Local secrets on all things San Antonio…
Texas. Where verything is bigger and better, right? Well, I’ve never been but San Antonio is tops on the list of great Texas towns. Home to The Alamo, which sees more than 2 1/2 million visitors from all over the world each year, we had to learn more about what makes this place so special. We reached out to five Free People store employees to give us all in the in’s and out’s on their favorite hangs. Read on to see why The Alamo didn’t make the list.
Tricia VandeWalle: Store Manager
Rosellas Coffee –– 203 East Jone Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215
Mid-week coffee treat? Yes, please! I’ve found myself here many times, before work and on the weekends, grabbing a cup of joe with friends and chatting about life. From the food to the service, you can’t beat the calm and creative atmosphere of Rosellas!
Botanical Garden — 555 Funston Pl, San Antonio, TX 78209
From Japanese gardens to butterfly gardens, take advantage of these 38 acres! A true hidden gem of the city. Take a afternoon off and explore the endless magic this place has to offer!
Rise Up — 6401 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78215
Located across from the Pearl Brewery, Rise Up is a San Antonio must-see! The convenience of the grab-and-go Acai bowl is perfect for our fast-paced city — this Airstream trailer offers more than that, however — try out their smoothies, kombucha, and cold pressed juice!
Barbaro — 2720 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212
Talk about your new favorite Sunday brunch spot! Barbara’s is known for fantastic pizza, but you win with anything on the menu. The cozy, airy atmosphere is perfect for lunchtime hangs or an intimate evening.
The Luxury –– 103 E Jones Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215
Where do I start? I find myself always taking an adventure to the Luxury…mainly because I live in walking distance! This laid-back eatery is located right on the River Walk and is a great go-to for after-work treats and drinks! Also, did I mention they have bocce ball courts?
Shannon Price-Robinson: Assistant Store Manager
Shades of Green Nursery – 334 W Sunset Rd, San Antonio, TX 78209
Organic Garden: When looking for the perfect but not so ordinary gift, I run over to Shades of Green. As I walk through their winding brick pathways, I try not to get lost in its blossoming world of succulents, roses and herbs. Hard to pick just one gift when rows of flowers and hand-painted pottery seem to call your name.
Pearls Farmers Market– 303 Pearl Pkwy #300, San Antonio, TX 78215
Seasonal Surprises: On Saturday/Sunday, you just might find me engulfed in this market, always full of fresh, local and seasonal goodies, local vendors offering everything from aged honey cheese to handmade baked empanadas and even amazing household products like chemical-free laundry detergent. Rain or shine, the harvest is always on!
Local Coffee – 5 Locations throughout San Antonio
Roast Masters: With several locations around San Antonio, Local Coffee is my morning, afternoon and evening go-to. From coffee to fresh juice, pastries and even yogurt, they take good care of me. Their Merit brand coffee is roasted locally and is always fresh. No matter if I’m starting my day, taking a study break from my Master’s classes or needing a quick pick-me-up after a long shift, Local will not disappoint.
Friendly Spot – 943 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Texas Tap: Situated in the heart of Southtown (San Antonio’s ever-growing hipster hangout), this outdoor Ice House is a crowd favorite. It’s the perfect place to end a hard day or a busy week. Friendly Spot maintains its unique and LOCAL LOVE vibe by keeping Texas favorites on tap. Every evening offers up something a bit different but there’s always something for everyone. One night, you might be grooving to the sounds of a live DJ and the next, you’re cheering on our champion Spurs!! GO SPURS GO!!
Fiesta North Main — 2025 N Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212
“Ay Cascarones”: This one-stop shop is located inside two beautiful and historic homes in SA’s Monte Vista/Tobin Hills Historic neighborhoods. Every year San Antonio hosts “Fiesta” — this year sees its 126th anniversary. We always make this a top spot on our Fiesta Party/Parade essentials list. My daughter and I are sure to grab flags, flower crowns, piñatas and the uber fun cascarones. Nothing says Fiesta like loads of confetti-filled eggs!!
Jana Cantua: Content Creator
Blue Star — 1414. S Alamo #105, San Antonio, TX 78210
On site you’ll find a contemporary art museum, brewing company, bike shop, art complex and much more. There’s so much to do and see at Blue Star, it’s no wonder this local spot is never empty!
Art Wall –– Parking lot of the San Antonio Museum of Art
This iconic wall in the parking lot of the San Antonio Museum of Art makes me smile every time I look at it. Stop by on your way to the museum to take it all in.
Hill Country –– About a 90-minute drive all the way up Highway 16.
If you’re in the mood for some nature, drive to the Hill Country. Take Highway 16 all the way to Medina and enjoy the view.
