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San Antonio's culinary palette derives from the influence of European and Mexican traditions of generations ago. Many of our acclaimed chefs who studied elsewhere bring their world-class training back to our culinary landscape.

Talented new chefs are honing their skills every day at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America-San Antonio, one of only three CIA locations in the United States. As a top shopping destination, great western wear shops, unique boutiques, upscale department stores, incomparable malls and regional outlet centers are just a few of the reasons San Antonio ranks high on the shopping list. A fascinating, diverse urban experience is the Pearl Complex, site of an old brewery that has been repurposed to now house great culinary, shopping and entertainment choices. And when the stars come out over San Antonio, it's time to head to the nightclubs and dance halls.

The fourth largest city in the nation, Houston is arguably the style capital of the South. It's home to a Project Runway winner and more than a dozen distinct shopping areas, with retail that runs the gamut from vintage to high-end designer.

Houston also has over 11,000 restaurants representing cuisine from more than 70 countries and American regions; Houston's restaurant scene is as diverse as its more than 6-million residents. It's not surprising that visitors leave the city with plenty of good things to say about dining in Houston.

Additionally, Houston's bars, clubs and music halls have long provided a springboard for a wide range of musicians. After all, this is where Lyle Lovett and even ZZ Top got their start, bringing unique rhythm to a city with a storied musical history.

How to be a Cowboy

Ready to roll? Remember, this is Texas, and bigger is better here—especially when it comes to honky-tonking. In San Antonio, Cowboys Dancehall boasts 70,000 square feet of space to listen and dance to local and touring country-western acts. Or you can choose to Texas two-step and Cotton-Eyed Joe just outside of town. Rich in regional musical talent, the Texas Hill Country offers celebrated dance halls like Floore's Country Store in Helotes or Gruene Hall in Gruene, near New Braunfels.

Tex Mex

San Antonio's culinary palette derives from the influence of European and Mexican traditions of generations ago. New arrivals who settled here introduced us to fragrant spices, cooking styles reflecting both heritage and innovation, and foods of exotic lands.

Many of our acclaimed chefs who studied elsewhere bring their world-class training back to our culinary landscape. Talented new chefs are honing their skills every day at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America—San Antonio.

The Foodie's Tour

For a city so full of great dining experiences, there are new kids on the block and the tried and true that makes San Antonio a culinary buffet. We have many places to choose from, but here is a brief but helpful list to get your gourmand going.

Notable New Restaurant Openings: Southerleigh, Starfish, Cured, Hot Joy,El Machito, Mixtli.

Cocktail Bars: Juniper Tar, The Last Word, Paramour, Mezcaleria Mixtli, The Brooklynite, The Esquire, 1919, Blue Box, Bohanan’s Bar, Swig.

Microbreweries: Alamo Beer Company, Blue Star Brewing Company,Freetail Brewing, Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling.

Shopping

A top shopping destination, according to Forbes.com, offers "options, ease and affordability." Your shopping experience in San Antonio will show that we have all of those assets and more, making it clear why that publication placed us among the top ten best cities for shopping. Great western wear shops, unique boutiques, upscale department stores, incomparable malls and regional outlet centres are just a few of the reasons San Antonio ranks high on the shopping list

Ninfa's on Navigation

Try the: Fajitas
Sure, there are plenty of great places to get fajitas in town, but only Ninfa's can take credit for inventing the original Tex-Mex favorite back in 1973. Go for the steak variety, paired with a frozen Ninfarita.

2704 Navigation Blvd, Houston,TX 77003
(713) 228-1175
Underbelly

Try the: Braised Goat Dumplings
Any dish at Underbelly is sure to delight. But it's the delicious, Korean-braised goat meat (yes, goat meat), gnocci-style dumplings and spicy chili sauce that brings people back.

1100 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006
(713) 528-9800
CityCentre

Set in West Houston, this 37-acre CityCentre community blends retail, restaurant, luxury living and nightlife in an open-air environment.

Hip restaurants like RA Sushi, Eddie V's and Straits were some of the first on the stellar culinary scene, while Anthropologie, J. Crew, Kendra Scott, Elaine Turner and upscale men's boutique Dryden Kreps add to the retail side.

Other notable names among the eateries include Brio, Ruggles Green, The Tasting Room and Cyclone Anaya's. Visitors will also discover fine art at BeHuman Gallery and Muir Fine Art Gallery.

The stylish and contemporary, 244-room Hotel Sorella anchors the complex.

800 W Sam Houston Parkway North, Suite 200,
Houston, TX 77024
The Houston Galleria

Multi-taskers and shopaholics rejoice in the glory of the Galleria and its 375-plus stores and grand ice rink, flanked by Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Macy's. Akin to New York's Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills--with shops like Louis Vuitton, Montblanc, Chanel, Gucci and Versace--the sprawling mall also has hip designer boutiques like Tory Burch and Henri Bendel, plus J. Crew, Lululemon and Aveda.

5085 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77056
(713) 621-1907
Torchy's Tacos

The popular Torchy's Tacos has set up a second Houston eatery in Rice Village. The Austin-based, food-trailer-born venture has already developed a loyal local following for its wallet-friendly menu items and come-as-you-are attitude.

Torchy's lineup includes more than a dozen taco varieties including the Fried Avocado taco, savory Baja shrimp taco and the signature Dirty Sanchez―the latter of which features scrambled eggs and fried poblano chiles topped with guac, esabecha carrots, shredded cheese and poblano sauce. And while Rice Village is already a food hub, the relative lack of Mexican options may make this an ideal spot for Torchy's.

2411 S. Shepherd, Houston, TX 77019
(713)-226-8563