Outer Northwest Side – San Antonio, TX

The Northwest Side of San Antonio tends to be a little more upscale than other San Antonio neighborhoods. However, it still retains the casual, relaxed atmosphere that the city overall tends to be known for. Locals living in the Northwest Side enjoy access to a range of different institutions, amenities and services, including world-class universities such as the University of Texas at San Antonio. The Northwest Side also houses medical research institutions, which make the area an ideal place to live for those working within these industries. From the Northwest Side of San Antonio, residents have a drive of about 20 minutes to the downtown area of the city. This allows for easy access to all of the city's biggest features and attractions.

Schools in Outer Northwest Side

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Like most of San Antonio, the Northwest Side features great, authentic Mexican cuisine. This is in addition to many other types of fare ranging from Mediterranean to Asian and from casual eateries to upscale establishments. Diners find most of these eateries located around the major roadways in the area. Plenty of nightlife options also feature in the neighborhood, from casual lounges to nightclubs. For great Thai dishes and fresh sushi, locals head to Thai Bistro & Sushi. The menu features plenty of authentic Thai dishes, such as the flavorful satay, served up with coconut milk and peanut sauce. For a spicy treat, diners try the Mongolian beef in chili sauce with a heaping helping of red and green peppers. Sweet treats such as Thai custard and fried bananas round out the meal options. Magnolia Pancake Haus serves up breakfast items including incredible buttermilk pancakes and plenty of great omelet options such as the Hawg & Hen with sausage, cheddar, and a Creole sauce topping. For lunch, locals love the BBQ pulled pork and gumbo. Locally-sourced ingredients and house-made syrup crafted with pure cane sugar only add to the appeal. For fresh bistro items in a casual yet upscale atmosphere, Picnikins Patio Cafe draws in crowds throughout the day. Menu favorites include perfectly crisped chicken piccata in a refreshing lemon and caper sauce as well as spicy and savory Cape Malay beef curry with an authentic helping of sides including chutney and bananas. Live music can be found at many featured spots in the Northwest Side, including Matamoros Restaurante Y Cantina and the Block SA, a food truck park and patio. For a cool atmosphere, great drinks and entertainment late into the night, locals love ICE Lounge. Other great area bars include Shenanygans Sports Bar & Grill and the Tonic Bar.

History & Culture

The history of San Antonio dates back to the early 1700s, and as with most neighborhoods within the city, the Northwest Side saw early development by settlers in the region. It did not develop its own distinct identity until the 20th century, when universities, research centers, shopping centers and popular residential areas were constructed in the area. These factors all served to make the Northwest Side one of the more desirable areas within San Antonio and a hot spot for locals who enjoy attractions such as Six Flags Fiesta Texas. While most of the San Antonio area museums can be found in the downtown area, the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio sits nearby. Area universities help support a thriving art scene with workshops, theaters, galleries and much more. Various events take place in the area throughout the year, especially at spots such as Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

Transportation

While cars provide the most efficient transportation option in the area, public transportation can be found with the VIA bus system. Those in need of a ride can also call for a cab from a local company or arrange a ride through a service such as Uber. Ample public parking can be found around major spots such as shopping centers, universities and the theme park. The Northwest Side of the city provides easy access to San Antonio's major roadways, including I-10 and I-410. On the whole, the neighborhood does not prove to be walkable. However, bike lanes and access to the city's bike-sharing service make the neighborhood great for cyclists.

Cost

San Antonio in general has a lower cost of living than the rest of the country, but the Northwest Side makes is a little more expensive relative to the metro. A single ride on the VIA bus system costs $1.20, which gets travelers all the way to the downtown area. Meanwhile, a one-bedroom apartment in the area comes with a median cost of about $745. On a night out, bar patrons pay about $3.50 for a pint of their favorite brew. Gas prices in the area tend to be 11 percent below the national average.

Shopping

The Northwest Side area features a number of great shopping centers, including The Shops at La Cantera, home to many upscale shops including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Several specialty shops and boutiques dot the area as well, both in The Shops at La Cantera and along the major roadways in the neighborhood. At Nearly New Resale Boutique, shoppers find plenty of great items for men, women and children, ranging from basic clothing items to upscale designer pieces. Madame Lui Lui Boutique has a range of great women's clothing items and accessories in numerous different styles from bohemian chic to Western-inspired looks. Many of its jewelry pieces and accessories draw inspiration from the culture of San Antonio, resulting in unique items you won't find anywhere else. HEB, Costco, Sam's Club and Woodstone Grocery & Deli are good choices for fulfilling everyday shopping needs, while specialty grocers such as Himalayan Bazaar cater to those with specific grocery needs. To find freshly picked produce from local farmers, make the short drive east to the Legacy Farmers' Market on Highway 281N. At this compact market, you can find items ranging from locally produced honey to organic dog treats.

Parks

The Northwest Side of San Antonio features many parks, including O. P. Schnabel Park, Nani Falcone Park, Denman Park and the Senator Frank L. Madla Natural Area. Patrons can visit all of them for free, though some fees may be required for the use of certain facilities such as picnic pavilions. Those who visit the parks enjoy beautiful natural scenery, athletics facilities and plenty of great amenities for guests' comfort. Kids enjoy the use of great, safe and age-appropriate playscapes. Pets can visit the parks as well; dogs must remain on leash, except in designated areas. Meanwhile, those in need of exercise can enjoy the extensive trail systems around the parks. Various events, including educational programs, take place at the area's parks throughout the year.
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