This is a good one, y’all… Hemisfair is a FUN place in San Antonio for both locals and visitors, and we’re rounding up the best restaurants in Hemisfair that you and your family will love.
Hemisfair is a centrally located park in San Antonio that was created for the 1968 World’s Fair. It’s a beautiful spot to visit! While it was originally constructed for HemisFair ‘68 (including the Tower Of The Americas, the tallest structure in San Antonio), it has remained a gift to the city of SA and is frequented by millions of visitors every year. There’s a splash pad, a playground, a Magik theater, lots of shady pathways and benches, and…some incredible food at Hemisfair.
The park has recently undergone some big transformations. In 2009, a non-profit organization was founded to redevelop the former fairground. Since then, we’ve seen the renovation of 3 original fair structures, the Yanaguana Garden completion in 2015, and plans for two additional parks (currently in the works!)
There have also been lots of new San Antonio restaurants opening at Hemisfair Park. I’m all about the food, so I love checking out any and every new restaurant that’s available. I’ve found that Hemisfair is a great place to visit with my kids (there’s a splash pad and a great local pizza restaurant nearby), and it’s also a fun place to visit solo. It’s a gorgeous park, and there are a couple of high-end restaurants near Hemisfair that I love to visit as a splurge.
Is There A Restaurant in the Tower Of The Americas?
There are two restaurants and a bar in the 750-foot tower. At the top of the tower is Chart House, a high-end restaurant that requires business casual attire. You’ll be able to dine at a window overlooking the city. The top of the tower rotates, so over the course of your meal you’ll make a 360-degree turn.
And then there's Bar 601, where you can get cocktails, beer, and wine, as well as light bites. The view is essentially the same as what you get from the Observation Deck, but you don’t have to pay an admission fee to get here. You will have to pay for your drinks, obviously… But they have a happy hour from 4:30-7 pm M-F.
There’s also the Tower Café, which is on the ground floor. You can get coffee, snacks, and light lunch items here. It’s a good option for grab-and-go food.
When is Hemisfair Open?
It’s open every day from 5 am - midnight. But the restaurants, bars, and coffee shops all have different hours, so check online.
Best Food At Hemisfair: 10 Great Restaurants
1. Dough Pizzeria
Whether you're seeking a kid-friendly San Antonio restaurant or simply craving an impeccable Neapolitan pizza, Dough Pizzeria is definitely going to exceed your expectations. Located at the corner of Hemisfair in San Antonio, Dough has become a cherished local eatery, earning widespread acclaim through its appearances on Food Network in 2011, 2018, and 2021.
Although there are two locations, the newer establishment at Hemisfair radiates an undeniable charm (although both venues serve equally exceptional small pies.) Aside from being committed to crafting the most authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas in SA, they’re also known for a lovely selection of southern Italian cuisine (starters and pasta) and Italian wines.
Going to their menu, the starter that locals love the most is their house-made burrata, served with truffle, mascarpone, ricotta, fresh local tomatoes, and a sweet rosemary balsamic reduction, served alongside perfectly toasted crostini. It is absolutely perfect.
There are a lot of delicious pies on the menu, but be sure not to miss their classic Margherita pizza! It’s a great way to taste their excellent quality of dough with its salty crust, chewy interior, and delightfully crispy outer shell in every bite. This masterpiece is elevated by the velvety mozzarella di bufala and the fragrant local basil.
One of the best things about this Hemisfair restaurant, though? It’s right next to the splash pad! If you’re visiting Hemisfair with kids, you can place an order at Dough to-go and enjoy it in the shaded chairs near the park and splash pad while the little ones are playing.
2. Box St All Day
For a brunch experience that seamlessly combines delectable cuisine with a vibrant atmosphere, Box Street All Day is THE place to go! Originally known for its beloved food truck and catering services, Box Street Social now has a permanent home in Hemisfair and offers an all-day brunch menu under the name Box St All Day.
Nestled amidst the scenic beauty of the park, with breathtaking views of the iconic Tower of the Americas, Box Street All Day sets the stage for a leisurely outdoor brunch.
Impeccable attention to detail has been given to both the indoor and outdoor spaces, resulting in an enchanting ambiance that can only be described as "pretty in pink."
Box Street All Day is not just about being cute and sassy…it also promises a brunch experience that is as visually delightful as it is delicious. Make sure to get their Box Street Brekky, an exceptional breakfast dish, and for those with a sweet tooth, the Milk Bread French Toast and specialty donuts are the perfect treat.
