Photo courtesy of Brian McKnight

Clear your calendars for the holiday weekend ahead for concerts, cultural festivities, and more can’t-miss happenings. Frolic in the sunflowers at Traders Village or see top musical talent live on some of the most-loved stages in Alamo City and beyond. Check out the top seven things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For a full list of events, visit our calendar.

Thursday, May 25

Briscoe Western Art Museum presents "Southwest Rising: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch" Preview Party
Be among the first to view the newest Briscoe Western Art Museum exhibition showcasing the collected works of late American art dealer Elaine Horwitch. Esteemed guests Bisco President and CEO Michael Duchemin, Ph.D., and curator of "Southwest Rising" Dr. Julie Sasse will be in attendance among the partygoers. Tickets to the preview party include complimentary valet, specialty cocktails, light bites, beer, and wine.

Friday, May 26

Traders Village presents Sunflower Field
A seasonal San Antonio tradition is back in full bloom for locals and visitors alike to experience. Traders Village features 10 acres of sunflower fields lining paths and mazes for guests to wander through at their leisure. Other activities include a petting zoo, photo opportunities, and an inflatable slide. The sunflower field will open through June 18. For more information, visit tradersvillage.com.

Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club presents Jamie Kennedy
Entertainer and multihyphenate talent Jamie Kennedy takes up weekend residence at The Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club. Kennedy is best known for his roles in Wes Craven’s Scream and Scream 2, which catapulted him to scene-stealing fame. Shows are scheduled through May 28.

An Evening with Brian McKnight
Singer-songwriter and R&B star Brian McKnight serenades fans live in concert at Majestic Theatre for one night only. McKnight has released 19 albums throughout his 25-year career and is a 16-time Grammy-nominated artist. He’s best known for hit songs like “Hold Me” and “Anytime.” Get seating information on Ticketmaster.

Saturday, May 27

Spoon in concert
Spoon comes to New Braunfels’ Whitewater Amphitheater in support of their 2022 album, Lucifer on the Sofa. The Austin-based band is best known for songs like “Inside Out” and “Don’t You Evah.” Get additional concert information on Ticketweb.

UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures presents Asian Festival
The University of Texas at San Antonio invites visitors to the downtown campus for the first Asian Festival since the pandemic. Guests can feast on authentic food while enjoying multicultural performances, crafts, music, and more. Get a schedule of events and festival tickets at asianfestivalsa.org.

Kool & The Gang in concert
Groovin’ soul band Kool & The Gang comes to San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre in support of their 2021 album, Perfect Union. The musical band of biological brothers and longtime friends is behind timeless classics such as “Get Down on It” and “Ladies Night” and has amassed fans around the world since forming in 1964. Buy tickets on majesticempire.com.

Brian McKnight
Photo courtesy of Brian McKnight

Brian McKnight performs live in concert at Majestic Theatre this Friday.

Photo by Guillermo Rosas

San Antonians gather to toast Alamo City's culinary scene during blowout Tastemakers


We’ve only just recovered. After weeks of honoring the San Antonio bar and restaurant scene through a special editorial series, we finally crowned the winners on May 18 at a hotly anticipated party held at the Briscoe Museum. Guests sipped and savored while patiently waiting for us to reveal the champions.

During the exclusive VIP hour, guests received a first taste of the delicious bites from participating chefs. They also got in the first bids for silent auction items benefiting our nonprofit beneficiary, the Southern Smoke Foundation.

There were plenty of libations courtesy of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, Dripping Springs Vodka, and Epic Western. Hometown brewers Viva, Weathered Souls, and Second Pitch kept guests quenched with plenty of brews, a perfect companion to Twang’s beer salt. Guests could also grab Topo Chico Sparkling Mineral Water to cool off on a hot day.

Once the doors officially opened, guests were tempted by an array of succulent dishes from the nominees. Ladino, a dual nominee for Best New Restaurant and Restaurant of the Year, wowed with agristada de pishkado — a white fish bite perfect for spring weather. Bar of the Year contender Moon’s Daughter showed their culinary acumen with lamb ragu hummus. And Rebelle spoiled attendees with East Coast oysters.

