The city affectionally named by Texas Monthly as the “Mother of Texas” because it is where history began is indeed filled with opportunities to enjoy affordable luxury. Within San Antonio, you can explore an abundance of culture, including the budding culinary scene, intimate night lounges, thrift-like shops, and tucked-away museums curated especially for the history enthusiast. And what’s San Antonio without the iconic Alamo, River Walk, and the best street tacos? Since SA is home to me and a wealth of must-visit locales, I wanted to introduce you to some hidden gems that you should know if you enjoy affordable luxury.
This eclectic stylish restaurant sits right off South Alamo and is one of the more popular spots in trendy Southtown. The menu changes often with the chef so I hate to recommend a dish and it not be available. Feast lives up to its name with generous portions and great cocktail selections. I work down the street and often come in the evening with colleagues to enjoy a wine down.
Sunday Brunch is when you must go! The food is fabulous, the fun atmosphere is accented by a DJ spinning on the 1’s and 2’s, and it is a great way to explore the amazing neighborhoods nearby. Parking is tricky so get there as early. There is street parking on South Alamo and throughout the neighborhood.
2. Feliz Modern
Need a quick birthday card/gift for a friend? Maybe an anniversary is on the horizon…or maybe you want to spruce up your home/office with a bit of fun art? Feliz Modern is the one-stop shop for you!
Feliz Modern is a collective hub for lifestyle items like I have pictured. It is a “mix of modern and vintage goods that combine a love of art, home, and entertainment.” My faves added to my cart have been the “fluent in rap lyrics” coffee mug, the taco/therapy money bags, and the life-size Topo Chico Poster is saved for my future house. I ended up getting the Instagram heart notification pillow for my office at work.
3. Hotel Emma’s Sternewirth-The Story of The Three Emmas
What’s fascinating about San Antonio is the rich culture and history that is stranger than fiction. One of my personal fave spots is Hotel Emma at The Pearl. Hotel Emma is a flagship for Pearl’s culinary and cultural scene. Staying a night or two can be very expensive. For us who enjoy affordable luxury, dining in or having a couple of drinks at the bar will suffice. I highly encourage you to visit Sternewith Tavern & Club Room. Though the hidden gem isn’t the bar itself that boasts 25 ft vaulted ceilings and posh sofas, easy chairs, and lounge areas, it is rather a story….The Three Emmas Story. Make your way to the bartender and order ‘The Three Emmas’ delicious cocktail. Ask the bartender to tell you the scandalous tale about the three Emmas. A true story of love, betrayal, and murder!
4. Shotgun House Coffee Roasters
Travel with me to the west side of the city to an up and coming coffee shop, Shotgun House Coffee Roasters. This corner coffee shop is tucked inside Warehouse 5, a recently converted sewing factory. It is now a multi-suite space for creative businesses.
As coffee grounds and tea leaves steeped, I feverishly worked on several projects for work. I am fortunate to work remotely periodically and love coffee shops as my backdrop. It is a quaint, peaceful, and comfortable space that offers a full lineup of espresso drinks, teas, breakfast tacos, and pastries. Fan favorites include the iced horchata latte, salted-caramel latte, chai, and cold brew.
Located directly inside of the Luxury Collection St. Anthony Hotel, Rebelle is a sophisticated dining experience at a price point that won’t break your wallet. This restaurant is the sister to Feast as they are both owned by Andrew Goodman. What I love about Goodman’s collections is they are all similarly the swanky, stylish spot with a unique flare to cuisine. Rebelle focuses on premier seafood.
I recently celebrated my birthday there this year and created some buzz. I hosted my dinner party in their private room. I highly suggest dining there and the best part is complimentary valet parking at the hotel when you dine in.
6. Hello Tallulah
I am a girl that loves to thrift shop and have my fair share of items hanging in my closet. Hello Tallulah is a new vintage store that sells more gently used luxury brands with a whimsical touch to the fashion.
There was a recent store pop-up I attended and found the store to be very appealing for the fashionista who is bold, playful, and likes to be daring with colors. It isn’t so much my cup of tea, but super cute and chic. I was eyeing a tan leather bag that looked great.
Brooklynite is a remarkably cozy artful bar off Broadway with vintage furnishings and chandeliers as a backdrop for twists on cocktails. I ordered the ‘Thots & Prayers” drink and it didn’t disappoint. It is a laid-back atmosphere and fosters relaxation. I really enjoy the vibe of the music, people and bartenders. The surprising thing is good R&B music is played over the sound system and there is no DJ. It is still great spot to hang or take a date.