December is magical in San Antonio — and not just on the River Walk. The city is alive with the wafting smells of tamales and holiday cooking, so it makes this month's picks very difficult. However, always up for a challenge, we gave it a go, and here is your guide to December dining in San Antonio. May your holidays be warm and bright.
Tejas Steakhouse & Saloon
Tejas Rodeo Company recently wrapped up the rodeo season, but you can still find a tasty steak all year long. Serving Akaushi beef, Tejas Steakhouse & Saloon dishes up all that you would expect and more. We could even be happy just devouring appetizers and sides here, including the quail on a wire (bacon makes everything better), the tamales de Tejas, and the green chili mac. Reservations are definitely recommended as this place fills up fast.
Warm and friendly with food to match, Thai Topaz is a family-owned restaurant offering a healthy and authentic experience. The Pad Woon Sen or the jasmine rice is worth the visit, and the spice is flawless. For those winter months ahead, Thai Topaz hits all the notes with warm flavors and a truly welcoming atmosphere. There are two locations — with only slight menu variances — and the food feels like home at both.
Nao Latin Gastro Bar
New name, new menu, new chef, all good. Nao is refreshed, not that it needed it, but it goes with the territory when you are the very epicenter of Latin culinary education. A few things have remained the same: excellent service, innovative culinary education for students, and a great beverage program.
La Frite Belgian Bistro
Winter demands warm creations like a steaming hot bowl of mussels. This downtown bistro delivers them in a few delicious forms that we thoroughly enjoy, but the marinières, a combination of white wine, shallots, and garlic was our favorite on a recent trip. If you're craving comfort food, the croque monsieur is the perfect answer to a chilly day.
Oh chimichurri sauce, how we have missed you. For all of you who have reminisced and wondered if you would ever experience Cafe Paladar again, this is your moment. Foodies are coming out in droves for the latest concept in Chef Brian West's "Pop-up for a Purpose" series, which rotates cuisine every 60 days. A very real homage to his first restaurant, you’ll find some old favorites with a few twists here and there. This Paladar pop-up only lasts through February, so hurry.
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