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A 24-Hour Guide to Dining and Drinking in Downtown San Antonio by Bicycle

Spend the day eating your way across the city on two wheels

An exterior shot of Bakery Lorraine with outdoor tables and a bicycle locked up outside.
A bicycle parked outside Lorraine Bakery.
Lorenza Ochoa/Shutterstock

San Antonio has a huge cycling community, with social bike rides kicking off nearly every day. Parts of the city even shut down specifically for large cycling events like L’Étape San Antonio or the biannual Síclovía. And riding a bike can be a great way to explore the city’s growing dining scene.

Downtown is practically bursting with restaurants, bars, and food trucks that are quick, easy, and bike-friendly. That means big patios, window ordering, and plenty of places to lock up your ride. Whether a competitive cyclist or a casual enthusiast, no ride through downtown is complete without a cool drink or a bite to eat. For casual visitors and those who don’t own a bike, San Antonio BCycle is a great bike-sharing program that provides electric bicycles for short-distance rides around the inner city for just a few dollars.

This guide provides a starting point for a food adventure on two wheels. As always, wear a helmet, follow all traffic and safety rules, and make sure your bike has charged lights for after-dark cycling.

9 a.m. Coffee

Kick the day off with a caffeine boost at one of several coffee trucks spread around Downtown. Stationed at food truck park Broadway News, Mila Coffee makes for an excellent starting point to a day of cycling, with its iced lattes and cold brews that make for solid pick-me-ups. If you start slightly more uptown around Tobin Hill, Gravves Coffee is your best bet, with creative beverages like the popular “elixir” ube latte served via truck parked on the St. Mary’s Strip. Southtown also boasts a few coffee trucks, like Stranded Coffee, Kulture Kafe, and the new Eight Ball Coffee.

10 a.m. Breakfast

In San Antonio, tacos are an obvious choice for breakfast, and there’s no shortage of places to get them. When it comes to cycling-friendly taco options, Carnitas Lonja is one of the best, with its tender carnitas served by the pound (or half pound), which can be taken to go or enjoyed in the restaurant’s spacious outdoor patio area located one block south of Southtown. Carnitas Don Raúl is another choice for early-morning carnitas, and if you got your coffee from Mila, this taco truck is conveniently 10 feet away.

For a non-taco breakfast, Scratch Kitchen in Alta Vista is a cute spot near the bike-friendly San Pedro Springs Park that has tons of morning delights, like bread pudding, pigs in a blanket, and a particularly good bacon, egg, and avocado sandwich.

12 p.m. Sweet Treat

It’s never too early to have dessert, plus riding bikes works up an appetite. Satisfy any sweet tooth at one of Downtown’s bustling bakeries like Bakery Lorraine at the Pearl or La Panadería, which serves freshly baked pan dulce and mini cheesecakes just a couple blocks away from Travis Park. If the sun is already blaring, try cooling off with a fruit paleta from Paleteria San Antonio at Yanaguana Garden or a mangonada from Amigos, the snack shop across the street from Main Plaza.

1 p.m. Lunch

If you happen to be riding in a group, you might have to consider various food preferences come lunchtime, which is why stopping at the Pearl’s Food Hall at Bottling Dept. is a perfect choice for a midday meal. There’s a little something for everyone, like shoyu ramen from Tenko Ramen, tacos from Chilaquil, Caribbean fare from Mi Roti, and fruit smoothies from Kineapple. As an added bonus, there’s a small grassy park just outside that’s ideal for picnicking.

Alternatively, the Station Cafe in the King William District is a prime lunch choice for cyclists, with its creative menu of cold and hot sandwiches, like the Thai Fighter, which comes with roast beef, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and red curry sauce on fresh bread. Station Cafe’s outdoor seating area, and its adjoining tap room Filling Station, tends to be packed with bicycles and their owners, so it’s easy to spot.

3 p.m. A Hydrating Moment, Snack Attack

It’s customary to stop at the South Flores Market H-E-B at some point during a long bike ride through Downtown San Antonio. Whether it’s to replenish your water supply or your electrolytes with sports drinks, H-E-B has a long wall of fridges that’ll have something to help you stay hydrated. If you need some carbs to keep your energy up until dinner time, South Flo Pizza, located inside H-E-B, has all kinds of quick pizza options in addition to the seemingly endless grocery and snack selections. As the grocery chain’s slogan goes, no store does more.

5 p.m. Drinks

If you’ve made it this long on your bicycle, you might have a hankering for a chill spot to enjoy a cool — maybe even boozy — drink. The Friendly Spot Ice House is one such place, with its two bars and extensive outdoor seating. Try the sangria, which comes served with an orange slice, or one of Friendly’s sweet frozen cocktails. If beer is more your style, the outdoor Southtown staple boasts a great selection on tap from brands such as Real Ale, Saint Arnold, and Karbach. Nearby in the Lone Star District, Künstler Brewing is a neighborhood craft brewpub that also makes an excellent pit stop, with its German-style beers and shareable Bavarian bites like the charcuterie pretzel platter.

6:30 p.m. Dinner

Depending on where you end up, there’s a few bike-friendly dinner options to satisfy your appetite after a long day of riding around the city. If you’re anywhere near the East Side, the Dakota East Side Ice House is a fun neighborhood dive with substantial outdoor seating that serves up cold beer and hearty dishes, like pork queso or wagyu guisada cheesesteaks. Close by, Kuriya, the Japanese restaurant at the Cherrity Bar, is another cyclist favorite for its full ramen bowls and flavorful appetizers, like the breaded deep-fried shiitake mushrooms.

Speaking of mushrooms, La Tuna Icehouse & Grill has some of the best fried mushrooms in San Antonio, and that alone warrants a visit. Across the train tracks from the Blue Star Arts Complex, La Tuna’s large outdoor space has plenty of room to park and post up for dinner, with top-notch entrees to choose from, including fish tacos, cheesy burgers, and beer-battered fish and chips. Be sure to have cash on hand for the outdoor bar.

8:30 p.m. Post-Dinner Drink

Anyone in the San Antonio cycling scene will tell you that all cycle-friendly roads point to Burleson Yard Beer Garden. Whether you prefer a frozen cucumber margarita or a pint of Electric Jellyfish, Burleson is where you go to unwind after a long day of riding your bike. There’s even a long bike rack at the patio entrance to lock up if you don’t want to wheel your bike around with you. Keep an eye out for the beer garden’s Instagram, because they have all kinds of live music and community events throughout the week.

10 p.m. Late-Night Bite

If you feel up to a late-night meal, El Camino Food Truck Park is just a short ride away from Burleson. In addition to a stationary bar, the park hosts a rotation of food trucks serving an assortment of fare, from Filipino food at Jeepney Street Eats to birria tacos from El Remedio. Whatever after-hours dish you decide to get, you’ve earned it after a long day of putting in the miles.

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