No matter how many lists are made, it’s inevitable that Christmas Day will bring a few disasters. Maybe a cousin suddenly goes vegan or a little one accidentally uses all the heavy cream in their cereal. Though San Antonio is mostly a ghost town on December 25, keep calm. These stores are open during the holiday to turn stumbling blocks into triumphs.
One isn’t likely to be able to pull off potatoes au gratin with supplies bought at a convenience store (but if you get inspired by the Ruffles and string cheese, go for it). Still, this Dallas-based chain offers a surprising array of basics, including dairy and a limited selection of fresh fruit. Plus, the locations sell lottery tickets — a present that never disappoints.
Open: 24 hours
Ali Baba International Food Market
For 20 years, this San Antonio staple has supplied locals with a vast array of international foods, but it is best known for its bouncy, freshly made pita. Load the cart with a few bags, then peruse the aisles for mezze platter fixings like olives, roasted nuts, cheeses, and everything needed to make hummus, baba ghanoush, and tzatziki.
Open: 10 am-10 pm
9307 Wurzbach Rd. — (210) 691-1111
This family owned South Asian market is the solution to all sorts of holiday emergencies. Need a last minute dish for a vegetarian pot-luck? Shop fresh produce and pantry staples like rice. Forgot to buy stocking stuffers? Browse the jewelry selection. Even those who plan to spend the day binge-watching The Watchmen will find plenty to like in the selection of easy frozen treats like samosas.
Open: 10 am-10 pm
8466 Fredericksburg Rd. — 210-614-8600
More of a culinary boutique than a traditional grocer, this tiny Hotel Emma shop can still get locals out of slew of Christmas Day jams. Buy a few prepared dishes to take to grandmother’s house or to enjoy solo in pajamas, or snag a cookbook for a last-minute gift. There’s even beer and wine to help locals get through those inevitable family arguments.
Open: 6 am-8 pm
136 E. Grayson St. — (210) 448-8355
Shahi IndoPak Groceries
This specialty store packs a lot into its small space, including bread, packaged goods, and frozen snacks. The produce section is limited, but the exceptional service and the array of desserts in the bakery more than make up for it.
Open: 10 am-8 pm
20323 Huebner Rd. — 210-481-2225