Why Southerleigh is a Must-Visit for Foodies in San Antonio

I go to San Antonio a few times per year to visit my sister. And Southerleigh is always a favorite that we try to fit in on each visit!

So why is Southerleigh a must-visit? Where do I begin… the craft beer, charming decor, delicious southern sides or the incredible banana mud pie dessert?

The location in the historic Pearl District is an added bonus. We love walking around the beautiful Hotel Emma and the shops. Or just sitting on the patio at Southerleigh on a warm day and people watching.

This post is all about why Southerleigh is a must-visit for foodies in San Antonio.

Southerleigh Sign

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Visiting Southerleigh

If you’re a foodie, heck even if you’re not, you should definitely add Southerleigh to your San Antonio itinerary.

Southerleigh Locations

There are two Southerleigh locations in San Antonio: Southerleigh at The Pearl and Haute Southerleigh, a more casual concept at The Rim in North San Antonio.

I’ve only visited the location at The Pearl, so this review is focused on that location. There are some menu similarities between the two locations, including their famous fried chicken.

The Pearl San Antonio


Walking into Southerleigh, I immediately loved the vibe. The restaurant building was originally Pearl’s Brewhouse dating back to 1894. And the historic charm shines through to what it is today.

The dining room has heigh ceilings with industrial beams to the ceiling and brewery tanks on the second story. Dining chairs in dark brown leather and the rustic accents add to the coziness.

But the patio is also a really nice vibe on a sunny day! We sat outside on a recent visit and enjoyed some people watching while we ate. There was a prom that night, so it was extra fun to see all the sparkly dresses and happy faces.

The Pearl lawn

Southerleigh Menu

Southerleigh’s menu is a Texas twist on Southern and coastal cuisine by chef Jeff Balfour. My favorite meals are the kind that you do family-style with friends so everyone can share and try it all. This is a great spot with lots of sharables.

They also serve an impressive brunch menu that I’d love to try sometime, but I’ve always visited for dinner.


Cody, my husband, loves the Silver King beer on draft. It’s a delicious Hazy IPA made in-house. Keeping the tradition of the original brewery at The Pearl, they have their own microbrewery on-site offering 15 brews on tap.

Their hand-crafted cocktails are also fabulous. The Madame is my favorite, made with Flor De Cana rum, jalapeño, passionfruit and lime, served like a martini. It tastes like a classy tropical vacation with a spicy kick.

Fried chicken, grits, Mac and cheese, potatoes, and cocktails at Southerleigh

The Cellerman is another cocktail that totally caught my attention. Southerleigh is exactly the kind of place where I want to sip on an old fashion, and this version incorporated pecan syrup and walnut bitters.


Southerleigh’s famous Snapper Throats appetizer is a show stopper, and beautifully plated. If you’re into seafood, this masterpiece or the oysters are a popular choice according to the staff.

But my favorite app is the classic corn bread, served with whipped honey crystal butter. Divine!

Southerleigh cornbread and whipped butter

Surprisingly, the House Salad is also a favorite that we love to share. It’s a fairly simple salad with romaine, radish, tomato, pickles and a delicious black garlic ranch. It’s crunchy and tangy and herby and delightful.

House Salad


The friend chicken is perfect for sharing and a must-order! It recently won Southerleigh the 2024 Reader’s Choice Award in MY San Antonio for #1 best fried chicken. And it would have my vote as well.

Actually, I can only think of one fried chicken that it rivals… and that’s Thomas Keller’s incredible fried chicken at Ad Hoc in Yountville, CA.

Of course, you’ll need a few of Southerleigh’s southern side items. Trust me, the jalapeño grits are always a table favorite, and the portion is huge.

I’m allergic to shellfish, so I can’t give the stamp of approval personally, but my family raves about the crab mac and cheese. The roasted potatoes with black garlic cheese sauce have since rotated off the menu, but keep an eye out for those because they are insane!


I’ve only managed to save room for dessert once, but it was definitely worth it. We couldn’t decide between the carrot cake or the banana mud pie, so we got both!

And aren’t they gorgeous!?

Desserts at Southerleigh, banana mud pie and carrot cake

The carrot cake is three-layers with cream cheese icing, toasted pipits and a caramel thyme sauce. The texture was a little more dense, which I really liked. The cream cheese icing was creamy and rich.

But the banana mud pie takes the cake, no pun intended. The dome is filled with a layer of banana mousse and chocolate cake, topped with almond ganache and an almond crumble.

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Who are the owners of Southerleigh?

Southerleigh was founded by Chef Jeff Balfour, and is part of Southerleigh Hospitality Group.

What’s the best parking for Southerleigh at The Pearl?

The best place to park is the Koehler Garage just beside the Emma Hotel. The first two hours are free, and it’s a reasonable $10 flat for 2-5 hour stays.

Plate & Compass is a food and travel blog written by Hannah Falkosky. After quitting her job and spending 8 weeks in Europe on just a few thousand dollars, she found her love for budget travel and sharing tips to help others explore the world. She also spent 15 years working with award-winning chefs and developed a love for artful food and cocktails. Hannah is now based out of Los Angeles, and when she’s not traveling she makes it her mission to explore the best restaurants and cocktail bars while living life to the fullest.

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