And of course, don’t forget the visually stunning and refreshing Hibiscus Sparkler that will round out your meal in Box St All Day.
Since Hemisfair is centrally located in San Antonio, this is a great spot to grab brunch in the morning before hitting the Riverwalk, visiting the Alamo, going up the Tower of the Americas, or drinking your way through the bars of Southtown. However you decide to plan your day, Box Street All Day is certainly one of the very best places to get food at Hemisfair.
3. Re:Rooted 210 Urban Winery
I’m so happy this beautiful winery opened at Hemisfair! I think that every park needs a quiet, quaint spot to sit and enjoy a lovely glass of vino with friends on the Hemisfair grounds. It’s seriously one of my favorite places at Hemisfair.
Re: Rooted is an urban winery, which means the wine is produced and barrel aged in Fredericksburg, then kegged and transported to downtown San Antonio. Since the wine is in kegs, you can easily enjoy samples, flights, or full pours.
They offer incredibly approachable, world-class wines that are made to pair easily with food. You can stop in at any time for a glass of wine, or you can sign up for their exciting, informative classes, led by their in-house somm and Certified Wine Educator.
The space is industrial yet warm: cement floors paired with cozy chairs and couches, artistic lighting, and floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s an excellent spot to meet up for a glass of wine with a friend. (As are these other wine bars in San Antonio!)
The staff is incredibly knowledgeable about wine and Texas grapes. The experience at Re: Rooted really is top-notch! It’s not the type of wine bar where you’ll be given a glass of wine and then forgotten… The staff makes sure you’re comfortable, and that you’re given a general understanding of the wine, and they’re always happy to “talk wine” with you as long as you want.
Whether you’re looking for a fun bar near the San Antonio convention center, a relaxing place to visit during your visit to Hemisfair, or you just love checking out exciting wine bars, Re: Rooted 210 is easily one of the best places to visit at Hemisfair.
Re: Rooted offers parking validation for the Hemisfair garage as long as you purchase at least $10 of wine.
4. Lick Ice Cream
If you’re hanging out at Hemisfair in the hot summer afternoons we get here in San Antonio, visiting Lick Honest Ice Creams is a must. Not only is it considered one of the best ice cream shops in San Antonio, but it's also an adorable little location at Hemisfair.
Lick, which started in Austin, TX, is dedicated to crafting ice cream where every ingredient is sourced locally, guaranteeing absolute freshness and exceptional quality. Their unwavering commitment to using seasonal and local ingredients quickly rocketed them to success in Austin, and now they’ve been able to expand to San Antonio. They are the city's first artisan ice cream shop and SA residents are soooo glad they’re here...
The flavor offerings at Lick Honest Ice Creams are also driven by the seasons, which makes it fun to visit multiple times during the year (because they’ll always have something different available!).
They have a diverse range of flavors that spans from beloved classics like Chocolate, Caramel, and Mint Chocolate Chip to innovative creations like Roasted Beets with Fresh Mint and Goat Cheese with Thyme and Honey.
The menu frequently rotates to feature the freshest and currently available flavors, ensuring there’s always something new and exciting to try: Orange Plumsicle, Horchata, or Fromage and Fig. There’s also a selection of dairy-free and vegan options available for those with special dietary preferences.
5. Bar 601
I typically don’t go for the “tourist attraction” restaurants because I find the food overpriced and underwhelming. For instance: Chart House, the restaurant at the top of the Tower Of The Americas. Sure, it’s a high-end spot and the food is fine, but you’re really just paying for the view. I’d rather enjoy an excellent, memorable meal on the ground and then enjoy a view separately.
This is where Bar 601 comes into play. Did you know you can visit this bar at the top of the Tower of the Americas and get the same view as all of the Observation Deck guests?
The bar gives you a bird's eye view of San Antonio. And for just the price of your drink, you get to enjoy the same view as everyone else.
By the way, happy hour prices are insanely good. You can get discounted wine, beer, and cocktails from 4:30 - 7 pm every day.
The decor definitely has a bit “90s hotel” vibes. Black counters, geometric carpet, yellow pendant lights, and wood panels. (This tower was built in the 60s, after all. It’s not a modern place.) But with views that good? I’m not paying attention to the decor at all.
