7 fall comfort foods to celebrate dipping temps and rain in San Antonio
It's fall y'all — and you know what that means. No, we're not talking about pumpkin spice lattes.
The drop in temperature has heralded the onset of fall-centric comfort foods, some unique spins on Halloween and holiday favorites, and even hot dogs with tentacles. Some of these options are only available for a limited time, with others being served up year-round.
Caldito at Mae Dunne Kitchen & Goods
Enjoy a hearty bowl of savory vegetable Caldito (for only $10 nonetheless) at Mae Dunne Kitchen + Goods. Inspired by a recipe by the restaurant's namesake, Mae Dunne's caldito is an easy way to get your veggies with potatoes, zucchini, avocado, and green beans — all in a savory, warm broth. The brunch spot has also just expanded to serve some dinner options, including a seasonal soup and lots of Italian and Mexican influence.
Paella at Toro Kitchen + Bar
Now with a third location at La Cantera, Toro's paella options remain consistently hearty and comforting, particularly as the temperatures continue to drop. The signature Toro paella, with jumbo shrimp, mussels, chicken, calamari, pork belly, and Spanish chorizo is a guaranteed crowd pleaser (feeding 2 guests for $32, versus 3-4 guests for $52). Other favorites are the arroz con costra, a pork-centric paella; and the arroz del senyoret, cooked with Galician octopus, shrimp and scallops. There are several other paella options on the menu, which makes for the perfect excuse for a return visit.
Creative hot dogs at El Chunky
Recently celebrating one year in business, El Chunky is offering up a spooky spin on its signature Mexican hot dogs (which it lovingly deems "Chunkys") in the form of the limited-time-only "Octopus Chunky." Essentially a hot dog sliced to look like an octopus (complete with a smiley face on its center), the Octopus Chunky pairs great with El Chunky's chili cheese fries. For an extra layer of Halloween spirit, ask for El Chunky's ghouly black sauce — you can also have it drizzled on other signature items on the menu.
Veal chop Cordon Bleu at Tardifs
A new addition to Tardifs' fall/winter menu, the veal chop Cordon Bleu is a showstopper: this dish is usually seen with chicken, but the veal version offers a little more luxury. Featuring an herb-breaded veal chop, the Cordon Bleu plate is topped with prosciutto, raclette cheese, and savory mushrooms.
Grilled quail brochette at Pappasito's Cantina
Given that quail season in Texas kicks off in October, it's only fitting that the grilled quail brochette at Pappasito's makes the list. Glazed with a chile ancho sauce, this skewer-grilled app is a good way to try something a bit more seasonal without committing to an upscale farm-to-table meal — although it is more expensive than most of the menu. (You can also pair guac with the brochettes; We're not judging.)
Spinach-artichoke grilled cheese with bacon at Benjie's Munch
Benjie's Munch has the grilled-cheese-and-tomato-soup vibes covered with a whole section on the menu devoted solely to its award-winning grilled cheese plates. If you're craving something different, give the spinach-artichoke grilled cheese a try. Laden with a housemade spinach and artichoke dip, mozzarella, provolone, and fresh spinach, the sweetest thing about the Benjie's specialty sandwich is that it's all layered on buttery sourdough bread and will only set you back $9.99 — or $12.99, if you add bacon to create the sandwich that won first place at the San Antonio Grilled Cheese Festival.
Baked potatoes at Holy Smoke and spooky adult slushies at El Camino
The humble baked potato — an old-fashioned fall-and-winter classic — is less so at Holy Smoke, where it's piled high with butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, mac and cheese, bacon, chopped brisket, and chives. While you're there, if you're feeling the spooky spirit, consider El Camino's seasonal twists on its signature frozens, including Zombie and Candy Monster slushies. (Visit on a Thursday to get them for just $4.) The often-photographed food truck park is illuminated by thousands of lights, and is fun to stop by with a crew.