Paul’s Desert — 200 Schertz Parkway, Schertz, TX 78154
Cactus flowers. Need I say more? This nursery is about 20 minutes outside of San Antonio, but so worth visiting! As soon as you step into the greenhouse you’ll be in love. Take your pick from their large selection of unique cacti and succulents.
Indy Coffee Co. — 7114 Utsa Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78249
I was so surprised when I stepped into Indy and tried a sip of their coffee – and LOVED it. Ask anyone that knows me and they’ll tell you how I always order water or tea at coffee shops. Not at Indy! This is my go-to spot. Their brews are not bitter, and their iced coffee pairs perfectly with those hot Texas days. With a comfortable seating area surrounded by cacti and good reads, you’ll want to spend hours at this local gem.
Taylor Kaufman: Assistant Visual Manager
Revoluction Coffe + Juice –– 7959 Broadway Street, Ste # 500, San Antonio, TX 78209
Revolucion is my favorite coffee shop in San Antonio! Known for delicious coffee, countless cold pressed juices, homemade nut milks and acai/pitaya bowls, I love to grab a fresh juice as I’m running errands or on my way to work. And, if you save your jar, you can bring it in next time for a refill.
The Enchanted Rock –– 16710 Ranch Rd. 965 , Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Located a little outside the city, this is my all-time favorite place for a hike or outdoor hang on a pretty day! The drive is absolutely beautiful and gives you a good idea of what the Texas Hill Country is all about. My friends and I will pack a picnic, hike up the giant rock, sit at the top and take in this huge granite dome that is visible for miles and miles! Truly breathtaking.
Grey Moon Vintage –– 2202 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78215
My all-time favorite shopping spot in SA!!! This killer vintage shop is located inside of a recycled shipping container — how cool is that?! I never fail to find some awesome band tees, jumpsuits and denim here. I own some of my most treasured, unique vintage from Grey Moon and highly recommend it to anyone on the hunt for some special pieces!
Get a true taste of what San Antonio is all about by stepping foot in this restaurant/market! I first visited when I moved to San Antonio and go all the time ever since. Mi Tierra is a landmark Mexican cafe and bakery decorated in thousands of lights, pinatas and festive decor that is open 24/7. Right across the street from the restaurant is El Mercado (Market Square). This market consists of shops selling anything ranging from hand embroidered dresses, flower crowns and hand painted trinkets. This is a great spot for experiencing San Antonio’s rich and lively cultural atmosphere!
Montage Vintage – 423 West Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78212
Another one of my all-time fave vintage hot spots, and where I score great vintage dresses! I always leave with something I didn’t know I needed — whether it be jewelry, a new pair of boots or something totally random, I have to have it!
Natalie Perez: Manager in Training
Estate Coffee Co. –– 1320 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205
San Antonio’s coffee shop scene is booming. There are so many quaint newbies and cult favorites out there to try, but Estate Coffee Co. boasts a unique environment that keeps me coming back, and not just for my favorite honey lavender latte. Estate’s downtown space is shared 50/50 with local artisanal spice and food retailer, Oak & Salt. The shared location, filled with natural light from its window walls, is a new and exciting concept for SA’s growing artisan business community.
Halcyon –– 1414 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78210
Whether I’m looking to meet up with some friends, or to get some late-night studying done, Halcyon is my one-stop shop — it functions as a study space by day and bar scene at night. Table-side s’mores is their most popular menu item, and one of my favorite treats in the city.
San Antonio Riverwalk — Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205
I couldn’t pick my five favorite places in San Antonio without mentioning the Riverwalk—it’s our claim to fame, after all. Though known as a tourist trap, take the time to pass the restaurants and commercialized areas. Head north of downtown and the Riverwalk will take you to the up-and-coming Pearl Brewery, while heading south will lead you through San Antonio’s breathtaking historic missions. With plenty of shade, wide walkways and beautiful scenery, the riverwalk tops my list for places to get a good sweat in—it’s a runner’s dream!
La Gloria — 100 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215
You’ll struggle to find Tex-Mex that comes anywhere near what we’ve got going on in San Antonio–it’s the best of the best. La Gloria is my go-to spot for authentic street-style grub. Their guacamole is my favorite in town but be warned: you absolutely must order a margarita with your guac. It’s an actual rule (ok, maybe that’s my rule but I HIGHLY recommend it).
The Union Yoga + Strength — 7959 Broadway St #106, San Antonio, TX 78209
As a collegiate athlete, I’m always looking for a class that challenges me, mentally and physically, and The Union’s 90-minute hot yoga class does exactly that. You’ll find me at The Union just about every Monday evening— leave every class a sweaty mess, but more importantly, refreshed with goals and intentions for the new week.
Texas, we are coming for you…
+ Have any San Antonio favorites of your own? Let us know what we missed in the comments below!