Editor’s note: As 2018 comes to a close, we take a look back at the 10 biggest restaurant and bar stories of the year. Though the stories cover everything from Brazilian street food to classic Texas barbecue, one trend is clear. In such a burgeoning culinary scene, San Antonians are always in need of a good recommendation.
1. Paula Deen butters up San Antonio with new restaurant in The Rim. Whether they love her or hate her, San Antonians are still in their feelings about the former Food Network host. The butter queen’s new eatery in the Bass Pro Shop floated to the top of the most-read stories like a batch of deep-fried chicken.
2. San Antonio's 9 best independent breweries for craft beer lovers. In April, Alamo City’s annual Beer Week gave us an excuse to raise our glass to the city’s top craft breweries. From a legacy brand making easy drinking pilsners to a studio experimenting with unexpected flavors, these nine hometown heroes have all tapped into something special.
3. These 8 best restaurants prove San Antonio is one of America's hottest food cities. National critics, the James Beard Foundation, and UNESCO all agree: San Antonio’s food scene is one of the most electrifying in the nation. Before our annual CultureMap Tastemaker Awards ceremony in April, we did a deep dive into what all the fuss was about.
4. Where to eat in San Antonio right now: 7 smokin' hot barbecue joints. Barbacoa, turkey breast, smoked sausage, and all the rest. Local pride, open wide, Texas toast on the side. San Antonio didn’t start the fire, but these pit wizards gave us plenty to sing about all year.
5. 7 essential restaurants to try during San Antonio Restaurant Weeks 2018. The holidays came early this year as restaurants across the city rolled out discounted lunch and dinner menus as part of Culinaria’s San Antonio Restaurant Weeks. Stay tuned for a second helping as the citywide food party returns January 21-February 2.
6. The 10 best chefs in San Antonio are the cream of the crop. Yass, chef! This talented culinary crew kept the pot stirring with innovative dishes, a fierce commitment to local sourcing, and highly personal visions.
7. New fast-food joint brings Brazil's most popular street food to North San Antonio. 2018’s most popular restaurant opening story wasn’t about a new upscale Pearl eatery or a new project from a celebrity chef. Instead, readers gobbled up our coverage of Zily Bites, a quick service Brazilian joint specializing in tiny croquettes called coxinha.
8. 9 favorite River Walk restaurants that aren't just for tourists. If you have written off the River Walk dining scene as all chain restaurants and bland Tex-Mex, these tasty eateries might change your mind. All are making a splash without having to resort to novelty margaritas.
9. Prepare to toast San Antonio's 10 best cocktail bars for 2018. Alamo City’s spirited nightlife scene continued to flourish in 2018 and we were there to drink it all up.
10. Where to eat in San Antonio right now: 11 patios for dining al fresco. This list may have been published in March, but the mild South Texas winter makes it just as useful in December. Sneak in a few visits before the city’s next cold snap.