Where to eat this semester in San Antonio: 7 new college-friendly restaurants
Years ago, college dining used to be much simpler. Outfit a kid with a microwave and an electric kettle, and they could study into the night, noshing pizza rolls, chicken nuggets, and Cup Noodles. Then, Padma Lakshmi done messed it up.
Weaned on a regular diet of food television and TikToks — not to mention their parents' increasingly international tastes — today's generation isn't so satisfied stirring powdered blends in tepid water. The young palate is increasingly demanding, even if university life still dictates fast and cheap food.
For University of Texas at San Antonio students, add one more hurdle to cross. The Northwest Side may be the culinary hinterlands, but no one wants to brave traffic for a quick weekday meal.
Fortunately, a fresh pack of restaurants has graduated magna cum laude in these new economics. When it's midterms, undergrads will be glad to have a meal plan.
European Dumplings Café
College is an opportunity to expand horizons, something this Ukranian café has been doing since it was a food truck. Now settled in Castle Hills, it still impresses with Eastern European classics such as empanada-like chebureki and fluffy pierogi stuffed with mashed potatoes and onions.
This Filipino gem's menu goes well beyond lumpia. Wake up with to-silog (cured pork served with a fried egg and garlic fried rice), score a bargain with one of the lunch specials, or just go for dessert. Halo-halo is a classic study break for a reason. And the tiny, semi-hidden store front is sure to make a student look cool when saying, offhandedly, "I know a place."
McIntyres North Star
The second San Antonio location of a popular Houston sports bar has a sophisticated drink menu of classic cocktails and 14-year Scotch. However, collegians may still reach for the White Claw. Whatever's in that glass (or can), it's an essential place to hang out during Roadrunners game day.
One can't expect students to give up their ramen habit entirely. At least this newcomer offers tonkatsu and vegetable broths and an array of toppings that are not freeze-dried. Noodle lovers will also appreciate Korean japchae loaded with bulgogi and udon soup brightened by kimchi.
Palomar Comida & Cantina
True, this colorful Northside eatery doesn't break any barriers, but comfort food is an undeniable anchor of the college diet. Students should schedule a visit during the daily happy hour, generously held from 2-6 pm and 9-10 pm. Nothing on the special menu is over $10, including warm weather essential mangonada flights.
Texas Dog Co.
Just ask Elle Woods. College is more fun if you have a pet. But even students not yet ready to commit to a furry companion will enjoy blowing off steam at this waggish bar. Plus, the joint is home to El Mitote, a food trailer dishing out affordable ceviche, mini tacos, and quesabirria.
Wok N' Fries
Located within earshot of campus, this food truck specializes in fries topped with everything from bacon and onion rings to chicken, mushrooms, and alfredo. While the calorie-dense piles and huge portions may not win Michelle Obama's admiration, finals are no time to fret about one meal.