Coco Chocolate Lounge has more to offer than just chocolate. That's why readers of the San Antonio Express-News voted the spot Best Neighborhood Restaurant and Best Nightclub in North Central San Antonio in 2011. Though there are plentiful cacao-based desserts served, including single-origin chocolate mousse and chocolate fondue with housemade marshmallows, Chef Hector Villarreal also experiments with savory dishes. Among his creations are stone-baked pizzas topped with house-smoked brisket and venison steaks with fried okra and béarnaise sauce.
The cuisine complements decor the San Antonio Express-News called “scrumptious with plenty of chandeliers, candlelight, and plush ruby-red velvet booths and bar seating.” As the sky darkens and everybody throws away sundials that seemed cool during the day, Coco Chocolate Lounge transitions into a nightclub, and chocolate martinis, wine, and champagne flow more freely. DJs on a dance floor and an outdoor patio spin Latin music, hip-hop, and club hits until 2:30 a.m.
The Great Taste Cafe menu's is an eclectic mix—French-style crepes filled with chopped pears, melted chocolate, and vanilla ice cream rest beside organic tamales packed with carnitas and serrano chilies. Organic coffee roasted in small batches complements other morning favorites, such as bagels and muffins. And crisp salads, made with organic romaine or baby spinach, round out the café's fresh offerings.
Mesón European Dining combines authentic flavors from across the Atlantic and won a San Antonio Express Reader’s Choice award for doing it well. The eatery's chefs fuse Spanish and Italian culinary designs to complement its specialty in French fare, splashing cuts of chicken, steak, seafood, and pasta in epicurean sauces. Tableside preparations of coffee and banana flambé serve as beguiling, appropriate restaurant performances, unlike poorly memorized monologues from the third act of the Friends series finale. Drinks pour forth from the full bar, and the Mesón team particularly takes pride in hospitably hosting celebrations. A separate private room accommodates formal congregations for candlelit meals, set upon elegant table linens offset by understated centerpieces.
Though Suzanne, a native of the New York City suburbs, enjoyed living throughout the country with her husband John, she always missed New York–style bagels, which led the pair to open their first Bagel Factory in Augusta, Georgia and then another in San Antonio. Bakers craft New York–style bagels in 21 flavors, such as asiago cheese, cinnamon crunch, and everything. Each one can be paired with 10 flavors of cream cheese, including raspberry chipotle and serrano pepper. In addition to bagels, the menu offers sandwiches and salads along with breakfast eats and includes Bagelaches composed of bagel dough wrapped around locally made Kiolbassa-brand sausage and can be stuffed with various items, including cheese, sauerkraut, or bacon. Freshly baked bread or bagels hug deli lunch sandwiches made with Boar's Head ingredients, such as the Carpenter with turkey, cream cheese, and cranberry sauce. Additionally, sips of regular coffee and espresso drinks from Community Coffee prepare visitors for long nights of dumping grass clippings down neighbors' chimneys.
Cool Café fuses the flavors of Italy, Greece, the Middle East, and Asia, imbuing its menu with a continental twist that sates the appetites of vegetarians and omnivores alike. The Bangkok crepe delivers a valuable cargo of spinach, green bell peppers, green onions, mushrooms, black olives, and peanut sauce ($8.95), and the Santorina crepe brims with spinach, Kalamata olives, pine nuts, green onions, feta cheese, and a yogurt mint sauce ($9.95). Diners saddled with hunger after running a marathon on stilts can delve into a dish of rolo pasta, which sautés a chicken breast in Balsamic vinegar before adorning it with capers, fresh basil, and a tomato sauce ($10.95), whereas the fish kebab skewers fresh Atlantic salmon marinated in lemon and saffron as an audience of basmati rice, saffron, and spring mix salad looks on ($15.95).
The baristas at Coppali 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.