River Tree Bistro is the kind of spot where you can expect things fresh and homemade. Loaves of bread come out of the oven every morning, ripe for slicing. The salad dressing's made from scratch, and the croutons are, too. Everything—from the tomato-basil soup to the tomato-pesto panini—starts with a house recipe.
The bill of fare at such a place is understandably lovable. Try saying no to a hawaiian jalapeño burger with oaxaca cheese, pineapple, and bacon on a whole-grain bun, or roast-chicken lasagna with ricotta, or an asian chop salad trimmed with teriyaki chicken, peanuts, mandarin oranges, and noodles. Come Thursday, you'll find the space defined by a flamenco guitar and a tapas bar; Spanish-style paella makes an appearance on select Fridays.
After being widowed in 1982, Ruby Lorraine Feagan, better known as Tootie, began supporting her family one pie at a time, building her reputation as she won a succession of baking contests throughout Texas hill country. Investor Don Merrill came into the fold after reading a flattering article in Southern Living magazine and subsequently tasting one of Tootie's crusty, buttery, 6-pound apple pies. Today, Tootie and her daughter continue to ensure the quality of Tootie Pie Co. Gourmet Café's 13 signature pie flavors — which also include lemon velvet, coconut supreme, and the Rachael Ray–praised pumpkin pie — as they're carefully crafted and delivered to customers' homes nationwide. The bakery's burgeoning fame has extended to the Food Network's Kid in a Candy Store, which featured Tootie's pie-on-a-stick, slices of signature desserts skewered and dipped in chocolate.
Inside Tootie's café, the menu of gourmet sandwiches includes sweet chicken salad with red grapes and pecans and italian grilled chicken panini with roasted red pepper and pesto or chipotle mayo. Sips of house coffee and espresso-based Milan mochas clear palates between bites better than vigorously shaking them Etch A Sketch–style.
Fondue is a game-changing way to feast, letting you dip morsels of meat, bread, fruit, and vegetables into melted cheese, gooey chocolate, and flavored sauces. At The Melting Pot, fondue isn't just a haphazard dunking affair: it's masterfully pairing dip and dippee, while washing it all down with a selection from its award-winning wine list.
Drawing inspiration from cuisines throughout Europe, Tost Bistro's chefs take care to infuse a bit of Mediterranean flair into their pan-regional menu. Appetizers of escargot with creamy gorgonzola prime palates for entrees such as the grilled tilapia with turmeric-flavored rice and cilantro-jalapeño slaw. The seafood focus continues at brunch with crab cakes crowned with avocado mousse and sweet-corn purée. When paired with a carafe of mimosas or a bottle of wine, meals at Tost Bistro encourage relaxation and spirited conversations.
The restaurant's rustic decor similarly channels Europe, creating the ambiance of a cozy café. A mission-style roof shields the bar from spontaneous indoor rainstorms, while sunset-orange walls and earthenware flooring continue the Mediterranean theme. Outside, covered patio seating invites leisurely al fresco meals.
The baristas at Copalli Cafe won't write your name on a coffee cup—they'd rather get to know you by engaging in friendly conversation as they fix you one of their premium coffee drinks or serve you a healthy bite from the kitchen. Everything about the locally-owned cafe is set up to make guests feel at home: tables and comfy seats are sprinkled throughout, and the baked goods—brownies, pastries, coffee cakes—are all baked fresh in house. The same emphasis on freshness and quality applies to the rest of the menu, from the homemade loaded potato soup, to the house-specialty chicken salad to the caprese paninis. The emphasis on community, meanwhile, is further expressed through live music nights and the cafe's policy of welcoming groups for book club meetings and baby showers. They also offer catering services for small events.
Chef Frederick Costa teams with his brother Michel to craft inventive fusions of French and Asian cuisine at an eatery lauded by USA Today as one of the top five restaurants to eat at in San Antonio while on a business trip. Thought born in Vietnam, the culinary siblings soon moved to France, where they strengthened their skills dead-lifting pepper grinders at their parents' gourmet restaurants. Visitors to the eatery can sample succulent meats and veggies crafted from Frederick's mother's own recipes or opt for one of the chef's more recent creations. The San Antonio Express-News lauds Frederick's as having seafood dishes that "are routinely among the best in town"