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Destinations

Where to Stay, Play and Invest in San Antonio

The Worth guide to businesses, hotels, restaurants and experiences in San Antonio, Texas.

BY WORTH | Destinations | May 14, 2019
Photo courtesy of Visit San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas was named one of Worth‘s 12 most dynamic cities in America in 2018.

Business

Geekdom

After serving as CEO and chairman of San Antonio–founded cloud computing company Rackspace, Graham Weston, a native of the city, has made it his mission to “create an ecosystem where the next Rackspace can happen,” says Lorenzo Gomez, chairman of the coworking space Weston cofounded, Geekdom. Housed in a downtown San Antonio building Weston owns through his Weston Urban real estate development company (he owns quite a few of them), Geekdom provides low-cost memberships to entrepreneurs who are committed to starting and growing businesses in San Antonio. 100 E. Houston St., 210.373.6720, geekdom.com

The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation

Under the leadership of the dynamic Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, San Antonio’s EDF is tasked with bringing new business to San Antonio, retaining the companies that currently do business there and fostering a pool of talent for those companies to hire from. The city is expected to double its civilian labor force by 2040, so the SAEDF’s role in the city’s network of businesses will become even more important. 112 E. Pecan St., Suite 2635, 210.226.1394, sanantonioedf.com

Hotels

Hotel Emma

This stunningly renovated hotel is the epicenter of the Pearl Brewery complex and a draw for locals and tourists alike. Named after Emma Koehler, who kept Pearl Brewery running through Prohibition after the death of her husband, Otto, Hotel Emma pays homage to the brewery’s past without sacrificing any comforts—rooms are the epitome of low-key luxury, outfitted with Frette linens and custom robes from local company Dos Carolinas. The onsite restaurant, Supper, specialty food store and grab-and-go café, Larder, and cocktail bar, Sternewirth, all defy the stereotypes about boring hotel restaurants. And for a place that’s bustling with locals and nonguests all day, one of the things Hotel Emma does best is create small experiences that make those staying in the hotel feel special (think margarita cocktail hour, morning coffee and baked goods in the library and a rooftop pool reserved just for guests). 136 E. Grayson St., 210.448.8300, thehotelemma.com

Hotel Havana

Liz Lambert made her name as a hotelier in Austin, Tex.; Hotel Havana, the 27-room property her Bunkhouse Management runs in San Antonio, was her debut in the city. Housed in a 19th-century building near (but somewhat removed from) the busy River Walk, Hotel Havana caters to the same hip crowds that love Lambert’s Austin properties. Ocho, the in-house restaurant, is popular with locals and guests alike. 1015 Navarro St., 210.222.2008, havanasanantonio.com

La Cantera Resort and Spa

Golfers flock to this sprawling resort north of San Antonio on the edge of Texas’ famed Hill Country. Two 18-hole courses—one designed by the Arnold Palmer Design Company—are among the best links in the area. La Cantera’s family-friendly pools and proximity to Six Flags Fiesta Texas make it popular with those with young children, but the resort’s more recent additions are designed to cater to adult travelers. In recent years it debuted Seven, an adults-only floor with a private lounge and separate check-in desk, and renovated the Villas at La Cantera for guests who prefer the privacy of their own villa. In 2017 La Cantera opened the 25,000-square-foot Loma de Vida Spa, a secluded area to relax away from the hubbub of the main resort building while taking in sweeping views of the Hill Country. 16641 La Cantera Pkwy., 210.558.6500, lacanteraresort.com

Restaurants

Cured

Housed in the former Pearl Brewery administrative offices, chef Steve McHugh’s Cured has been a Pearl staple since it opened in 2013. If its menu’s focus on charcuterie and pickled vegetables isn’t obvious to diners based on the name, it certainly becomes apparent when they open the doors and see the walk-in meat locker that sits in the middle of the dining room. It’s bustling during lunch hours, and build-your-own charcuterie plates and inventive cocktails make Cured a happy hour go-to for San Antonians. 306 Pearl Pkwy., Suite 101, 201.314.3929, curedatpearl.com

La Gloria at the Pearl

Johnny Hernandez is something of a celebrity chef in San Antonio, and his Pearl restaurant La Gloria is one of the most bustling spots in the neighborhood. The menu focuses on street foods from Mexico’s interior states—the spicy shrimp ceviche and bubbling skirt steak molcajete aren’t to be missed. And the outdoor patio, complete with misters to keep diners cool even when temperatures soar, is the perfect place to sip a margarita while overlooking the meandering San Antonio River. 100 E. Grayson St., 210.267.9040, chefjohnnyhernandez.com/restaurants/la-gloria-pearl

Mixtli

A celebration of Mexico and its vastly different regional cuisines, Mixtli is one of San Antonio’s most unique restaurants. In a tiny kitchen housed in an old train car behind a strip mall, chefs Diego Galicia and Rico Torres prepare 10-course tasting menus that focus on regional Mexican cuisine and change every 45 days. The vegetable-heavy early fall menu, El Campo, focuses on “farms, milpas, ranches, and growing fields all over Mexico” and includes everything from tomatillo sorbet with lemon oil to cauliflower barbacoa with carrot and avocado. Mixtli can only seat 12 guests per night and requires prepaying $135 to reserve a seat, but Galicia and Torres are drawing local regulars and curious out-of-towners with their inventive cooking. And others are noticing: The duo was named to Food and Wine’s Best New Chefs list in 2017, and they were both semifinalists for Best Chef: Southwest at the 2018 James Beard Awards. 5251 McCullough Ave., 210.338.0746, restaurantmixtli.com

Signature, Inspired by Chef Andrew Weissman

Andrew Weissman was one of the first chefs who helped put San Antonio on the national culinary map—he has been nominated for four James Beard Awards and written up in the New York Times for his French fine-dining spot Le Rêve, which was open from 1998 to 2009. Since then, he’s opened a number of more casual spots around town. But Signature at Hill Country resort La Cantera is his first return to fine dining since Le Rêve closed. Set among the rolling hills of the resort’s golf course, the restaurant is housed in a former golf clubhouse that has been transformed into a stand-alone restaurant. With its wide-planked wood floors and cozy furnishings, stepping into Signature almost feels like taking a trip to Provence. And the South-of-France-inspired menu (try the black tea smoked duck breast) is full of surprises. 16401 La Cantera Pkwy., 210.247.0176, lacanteraresort.com

Experiences

Pearl Farmers Market

There’s no better time to experience Pearl than Saturday and Sunday mornings during its weekly farmers market. Peruse the vendors’ wares (all products must come from within a 150-mile radius of the city), pop into one of the many stores (Adelante Boutique for colorful embroidered pieces; Curio at Hotel Emma for delicate jewelry from Texas artisans) and stop for a bite to eat at one of the food hall’s many vendors or a beer at Southerleigh brewery. 312 Pearl Pkwy., 210.212.7260, atpearl.com

San Antonio Museum of Art

Housed in what was once home to Lone Star Brewery, SAMA is the first of three museums that make up the Museum Reach corridor of the San Antonio River. It’s home to a vast collection of Greek, Roman and Egyptian art and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Latin American art wing, which focuses on folk art. 200 W. Jones Ave., 210.978.8100, samauseum.org

Witte Museum

The 92-year-old Witte Museum is an ode to South Texas history and art, and it’s a must-see for first-time visitors to San Antonio. The museum’s new wing, dubbed the New Witte, opened in 2017 and houses its already wildly popular Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery. Visit before the end of the year for the chance to see the important and informative Confluence and Culture: 300 Years of San Antonio History exhibit. 3801 Broadway St., 210.357.1900, wittemuseum.org

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