Romantic Restaurants in San Antonio
San Antonio has been called one of North America’s most romantic cities, a wonderland of soft light and beauty, where romance is thick upon the night air and lovers, hand in hand, stroll past a promenade of riverside restaurants, bistros and taverns, on their way to a glorious suite in one of the many amorous hotels that line the river banks.
Welcome to San Antonio’s famed River Walk, a meandering, watery boulevard of shops and restaurants nestled one floor below the bustling commerce of America’s eighth largest city above. Colorful barges pass you by as you pause to smell the beautiful flowers and flowering shrubs that seem to grow regardless the time of year. The dense, tree-covered river bank offers shade from a warm Texas sun and ornate fountains and manmade waterfalls greet you at every turn.
Up and down the two-and-a-half mile River Walk, shops, restaurants and clubs line the river where you can either join the party (which almost always seems to be in progress) or find a secluded, often dark corner where you can share the moments with your lover.
Despite the enormous appeal of the magical River Walk by day, the night’s are even better, as the San Antonio River transforms into Texas’ premiere spot for a romantic night under the stars. The sounds change as you stroll down the river, first an acoustic guitar and companion cello, serenading the night air and drifting from the open door of a restaurant. A few steps later and you’re listening to the dueling guitars of native Mariachis sprinkling the evening with the culture that San Antonio has perfected. Nearby, a New Orleans-style jazz band picks up the pace while even deeper rhythms pour down from a disco at street level above.
The river winds below numerous bridges, 35 in all, each different in style. It flows on past several hotels, and actually flows through one, finally reaching the floodgates that mark the beginning, before looping back on itself and taking you back to your starting point.
Little Rhein Steakhouse
The River Walk’s most romantic dining is found at Little Rhein Steakhouse (231 S. Alamo, 210-225-2111). Located where La Villita meets the River Walk near the Arneson River Theatre, this restaurant offers an excellent selection of fine steaks and serves diners at candlelit tables on terraces overlooking the river. On less pleasant days, you may choose to dine inside this historic steak house (built in 1847), which witnessed the development of San Antonio under six flags. The stone building also survived the battle of the Alamo only a few blocks away.
Small boutique shops along the River Walk feature Texas-made and Mexican products, imports, art, and clothing. For a “modern” shopping, head over to the River Center Mall, located on a man-made arm of the River Walk specially constructed to link the shopping center. With aqua-tinted windows and a U-shape construction that surrounds an arm of the river, River Center is more than your typical mall.
La Mansion del Rio
Directly on the River Walk, you will find some of the nicest and priciest rooms in the city. La Mansion del Rio (112 College St., 210-225-258) is housed in an elegant Spanish-colonial-style structure that was first used as the St. Mary’s Academy for boys. Elegant and accommodating rooms offer delicate and romantic overtones and a number of the suites have balconies that overlook the River Walk.
Palacio del Rio
The Hilton’s Palacio del Rio and Marriot’s River Center Hotels offer bridal suites and rooms built for lovers. And the Hyatt’s Lone Star Palace (123 Losoya, 210-222-1234 or 800-233-1234) is a place of lover’s perfection. If you can handle the price tag!
Directly across from the Alamo, this penthouse includes two bedrooms, three baths, a sitting room, a living room, and a kitchen, all decorated in true Texas style, and a patio and rooftop terrace where you’ll enjoy the city’s best view of the Alamo. Romantic packages include such luxuries as chilled champagne, gourmet dinner for two on the terrace, breakfast in bed, a hot air balloon ride across San Antonio, a sunset carriage ride, a moonlight ride on a River Walk barge, or a limo tour of the Alamo City.
Regardless whether you have come for your wedding, to reaffirm your vows, or just for a special romantic getaway, San Antonio and its famed River Walk offer the perfect landing spot for serious lovers.