This past weekend Kyle and I went to San Antonio, Texas for a long weekend and to see some family. Neither of us had ever been to San Antonio before so we were excited to check out the city, stroll along the river, sip on a few margaritas and enjoy some Tex-Mex!
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency, which was located right at the heart of The San Antonio RiverWalk area with tons of restaurants and bars right outside our hotel. While the hotel itself was your standard chain hotel with very little personality, the location and price were unbeatable. We could access the RiverWalk through the back, or walk out the front door to The Alamo, which was half a block away. If you are a morning person, head on over to Alamo Plaza before the crowds to get some pretty cool pictures while the sun is still behind the building.
Whenever we travel we try to hit a mix of both the popular tourist spots as well as some off-the-beaten-path spots and local haunts. Well, Mi Tierra Cafe and Bakery falls well into the former category. Located in San Antonio's Historic Market Square, the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico, Mi Tierra is open 24 hours and decorated throughout in Christmas splendor. We went for lunch and while we enjoyed the meal, the decor alone was enough to lift our hangry spirits (the margaritas may have helped too). Skip desert and, stop at the Panaderia on your way out for a sweet treat.
Just over a half mile from the crowded thoroughfare of the RiverWalk's main tourist area is Hotel Havana. I saw a picture of the hotel's restaurant, Ocho, on Pinterest and knew I had to check it out. The main dining room opens onto a quiet part of of the north RiverWalk known as Museum Reach. On our last night of the trip, we took the scenic route from our hotel and walked up the river to find the Havana and enjoy some late night drinks and appetizers on the patio. We then ventured down into the Havana Bar, a downstairs lounge area filled with old velvet couches and leather chairs and lit only by candles. It was super cool but, sadly, way too dark to get a good picture.
We enjoyed this spot so much that we decided to go back the next morning for breakfast (and so I could take more pictures of course). If you are looking for a unique spot that is out of the way of the tourist traps and closer to San Antonio's arts district, I would give Hotel Havana a try!
*Tip: There is a large German culture in the Texas hill country due to an influx of German immigrants to Texas in the mid-nineteenth century. Therefore you will notice lots of bratwursts on the menu alongside Texas barbecue. For some good German cuisine, try Schilo's Delicatessen in the heart of downtown. It is one of the oldest continually operated restaurants in the state of Texas.