To borrow a phrase from the great Canadian poet Shania Twain, fancy gifts and carriage rides don’t impress us much. The quickest way to our hearts is through our stomachs. Luckily, Alamo City is dotted with plenty of restaurants that make us swoon.
From historical inns at the edge of town to swoon-worthy spots in the heart of the city, these local eateries have all the right moves. This month, grab your boo or work up the courage to ask out a crush. These seven romantic hideaways are celebrating love, San Antonio style.
True, the busy bar area of this Monte Vista hot spot can get a little crowded, perhaps more suited for making googly eyes at a crush than sharing sweet nothings with a main squeeze. But the row of booths along the perimeter offer the illusion of privacy and a comfortable spot to down pizzas topped with innovative toppings like country ham, Clams Casino, and hashbrowns.
Biga on the Banks
The red accents of this River Walk restaurant immediately sing it out loud and proud. This is a place for lovers, whether it's Valentine’s Day or not. Chef Bruce Auden tinkers with the menu daily, but guests can always count of decadent treats such as seared Hudson Valley foie gras, Mediterranean-style bouillabaisse, and Mexican chocolate mousse.
Restaurant romance doesn’t have to come with starched white tablecloths. Southtown’s Bliss brings l’amour with a stripped-down dining room that doesn’t take focus away from your date — or the artfully arranged dishes on the plate. But for maximum glamour, it’s difficult to beat the highly coveted patio, with its fire pit reflected on the stainless steel panels of the facade. The only other bells and whistles needed are a cheese plate and a pour of a bold red wine.
Grey Moss Inn
Driving up, the building that houses this Helotes classic doesn’t look like much, but inside the stone walls is a sparkling patio canopied by ancient oaks. The indoor space, lit by crackling fireplaces and candles, is just as charming. Either place is ideal for enjoying a Strawberry Supreme dessert — served like a trifle in a balloon glass — and a bubbly from one of the best wine cellars in the state.
Start the evening at Hotel Havana’s signature restaurant in the golden hour before sunset, when the turquoise accents of the glass conservatory gleam against the darkening sky. After a few light bites like the fruta mixta or pan seared salmon, plunge into the darkness of the Havana Bar next door and find a hidden couch for a tete-a-tete. When the moon is out, take a stroll on the River Walk. San Antonio doesn’t get much more magical than this.
As any Hollywood director will tell you, it’s all about the lighting. This anchor restaurant of the downtown St. Anthony Hotel shines with a purple-pink palate that makes every guest glow, even before they take a swig of one of the cocktails. The food is equally bewitching . Order the filet mignon with slowly roasted red peppers and a luscious béarnaise or a dozen charbroiled oysters lavished with garlic confit butter.
Don’t just take our word for it. In February 2018, this La Cantera gem was named one of the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants by users of reservation site OpenTable. The reason is clear. The Hill Country scenery is breathtaking, the French inspired dining room has a certain je ne sais quoi, and the menu features chef Andrew Weissman at his most indulgent, spoiling guests with show-stopping entrées like roasted rack of lamb and black cod en papillote.