April in San Antonio: Fiesta! San Antonio has gained quite a few gluten-free friendly restaurants since I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, and they are dispersed across the city. People visiting San Antonio, who have to eat gluten-free, will find a nice selection of restaurants from which to choose. Since many Fiesta-related activities take place in the downtown area, I’m going to list a few gluten-free friendly restaurants in and around that area.
This list isn’t exhaustive by any means, and I want to add a reminder that many Mexican restaurants offer food that’s gluten-free by nature. San Antonio has a plethora of Mexican restaurants downtown and the surrounding area. Be sure to ask the wait person if the corn tortillas are made with masa or corn meal only, though. Some Mexican restaurants add a little flour to their corn tortillas. Also be sure to confirm that sauces are made without flour as thickener. Since I’m mentioning Mexican restaurants here, I’ll just begin the list with my favorite downtown / near-downtown Mexican restaurants!
Mexican (Tex-Mex) / Latino Restaurants
I really enjoy eating at this restaurant. The decor is festive and colorful; one feels as if she’s on vacation even if she’s just eating lunch and has to get back to work afterward. No specifically gluten-free menu is available here, but many naturally gluten-free dishes are on the menu. The wait staff always answers questions I have about menu items, and if my wait person doesn’t have the answer to my question, he takes time to get the answer. Do I have photos of any food I’ve eaten at Azuco? No. Sometimes a girl just wants to eat without taking time to photograph her food! Also, I had to remove thousands of photos from my phone to increase my storage. I transferred the photos to my Prime photo storage app, and I can’t figure out the storage organization on the app to find specific photos. But that’s another story . . . . The one sad piece of information about Azuco that I have to pass along is that the restaurant offers beautiful corn bread for patrons to enjoy while they wait for their meals. Anyone reading this post to find gluten-free restaurants in San Antonio will have to watch with sorrow and envy their gluten-eating friends and family enjoy the cornbread: very sad. On the other hand, the mojitos at Azuco are fabulously delicious. I drink one sometimes while waiting for dinner to arrive, and then I don’t care so much that I can’t have any of Phillip’s cornbread.
709 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205 (Southtown)
5800 Broadway St #300, San Antonio, TX 78209 (Alamo Heights)
Paloma Blanca has a gluten-free menu (as well as a paleo menu) with many delicious gluten-free choices. Gluten-free menu items even include dessert! The ambience of this place is lovely. The wait staff are knowledgeable about menu item ingredients, and the service is wonderful. Sadly, I no longer have a photo of a meal I’ve eaten at this restaurant. I guess I just have to go back to eat again soon, so I can get another photo! Poor me!
Rosario’s has two locations:
910 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205 (Southtown)
9715 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX 78216
I love to eat at Rosario’s. I’ve been to the Southtown location a few times (which is the location closest to many Fiesta activities), but I usually eat at the Northside location. Our habit when we’re in San Antonio instead of Austin for the weekend is to attend Saturday evening Mass at St Matthew’s, then eat dinner at the San Pedro location of Rosario’s afterward. Rosarios has a large selection of gluten-free menu items, denoted by a symbol by the gluten-free menu items. Even some of the appetizers are gluten-free, which is not always the case in restaurants. The wait staff are knowledgeable about the menu items. The service is always excellent, too. Two little flies in the otherwise pure Rosario’s ointment: the acoustics inside the San Pedro location make sound so loud that dinner quiet dinner discussion is difficult, and none of the desserts is gluten-free.
Mexican / Mexican-Inspired (Casual)
403 Blue Star #105, San Antonio, TX 78204 (Southtown)
Burgerteca is a creation of Chef Johnny Hernandez and is pure San Antonio. Although Burgerteca doesn’t have a specifically gluten-free menu, many of the menu items are gluten-free. Best of all, Burgerteca offers gluten-free hamburger buns! AND the fries are safe!!! They are fried separately from any gluten-containing foods! Now, pease get excited. In the photo to the left is an order of chili con queso fries with bacon, tomatoes, and tomatillo ketchup. GLUTEN-FREE!!! Do you understand what I’m saying here??? SAFE FRIES! And so delicious.
1401 S Flores St #102, San Antonio, TX 78204 (Southtown)
This little restaurant, another creation of Chef Johnny Hernandez, is fun and festive. Although the restaurant doesn’t offer a specifically gluten-free menu, most of the menu items are gluten-free by nature. The menu offerings are light but satisfying; the jugos and liquados are refreshing. I actually have a more full review of The Fruteria here.
606 W Cypress St, San Antonio, TX 78212
Eating at The Cove is an experience in itself. The restaurant’s humble appearance belies the interesting and unique menu items. It reminds me of the unlikely-looking small town restaurants and diners in Georgia, where my parents would stop for meals when we were traveling through Georgia to visit my grandparents. Some of the best food I remember eating in my childhood was served in those rather common looking restaurants. The food at The Cove is sourced as locally as possible. Although the restaurant has no specific gluten-free menu, gluten-free options are clearly indicated next to gluten-free menu items. I wrote a more in-depth review of The Cove here.
1017 N Flores St, San Antonio, TX 78212
Five Points Local is owned and operated by the same people who own The Cove. This restaurant is completely and totally gluten-free. Yes. Completely gluten-free, including the amazing desserts (such as the hazelnut cake with chocolate ganache filling and Nutella buttercream frosting I had after a meal there recently). The restaurant opens early for breakfast, which is served all day even though the restaurant offers a separate lunch / dinner menu. People who want a burger or the usual easy lunch fare won’t find such a thing here. The menu items are creative and unique. The restaurant’s ambience is relaxing; it’s dimly lit (but not too dark) and quiet. I can’t remember exactly what genre of music was flowing through the dining area when we were there last, but I’m thinking it was jazz. Whatever music was playing, I remember that it perfectly complemented the atmosphere created by the bricks and plants in the dining room.
340 E Basse Rd Ste 101, San Antonio, TX 78209 (Alamo Heights)
Max’s Wine Dive, unlike the other restaurants listed here, is not locally owned. It’s not a huge franchise operation, either, though. The restaurant has other locations in Austin, Houston, Ft Worth, and Denver. Max’s doesn’t offer a specifically gluten-free menu, but the gluten-free items on the menu are marked. I go to Max’s when I need a fried chicken fix. Fried chicken is one of the few foods that never taste the same when it’s made at home, especially when it’s gluten-free. I really miss Bill Miller’s fried chicken, and smelling it as I run or drive by the one nearest my house drives me crazy. When I can not longer stand the crazy, we go to Max’s Wine Dive, either in San Antonio or Austin. I’ve written a more detailed review of Max’s here.
I’ve reviewed my favorite gluten-free restaurants in downtown and near-downtown San Antonio in this post for the benefit of people who will be attending the many Fiesta events in this area (for a schedule of Fiesta events, see this site). Other gluten-free restaurants in this area worthy of a visit by people following a gluten-free diet are Bird Bakery, Boss Bagel, Cured, and Señor Veggie. I wish everyone participating in and attending Fiesta events a safe and joyful celebration!