25 San Antonio restaurants that opened during the pandemic that you might have missed 

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Despite the many hardships that faced the bar and restaurant industry last year — thanks, COVID — San Antonio is now awash with brand-spanking new eateries that opened amid the global crisis.

We gathered up 25 totally different restaurants and bars that took the plunge and went into business in the face of a global pandemic. All of them are seriously winning — and some may be brand new to you.
OF 25
Willa Eatery
106 Auditorium Circle, (210) 233-8288, willasa.com
While this Tobin Center-area dining spot is largely vegan- and vegetarian-friendly, meat-eating guests can grab any of its sandwiches with seared pork belly or grilled chicken. Keep an eye out for brunch plans from the new spot.
Photo via Instagram / willaeatery
Milpa at the Yard
5253 McCullough Ave., (210) 990-2349, facebook.com/milpaattheyard
The mind behind the innovative cuisine at Ocho at Hotel Havana, Chef Jesse Kuykendall showcases the food of her childhood spent on the U.S.-Mexico border. The opening menu features items such as tacos arabes, asada, carnitas, quesadilla frita and elotito — and tacos that Texas Monthly deemed life-changing.
Photo via Instagram / foodies210
Bruno's Dive Bar
1004 S. Alamo St., (210) 225-9801, brunosdive.com
Owners of neighborhood staple The Friendly Spot Steve and Jody Bailey Newman are breathing new life into a vacant space across the street in Bruno's Dive Bar, which offers well drinks, an IPA on tap, games and a jukebox.
Photo via Instagram / brunosdive
Project Pollo
Multiple Locations, projectpollo.com
In less than a year, this vegan sando outfit has opened six locations, with a goal to open 100 by 2025. Founder Lucas Bradbury aims to put Chick-fil-a out of business with a line of vegan burgers and chicken sandwiches that are as tasty as they are sustainable.
Photo via Instagram / project_pollo
Tidy Ben's
731 S. Alamo St., (210) 364-1678, tidybens.com
SA’s gaining vegan-friendly options at lightning speed, including Tidy Ben’s Sloperia, a joint that serves up a meat-free take on the messy childhood fave the sloppy Joe sandwich. Housed inside Southtown comedy pub Jokesters 22, Tidy Ben's specializes in multiple flavors of meat-free sliders that consist of a shredded plant-based filling tucked inside sweet Hawaiian-style buns or atop tater tots or Fritos.
Photo via Instagram / tidybens
Glass and Plate
4212 McCullough Ave., (210) 864-7500, glassandplate.com
Former professor at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio chef Justin Ward opened his new Olmos Park-area restaurant this spring, offering lunch and dinner daily, as well as weekend brunch and a sweet new happy hour. Don’t sleep on the $1 fresh-shucked oysters during happy hour, and specials on margaritas and frozen daiquiris.
Photo via Instagram / fittravelingmama
Golden Wat Noodle House
111 Kings Court, (210) 320-8211, goldenwatnoodlehouse.com
This Cambodian concept is co-owner Susan Sypesteyn’s culinary love letter to the dishes of her upbringing, offering comforting dishes packed with bold and traditional flavors such as lemongrass, ginger and mint. Make sure you inquire on the seasonal donut, which is typically just as gorgeous as it is delicious.
Photo via Instagram / goodbitesa
House of Má
135 E. Commerce St., (210) 441-7229, houseofmasatx.com
This new downtown spot has been a long-awaited concept from team behind the popular downtown-area eatery Singh’s Vietnamese. The menu of the brand new street-level spot features Cambodian Noodle Soup and Chicken Pho as well as a selection of signature cocktails, and provides its tiki-forward river-level counterpart, Hugman’s Oasis, with bar eats.
Courtesy Photo / Giles Design Bureau
Amor Eterno
540 S. Presa St., instagram.com/amoreterno_sa
Amor Eterno — a new venture helmed by local bar owners Brian Correa and Aaron Peña — brings puro flavor to Southtown, including SA-inspired, locally sourced fare from popular pop-up ¡Bucho! and even special events when owner Peña spins vinyl into the night.
Photo via Instagram / amoreterno_sa
Best Quality Daughter
602 Avenue A, bestqualitydaughter.com
Food-focused dream team Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin and Quealy Watson — chefs and owners of Tenko Ramen, also at the Pearl — opened Best Quality Daughter in the thick of the pandemic, reflecting the comfort food of Dobbertin’s youth as a first-generation Chinese-American.
Photo via Instagram / bestqualitydaughter
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Brasserie Mon Chou Chou
312 Pearl Parkway, Building 2, Ste. 2104, brasseriemonchouchou.com
Brasserie Mon Chou Chou offers an array of French classics from the kitchen as well as craft cocktails, wine and absinthe. Keep an eye out for new seasonal menu offerings such as broiled double lamb chops.
Photo courtesy of Giles Design Bureau / Clayton & Little Architects
5251 McCullough Ave., (501) 887-7282‬, omakasekumo.com
Kumo is a sexy new seasonal Mexican restaurant with a strong Japanese influence from the minds that brought us Mixtli. Kumo's dinners can feature up to ten courses of chef-selected dishes, including tacos, ceviches, tostadas and small bites.
