The Pearl of San Antonio
It has been many weeks since we were in San Antonio! I tagged along on Zach's work trip to the city back before Thanksgiving. It was wild going from cold rainy fall in Scotland to hot San Antonio (this is where open toed booties and tank top sweaters actually make sense! a mystery to Midwesterners).
I spent a good majority of my time exploring The Pearl district. A little jaunt from downtown, either by a few miles on the Riverwalk or a five minute Uber.
It used to be the brewery campus for Pearl Beer until 2001. A genius of an architect had the vision to turn the old factories into a hip restaurant and bar curator for upcoming chefs and tasteful menus.
I am going to start this tour of the Pearl at Hotel Emma!!!! I have looked at their website a handful of times, trying to take in all of the details and understand how it is set up. SO being able to tour through it was a small dream come true. Although we did not stay here, people pop in and out all day as it is situated in the market area and attracts people who just want to see it.
The hotel is in what used to be some huge old factory of the beer making process. The spiral staircases still stand and the pipes are exposed and highlighted in a very steampunk way. The designer used old brewing vessels and tools to function as seating or decor. These staples are detailed with classic looks and textiles leather chairs and cow hide throws.
There is a beautifully curated gift shop and a provisions grocery store and cafe stocked with pantry staples and beautiful goods.
DREAM KITCHEN situated back by the event space.
The bar is huge! It sits next to the reading library. Roaring fireplaces are in every room and there are a ton of little nooks and seating areas.
I'll just start here at Hotel Emma as we had a beautiful little healthy brunch one morning. Supper is a good southern style cafe feel with trendy cocktails.
This little bakery cafe is so cute. A little french country kitchen feeling, I was intrigued by the yellow and gold boxed macaroons. I got to spend the morning with my old summer camp friend, Beka and it was A DREAM!
Also, around brunch time, you may run into a pack of cute puppies at the Pearl!!
This Mexican restaurant has a wonderful patio that sits next to the riverwalk. I have been here for dinner as well as lunch, and there are these little chili string lights that I have always thought to be tacky until I sat under them one night with a margarita and great company. Lunch time is wonderful for tacos and beers.
There are a few locations in San Antonio, this is by far the busiest. They serve Merit Coffee and a few other goodies and have a wonderful set up next to the astro turf lawn where yoga is always happening as well as all of the good shops.
In a place where it is (almost) always warm, good ice cream is a must. Betsy and I were not disappointed in the flavors we tried!
- Goat Cheese, Thyme, and Honey
- Coffee with Cream
- Sweet Potato Pie
Cured needs to be first! I have heard stories of this little place. You walk straight into this old school meat curer. This place uses regional ingredients (hello all the Texas meats) and it's all housed in the old Administrative Building of the Pearl campus. We ordered cocktails (that came out of the old vault) and charcuterie trays before really really good meat dishes.
This place is also connected to Hotel Emma. The chef crosses coastal classic food with southern style recipies. The atmosphere is cozy and lively. A ton of beer on tap and a good seasonal cocktail menu as well!
This five star Italian restaurant felt like Florence- Primi, Secondi, Appretivo, Insalante, and Vino.
We ordered a big spread for the table and sadly spent a bit of time listeneing to the fire alarms go off. True Italian style, no one moved or panicked and the ktichen staff kept bringing out dishes of food.
The Pearl is really beautiful at night! There are seating areas everywhere are properly strung patio lights that make the walk very cozy.
The Pearl Stable is the old draft horse barn and is now an event venue housed in a beautiful circular brick building!
A few of the shops I popped into and enjoyed were:
- The Sporting District
- The Pop Up Market (holidays)
- The Twig Bookshop
ANNNNDDDD you run walk or swim (no don't swim) a few miles down the carefully mapped and manicured River walk toward the Convention Center and you are downtown!
The Convention Center sits near the Alamo and so naturally, things get a bit more chain and touristy down here. But, I found a beautiful peaceful park near the hotel.
The pool had some views.
I dropped Zach at the Convention Center every morning to casually rub shoulders and shout out loud about Mg's great products! LOOK AT HIM :)
Anyway, go to San Antonio and then spend time in The Pearl. And go around the holidays if you want to sit on patios and have drinks one last time for the season!