Sometimes it conjures up thoughts of the beach, or skiing, or museum gazing.
But if you’re spending Spring Break in San Antonio, it probably conjures up thoughts of food, glorious food. (Please tell me that you started singing the song from Oliver! in your head as you read that. It’s practically mandatory.)
When we first moved to San Antonio about 10 years ago, my husband asked a colleague, “What do people like to do here?” She quickly responded with a smirk, “I think you mean, ‘Where do people like to eat here?’”
San Antonio is known for its great restaurants and is well on its way to being a national destination for foodies. We’re lucky enough to live right here in a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, and Spring Break is the perfect excuse to leave your old faithful favorites behind and explore the gastronomical delights our community has to offer.
We’ve picked five (plus a couple of bonuses, because, after all, it’s a foodie city!) fun favorites for you to check out during the break:
Best Place to Go Sugar-Crazy: Duck Donuts (11703 Huebner Rd., Suite 113, San Antonio, TX 78230)
When I tried to explain the Duck Donuts concept to my husband, it came out as, “It’s like Chipotle, but for donuts.”
I’m not sure if either restaurant would agree with that characterization, but basically, Duck Donuts allows you to customize a doughnut with a variety of toppings and flavors.
Doughnut aficionados start with a vanilla cake doughnut, then add their preferred glaze, topping, and drizzle to make a toothsome, Instagram-worthy confectionery creation. Family favorites include chocolate icing with peanuts and hot fudge drizzle, and lemon icing with raspberry drizzle.
Best Place to Get Out of Town: Krause’s Cafe (148 Castell Ave., New Braunfels, TX 78130 | (830) 625-2807)
If you have the extra time for a leisurely jaunt along I-35, Krause’s Café in New Braunfels offers something for the whole family.
Foodies will love the creativity in play on the menu, which promises “classic Deutsche meals with a Texas flair.” The biergarten keeps a wide range of local beers on tap for your family’s craft enthusiast. And, the large outdoor play space is heaven to kids who want to stretch their legs and run.
Another note on the food: it’s crave-worthy good. A friend asked her husband to bring her an order from Krause’s as one of her first post-baby meals. Food that can help you make it through the excruciating early days of baby wrangling? Sign me up!
Best Place to Play and Play Some More: Blanco BBQ (13259 Blanco Rd., San Antonio, TX 78216 | (210) 251-2602)
Blanco BBQ is a steady and reliable choice for good barbecue. Our family leans toward the turkey here and opts for plenty of sides (creamed corn and macaroni are favorites).
What boosts Blanco BBQ to a must-do for spring break? Two things actually: playspace and park.
Blanco BBQ has a great outdoor area with a huge playground to keep kids entertained for hours. And, even better: Hardberger Park is literally next door, so you can transition seamlessly from a morning hike to a savory lunch, or from lunch to an afternoon of exploration.
Best Place to Step Outside your Comfort Zone: Viva Vegeria (1422 Nogalitos St., San Antonio, TX 78204 | (210) 465-9233)
Viva Vegeria is one of my favorite restaurants in San Antonio. Not just one of my favorite vegan restaurants, but one of my favorite overall restaurants, which says something about the excellence of their veggie-laden offerings.
If you’re apprehensive about trying an all-vegan menu, this is the perfect spot for you to loosen up your inhibitions and dive face first into a bowl of vegan queso. Menu favorites include the flautas de camote (stuffed with creamy mashed sweet potatoes) and the nacho and cascabel wings (which are actually cauliflower, and so delicious you won’t even miss the meat).
A small outdoor seating area and an array of vegan desserts will make your kids clamor to let them eat their vegetables a little more often.
Best Places to Marvel at San Antonio: Dough Pizzeria Napoletana (518 S. Alamo St., San Antonio, TX 78205 | (210) 227-2900)
AND Con Safos Cocina y Cantina (607 Hemisfair Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78205 | (210) 514-5006)
If you want to just soak in the beauty of our city’s renaissance, there’s no better place to do that than at Yanaguana Garden. The plaza that’s been created around the Hemisfair site is a testament to San Antonio’s beauty and growth.
You can’t go wrong with the restaurants around the Garden either. Dough is a family favorite of ours; we’ve frequented the original location for years. The Pork Love pizza, a salad, and a burrata can’t be beat for a sumptuous dinner (and bonus points if you have a server who offers to bring dough for your little ones to make their own pie).
Con Safos is a relative newcomer to the San Antonio food scene, and their concha burger should be on the food bucket list for creative eaters out there. It’s a burger piled on a traditional Mexican concha (sweet bread).
And, as mentioned, outdoor revelry is on the menu here, with sand, water play, climbing equipment, ping pong tables, and giant chessboards. It’s enough to keep your family busy and in love with San Antonio for hours…or at least until it’s time to visit Paleteria San Antonio for one of their pistachio paletas. No, actually, the Oreo one. Oh, you know what? Just get one of each.
Bonus Spot: Maybelle’s Donuts at the Pearl (312 Pearl Pkwy., San Antonio, TX 78215 | (210) 267-9578)
No San Antonio food list would be complete without a mention of The Pearl. When it comes to “regular” food, there’s plenty of variety to go around, particularly with the Bottling Dept.’s upscale food hall as an option.
For Spring Break indulgence, though, Maybelle’s tops the list. Their doughnuts are almost too pretty to eat, and a soft serve machine ups the sugar—and fun factor—even further. It’s a perfect spot for a sweet treat before a Storytime at The Twig or after some raucous froclicking in Gustav’s Geysers, the Pearl’s splash pad.
May your spring break be merry and may your tummies be full enough that you’ve savored your snacks, but not so full that you need to nap away the rest of your day. Unless you just want to, that is – it IS your spring break.