Home > Experience the Flavors and Tastes of San Antonio Texas

5 Questions with Gary Pepe of Food Tours San Antonio in Texas

Gary Pepe of Food Tours San Antonio tells us about this Texas city's culinary history and lively food scene.

The River Walk

Gary Pepe is the founder of Food Tours San Antonio and San Antonio Walks. We asked him a few questions about the local food scene...

1. What foods is San Antonio known for?

Food Tours San Antonio

Obviously, Tex-Mex comes to mind with the ever present Mexican population and attendant food culture. However, recently, food trucks have come on strong as a new culinary presence. Many of them featuring a San Antonio twist on their offerings, usually meaning a bit of spice or Southern/Texas earmarks or things that are plain ole' different and unique.

While BBQ and Steak comes to mind, there are only a few select very good ones here, but there are!

2. What neighborhoods should foodies explore when they come to San Antonio?

The River Walk

The River Walk is usually viewed as a tourist trap with touristy food to match. However, things are changing, ever so slowly. Exceptions to the rule are on our food tour: Biga on the Banks and Gwendolyn represent some of the finest cuisine in all of San Antonio – no less the River Walk.

Both are James Beard Award Nominated Chefs among their other accolades. Of course, the River Walk is located in the Downtown area.

The Pearl Brewery area is a splendid revitalization project with the focus on food. But, just outside the actual brewery itself, there are new and old haunts alike that are certain to please the palate. Of these, we are hoping to start a food tour.

Another new surprise is the rapid and strong emergence of a Food Truck scene in San Antonio. We're also hoping to create a tour featuring them exclusively.

3 . What can people expect on your food tours?

Keep your hands in the boat at all times

We strive for a careful balance of all cultural components of San Antonio. So, yes, cuisine is the main theme, but we add to the “misto”; significant highlights of our city's fabled History, with a little Architecture, and of course, being San Antonio, the River and Walk.

Being the only ongoing and successful food tour in our city, we have made the tour a purposeful mix of fun - casual food stops along with the aforementioned fine dining locations.

Despite the warm San Antonio climate, you will find you are never hot for long. We have carefully designed the route so that it's never long before you are experiencing the plentiful shade along the River Walk. And, all of our tasting locations allow us to sit down and enjoy their air conditioning.

4. Are there any San Antonio chefs we should keep our eyes on?

San Antonio Love

5. Are there any food events that we should plan our trip to San Antonio around?

Interestingly, San Antonio is one of only three U.S. cities having a Culinary Institute of America. As a result, we have a yearly Paella Festival there and other local food events.

We also have an competition called Culinaria.

And, we don't know if we'll host this again, as only New York and London have held it before, but, we did have an amazing event here call “Meatopia”.

Published June 26th, 2014