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10 San Antonio Spots the Locals Love


We asked San Antonio-based architect Michael G. Imber to share his favorite haunts, shops and eats with us
San Antonio-based architect Michael G. Imber. Photo by Josh Huskin.
San Antonio-based architect Michael G. Imber. Photo by Josh Huskin.
Best Place to Spend a Lazy Sunday:

When I’m not in my backyard in Alamo Heights, I like to go to get some coddled eggs at Il Sogno Osteria, the best Sunday brunch in town, and then wander the farmers market at Pearl to see what is in season and pick up something to cook for dinner. The farmers market is all local and seasonal; producers have to be from within a 150 mile radius of San Antonio. It is also a crowded and colorful array of San Antonio pulling people from near and far to shop as well as socialize.

Most Unexpected Place for Design Inspiration:

When I’m not traveling, I like to find inspiration at The San Antonio missions. With five missions San Antonio’s architectural past reaches back three centuries.

Favorite Place for People Watching:

Alamo Plaza, where you’ll find patriots along with tourists.

Best Under the Radar Dining:

Taco Garage. It’s a hole in the wall taco joint with some of the best Mexican food in the region.

Favorite Place to Take Out of Town Visitors:

These days, it’s the Pearl, San Antonio’s old Pearl Brewery that is now home to the CIA (Culinary Institute of America). The rebuilt and re-urbanized compound is both charming and hip.

Best Hidden Gem in the Area:

The San Antonio Japanese Tea Gardens. Built in an abandoned limestone quarry in the 1920’s by the Jingu Family, who lived and worked in the gardens, the waterfalls, lush gardens, koi ponds and exotic stone structures are simply breath-taking.

Best Place to Connect with Nature:

Heading out to one of our projects on a Texas ranch. Often beside a cool running gin-clear river these respites among the cypress and fields are pure Texas as it once was.

>>Take a tour of a Texas hunting lodge designed by Michael G. Imber.

Favorite Day Trip:

Fredericksburg, Texas. A small German community in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, you can still find some fantastic old country schnitzel and bratwurst and a cold beer.

Best Pick-Your-Poison Destination (beer, wine, coffee or all of the above):

La Fonda on Main. San Antonio’s oldest continually operated Mexican restaurant. Sit in the courtyard under the umbrella of a giant oak trees and cool down from the Texas heat with handmade margaritas.

Unexpected Source for Great Home Décor:

You’ll find Svelte Veldt (South African for “home on a grassy plain”) on Broadway. Bonnie Chumney’s unique eye mixes exotic antiques reminiscent of your cool aunt’s bungalow with hip accessories.

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