Editor’s note: As 2022 comes to a close, we're looking back at the stories that defined San Antonio this year, now turning our attention to San Antonio's ever-evolving food scene. This year, we saw big changes to individual businesses — including openings, closings, and makeovers — and an interest in best-of lists. Here are the 10 hottest restaurant and bar headlines of 2022.
1. Famous fried chicken and biscuit chain hatches 3 San Antonio locations. Bojangles, the North Carolina-based fried-chicken-and-biscuits chain with a die-hard following, plans to enter the San Antonio market over the next several years with three locations. It says it will open three Bojangles locations in Northeast San Antonio. Those franchise restaurants will be operated by Copacetic Group.
2. Popular San Antonio Asian eatery named one of the 10 best new restaurants in the country. Best Quality Daughter, the pioneering eatery specializing in “New Asian American” cuisine that began as a pop-up dinner series before practically becoming a household name in the Alamo City, was dubbed a Best New Restaurant by USA Today 10Best.
3. Iconic Southtown restaurant relocates and taps internationally acclaimed artist for new look. Not only did Rosario’s, an iconic Mexican restaurant in San Antonio’s Southtown neighborhood, move to a new location down the street, it's creating a new look. Restaurateur Lisa Wong hired internationally recognized artist Inti Castro to paint a mural at the relocated Rosario’s, making San Antonio the first Texas city to feature an artwork from Castro.
4. Beloved San Antonio barbecue joint from star chef closes amid construction boom. After four years of serving his peach-glazed baby back ribs on Grayson Street, 2022 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Chef of the Year Jason Dady decided to retire his family-friendly Alamo BBQ Co. concept in May.
Alamo BBQ Co. shuttered May 30.
Alamo BBQ Co. Facebook
5. 16 Veterans Day specials that salute San Antonio military service members. From restaurants and coffee shops to retailers and exercise classes, CultureMap rounded up the best Veterans Day discounts for those that have served and continue to serve our nation.
6. Massive new Pearl restaurant unveiled by San Antonio's newest hospitality brand. Days after Potluck Hospitality revealed itself to the San Antonio community, it announced its first new project — a massive 11,000-square-foot restaurant at 239 E. Grayson St. Named after the South Texas native green jay, Carriqui debuted at Pearl in September 2022. According to a press release, the sociable bird lent more than a catchy name to the concept. Its flight path was the inspiration for the menu.
7. 6 San Antonio eateries cook up spots on Texas Monthly’s list of best new restaurants. Led by food critic and executive editor Pat Sharpe, the 21st edition of the list highlights the magazine’s favorite dishes from around the state. Texas Monthly utilized the same format for its 2021 list, opting not to publish a ranked list due to the difficulties restaurants faced during the pandemic.
8. The 21 most anticipated San Antonio restaurants and bars opening this fall and beyond. San Antonio is currently experiencing a population boom. A diverse crop of restaurants and bars is sprouting up to feed all the hungry newcomers. From promising new ideas from the city's most lauded chefs to a gaggle of Austin imports, here were the most anticipated spots making local's mouths water.
Trees canopy an outdoor dining space at Carriqui, in two of the Top 10 San Antonio food stories.
Rendering courtesy of Don B. McDonald Architect
9. San Antonio airport lands new Tex-Mex restaurant from celebrated chef. No news is good news, but some news is Super Bien, which is also the name of a new concept from chef Johnny Hernandez, which opened at the San Antonio International Airport (SAT) in November. A partnership with global restaurateur HMSHost, the new outpost is the third SAT restaurant from Hernandez, who has been feeding hungry airport passengers at La Gloria and The Frutería since 2013.
10. Texas taco chain finally comes out of its shell for San Antonio debut. One crave-worthy hot spot that rolled into San Antonio in 2023 is inspired by authentic Acapulco street tacos — and it’s ready to put a little fiesta flavor in your face. Rusty Taco, the Dallas-based chain that specializes in street-style tacos made from original recipes (including a mouthwatering selection of breakfast tacos that are served all day), finally opened its first San Antonio location in February.