San Antonio Tastemakers 2018
Meet the Tastemakers

These 8 best restaurants prove San Antonio is one of America's hottest food cities

8 best restaurants prove San Antonio is one of the hottest food cities

The Cookhouse SA shrimp salad
The Cookhouse offers creative takes on classic New Orleans cooking. The Cookhouse/ Facebook
Bliss
Bliss' patio is breathtaking at sunset. Bliss/Facebook
Dough Pizza Napoletana restaurant San Antonio
Dough excels at far more than pizza. Dough Pizza Napoletana/Facebook
Restaurant Gwendolyn
The cuisine at Restaurant Gwendolyn is what fine dining is all about. Restaurant Gwendolyn/Facebook
Signature SA Interior
Signature's beautiful dining room is perfect for a celebration. Signature/ Facebook
Cured SA gumbo
Simple dishes like gumbo show Cured at its best. Cured/ Facebook
Battalion restaurant interior
The quirky design at Battalion has San Antonio diners raving. Photo courtesy of Hilmy
The Cookhouse SA shrimp salad
Bliss
Dough Pizza Napoletana restaurant San Antonio
Restaurant Gwendolyn
Signature SA Interior
Cured SA gumbo
Battalion restaurant interior

Why is San Antonio one of the hottest culinary cities in the country? Check out the eight nominees for the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards 2018 Restaurant of the Year. With menus showcasing everything from classic haute cuisine to innovative comfort food, these are the reasons why Alamo City is cooking up some of the most inspiring food in Texas.

Find out what makes each one so special below, then party with us in Austin on April 12 when we announce the winners.

Battalion
The latest feather in the collective cap of Stefan Bowers and Andrew Goodman, Battalion specializes in approachable Italian served inside a firehouse redone in the restaurateurs' unmistakable contemporary style. The menu offers hearty meats, vegetable dishes that stand on their own, and affordable house pastas (the Trenne Bombay with gin, cream, and dill pollen is a must). Need an extra excuse to get fired up? Order a tipple off the well-stocked amaro cart.

Bliss
This Southtown stunner is all about the unexpected. Helmed by Tastemaker Chef of the Year nominee Mark Bliss, the rotating menu includes small plates; salads; mains; and several plant-based options like the current menu’s vegetarian risotto with roasted butternut squash, grilled onions, artichokes, red chard, crispy kale, and Parmesan cheese. A robust wine list is an equal match for the striking cuisine. Enjoy a glass on the charming back patio.

The Cookhouse
Just look at the Saints hat he often wears or the Southern hospitality he brings to each of his restaurants — chef Pieter Sypesteyn has a deep love for his native New Orleans. Luckily, he has brought a little of the Big Easy to Alamo City with The Cookhouse. With a menu that doesn’t just stick to Creole classics, Sypesteyn gives a snapshot of the city’s rich gastronomic heritage, while gently pushing the cuisine forward with components like Herbsaint foam.

Cured
There’s a sense of history in chef Steve McHugh's showcase restaurant, not only in its Pearl district surrounds but also in a menu that honors traditional techniques and often uses indigenous ingredients. The service also seems of another time, with a hospitality focus that helps you forget the hustle and bustle of modern living. It goes without saying that at an eatery called Cured, the charcuterie is exceptional.

Dough Pizzeria Napoletana
As San Antonio’s pizza evangelists, Dough starts with just that — an authentic base that has been certified by the experts at L'Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana. From there, it is topped with local ingredients, both traditional and out-of-the-box (the bacon and onion jam is a revelation), and fired into the signature bubbly charred crust. If you are not a pizza lover (LOL!), there’s still plenty to love, like truffle burrata, antipasti, and beautiful salads.

Restaurant Gwendolyn
When folks call Restaurant Gwendolyn old school, they mean it. A tribute to the industriousness of Depression-era cooks, chef Michael Sohocki's eatery manages to keep up service without using any plug-in appliances. The menu is similarly crafted with what would have been available to 1930s diners, only using ingredients sourced within 150 miles. If that sounds precious, never fear. The dining experience has the creature comforts current diners expect.

Signature
Signature represents famed San Antonio chef-owner Andrew Weissman back in fine dining form. The menus are not showy (he leaves that to the gorgeously appointed dining room), and largely pronounceable with even the thickest Texas accent, but there’s a sense of true luxury that is increasingly rare. Try the pheasant with roasted seasonal vegetables, wild mushrooms, and a rich jus, a dish that will make any occasion special.

Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
This casual Pearl district hangout specializes in creative Texas cuisine with a particular focus on the Gulf. Chef Jeff Balfour's menu ranges from comforting favorites like jalapeño cheddar grits and crispy fried chicken to raw bar selections like oysters and shrimp cocktail. The in-house brewery shines with creative beers like a French saison made with sage tincture and a tomato gose.

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Buy tickets now to the Tastemaker Awards on April 12 at Fair Market in Austin. Learn more about the event here.