The best new restaurants and bars to open in San Antonio in 2021 

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The San Antonio restaurant and bar scene endured many hardships during the COVID crisis, and it's now grappling with unprecedented supply chain issues. No matter, the local food community is nothing if not resilient — as the spate of amazing 2021 restaurant openings proves.

Let's explore the 20 best local restaurants and bars to open during this turbulent year, focusing on those that brought unique, delicious and sometimes swanky vibes to the Alamo City. 
OF 20
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1024 S. Alamo St.,
The minds behind Southtown Instagram sensation Little Em’s Oyster Bar — opened this "sexy" new eatery this fall in the building that once housed brunch and dinner hotspot Feast. The new Southtown concept serves up seafood, steak and sushi, and is already racking up rave reviews.
Photo via Instagram / upscalesouthtown
Naco 210
2015 NE Loop 410, (210) 996-1033,
The team behind noted food truck Naco Mexican Eatery debuted their brick-and-mortar restaurant Naco 210 at the beginning of December, slinging the traditional Mexican plates, tacos, tortas and chilaquiles made popular by the couple's much-praised mobile kitchen.
Photo courtesy of Naco 210
Box Street All Day
623 Hemisfair Blvd. Ste. 108, (210) 920-1602,
This casual, chef-driven concept will lean heavily on brunch items when it opens Dec. 16, but will also offer an espresso bar, craft cocktails, bubbles and local beer, too. Folks looking to snag a bottle of bubbles can swing by the onsite “bottle shop” for fun on the run. Located at Hemisfair.
Photo courtesy of Box Street All Day
Screaming Goat Yard and Tap
4 Sun Valley Road, Spring Branch, (830) 885-2209,
This new Spring Branch spot offers something for everyone — at all hours of the day, to boot. Breakfast, lunch and dinner food options abound, and the draft beer rail boasts local brews from all over.
Photo via Instagram / screaminggoatyard
Bar Loretta
320 Beauregard St., (210) 757-3607,
SA foodies can indulge in “exceptional-yet-approachable” fare from this new Southtown spot, which opened in June. The new eatery, housed in the space that was previously home to Madhatter’s Tea House and Cafe, features handmade details such as a bar top made from a 120-year-old felled pecan tree.
Photo by Richard Casteel of Dandelion Gatherings for Bar Loretta
Tacos Cucuy
Location Varies, (210) 573-3048,
This new mobile taco concept from local chef Paul Morales debuted its from-scratch fare in October, promising to offer a ‘bespoke taco experience,’ with bites made entirely from scratch. Each offering uses local ingredients, responsibly-sourced proteins, fresh handmade salsas and Morales' own heirloom corn tortillas.
Photo via Instagram / tacoscucuy
Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar
2895 Thousand Oaks Dr.,
Kristina Zhao, owner of popular Chinese eatery Sichuan House, has expanded her culinary footprint with Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar, in north central San Antonio. Keep an eye out for a swanky onsite lounge — coming soon.
Photo via Instagram / sichuaneats
Three Star Bar
521 E. Grayson St.,
This new Government Hill-area restaurant and bar focuses on deli-style fare and high-quality whiskeys — as well as a few unexpected tipples such as a gin and tonic with pickle juice.The 7,000-square-foot eatery will seat 140 people in the space formerly occupied by Grayze.
Photo via Instagram / threestarbar
Milpa at the Yard
5253 McCullough Ave., (210) 990-2349,
Chef Jesse Kuykendall — also known to colleagues as “Chef Kirk” — serves up twists on the food of their childhood spent on the U.S.-Mexico border at this new spot at The Yard shopping center in Olmos Park. The eatery was opened in April, just before Chef Kirk clocked a historic Food Network Chopped win.
Photo via Instagram / foodies210
Gather Brewing Company
210 E. Aviation Blvd., Universal City,
Coast Guard veteran Mike Voeller enlisted his family to help revamp a defunct military-themed bar near Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph in Universal City. The brewery is set to have its grand opening Dec. 11, where it will unveil a handful of new brews.
