Road Trip Reflections | TX | March 2024 - Part 2, Street Art, Food, & Shops in SATX

My pup Valentine and I have been on an indefinite road trip, living nomadically since October 2023! If you'd like to see more posts & vlogs about our travels & adventures, please click here.

In this post: meeting Vanesa, street art around town, vegan spots to try, and some shopping!

Before I begin this recap, I wanted to tell you about Vanesa who was a huge part of my time in Texas!

Vanesa and I connected online through mutual friends in the art world and our friendship began on Instagram (below is a snapshot from her IG)! She joined in on my Creative Spark Newsletter where I got to know her and her art a little more and we continued to stay in touch online. When I knew I was coming to San Antonio where she lives, I reached out and she was SO helpful (even checking out my AirBnB to make sure it was safe!) and also offered to show me around town! 

I had not met her in real life before--only seen her in one zoom call--but when we met it felt so comfortable and easy and I loved getting to know her even more! She seriously made a huge difference on my stay here--I would not have enjoyed it as much if I had not gotten to spend time with her. It was very special to see SATX through her eyes and hear all these cool things about the area and the local birds and flowers! I am very thankful for her! She's also such a great tour guide I kept saying she should start a tour business haha. And having her help to guide me and be my Texas mom while I was there just made things feel so much easier and took out a lot of the guessing that happens when you're traveling and exploring. 

I love that Vanesa's holding Val's foot :)

I also have to tell you about the amazing maps she put together for me! I had asked for recommendations and she wrote them down, printed out a coordinating map, and numbered the places on the map to coordinate with the list! It's one of my favorite things I have ever received! Not only was it very helpful, it's not everyday you receive something like this--nowadays it would probably be links in an email--and as someone who loves writing and snail mail, I had a lot of appreciation for this. Here's a pic:

Isn't it awesome? I'm keeping it forever! It also makes me want to do this for someone the next time I'm asked for a rec.

I wanted you to "meet" Vanesa since you'll be hearing more about her in my Texas posts :) One of the first things we did together was check out some street art and murals...

STREET ART
Murals, murals, murals!

I LOVE all the street art and murals that are all around town! I am obsessed with finding "greetings from" or "welcome to" postcard style murals in every city we visit but love seeing any kind of murals in general. I am always so impressed by the skills it takes to create on a such a large scale! Above are two of my favorites and here are some more!

After hearing that I was into street art, Vanesa took me to Essex Modern City. I hadn't heard of it before but it's San Antonio's largest free mural gallery! Events are hosted at this spot but since we went on a Friday afternoon, nothing was going on at that time. But I kinda liked it that way! We had the whole space to ourselves and got to take our time looking at the different pieces and taking pics without a bunch of people getting in the way lol. 

We both loved the girl with the crow (first photo in this post) and Vanesa commented on how the skin looks so dewy, like it's glowing. Its amazing this artist was able to achieve that!  

I also love seeing the different styles and techniques that are used--and you get to see it so up close. These murals were all flawless.

The area where I stayed, Tobin Hill by The Pearl, also had a lot of street art. A few weeks before I left I made a point to snap pics of the ones that always caught my eye. One of them is the guitar player in the second pic in this post along with these:

VEGAN FOOD IN SAN ANTONIO
All kinds of cuisines and baked goods!

I felt like there was a decent amount of vegan food here, from all vegan bakeries and restaurants to places that offered plant based options. Here are all the places I tried--there wasn't one I didn't like!

Miss Chickpea Cafetal

I am a sucker for pastries and baked goods--especially croissants and conchas-- which Miss Chickpea totally delivers on and was my favorite food place in San Antonio! I think I went there 4 times total? I couldn't get enough lol.

Everything I had was good: concha, mixed berry and strawberry cheesecake, almond croissant, kolache with a potato/onion/tomato filling, a cake bar covered with chocolate, donut, lemon cookie, blueberry muffin.

They serve food as well and are open quite late for a bakery but it's better to get there early because things sell out!

There were some GF options but the selection looked smaller so I would call ahead before going to check what's available.

I also thought the prices were very reasonable, especially for the size of the pastries.

Another thing I loved is there was plenty of parking in the lot! 

I'm assuming dogs aren't allowed inside since it's a food establishment--the times I went it was actually cold or raining so I was able to leave Val in the car and run in real quick (something I would NOT do if it was sunny or warm at all!)

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

Vegan Avenue

I picked up dinner from Vegan Avenue the first night and since they are dog friendly, I also had brunch there with Vanesa and Valentine in their outdoor seating area which was very nice! Here's what we got:

BIRRIA QUESADILLASfried handmade corn tortillas, seasoned jackfruit & 
mushrooms, melted cheeze, red chile broth, onions, cilantro (soy-free, contains coconut).

These looked more like tacos than quesadillas to me but the filling was very flavorful and the consommé might have been my favorite. The flavor and pieces of onion in it totally reminded me of the sauce on the enchiladas my dad used to get me from Tito's Tacos in Culver City! So it was an unexpected but really nice nostalgic meal :)

SIDE OF RICE

Also had lots of flavor, I just wish there was more!

I wanted the Shrooms and Grits but they were out of mushrooms :( so I got this sandwich instead and it was so good! I love breakfast foods and this hit the spot!

