We began going to the original Lüke restaurant in New Orleans years ago and loved it, so when celebrity chef John Besh opened its twin in San Antonio, we were the first ones to welcome him. A few years later, this Lüke is our go-to spot for happy hour fun, oysters on the half-shell, a great hamburger, and authentic New Orleans gumbo. Set in a big, bright (and sometimes too noisy) space on a quiet part of the River Walk, Lüke features a raw bar, a full bar with a nice selection of local microbrews, popular brands of beer, fine wines, craft cocktails, and a casual brasserie atmosphere. Sit at the massive, manly, Texas-sized bar and read the paper, or dine at a white-marble bistro table on the patio and catch the breezes coming off the river. Lüke is fine for lunch, supper, or any time in between, and we especially like that the kitchen opens early and stays open late (a rare occurrence in San Antonio) so we can grab a bite after a show at The Majestic. Take the elevator upstairs to watch the kitchen scene through big glass windows. What's our favorite menu item? The onion tart appetizer. It looks like a little pizza but it's not, instead topping a pastry-type crust with slab bacon bits and bubbly hot Gruyère cheese. Lüke has what is quite possibly the best happy hour in town, highlighted by the French 75 (a cognac and champagne cocktail) and the Sazerac (much like an Old Fashioned), Besh's nods to the best New Orleans cocktails. My only reason for not giving Lüke three stars is that since the original chef left, there have been some hit-and-miss moments the last two times we've been there. Still, for the most part, Lüke is quite good, and best of all John Besh sometimes pops in to greet guests and work the kitchen.
San Antonio› Restaurant
River Walk, 125 E. Houston St.
Our Rating Neighborhood Downtown/River Walk Hours Mon–Fri 11am–11pm, Sat–Sun 10am–11pm Phone 210/227-5853 Prices Main courses $16–$32 Cuisine Type New American, Creole, Seafood Web site Lüke
MapRiver Walk, 125 E. Houston St. San Antonio
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.