a legendary San Antonio institution.
El Jarro de Arturo’s story begins with its founders, Arturo and Sandy Cerna. Their vision was to create a dining space that served delicious food and celebrated Mexico’s vibrant culture. This ethos is reflected in every aspect of the restaurant, from its dishes to its warm, inviting atmosphere.
Every restaurant wants to give you that feeling of warmth and comfort, but El Jarro delivers. When you walk in the door, you feel like family – and if you listen closely, you will see most people there are greeted by name. It’s because so many of their patrons have been going there for years.
As you enter, the bar area off to your left is lively, especially on the weekends. Well, that’s if you can get that far on the weekends. There is always a crowded lobby of hungry people waiting for their turn in the dining room on the weekends. They also offer outdoor dining when the weather’s nice. It’s well worth the wait, though; reservations are a must if you want to go during prime time dining hours.
Typically, we would wax poetic about the food now, but it’s tough to describe just how good everything is. Their menu has a huge selection, and you’ll find classic Mexican dishes, plus plenty of surprises. The best part? El Jarro has some of the best pasta dishes in town. That’s right. Pasta. And not some thrown together dish just to appease the carb lovers – these are incredible dishes that you’ll want to go back to repeatedly. Serious Italian from a Mexican restaurant, who would have thought?
It’s worth noting that in a town where chips and salsa are practically a requirement at every table, El Jarro’s are the best. Perfect chips and some of the best salsas (ask for some Pancho Villa if you like it hot) around. Quite honestly, I’d be happy if it’s all they had on the menu.
El Jarro de Arturo is more than just a restaurant; it’s a culinary landmark that represents the vibrant food culture of San Antonio. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor exploring the city’s food scene, you owe it to yourself to stop in and see just how good it is.
It’s All About the Steakhouse
1834 N Loop 1604 W
Great food – when you can get a table! Don’t let their drab website fool you; Eddie V’s is full of flavor and worth a visit. (Sorry, Eddie, but your website is awful and looks more like a back office system than something trying to entice me to visit your restaurant.)
Eddie V’s is all about seafood, and although they have steaks there, I have never had one there. Instead, it’s all about the fresh seafood at this San Antonio restaurant. I’ll opt for the sea bass and some oysters, which they always have an excellent selection of, including the Chunu, a favorite among the East Coast oysters. And if you need a side, you should check out their crab fried rice. It seems like an unusual side for a steakhouse/seafood kind of place, but trust me, you’ll want more.
On weekends, you’ll definitely want a reservation, and even those can be hard to come by sometimes, so plan in advance to get your spot in the dining room.
123 N Loop 1604 E
Kirby’s is one of the best restaurants in San Antonio when it comes to fine dining, steaks, and service. The bar area is always full, and between large groups booked for special occasions and the dining room filled with couples enjoying a romantic dinner, Kirby’s is clearly a winner.
Their steaks are excellent, and I’d be willing to put their side dishes to the test against any other restaurant in San Antonio. Kirby’s has a fantastic wine list, and service is always top notch.
Ask for their specials, as often, there are some true winners on the menu that aren’t always available. Two of the best specials? The cold-smoked mesquite ribeye and chicken fried Brussels sprouts a true genius combination of a Texas classic with a vegetable once relegated to 70s home cooking. I thought it wasn’t going to work until I tried them…now I can officially say I am addicted.
Kirby’s puts service at the forefront, and everyone working there is friendly and welcoming, a true difference maker in an overcrowded marketplace where it feels like a steakhouse is on every corner. (Remember when there were only a handful? When did they spread like wildfire across the city?)
Downtown San Antonio
Bohanan’s Prime Steak and Seafood
219 E Houston Street #275
I’ve only been to Bohanan’s Prime Steak and Seafood once, and it was for a plated banquet dinner where you were served a filet mignon with some potatoes and vegetables. Usually some of the worst food, banquets typically offer little in the way of food that sets the world on fire.
Not this night. The filet mignon was the kind of experience you dream about. Absolute perfection. It ranks in the Top 5 of the best steaks I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.
Bohanan’s Prime Steak and Seafood is the type of fine dining experience you expect from a classic New York, three-martini-lunch kind of restaurant. Think rich wood finishes, brass rails, and low level lighting. If this was the East Coast, you might expect to bump into John Gotti, Mike “Wags” Wagner, or Jane Lauder sitting in a booth and enjoying a quiet night out with friends (the kind of quiet night where the bottle of wine sitting on the table costs more than most people’s monthly mortgage).
(Not So) Fancy Restaurants in San Antonio
Two Bros. BBQ Market
12656 West Avenue
While it may not be considered “fine dining,” no best of list would be complete without an entry from Jason Dady. While Range, Jardin, and Tre Trattoria might be more suited to a list of 5 star restaurants in San Antonio, Two Bros. remains a solid favorite with anyone we’ve ever taken there. And this is, after all, a website focused on Texas – so you have to include barbeque somewhere, right?
We’ve never had a bad meal here, and the meats are some of the best we’ve had, but if you’re looking for true winners, don’t miss out on their smoked stuffed jalapenos (if they haven’t already run out for the day), the most decadent creamed corn you’ll ever eat, and their spicy house made pickles (get extras, you’re going to want more).
What about the River Walk?
Truth be told, most of the River Walk restaurants are mediocre at best. Boudro’s stands out from the crowd, but overall, the restaurants here are just so-so and we’d be hard pressed to name one to our list of 5 star restaurants in San Antonio. They’re great for a few drinks and a view of the River Walk, one of San Antonio’s best attractions, but they’re not amazing. Of course, with thousands of tourists walking by every day, the area tends to attract chains and restaurants that are bustling with activity thanks to their margaritas instead of their inspired cooking.
Sorry, River Walk, we still love you anyway.