Hotel Emma is home to the Historic Pearl Brewery, which was originally founded in 1883. The area is surrounded by the Pearl Farmer’s Market, The Park at Pearl, shops, restaurants, and more. It is the perfect spot to bring your family, spend an anniversary dinner, have a girls night out, or simply enjoy a cup of coffee. You name it – there is something here for everyone! Annnddd I’m here to give you the ins and outs of my favorite spots you can’t miss during your visit to the Pearl!
Down On Grayson. ($$) American Restaurant.
Down On Grayson is one of my favorite spots surrounding the Historic Pearl. I love the relaxed ambiance of the outside seating which is filled with picnic tables as well as a few fire pits. The inside of the restaurant has a very rustic appeal with wood ceilings, brick walls, and dim lighting. My recommendations: Appetizers: Get the Double-Dip (The Pimento cheese is ah-mazing), Meatballs, Avocado Toast, or Parmesan Fries. Plates: I highly recommend the Fire-Roasted Chicken or Fish Tacos. Drinks: The Frozen Mule and the Grayhound are musts.
Green Vegetarian Cuisine. ($$)
Even if you aren’t vegetarian, this restaurant is something you have to try. My boyfriend was a little skeptical to eat here because he loves a good burger, but he could not even tell this was not meat. No, like seriously, he questioned the waiter what was in the Chick-N because he did not believe it actually wasn’t real chicken. (“Chick-N” is what they call their substitute for Chicken) We were recommended this restaurant by a friend and it did not disappoint! It is the only 100% vegetarain and kosher restaurant in San Antonio. Additionally, almost every single meal can be made vegan. My Recommendations: Chicken Fried Chick-N (pictured above) or the Big Nasty Burger.
Viva Tacoland ($).
This bar is one of the more affordable spots near the Pearl, while still maintaining a great atmosphere with seating overlooking the water, live music, and strung lights across the patio. They offer a great happy hour from 4-8 Mon-Fri and ALL DAY Sundays. The Happy Hour includes $4 Wells, $4 Frozens, $4 Margaritas, $4 Chips & Queso and more. This spot is home to the “I love Tacos so much” wall (A play on the famous “I love you so much” mural at Jo’s Coffee in Austin.) To be completely honest, their tacos are not anything amazing for a placed called Tacoland, but their drink specials are hard to beat! My recommendations: Drinks: Summer Splash, Pink Punk (v sweet), or Strawberry Lemonade Margarita.
La Gloria ($$). Street Foods of Mexico.
La Gloria has a relaxed atmosphere perfect for families. This restaurant features authentic Mexican food and from the Tacos to Quesadillas and Tostadas, your tastebuds will not be disappointed. “La Gloria” translates to “the heavens”, and the restaurant hopes for you to experience “heaven on earth” during your dining experience! They have very fair prices with their tacos averaging $7 and the majority of things on the menu being under $10!
Local Coffee($) Premium Coffee Shop.
Let’s put it simply – I like Local Coffee better than Starbucks. My go-to drink is a Vanilla Latte (I know, can I get any more basic.) I love their Latte’s because they are not as sweet and overpowering as Starbucks. Arrive early if you are coming on a weekend if you are looking for a place to sit for a few hours. This is a popular spot for people to hangout and work on their laptops. This is the only location I have been to, but there are 6 locations and counting!
Bakery Lorraine. ($)
Bakery Lorraine is a very well known and highly respected bakery, having been noted on the Food Network, Huffington Post, USA Today, and more. It can get very crowded on weekends, so I suggest going early or on a week day. I loveee getting Macarons here as they actually have decent prices! (A box of 6 is $12) My recommendations: Macarons, Eclairs, Pain au Chocolat, or the Grilled Cheese + Bacon Sandwich with Tomato Soup, (Only $9 with daily lunch special 11-2pm M-F)
Lick ($) Ice Cream Parlor.
Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Ice Cream, so of course Lick had to make this list. One thing I love about this business is that the dairy products used to make the ice cream come from a local, family-owned dairy in Central Texas. All of the other ingredients (toppings etc) are all handmade in their kitchen! On top of that, they do not use any artificial flavors or preservatives. They have a few locations in Austin, TX if you don’t get a chance to visit during your time at the Pearl.
Other Things to Do at the Pearl:
Shopping: There are many shops in the Pearl Historic District for you to enjoy. Twig Book Shop has an impressive collection of books and is a great place to relax and dive into a new novel. There are many boutiques including my favorite, Adelante which has super cute clothing and jewelry. Other shops include Niche Boutique (clothing designed in San Antonio), Leighelena (jewlery), Leelee Shoes (designer footwear + clothing) and Bike World.
Special Events: The Pearl is always having exciting events going on, you can check the website for upcoming events!
- SoundCream Sunset Sessions: Live beach-club dance music on Wednesdays from 5:30-9:00pm. Located at the Pearl Park.
- Canciones Music Series: Summer Music Series featuring Texas music. Last Friday of August and September from 5:30-8:30pm at the Pearl Park.
- Magik Theatre: Family appropriate theatre performances on Tuesdays from 5-6pm at Pearl Park.
- Summer Dance Hall Music Series: Located at the Pearl Stable August 31. Free to the public and cash bar available!
- Back to School Kids Prom: Music, Dancing, Crafts and more! This event is held at the Pearl Stable on August 12th. Tickets available online!
Farmers Market: The Farmer’s Market is open Saturdays (9am-1pm) and Sundays (10am-2pm). There are 45+ vendors including baked goods, meats, cheeses and more!
Private Events: Interested in renting out a venue for a private event? The Pearl Stable and Pearl Studio are both available venues for special occasions.