Photo via Instagram / gatherbrewingcompany
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Bruno's Dive Bar
1004 S. Alamo St., (210) 225-9801,
Owners of neighborhood staple The Friendly Spot Steve and Jody Bailey Newman have given new life to a vacant space across the street in Bruno's Dive Bar. The new drinkery — which offers well tipples, an IPA on tap, games and a jukebox — opened in April.
Photo via Instagram / brunosdive
Comfort Cafe – East
2015 NE Loop 410,
This brunch spot has gained a cult following for its hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare and worthy philanthropic cause: and providing transformational programs for people on the road to recovery from addiction. This location of the pay-what-you-can eatery — which opened in March — is the second in SA.
Photo via Instagram / stine.eats
111 Lexington Ave., (210) 942-6026,
Local chef Steve McHugh helms this luxury hotel eatery, serving up local ingredients and unique products grown in Texas in collaboration with’ heritage farmers and growers. Landrace, inside the Thompson San Antonio hotel, opened in February.
Photo courtesy of Landrace
Izumi Sushi & Hibachi
2844 Thousand Oaks Dr., (210) 538-5121,
This sushi spot — which also features hibachi, tempura and teriyaki dishes on its extensive menu — opened quietly in February, and has generated fanfare in food-focused social media groups and online review site Yelp since it opened its doors.
Photo via Instagram / izumi_allyoucaneat
Wild Barley Kitchen Co.
8403 Broadway,
This San Antonio food trailer, known for wood-fired sourdough bagels, bread and pizza, has brought those flame-kissed delights to its first brick-and-mortar location in the spot that once held Lee's El Taco Garage. Wild Barley's owners are still making changes to the property, but the food trailer is now operating onsite.
Photo via Instagram / wildbarleykitchenandbrewery
Verve Pie
313 Schneider Drive Ste. 121, Cibolo, (210) 451-0160,
This vegan eatery purports to be the San Antonio area’s first 100% plant-based restaurant specializing in pizza and ice cream — plus, there’s booze. You read that right, the staff serves up eight pizza varieties, salads, coconut-based ice cream and signature cocktails.
Photo via Instagram / vervepie
Burger Boy – South
4402 S New Braunfels Ave,
This spot, known for old-fashioned burgers and thick shakes, opened its fifth location on S. New Braunfels Avenue this fall, boasting the brand’s signature retro A-Frame design. Be on the lookout for the mini-chain’s sixth location in Live Oak in early 2021.
Photo via Instagram / burgerboysa
Pinch Boil House
5130 Broadway, (210) 277-8801,
Shortly before closing their flagship location in downtown’s Rand building, Pinch Boil House co-owners Andrew Ho and Sean Wen opened a second location in Alamo Heights from which to sling their unique Viet-Cajun crawfish boils. The downtown spot is now permanently closed.
Photo via Instagram / pinchboilhouse
Amor Eterno
540 S. Presa St.,
This new venture, helmed by local bar owners Brian Correa and Aaron Peña, brings puro flavor to Southtown, including SA-inspired craft cocktails. Owner and DJ Peña spins vinyl several nights a week, and Milpa food truck slings late night eats out front.
Photo via Instagram / amoreterno_sa
Golden Wat Noodle House
111 Kings Court, (210) 320-8211,
This short-lived — but delicious — Cambodian concept was billed as co-owner Susan Sypesteyn’s culinary love letter to the dishes of her upbringing when it opened in February. The eatery offered comforting dishes packed with bold and traditional Khmer flavors for just six months before the owners shuttered it to focus on other concepts.
Photo via Instagram / goodbitesa
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Up Scale
1024 S. Alamo St.,
The minds behind Southtown Instagram sensation Little Em’s Oyster Bar — opened this "sexy" new eatery this fall in the building that once housed brunch and dinner hotspot Feast. The new Southtown concept serves up seafood, steak and sushi, and is already racking up rave reviews.
Photo via Instagram / upscalesouthtown

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