Finally, the crowd gathered to congratulate this year’s crop of honorees. Cheers filled the Briscoe’s halls as KENS 5 personality Sarah Forganey revealed the winners. Throughout the night, partygoers voted in the Burger Throwdown, presented by Goodstock by Nolan Ryan, giving Southtown's Bar Loretta the ultimate prize.

Robbie Nowlin of Allora and Arrosta was named Chef of the Year, while Sofia Tejeda of Hotel Emma nabbed the Pastry Chef of the Year award. Amor Eterno and Künstler Brewing won Bar of the Year and Best Brewery, respectively.

Then, three diverse restaurants scored in the restaurant categories. East side fave The Magpie got an early boost as Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year, while CultureMap readers selected Reese Bros. BBQ as this year’s Best New Restaurant. Lastly, Pearl showcase Carriqui nabbed the biggest award of the evening — Restaurant of the Year.

It was heartwarming to see San Antonio’s culinary industry greats toasting their peers and the special connections forged between restaurants and their guests. Now that we have gotten some rest, we can’t wait to do it again next year!

San Antonio Tastemakers 2023

Photo by Guillermo Rosas

Aaron Peña (l) and JC Salinas of Amor Eterno show off their Bar of the Year trophy.

La Tuna/ Facebook

5 things to know in San Antonio food: Longtime restaurateurs ditch Southtown for Government Hill


Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of San Antonio’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our weekly roundup of essential food news.

Openings and closings

The family behind La Tuna Icehouse & Grill is opening a new concept this summer in Government Hill. According to San Antonio Business Journalreporting, the owners have decided not to extend their lease at La Tuna past December, although the business expects to attract new operators. The Ridge on the Hill will be located at 2119 I-35 Frontage Road, the former home of Eastside Kitchenette and 88 Cerveceria. The new spot will be family friendly, but there’s no word on the cuisine. A nascent Instagram profile shares no details.

Another local restaurant has bowed to post-Covid pressures. Long-running Tex-Mex spot Martha’s Mexican Grill took to its Google Business page to announce it was calling it quits. The owners explained that pandemic hardships coupled with the overall state of the economy made the eatery unsustainable.

Iced tea stand HTeaO is keeping San Antonio hydrated with two new locations. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations show the Texas chain is building a new storefront at 9711 Potranco Rd. with construction set to wrap up by the end of June. Although that location has yet to appear on the company website, another spot at 4120 N. Foster Rd. in Universal City is. There’s no word yet on when that outpost will debut.

Other news and notes

Visit San Antonio has announced it is serving the second annual Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival on October 26-29. The event, a partnership between VSA, Culinaria, and the James Beard Foundation, promises a lineup of top U.S. and Mexican chefs. While still keeping mum on the headliners, the event is now selling tickets to the grand tasting for $60-$120.

Downtown’s Landrace is getting into the takeout game with its new Box’d Lunch meals. Each portable provision includes two Fire Roasted Chicken Salad Sandwiches, house-made blue cheese potato chips, and brown butter chocolate chip mesquite cookies. The fancifully ribboned packages, retailing for $50, arrive on Memorial Day weekend.

Tune into the virtual CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Thursday at 7 pm.

Here are the top 7 things to do in San Antonio this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

You could stay at home and enjoy a quiet retreat from the daily grind, but this action-packed Alamo City agenda won’t make it easy. Raise a glass to the culinary talent of San Antonio at our premiere event, the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, or get your regular weekly helping of live entertainment at Majestic Theatre and Rosedale Park. Check out the top seven things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For a full list of events, visit our calendar.

Thursday, May 18

CultureMap San Antonio 2023 Tastemaker Awards
Our annual celebration of the top bar and restaurant talent in San Antonio returns with equal parts flavor and fanfare. Tickets to this signature tasting event and awards ceremony grant access to bites, samples, and specialty cocktails, plus a chance to meet and mingle with the biggest names and rising stars in the local food and drink industry. Check out our San Antonio Tastemaker Awards site to learn more.

