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Hotel Emma, photo by Jason Risner

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Eat & Stay 24 Hours in San Antonio

A dinner-to-dinner vacation is 90 minutes away

If you’re looking to get out of the city for a quick Texas staycation, head to San Antonio, only about 85 miles away. From just-baked pastries to farm-to-table fresh salads, you can turn a short road trip into a gastronomic journey, where every moment is a celebration of culinary delights.

Leaving after work on a Friday you can arrive in time for dinner. A majority of restaurants are located on the River Walk or in The Pearl District. For a fusion of flavors, saddle up to Tokyo Cowboy where Chef Ben Cachil has crafted a menu of dishes inspired by Texas favorites and Japanese street food. Popular items are the Brisket Egg Rolls, Hot Chicken Chili Dumplings and Poke Tacos. We also recommend the colorful House Pickle Plate.

Inside, there’s a modern diner feel usually alive with the chatter of conversation and closely packed tables. The patio offers a front-row seat to people watching over the River Walk, a great backdrop for the Instagram-worthy cocktails with names like Cobra Kai and Mogwai’s Night Out.

If you prefer your view with air conditioning, check out Ocho in the Hotel Havana, which is housed in a glass conservatory overlooking the River Walk. The view pairs well with their Cuban Tex-Mex fare and a mojito. They also have a great brunch including a Havana Breakfast Torta and succulent Sweet Plantain Griddle Cakes.  

If you choose to check it out in the evening, after dinner you can descend into the dimly-lit speakeasy-like basement bar for a nightcap.

In the morning you can venture a bit out of the city center to perch yourself at Bird Bakery. Co-owned by Elizabeth Chambers, this charming bakery offers an array of freshly baked goodies – made on-site every day from scratch! Their signature cupcakes are like a work of art – and come in full-size or mini – to eat there and take home. Never selling "day-old" products, they donate anything that remains each day to local non-profits.

For a bigger brunch, hit Supper at Hotel Emma in The Pearl District and start with warm sticky buns or pancakes with berry compote and whipped cream cheese to share! After supper, you can easily leisure at the hotel, the entirety of which is an absolute delight and a favorite to stay during a San Antonio getaway. The former 19th-century brewhouse bursts with charm and takes hospitality seriously. The staff, from the reception to the bar, are the absolute kindest, happy to tell you the story of their private library or mix you a cocktail after interviewing you about your palette, respectively.

Full from brunch, walk around the shops in The Pearl District and work up an appetite for dinner at Ladino, a modern Mediterranean grill from Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group. Helmed by Chef Berty Richter of Ezov, there’s a harmonious fusion of Mediterranean flavors and dishes like the Spicy Feta, Roasted Cabbage and Pork Schnitzel.

After a day of eating, stay in the city another night or head home to regroup Sunday in Austin. Either way, we’re sure 24 hours will delight your senses and leave you hungry to come back for more.

Tokyo Cowboy: 135 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Hotel Havana (+ Ocho): 1015 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Bird’s Bakery: 5912 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209

Hotel Emma (+ Supper): 136 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215

Ladino: 200 E Grayson St #100, San Antonio, TX 78215

  • Tokyo Cowboy
  • Hotel Emma Library
  • Ladino
  • Hotel Emma, photo by Jason Risner