#TravelTuesday: Perfection at The Pearl

by Analise Flatt on April 20, 2021 in Living Texas, San Antonio, Travels,

The iconic building that housed San Antonio’s Pearl Brewery continues to attract visitors from near and far. From an inviting hotel to your next favorite restaurant, this Alamo City destination should be top of any visitor’s To Do list.

Here are some of our favorite picks, all sure to brighten any visit to San Antonio.

The Emma: A Hotel with Intention

 Once a 19th century brewhouse, The Emma is now a beautiful hotel and the focal point of The Pearl district in San Antonio. The rich history of this building is evident as you take your first step into the hotel. What is now the lobby used to be the old engine room and, right when you walk in, it’s hard to not notice the bright red compressor from the ‘ol brewery days.

It’s hard to not notice the bright red compressor from the old brewery days in the lobby of the Hotel Emma. Photo courtesy Chase Daniel

When creating The Emma, the developers built around the key elements of what made the Pearl Brewery so iconic, and went from there. And yes, the architecture makes it noteworthy, but also, the intentionality of the staff. It’s very clear that a lot of thought and love went into creating this AAA Five Diamond-status hotel. 

A History of Caring

During Prohibition, when The Emma was still a brewery, owner Emma Koehler decided to not let go of any of her employees. She kept everyone on payroll so when it was over, they were able to begin operations right away. The owner of today’s The Emma kept the same ideals at the beginning of the COVID pandemic because it was part of their history; they didn’t let anyone go. They also provided meals to first responders and family meals for employees.

You’ll love the complimentary 24-hour coffee tray delivered to your room. Also don’t miss Larder, a café/ market on the first floor. Perfect if you want to purchase a bottle of wine or  choose from their wide assortment of beverages.

The library is the perfect aesthetic for any mood you may be in. Photo courtesy Hotel Emma

It’s the Little Things

There are so many little things that The Emma does to make sure all your needs are met. For example, there’s a number that you can text that goes right to the front desk and there’s usually a reply within the minute for any questions you may have. I also loved coming back from dinner to macaroons and nice notes left at  turndown service. 

The library is most guests’ favorite room in the hotel. We began our stay in the library with welcome cocktails and ended our stay with complimentary coffee and muffins in the morning. Not only is this a great place to enjoy a beverage of choice, but it’s also a great place to decompress after a long day of exploring San Antonio. 

The Hotel Emma spacious accommodations are ideal for sharing cocktails and conversation with your go-to travel partner on a visit to San Antonio.
Photo courtesy Hotel Emma

Staying Active, Exploring the ‘Hood 

Not only is there a fitness room in the hotel, but the Riverwalk trail runs right by The Emma. Grab coffee from the library in the morning and then go for a walk along the river, also great for  running and biking.

Hotel Emma also offers many options when it comes to beautiful venues for any event from classy cocktail receptions, weddings to classroom settings or corporate events. 

One of the great things about staying in The Pearl district is that once you valet your car, you won’t need it again until you are ready to go home after checkout. Ample restaurants and things to do are all within walking distance. 


One of the great things about staying in The Pearl district is that once you valet your car, you won’t need it again until you are ready to go home after checkout. Ample restaurants and things to do are all within walking distance.


The Brand: Supper is an American eatery located in Hotel Emma. Chef John Brand does a great job of mixing luxe with hearty American to create dishes that are unique and homegrown.

At Supper, in Hotel Emma, Chef John Brand’s approach is straightforward and creative, guided by flavor, what’s in season, and what feels good in the center of a table shared by friends. Photo courtesy Supper

The Vibe: Lunch on the patio on a pretty day is superb, as it overlooks the Riverwalk trail.

The Beverages: The iced coffee was a perfect pick-me-up to avoid an after-lunch slump.

The Eats: The Roasted Chicken with Spinach Crepe was my personal favorite. The ingredients combined together so well.

The customer service of The Emma is carried over into Supper. It’s the little things; they brought a rack out for our purses when we were seated on the patio.

Brasserie Mon Chou Chou

The Brand: The newest addition to the Southerleigh collection, owned by three Frenchmen.

The Vibe: The luxe aesthetic makes you feel like you are fine dining in Paris.

Brasserie Mon Chou Chou’s menu highlights the cuisine of the homeland of the three French founders of this exquisitely authentic eatery. Courtesy photo

The Beverages: The house-made cocktails are a must. Put The Perfect Thyme and the French 95 at the top of the list.

The Eats: You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu as they can make a French peasant food (Coq Au Vin) taste like 5 stars. Enjoy the Lapin À La Moutarde Avec Tagliatelles oui oui!

Get ready for a 3-hour meal that you will enjoy every second of.

Mi Roti

The Brand: Mediterranean food located in the popular Bottling Department food hall at The Pearl.

The Vibe: Cool street food stand that you can pick up and eat in the half indoor/half outdoor seating area, take to-go, or eat outside at any of the cool outdoor areas in The Pearl district.

Mi Roti, a new San Antonio hot spot, delivers the flavors of the West Indies and the Caribbean. Courtesy photo

The Beverages: Take the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and choose from their assortment of Caribbean drinks as well as regular sodas.

The Eats: You get to create your own adventure with the four-step menu. First, choose a wrap or a bowl; then in steps two, three and four, add fun stuff like types of rice, toppings and sauce. I personally loved the Avocado cream sauce!

Best Quality Daughter

The Brand: New Asian-American cuisine

The Vibe: A lot of different shades of pink that create a fun and funky atmosphere.

Best Quality Daughter has an atmosphere you will love for your lunch/ dinner plans. Photo courtesy The Pearl

The Beverages: They offer unique boba cocktails that add to the cool culinary experience.

The Eats: Eating family style is the way to go because there are so many good things to try. The Crab Boudin Egg Rolls, the Phat Khaprao Pork Fried Rice and the Cashew Chicken are top choices.


The Brand: Husband-and-wife team Orlando and Susana Aguirre, both originally from Mexico, moved their popular food truck operations to their first brick-and-mortar location at the Bottling Department.

The Vibe: Mexican street food that leaves you wanting more. Indoor and outdoor seating available.

The Beverages: The classics such as Hubert’s Lemonade, Topo Chico, and everyone’s favorite sodas.

The Eats: Choose between a bowl or tacos. I personally loved the Chilachicken Tortillas with the blue corn tortillas.

Chilaquil is owned by a husband-and-wife team who both hail from Mexico. Courtesy photo

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Cover photo courtesy Hotel Emma
A lover of all things travel, pretty running trails and good coffee, Analise Flatt is a sophomore at Stephen F. Austin State University studying Mass Communications with a minor in Travel and Tourism. Check out her Instagram to stay updated on her latest travel adventures.