Mission Marquee Plaza Outdoor Family Film Series: Grease
Bring your blankets, picnic snacks, and lawn chairs to Mission Marquee Plaza for an evening of family-friendly cinema al fresco. Attendees can enjoy an outdoor screening of Grease, starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. Other highlights include a performance by the Wonder Theatre’s Premier Performance Group and a classic car show hosted by the Push Rods Car Club. Food trucks will also be onsite to take orders from hungry guests. Admission to this event is free and open to the public.

San Antonio Botanical Garden presents "Lush: Twilight in the Garden"
Relax, unwind, and indulge at another installment of the after-hours entertainment series at San Antonio Botanical Garden. This month’s activities are inspired by the theme Rosé and Roses, and will include extended garden hours, live music, entertainment, a signature beverage, and an array of floral displays for ambiance. For more information and to snag your tickets, visit sabot.org.

Friday, May 19

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center presents the Tejano Conjunto Festival
The first and longest-running conjunto festival in the country is back for another year of Texas musical tradition. The three-day festival at Rosedale Park includes headliners Ricky Naranjo y Los Gamblers, Tony Tigre Saenz, Los Texmaniacs featuring special guest Flaco Jimenez, and more than 20 other performers hailing from nearly every region in the Lone Star State. Visit guadalupeculturalarts.org for more information.

Majestic Theatre presents Rain: A Tribute To the Beatles
Relive the iconic moments and songs from the Beatles’ Rooftop Concert and their hit album Abbey Road live at this tribute performance. Audiences can expect a musical journey through one of the band’s most pivotal eras, complete with theatrics and beloved fan-favorite tunes. Tickets for both showtimes are available on Ticketmaster.

CultureMap Tastemaker Awards


The San Antonio CultureMap Tastemaker Awards take place at Briscoe Western Art Museum this Thursday, May 18.

The Pan-African Cultural Community presents Message to the People: A Story of Malcolm X
The life and words of Malcolm X take center stage in front of a live audience at Ella Austin Community Center. This production blends elements of both classical and musical theater together for a poignant historical dramatization. Audiences will enjoy original music, photographs, and vivid glimpses into the mind and memory of this important figure in Black and American history. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Tobin Center presents Matteo Lane: The Al Dente Tour
Comedian and podcast host Matteo Lane performs live at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, with fresh material as part of his national tour. The New York-based entertainer has an impressive comedic roster, including appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers, HBO's Crashing, and Will & Grace. Visit tobincenter.org for more information.

Photo courtesy of Dino Safari

Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

Immersive and interactive entertainment are making the perfect case to explore all that the city has to offer in the days ahead. Spend a day outdoors with your pups and friends flying kites at McAllister Park, or visit the prehistoric land of the dinosaurs at the now-open "Dino Safari: A Walk Thru Adventure." Check out the top five things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For a full list of events, visit our calendar.

Thursday, March 9

Broadway in San Antonio: Hairspray
The bold musical about race relations and a girl’s dream of dancing in 1962 Baltimore takes the Majestic Theatre stage this week only. Audiences can expect iconic moments like appearances on the Corny Collins Show and songs like “You Can’t Stop the Beat.” For seating options and ticket information, visit sanantonio.broadway.com.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation presents "Uncork for the Cure"
Sip a sizable selection of fine wines and spirits paired with signature plates at this philanthropic culinary experience. Highlights include live music, silent and live auctions, and appearances by some of the city’s finest chefs at San Antonio Botanical Garden. Splurge on your tickets for this special Cystic Fibrosis Foundation benefit evening at cff.org.

Friday, March 10

Dino Safari: A Walk Thru Adventure
Explore what it would have been like to walk amongst the dinosaurs like the T. Rex of North America and the African Spinosaurus at this prehistoric event. Guests will get the chance to dig up fossils, enjoy a virtual reality experience, and discover at this immersive, walk-through exhibition. For ticket availability, check dinosafari.com. Following opening weekend, Dino Safari is open through September 4.

