Gluten-Free Globetrotter in San Antonio, Texas

It’s been a whole month since I landed in sunny San Antonio, Texas. It was my first trip to Texas and the Lone Star State did not disappoint. I only had a couple of days in San Antonio, but I really enjoyed the city and my exceptionally kind hosts. Here is a recap of my jam-packed two day tour of San Antonio, Texas.

My first stop in San Antonio was the Little Aussie Bakery and Cafe. After a very early morning of travel, I was starving and on the hunt for some gluten-free lunch. I had been following Little Aussie on Twitter for a while and knew it was the place to go. This place is 100% gluten-free serves lunch, weekend brunch, and has a bakery. I always feel great walking into a place that doesn’t even let gluten through it’s doors (check out image below). I ordered the savory pie which came with a side salad and gluten-free bread. I thought the crust was nice and flaky, unlike other gluten-free pie crusts I’ve had in the past. I was full from all of the carbs so I skipped dessert but they did have a decent selection.

Little Aussie Bakery and Cafe
3610 Avenue B
San Antonio, Texas 78209

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I was enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures of San Antonio. It was 40 degrees warmer in Texas than it was in New York City the morning I left. I was excited to see grass, trees, flowers, and blue skies. I randomly found the Japanese Tea Garden at Brackenridge Park and stopped for a quick look around. Parts of the park were under construction and there was no water in the fountains, but it was an interesting place to look around. The surrounding parks looked lovely too. I would recommend this place for a picnic or an afternoon walk. I just soaked up the sunshine!

Japanese Tea Garden
Brackenridge Park
San Antonio, Texas

My next stop on my whirlwind first day in San Antonio was Market Square. I have always loved the colors of Mexican clothing and cultural items. I have been to Mexico three times and this place immediately brought me back to the very first market I went to in Oaxaca, Mexico back in 1996. The colors, the music, and the Mexican handicrafts all brought back happy memories.

Market Square
514 W. Commerce Street
San Antonio, Texas

I was getting tired and needed an iced coffee so I made my way over to Pearl and stopped into Local Coffee where they had coffee on tap! (Instant flashbacks of hipster Portland) I was excited to see The Culinary Institute of America since I went to college just south of the original Hyde Park, NY campus. I would have loved to stay around to eat in one of the restaurants in this area, but it was time to check into my B&B.

Following my GPS and missing the driveway completely, I finally turned into the driveway of Chicken Paradise Bed and Breakfast. It was cool to turn off a busy San Antonio road and into a hidden getaway. I had been Facebook and email friends with Chicken Paradise owner Anne Barfield for a few years and I was excited to finally meet her in person. Anne kindly greeted me and so did at least one dog, a peacock, and many chickens! This city girl was giddy over the country-ness of it all. Anne showed me around the property, led me to my chicken suite, and I took a short rest.

This 100% gluten-free bed and breakfast suite is very special and it deserves its own post. Stay tuned!

Chicken Paradise Bed and Breakfast
606 Jackson Keller Road
San Antonio, Texas

After a shower and a rest, I went to dinner with Anne and her husband Joe at Paloma Blanca. Both Anne and Joe eat completely gluten-free so choosing a restaurant with them was easy. Anne had emailed me some recommendations before my arrival and she had already made us reservations. Anne knew the manager of Paloma Blanca and he came over and spoke to us about the gluten-free menu. The staff is very knowledgeable and careful with your gluten-free requests. Be sure to ask for the gluten-free corn chips with your salsa when you are seated! There is not only a gluten-free menu, but a paleo menu too! This is the first time I have seen a paleo menu.

Paloma Blanca
5800 Broadway
San Antonio, Texas 78209

After a very long and busy day, I finally collapsed into my comfy bed and called it a day!

Day two started with an amazing breakfast cooked by Anne and Joe and delivered by both of them too. I knew it was going to be another long day and they fed me very well.

I spent my second day in San Antonio roaming around the Alamo and loving the Riverwalk. I didn’t really have an agenda for the day but knew I should stop and see the Alamo, an important historical building in Texas. I just wanted to enjoy the sights and enjoy another lovely, sunny Texas day. I took a fun and informative little boat ride on the river and just strolled for hours. After a crappy, freezing winter in New York, I was so happy to be outside in only a fleece!

The Riverwalk is one of my favorite parks I’ve ever been to, if you can even call it a park. It’s like a sunken city, below street level but bustling with life. You can wander all around the water’s edge, popping into restaurants and bars along the way. You can get back onto the street using one of the many staircases and bridges along the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk was a like a magical place. I loved it there!

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In San Antonio, you definitely need a car to get around. I am a typical carless New Yorker so I was thrilled to have a rental car with the windows down and the radio up. I decided to take a drive to the San Antonio Missions National Park. The name is a little deceiving since you have to travel to each mission in the park system which span about eight miles. I loved driving from one mission to the next and seeing history embedded in neighborhoods around San Antonio. I only made it to three of the four missions since they all closed at 5pm. It was a race against the clock, but I am glad I got to see what I did.

Starting at Mission San José, continuing to Mission Concepción, and ending at Mission San Juan Capistrano, I had a lovely afternoon touring these historic missions. The grounds were peaceful and since it was a weekday afternoon, there were almost no people. It was a very special experience. If I ever go back to San Antonio, I would love to explore these missions by bicycle starting at the Riverwalk and following along the Mission Reach.

After another exhausting day, I met Anne and Joe Barfield for dinner. This time we went to The Cove. What a cool place! Picnic tables, cowboys, burgers, and beers. This is exactly what I pictured Texas to be all about. Again, Anne and Joe knew this place well so dining with them made things easy. I had a delicious Texas burger on a gluten-free bun (Grass-fed Beef w/ Refried Beans, Corn Chips, Grilled Onions, Cheddar Cheese, Avocado, Spring Mix & Salsa 9.) Almost the entire menu was gluten-free, except for the regular buns. Simply place your order at the counter and find a place to sit. It was chilly the night we went so we ate inside, but I could see this being an awesome place to drink some gluten-free beers with friends on a warm summer night.

The Cove
606 W. Cypress St.
San Antonio, Texas

Eat Well, Live Well at The Cove

Eat Well, Live Well at The Cove

Texas Burger at The Cove

Um, hello, there are corn chips on my burger. Yes!!

 

One more sleep and another delicious breakfast at Chicken Paradise and I was off to Austin, Texas. San Antonio, you were a wonderful introduction to Texas. I had a busy and fun visit. I wish I had more time both in the city and at Chicken Paradise, it was a great two days. I would love to go back!

Coming soon… Chicken Paradise review, Austin, and The Fairvivew. 

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About Erin Smith

Living with celiac disease since 1981 and eating gluten-free long before it was "trendy", Erin Smith has a unique perspective of growing up in the gluten-free community; Founded Gluten-Free Fun in 2007; Founded Gluten-Free Globetrotter® in 2011; Founded GlutenFreelancer® in 2014. Erin was the lead organizer of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group, a social community of more than 2,000 members for over a decade and has recently started a support group in Northern California.
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