The Pearl District is located on the site of the former Pearl Brewery, which closed in 2001. This 16 city block site has been re-developed and is now home to the Culinary Institute of America, a stunning new hotel, several restaurants and shopping opportunities. It is one of the top highlights of San Antonio and should be high on your list of things to do and explore. Our top finds include:
Hotel Emma: This is a stunning new hotel located in the former 19th century brewery building. The use of the concrete beams, exposed pipes and old machinery is really outstanding and gives it a design that I have not seen anywhere else. There is a lovely library for guest use, an attractive bar called Sternewirth plus two restaurants, Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery and Supper. The hotel is named for Emma Koehler who ran the Pearl Brewery after her husband died in 1914. 136 E. Grayson.
Cured, 306 Pearl Pkwy: After reading all the good press about Cured, I enjoyed lunch in this restaurant set in the Pearl Brewery’s former administration building dating from 1904. It has been brought back to its original footprint and decorated with many of the same features of the original building including the tin ceilings which were stamped from the same presses used in the initial production with the same design. So what you get is an attractive, contemporary restaurant in an historical setting which specializes in hand-crafted cured foods from charcuterie to pickles. It is open for lunch, dinner and Saturday brunch. I enjoyed lunch and had a terrific pressed portabella sandwich with roasted peppers, arugula, pesto, Swiss cheese, quinoa and pomegranate!
Bakery Lorraine, 306 Pearl Pkwy, #110: An excellent bakery/cafe known for its pastries and macarons. The caramel and pistachio macarons were really good.
The Granary Cue and Brew: At 602 Ave. A, The Granary is a popular barbecue restaurant that also features craft beers brewed on site.
Local Coffee: This local coffee shop, at 302 Pearl Parkway #118, is a perfect spot for coffee while exploring the area. One of four area locations, they feature coffee from their own Merit Coffee Roasters.
La Gloria: This restaurant, at 100 E. Grayson, features Mexican street food with both indoor and patio seating.
The Pearl is also home to the third Culinary Institute of America outside of Hyde Park, NY and California. Here the CIA has the CIA Bakery Cafe, run by the students and featuring drinks plus sweet and savory items and Nao Latin Gastro Bar for Latin inspired food and beverages.
Recently opened is the Bottling Department Food Hall which has a bar and vendors featuring ramen, donuts, fried chicken, burgers, sandwiches and salads.