Tobin Center for the Performing Arts presents"Our Planet Live In Concert"
Experience the Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary series Our Planet like never before at this immersive film event. This in-concert screening will be accompanied by a live orchestra and features the narration of legendary broadcaster David Attenborough. Tickets for both nights of the production are still available at tobincenter.org.

Saturday, March 11

Dino Safari: A Walk Thru Adventure
Photo courtesy of Dino Safari

Dino Safari: A Walk Thru Adventure introduces visitors to dinosaurs up close.

San Antonio Parks Foundation presents the 16th Annual Fest of Tails Kite Festival & Dog Fair
Head outside with two- and four-legged friends alike to McAllister Park for a day of kite flying, live entertainment, dog-friendly vendors, and more activities. This kite festival and dog fair will also offer a range of services for interested pet owners and dog enthusiasts from local animal welfare organizations and businesses. Admission is free and open to the public.

Round1/ Facebook

7 things to know about San Antonio food right now: Japanese bowling concept strikes into North Park Mall


Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of San Antonio’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our weekly roundup of essential food news.

Openings and closings

A Japanese bowling and entertainment concept hopes to bowl San Antonio with a new North Star Mall location. Round1took to Facebook in late February to announce the opening of its latest outpost in early March. Founded as Sugino Kosan in Osaka, the chain rebranded in the ‘90s and rapidly expanded in the United States. The diversions should delight local Japanophiles. Though the food menu is an all-American assortment of pizza and wings, guests can belt karaoke classics, play exclusive Japanese video games, and win kawaii plushies.

A popular Kyle barbecue joint has moved the pits to Live Oak. In early February, Milt’s Pit BBQ announced its relocation to 8000 Pat Booker Road, the former home of pizza chain Urban Bricks. In addition to dishing out the requisite brisket, sausage, and ribs, the spot has some intriguing menu items like vegan jackfruit barbecue and pork belly Brussels sprouts.

The former City Veterinary Hospital at 818 Austin St. will soon trade barks for bites. Signage and an Instagram account have popped up for a concept called Maeve, opening in early 2023. CultureMap has reached out for more information, but the vibe on a recently posted sizzle reel is decidedly contemporary.

Alamo City’s robot overlords have arrived in the form of a pizza vending machine. According to a release, automated pizzeria PizzaForno has been installed at the Big Hops at 226 W Bitters Rd #108. In addition to classics like pepperoni, meat lovers, and barbecue chicken, the menu includes surprises like a chevré and honey pie. There’s also a Hawaiian pizza for sparking late-night arguments.

More news and notes

A San Antonio taco truck is asking for help after the trailer was stolen sometime in February. According to news reports, chef Adriana Renteria had been storing her Tacos B4 Vatos vehicle near her grandmother’s north-central San Antonio home before it was carted away. She asks anyone with information on its whereabouts to DM her through Instagram.

Just in time for Lenten season, Whataburger has brought back its coveted Whatacatch. The sandwich features a panko-crusted Alaskan pollock filet with lettuce, tomato, and tartar sauce. The filets are also available as a platter with fries and tartar sauce. Guests can reel in the specials for a limited time before it swims away on April 10.

Ferocious appetites rejoice! The San Antonio Zoo’s Zoo-La-La! fundraiser is back on May 11. The annual sip-and-stroll features dozens of local restaurants ranging from upscale eateries to burger stands. Devour the tickets now to get the best price; the $125-$250 passes go up by $25 on March 3.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

7 San Antonio icons star in new Texas Monthly book documenting most influential Texans of last 50 years


Texas Monthly's editors have released the next book for reading list queues. To commemorate the publication's 50th anniversary, they've collected and bound the stories and photographs of 50 iconic Texans that have shaped our great state and the country over the past 50 years. And seven San Antonio megastars have made it on the roster.

