San Antonio is best known for the Alamo and it’s Riverwalk but non-chain restaurants are hard to find in these touristy parts. And then we discovered The Pearl, a gem of a destination featuring a farmers’ market, a variety of great restaurants and shops and home to the American Institute of Architects in San Antonio, Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio and Aveda Institute.
Let’s start with breakfast at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) Bakery and Cafe. It’s what IttyBittyFoodies call “champagne for the price of beer fare”. Everything is made by CIA students who are our future chefs and culinary stars. We love their pastries especially the macarons and they also serve light fare and good espresso throughout the day.
For lunch, the airy Sandbar Fish House and Market is a great choice. Headed by Andrew Weissman who has two James Beard Award nominations for “Best Chef” under his belt, the Sandbar serves a mean oyster po boy and juicy crabcake sandwich. And even though it specializes in seafood, don’t overlook the steak frites which was a huge hit with Lollo.
La Gloria which specializes in street food of interior Mexico is popular with families. The casual eatery is not your average Mexican restaurant. The food is colorful and deep rooted in tradition. You’ll find tortas and tacos from Mexico City, Tlayudas from Oaxaca to Pescado Zarandeado from the streets of Nayarit.
For supper we suggest the lovely Il Sogno Osteria. Also owned by Chef Andrew Weissman from the Sandbar Fish House and Market, this Italian osteria has all your classic Italian pastas and seafood but also serves artisanal pizza for the smaller set.
IttyBittyFoodies tip: Peruse through the shops and take a stroll through their gardens set by the river. The Pearl is steeped in history and is now a beacon of sustainability from solar installations, windtricity electricity, to the bicycle share station. Also be sure to take home some pastries and a zucchini cake from CIA Bakery for the road trip home.
Till our next Happy Meal! Safe travels!