The best San Antonio food bites uncovered by a food writer

Throngs of Seattleites descended on San Antonio in December to cheer on the Washington Huskies as they took on the Texas Longhorns in the Alamo Bowl. As a Seattle-based food writer who just happened to have a long-planned trip to San Antonio a few weeks prior to the game, I took up the mantle of forward scout for best restaurants in San Antonio.

The oddsmakers considered me an underdog: My trip’s schedule, which ran from a Sunday evening to a Wednesday afternoon, put me at a disadvantage, with a lot of restaurants closed on some (or even all) of those days. That benched just about every barbecue spot I’d hoped to hit, since so many keep weekend-only or Thursday-to-Sunday schedules. But I had excellent coaching: I asked local friends, scoured the internet and studied the playbook — er, watched the San Antonio episode of “Taco Chronicles” on Netflix.

As expected, San Antonio’s strongest player was Tex-Mex, a position Seattle’s otherwise-stout food lineup is sorely lacking. If you’re an outsider visiting the Alamo City or new to the area, here’s the best food in San Antonio that I uncovered during my stay.

The croncha at San Antonio's La Panaderia Bakery and Cafe combines a croissant with a concha to delicious effect.

The croncha at San Antonio’s La Panaderia Bakery and Cafe combines a croissant with a concha to delicious effect.

Rosa R. via Yelp

The Croncha at La Panadería

This tender hybrid pastry came out of the era of portmanteau baked goods (to paraphrase San Antonio history, remember the Cronut!), but stands strong half a decade later because it just works. Both the croissant and the concha rely on ample, excellent butter, and the croncha doubles down on that, with the added bonus of cotton-candy fluffiness that tears off in croissant-style layers from under the classic concha streusel topping.

Find it: 301 E. Houston St., San Antonio, TX 78205; 210-592-6264

Mochi Cheddar Hush Puppies from San Antonio's Best Quality Daughter.

Mochi Cheddar Hush Puppies from San Antonio’s Best Quality Daughter.

Sally S. via Yelp

Mochi Cheddar Hush Puppies at Best Quality Daughter