BREKKIE TACOS: three handmade corn tortillas, breakfast potatoes, soyrizo, tofu scrambled, red peppers, kale greens, arugula, onions, avo slices (contains soy, nut-free).

Vanesa got tacos and I think this was it? (Vanesa if you happen to read this and I'm wrong, please correct me :)) The tacos were way bigger and a lot more food than I thought and the bite I tried was yummy!

There was a little boy sitting next to us who really liked Valentine and it was really sweet! He was having fries, chicken fingers, and a milkshake and it all looked so good! 

I would definitely go back to Vegan Avenue to try more dishes--and get myself a milkshake :) 

Green Vegetarian Cuisine

Vanesa took me here for lunch on my San Antonio tour day with her and it was a lovely day to sit outside, eat, and chat! I liked my dish so much I got it again before I left :) Please note they have a good selection of vegan desserts including HUMONGOUS cinnamon rolls! 

EGGPLANT PARMESAN: fried eggplant, marinara sauce and cashew parmesan cheese, served over linguine pasta, served with a garden salad

There's a lot of vegan options and I went for this because it's not something I make myself and I hadn't had it in a long time! 

MONK'S BOWL: whole beans, quinoa tabouli, and kale salad topped with our homemade chipotle mayo

I'm pretty sure this is what Vanesa got and it's one of her favorites.

I would love to go back and try this along with some of their other bowls. And that giant cinnamon roll!

Plantyful

This modern bakery specializes in gluten-free and vegan goods made with wholesome superfood ingredients. They also have coffee, drinks, and breakfast burritos. I stopped by to pick up breakfast and got the blueberry muffin and a chocolate donut--the sprinkles were so cute! The interior was also super cute and there was plenty of parking at the side of the building. 

I didn't realize everything was gluten-free and I really enjoyed both! If you are looking for GF options, this is a great place to check out. 

Best Quality Daughter

I wasn't sure what to expect but this was a very trendy modern Chinese food restaurant and the building is super cute! I also really loved their logo--especially the flower--and font. They are not a vegan restaurant but had vegan options (which are clearly marked on the menu as "VE") so I wanted to give it a try!

It's located across from The Pearl and there's parking right next to the restaurant. 

MARINATED YOUNG BAMBOO

Not a fan of the bamboo--it was ok in small amounts but a little too sour for me so I wouldn't order again.

Lick Honest Ice Creams

I loved that this location at The Pearl has a side window you can order from so it's super easy to get ice cream even when you have your dog with you! You may want to check the hours, I don't think it's open all the time and they have 3 vegan flavors available. 

VERY STRAWBERRY: Strawberry jam is blended into our rich coconut milk base, and then swirled with more homemade Texas strawberry sauce and vibrant strawberry shortbread for the most strawberry ice cream we've ever strawberried!

Sometimes I don't like coconut ice creams because it tastes more coconut than the flavor it should be but I was pleasantly surprised and I love the shortbread and strawberry swirls! I regret not also getting a scoop of the chocolate lol

Golden Lotus Thai Food Truck

Golden Lotus Thai is located in a really cute food truck area in Boerne on the way back home to San Antonio. Boerne didn't have a lot of vegan options so I decided to come here instead. They can make a lot of their dishes vegan which was awesome! There was also plenty of parking and seating and they are dog friendly!

While we were waiting for our food we met a really nice group who loved Valentine and wanted to say hi to her. We got to chatting and I ended up finding out they were fellow Californians! One of them lives in Austin now and gave me some recs. It was a lot of fun talking to them, I was kinda sad to part ways!

Here's what I tried:

VEGGIE SPRING ROLLS: 3 crispy rolls stuffed with all vegetables; great for a simple snack (vegan). 

The rolls were a little smaller than I thought but had the perfect crispy exterior and yummy dipping sauce.

WOONSEN: Thai classic noodle dish, smooth and silky glass noodles, stir fried with broccoli, bean sprouts, onions, egg, carrots and black mushrooms in a homemade garlic sauce. (This can be modified to be vegan.)

The noodles were very flavorful with lots of veggies and the portion size was generous. I had leftovers for lunch the next day.

I'm so glad I stopped here and highly recommend for the good food, friendly service, and good vibes! 

Farmer's Market At The Pearl

It was really nice to live so close to a famer's market that's dog friendly (most actually aren't)! It does get pretty crowded so if you have a smaller dog carrying them or having them in their carrier or stroller seems to be the safest / easiest way to move through the crowds. You can also carry them on your shoulder like this lady in the pic below!

The Saturday market is all food and the Sunday market includes artisans and products.

There wasn't a ton of vegan options while I was there, but I did see some including:

  • Vegan focaccia (which I got and was SO good) & bread
  • Pickles
  • Indian food, sides, dips
  • Banana based ice cream desert
  • Juice and drinks
  • And of course the fresh veggies & fruit

SHOPPING

I'm not a big shopper but I do really like book stores and stationery shops. Here were a few places I stopped by and recommend. These were all located at The Pearl.

Rancho Diaz Lovely selection of home goods, art, cards, and gifts

Feliz Modern Pop So fun and colorful!

The Twig Book Store I really loved the window art

Ten Thousand Villages Ethically sourced give back products--they had a great selection of jewelry, clothes, home decor, stationery / paper goods, food items, and gifts.

I was lucky enough to get to see so many things while I was in San Antonio so this recap is split into a few parts--you can find them here.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.