Photo courtesy of Kumo
Hello Paradise
520 E. Grayson St., facebook.com/HelloParadiseSA
Dara and Kusol Maknual, in-laws of local craft cocktail trailblazer Jeret Peña, have joined forces with their son-in-law to introduce a new Thai restaurant with tasty frozen cocktails and savory eats. Post up on the patio for an easy afternoon in the sunshine.
Photo courtesy of Hello Paradise
Little Em's Oyster Bar
1001 S. Alamo St., littleemsoysterbar.com
This bright and airy Southtown joint offers a huge array of seafood, despite the specificity of the name. An extensive wine list, local craft beers on draft and ample patio seating? Count us in.
Photo via Instagram / littleemsoysterbar
Black + White Creamery
4011 Broadway St., facebook.com/BlackWhiteCreamery
This high-end ice cream concept from chocolatier Mary Collazo features “puro San Antonio” flavors, mingled with some international twists and turns. Inspiration for the frozen treats will come from popular truffle flavors at Chocollazo — the adjacent chocolate shop also helmed by Collazo.
Photo via Instagram / blackwhitecreamery
The Dooryard
4503 De Zavala Rd., Ste. 108, thedooryardsa.com
This northwest-side spot features 30 taps loaded with self-serve beers, seltzers and wines, allowing guests to sample a variety of beers without committing to a full pour. When planning your visit, expect a full food menu, outdoor seating and a kids play area.
Photo via Instagram / thedooryardsa
The Hayden
4025 Broadway St., thehaydensa.com
The long-awaited neighborhood cafe with a Jewish twist opened its doors in fall of last year — a bit behind schedule, but locals aren’t splitting hairs. Guests consistently rave about the pastrami sandwich and salmon burger, and the cocktails look like something out of a dream.
Photo via Instagram / thehayden_sa
Curry Boys BBQ
2334 N. St. Mary’s St., curryboysbbq.com
The phrase “Texas BBQ and Southeast Asian curry” may leave you scratching your head, but menu items like the Brisket Curry Bowl — smoked Texas brisket with green curry, Jasmine rice, cilantro and fried shallots — are downright delicious. You can't miss the bright pink curry shop on the St. Mary's Strip.
Photo via Instagram / curryboysbbq
5033 NW Loop 410., jollibeeusa.com
This popular Filipino fast food concept opened to huge fanfare last year, and is still going strong — serving up unique dishes such as sweet spaghetti.
Photo via Facebook / Jollibee
Southerleigh Haute South
5822 Worth Parkway Suite 112, (210) 236-8556, southerleigh.com/location/southerleigh-haute-south
As the latest concept from the Southerleigh Restaurant Group, Southerleigh Haute South serves up fried chicken, biscuits, oysters, craft beers and a full bar. Post up on the patio for easy afternoon vibes.
Photo via Instagram / southerleighhautesouth
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Truth Pizzeria
1602 East Houston, (210) 600-3211, facebook.com/truthpizzeria
Truth's pies have garnered rave reviews throughout the pandemic for having gorgeous, crisp crusts and perfectly bubbly cheese. A study in the effective marriage of flavors, the pizzas at this Eastside pizzeria are worth the drive.
Photo via Instagram / truthpizzeria
Ming’s Thing
914 E Elmira St Suite 101, facebook.com/MingsThingByQmCuisine
Chef Ming Qian opened her second San Antonio restaurant, Ming’s, last year, serving up a mix of modern Southeast Asian with Texas flair. Keep an eye out for fun seasonal offerings such as Jalapeño and Cheese Rice Balls that are battered with panko and fried to crispy perfection, drizzled with Dijon mayo and topped with scallions
Photo via Facebook / Mings’s Thing
Hops & Hounds
13838 Jones Maltsberger Rd., facebook.com/Hops-Hounds-113122597047363
If you’re looking to spend more time outdoors, look no further than this new dog-friendly joint in Northeast San Antonio. Hops & Hounds specializes in classic American bites, adult beverages and space for the little ones and pups to play.
Photo via Instagram / hopshoundssa
Tutti’s: A Place for Foodies
318 E Cevallos St., (210) 530-1313, tuttisforfoodies.com
Housed inside a 100 year old Southtown bungalow, this new, dog-friendly neighborhood spot recently opened with comforting dishes like chicken and waffles, ratatouille and a variety of fresh pastries and beverages, prepared daily.
Photo via Facebook / Tutti’s A Place for Foodies
ReRooted 210
623 Hemisfair Blvd. Ste. 106, rerootedwine.com
San Antonio’s first-ever urban winery made a splash on the scene with its state-of-the-art draft system for pouring seven inaugural house wines — 100% Texas wines, at that. The new venue takes advantage of the enhanced walkability of the newly redeveloped Hemisfair complex and its open-container rule, giving visitors the option to take their vino-on-the-go.
Photo via Instagram / rerooted210
Willa Eatery
106 Auditorium Circle, (210) 233-8288, willasa.com
While this Tobin Center-area dining spot is largely vegan- and vegetarian-friendly, meat-eating guests can grab any of its sandwiches with seared pork belly or grilled chicken. Keep an eye out for brunch plans from the new spot.
Photo via Instagram / willaeatery

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