6. Nonna Osteria
When it comes to exquisite ambiance, refined service, and the epitome of hand-crafted northern Italian cuisine, Nonna stands out as the best Italian restaurant in San Antonio. Situated on the ground floor of the Fairmont Hotel, conveniently across from Hemisfair Park, Nonna's location is both convenient and captivating. It has lots of natural light from the gauze-covered floor-to-ceiling windows, beautiful wood floors, and an all-around celebratory, sophisticated feel.
At Nonna, the menu overflows with classic antipasti, authentic Italian pizzas, and meticulously handmade pasta. However, the best highlight is the Tartufo, so prepare to be mesmerized as your server orchestrates a tableside spectacle, skillfully combining homemade pasta inside a cheese rind, adding luscious lump crab, and finally showering the dish with delicate black truffle shavings. It’s going to leave a lasting impression!
Nonna isn’t at Hemisfair, but it’s directly across the street. If you need a wonderful restaurant near Hemisfair and you’re able to make reservations in advance, be sure to dine at this fantastic San Antonio Italian restaurant.
7. CommonWealth Coffeehouse and Bakery
Commonwealth Coffee is one of my favorite little coffee shops in San Antonio. They have a few locations (the Broadway location is adorable! It’s a bungalow with a backyard, French-inspired decor, and a little chicken coop in the back!), but the Hemisfair location of CommonWealth is what we’re talking about now.
CommonWealth at Hemisfair has the same warm, inviting ambiance that you’d expect from this San Antonio coffee shop chain. It also has the same delicious menu items. Sure, it’s a coffee house, but what you really need to get here is the food! Their breakfast items are so yummy.
The French Omelets at CommonWealth is delicious. They’re made with soft, folded eggs and served with diced tomatoes and crusty French bread. Their Croque Madame is another one of my favorites. I haven’t found a Croque Madame in San Antonio better than this one!
CommonWealth is also known for its lunch cafe menu, which features delicious items like a dill chicken salad on a handmade croissant, a hearty potato leek soup, and a variety of salads.
Looking for kid-friendly places to eat in San Antonio? CommonWealth Coffeehouse and Bakery have an excellent kids' menu, including both breakfast and lunch items.
I love the interior here because it’s beautifully designed. But my favorite spot to sit at Hemisfair is on the sprawling outdoor patio at CommonWealth. It has plenty of seating, shade from the trees, and umbrellas, and it’s an excellent spot to get a little bit of work done with a coffee and a pastry while listening to the background noise of children playing on a playground nearby.
8. Hola! Tapas
Situated at the entrance of Southtown, Hola! is San Antonio's newest tapas restaurant, captivating locals with its vibrant and scenic concept. They also have a well-curated bar with an extensive selection of Spanish wines, a stylish dining room, and an inviting outdoor patio that offers splendid views of the Tower of the Americas.
At Hola!, tapas are the best option (dine with a group so can try a bunch!) with an impressive array of over 30 Spanish tapas options to choose from. What sets this establishment apart is its generous portion sizes, ranging from a reasonable $5.00 to $9.00 per plate.
Some favorites that you might want to try are the delectable Baked Cheese, the Beef Empanada, and the mouthwatering Moorish Lamb—a Moroccan lamb stew served with flatbread, boasting a satisfyingly robust and smoky taste.
9. Jerk Shack (Coming Soon!)
If you’ve read this guide to the best restaurants in San Antonio, you know my obsession with Jerk Shack. It is INSANELY delicious! I could eat that spicy jerk chicken every day. And so you can imagine my delight when I found out that Jerk Shack is one of the new restaurants at Hemisfair! They’re expected to open in 2023.
The Hemisfair location of Jerk Shack will have a full bar. This is excellent news because the only thing that can make that jerk chicken even more delicious is an ice-cold beer or a craft cocktail beside it.
Stay tuned for reviews + photos of Jerk Shack Hemisfair when it opens!
10. Kunstler Tap and Brat-House
Easily one of the best breweries in San Antonio, Künstler Brewing recently opened a satellite location at Hemisfair in June 2023. (What do I mean by a “satellite location?” It means they’ll make all the beer at their brewery in Southtown and transport it to Hemisfair to serve it. No beer will actually be brewed at Hemisfair.)
Order inside at the bar or via the walkup window. They have a few draft cocktails on tap, as well as a selection of their best-selling craft beers. Craving some food? They have a limited menu of their delicious German fare available to order. Dine inside or carry it out to their patio. Or walk into Yanaguana Garden and enjoy your food while you watch the kids splash around in the fountains!
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