Spicing it up for ISTE 2013

View from the Hemisfair Tower

San Antonio, this year’s home for the ISTE conference, is one of my favorite Texas places, so here’s some flavor you might enjoy:

Things to do beyond ISTE–

The McNay Art Institute (in a beautiful Spanish mansion in the Alamo Heights area, beautiful impressionist collection)
San Antonio Museum of Art — at the far end of the River Walk, built in an old brewery
Pearl Brewery — Another old brewery near downtown converted into a plaza with shops and some excellent restaurants, plus the culinary school
Breckenridge Park and Zoo — great zoo built in an old rock quarry.  Next door, check out the Japanese Tea Gardens, a hidden treasure.  A beautiful garden built into the quarry, with a unique history.
Guenther House and Pioneer Mill Farms — in the King William district (an area with beautiful historic German homes–fun to walk around in and look at architecture), the Pioneer Mills is an old flour mill which is still producing, and there is a restaurant where you can have brunch and sample their wares.
Witte Museum — another iconic San Antonio spot–great museum for younger children and they have a House of Science in the back on the river near the zoo.
El Mercado–The Mexican market has everything under the sun, some of it kitschy, but it is a lot of fun to browse through while you wait for your seat at Mi Tierra restaurant.
The Alamo — but, of course.  Then go by the lobby of the historic Menger hotel and check out the antique lead soldier store on the way.

Speaking of which, great places to eat:

Mi Tierra (in el Mercado) — huge Mexican restaurant with a historic past, and eye-boggling decor.  Great simple Tex Mex meals, great tortillas and breakfasts and a delicious Mexican bakery.
El Mirador (King William district) — delicious Mexican food and off the beaten path
Taco Haven — (King William district) my new favorite for some awesome tacos–get the special ones with slaw.
Boudrou’s on the Riverwalk — Guacamole made at your table.  Yum.
Little Rhein Steakhouse — on Riverwalk–if you want a ritzy dinner and great steak, this is the place.  Overlooks the river.
Schilo’s–the place locals in the know go for deli food and homemade root beer out of the keg.  My favorites–the pimento cheese, hot German potato salad, and cold root beer.  Great place for lunch or breakfast and it’s rarely crowded because tourists don’t know about it.
Tre Trattoria — a newcomer just across from the convention center–food served “little plates” style–great for a group, and delicious food, from cheese samplers to pasta to veggies.
Cappy’s — if you are at the McNay Art Museum, stop by Cappy’s for dinner (restaurant in the back).  Delicious fish and desserts.
Rosario’s (King William district) — very tasty Mexican food, not typical, in a lively atmosphere.
County Line BBQ (Riverwalk) — if you have to get in a taste of BBQ, County Line out of Austin has a nice spot on the Riverwalk.
Cheesey Janes — If you go to the Witte museum on Broadway, this tasty spot is worth a try for their delicious milkshakes and burgers.
Il Sogno — in the Pearl Brewery area, delicious and fresh Italian cuisine with great antipasti.
Blue Star Brewing Company — in the King William district, local brewery.
Las Ramblas at the Hotel Contessa — nice location near the “wedding spot” on the Riverwalk, nice Spanish tapas on the patio.
Bliss — a new fine dining restaurant in Southtown (King William area) that looks to be delicious!

Viva San Antonio, and if you have other tips, be sure to share!

See you at ISTE2013!


One thought on “Spicing it up for ISTE 2013

  1. Just to add on to (or concur with) your wonderful suggestions, there’s a really cool exhibit at the McNay right now. It’s behind the scenes of Norman Rockwell. I haven’t been out to see it yet, but I hear it’s really awesome.

    Also, if you’re making your way to the BlueStar Arts Complex, in addition to the Brewery, there are a couple of other nice places to stop- Halcyon is a great coffee shop/full bar/cigar shop with free wi-fi and a great brunch menu. Connected to Halcyon is Stella’s, where you can sample some amazing pizza made in a wood burning oven. Then there’s Bar 1919, a rather swanky little bar, and if you’re here early and up on Saturday morning, the complex just started a Farmer’s Market from 9 am- 1pm.

    A little further down from BlueStar in the King Williams District/South Town is my favorite Mexican restaurant, Rosario’s, and across the street is Mad Hatters. They are known for their brunch. A newer addition to South Town is Alamo Street Eat Bar, a collection of food trucks.

    There are many great things on the Riverwalk, but sometimes, it’s good to venture a little further away. 🙂

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