8 fun and festive ways to celebrate Fiesta during the COVID-19 shutdown
San Antonio’s perennial springtime celebration may have been postponed due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean homebound locals have to wait six months to Fiesta properly. To help Alamo City residents get their fix of margaritas, medals, conchas, and — of course — chicken on a stick, area restaurants are offering Fiesta-themed menus to-go, while various organizations and artists are keeping the celebratory spirit alive in their own creative ways.
Fiesta may not be the same this year, but here are eight ways to get in the spirit of the beloved San Antonio tradition. Better yet, think of it as a precursor to the fall, when the festival returns November 5-15. And do note that certain options are only offered for a limited time, so pre-order soon.
Dance in the "streets" with Aaron Peña
Can’t go dancing in the streets or at your favorite local bar? Aaron Peña, vinyl DJ and owner of The Squeezebox cantina, has you covered with a curated playlist featuring Fiesta favorites like “Cumbia de la Cobra” by Fito Olivares y Su Grupo and “Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio” by Flaco Jimenez. Listen to Peña’s playlist on Spotify here.
Indulge in traditional Fiesta sweets
La Panadería’s Broadway bakery is your go-to spot for traditional Fiesta sweets. Choose from an assortment of freshly baked empanadas, tequila almond croissants, and signature pan dulce items, plus savory dishes like the Mexican Cubana Torta served with a side of Fideo. To place an order for curbside pickup call 210-375-6746 or visit La Panadería’s website here. Free delivery available within a 3-mile radius of the Broadway location for orders of $20 more.
Chicken on a stick, of course
During their week-long Curbside Fiesta Celebration, La Tuna Grill is adding new items to its to-go menu. Available until April 25, Fiesta-themed offerings include crowd-pleasing chicken on a stick for $7 and fire-roasted brisket tacos served with guacamole salad and topped with a chile ancho vinaigrette for $11.99. As for your beverage fix, swing by adjacent La Tuna Icehouse this Friday, April 24, from 4-8 pm for to-go six packs of beer ($9 for domestic and $12 for import/craft). Order for pickup can be placed at the restaurant's curbside or ahead of time by calling 210-212-5727.
Get cracking with Mi Tierra's ultimate Fiesta survival kit
For a limited time, the Tex-Mex staple is offering all-inclusive Fiesta Survival Kits. Choose between a three-pound serving of house-marinated, ready-to-grill beef, chicken, or mixed fajita for $75, or a smaller, two-pound serving — plus an equal helping of sausage — for $70. Both options include rice; beans; chips; two dozen tortillas; two onions; two bell peppers; and individual pints of homemade salsa, guacamole, and pico de gallo. To complete the experience, kits also come with a dozen cascarones, a lotería game, a string of papel picado, and a QR code for a house-curated Fiesta Spotify playlist. Curbside pickup orders must be placed 24 hours in advance on Mi Tierra’s online marketplace here.
Make your own papel picado
San Antonio’s brand-new contemporary art center is inviting would-be festivalgoers to recreate the Fiesta’s colorful aesthetic at home. Follow along with Ruby City’s quick-and-easy papel picado tutorial to craft the beloved decoration using simple home art supplies. Also, to continue the festival's long-standing tradition, Ruby City’s special-edition Dolly Parton 2020 Fiesta medal, designed by artist Jen Frost Smith, is available for purchase alongside other medals, stickers, and magnets at art boutique Felíz Modern’s online gift store here.
Eat, drink, and be merry
For a unique wine-and-food pairing, North Side's The Bread Box bakery has teamed up with Comfort, Texas’s Bending Branch Winery. Take a scenic drive out to this boutique Hill Country winery to pick up your $80 Fiesta Flavors care package, which includes enough savory picadillo for four freshly made Bread Box tortillas, plus a bottle of both Bending Branch 2017 Texas Tannat and 2016 Tempranillo. Pre-orders must be placed on Bending Branch’s website by April 22 and will be available for curbside pickup April 25-26 at the winery.
A Tex-Mex feast with the whole family
Cover 3 makes it easy with Family Fiesta meal packages: 12 enchiladas or 10 flour tortilla tacos filled with your choice of green chile beef or Tinga chicken, plus a side of Southwestern rice for $45. The restaurant also offers steak taco grill kits for $78, which come with four 10-ounce, ready-to-grill rib eyes; a dozen flour tortillas; fresh taco toppings; and bonus grocery items like paper towels, milk, and eggs. You can also purchase an at-home michelada kit featuring spicy fixings and a six-pack of your choice for $20. Call 210-479-9700 to schedule curbside pickup. No contact delivery available in the Stone Oak area for orders of $30 or more.
Sip a margarita
To offer customers a taste of their forthcoming restaurant at the soon-to-be Estancia del Norte hotel (currently the DoubleTree Airport Hilton), catering company Don Strange of Texas is offering Fiesta-inspired meal packages for four. The service’s three unique menus rotate daily and include such entrees as pork carnitas, chicken creme de poblano and beef tenderloin carne guisada. All meal kits run $53.04 after tax and come with 2-3 side dishes, a dessert, and a prickly pear margarita in a limited-edition Estancia del Norte cup. To order email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 210-434-2331. Orders must be placed by noon the day of and picked up at the Doubletree between 5-6:30 pm. Details and menu rotation schedule can be found here.