Lone Stars Risingis Texas Monthly's third book, created in collaboration with Harper Wave Books. Among the book's 256 pages are not just the rich histories and commentaries about our most recognizable Texas legends, but a few "lesser-known individuals who have been toiling on the sidelines, quietly and intentionally shaping" our perception of our vast and great state.

The seven Alamo City idols that made it into the book include business magnates, legendary musicians, inspirational activists and artists.

  • Selena Quintanilla, the Queen of Tejano who opened her second boutique in San Antonio
  • George Strait, the King of Country
  • Charles Butt, CEO, Chairman, and heir of H-E-B
  • Sandra Cisneros, nationally-recognized author and founder of San Antonio's Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation
  • Willie Velásquez, social activist who founded the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project
  • Gloria Anzaldúa, author, poet, scholar, and feminist
  • Robert Rodriguez, the filmmaker behind the Spy Kids and Machete movies

Selena Quintanilla singer
Selena Facebook
Selena Quintanilla leads the list of San Antonio icons.
Lone Stars Rising will be available for purchase on June 6. More information about the book can be found on texasmonthly.com.

UT Austin's Texas Exes awards 5 fastest growing, Longhorn-run businesses in San Antonio


Maybe it's not as much of a surprise given how big our city is, but did you know several of San Antonio's local businesses are run by University of Texas at Austin grads? Now, five of Alamo City's fastest growing, Longhorn-run businesses are receiving the recognition they deserve by their alma mater.

UT Austin's alumni association, the Texas Exes, celebrated 100 nationwide companies who were founded, owned, or led by Longhorns over the past five years with the inaugural Longhorn 100 Gala on May 18. Award recipients must have held a minimum annual revenue of $250,000 since 2019 to qualify, in addition to their Longhorn status.

The San Antonio winners include popular restaurants, clinics, a construction and architecture firm, a community organization, and more:

  • Stagg Restaurants Dba McDonald's
  • San Antonio Cosmetic Surgery, PA
  • BIRD Bakery
  • OfficeSource, Ltd
  • Day 1 Bags (Boerne)

Elsewhere around the state, Austin-area businesses (of course) took home the most awards, totaling 43. Hill Country Dental Associates in Kerrville and McAllen's Castle Hospitality also took home Longhorn 100 Awards. In Houston, 13 businesses were also celebrated.

The full list of Longhorn 100 winners from around the state can be found on texasexes.org.

Whataburger weighs in as healthiest cheeseburger in the nation


With its love of greasy enchiladas, gluttonous fried steaks, and fat-speckled brisket, San Antonio isn’t exactly known as a healthy eating mecca. But it turns out that one locally beloved dish isn’t as unhealthy as one might think.

Inspired by February’s American Heart Month (albeit belatedly), Gambling.com decided to dig deep into which fast-food burger was best for the ticker and the body overall. What that has to do with online slots is anyone’s guess, but perhaps open-heart surgeries are not conducive to risk-taking.

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Local favorite/ food cult Whataburger took the top slot, earning honors with its standby cheeseburger. Assumably, the gambling site considered the mustard-slathered original, eschewing calorie bombs like bacon slices and creamy pepper sauce. Where’s the fun of Whataburger if you can’t get it just like you like it?

To arrive at the rankings, Gambling.com analyzed each burger for sugar, fat, salt, and calorie content per ounce. Each metric was given a one to ten score that factored into the final report card shared with content-hungry food journalists everywhere.

Coming in a close second was In-N-Out’s cheeseburger, a comforting fact for Texans who enjoy complaining about Californians. Rounding out the top five were Checker’s Checkerburger with Cheese, Culver’s ButterBurger Cheese, and Del Taco’s del Cheese Burger.

For those trying to make better eating choices, that list should give some pause. Yes, Whataburger beats out other fast-food faves, but it was competing against a chain that literally toasts all their buns in churned cream. Health is a relative concept.

Elsewhere on the list was another Texas darling, the No. 6 ranked Dairy Queen. Apparently, all that “hungr” is being busted by a hefty dose of sodium. Yes, we will take fries with that.