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Though I was born and raised in San Antonio, when I was younger I didn’t give much thought to where I was from. It wasn’t until I reached my twenties that I started exploring the city more and it really opened my eyes to the rich culture of my hometown.

Over the years I’ve gotten to know different parts of town, added quite a few restaurants to my list of favorites, and learned more about the local art scene through our wonderful museums, galleries and the beautiful murals all around the city.

The Five Points neighborhood is outlined in red. Credit: Courtesy / Google Maps

I’m always on social media to see what new spots are popping up and documenting my own journey of rediscovering San Antonio. Though scrolling through Instagram or TikTok is a great way to hear about new places, a lot of the times driving around is the best way to unearth those hidden gems. That’s how I’ve stumbled upon some of my favorite murals and local eats. Like the rest of San Antonio, I’ve been on a birria kick lately, and one of my favorite spots is El Antojito Lagunero on the South Side by the Selena mural. The food is so good and the family is really sweet.

While I love trying new places, I’m also happy to eat tacos from a taco truck on Military or a local taqueria. A lot of us are so fixated on what’s new that we forget about the tried and true mom and pop shops that need our support, especially in these times.

Closer to where I live in Five Points, The Cove and Sanchos are the popular spots for food, drinks and live music. DAB House of Hemp is another recommended stop. They have a lot of great CBD-infused drinks and treats. They now have a drive-thru and the owners are extremely well-informed and hospitable. As a fan of all things Fiesta, Amols’ is a must for Fiesta supplies or for any celebration. Sometimes I’ll just swing by to look at what new Fiesta decor they have available because I can’t wait for Fiesta.

Sanchos Cantina & Cocina is located in the Five Points neighborhood.
Sanchos Cantina & Cocina is located in the Five Points neighborhood. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Much like many San Antonians this year, during the pandemic I’ve found myself seeking outdoor spaces and activities. We’re blessed with so many great parks in this city where you can go to get some exercise or just take in the view and get away from everything for a while. Nearby, I love the beautiful San Pedro Springs Park and San Pedro Creek Culture Park.

We also have the Esperanza Center that provides a safe space for so many people, including the LGBTQIA+ community. I’ve gone to many events there like panels, performances, and markets. It’s so cool that there are so many nonprofits in the area, like RAICES. It’s great to be in the hub of nonprofits helping out our community.  

Hundreds gather at The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center to learn what they can do to help incoming immigrants and refugees.
Hundreds gather at The Esperanza Peace & Justice Center to learn what they can do to help incoming immigrants and refugees in December 2016. Credit: Kathryn Boyd-Batstone / San Antonio Report

I live in a duplex in Five Points, where I share an apartment with my boyfriend and our two fur babies. A couple of years ago my boyfriend and I were moving from the North Side and looking for a new place that was more centrally located. It so happened that my friend’s neighbor was moving out, so it was the perfect opportunity.

It’s a wonderful space, with enough room for us and our pups, plus we already know and like the neighbors. On our block, we have sweet neighbors who often stop by for a chat or to offer us food. Across the street, we have a neighbor who is very vigilant and keeps a close eye on the neighborhood. We’re fortunate to have a tight-knit community where we have a group chat to keep up with what happening in the neighborhood. It’s been especially useful now that we can’t socialize as much.

Though I love being out and about in San Antonio, spending more time at home during the pandemic has allowed me to work on some art projects with my boyfriend and spend more time decorating for the upcoming holiday. I’m obsessed with San Antonio, so I have a lot of San Antonio-themed art by amazing local artists on display in my home. Thankfully, we have good friends next door so we’re able to barbecue in the backyard and fill up the kiddie pool to relax and enjoy a few drinks.

We’re in a great location to be able to enjoy all the Fiesta festivities when they resume. I enjoy going to the night parade and, of course, there are the big events like NIOSA. But what I love best is all the events that pop up outside of the main Fiesta district downtown, like Chanclas y Cervezas at The Greenline and Piñatas in the Barrio on the West Side. I love the traditions we have in San Antonio and how our communities continue building new traditions for residents to enjoy.

San Antonio is a big, beautiful city full of history, culture, delicious food, and the nicest people you’ll meet. I have so much love and pride for this city. Whenever somebody asks me for recommendations, it brings me joy to help someone else find what they love about San Antonio.

Gabby is a lifelong resident of San Antonio who loves to share local food, art, and events through multiple social media platforms under the name Siempre San Antonio. If she's not out and about exploring...