Best For Trinity 2018

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Bird Bakery

Finalists: Bakery Lorraine, Nothing Bundt Cakes

OK, I get it — the cupcakes are delicious. The tables are twee. And the latte is filled with enough sugar to make it more dessert than coffee. But where the hell is Armie Hammer? I saw peach and blueberry cobblers, gluten-free brownies, even tomato pies, but no Armie, the husband of Bird Bakery founder Elizabeth Chambers. Known for his Parent Trap turn in “The Social Network” and more recently as Timothée Chalamet’s love interest in “Call Me By Your Name,” Armie’s presence was sorely missed in the Alamo Heights bakery. You may come for the Elvis-themed cupcake, but you most certainly won’t stay for the company if this continues. — Georgie Riggs, A&E Contributor

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Bombay Bicycle Club

Finalists: Faust, Paramour, Brass Monkey

Bombay Bicycle Club offers a warm, cozy environment with wooden booths and wood paneling, as well as an old-style drugstore aesthetic and decoration. The drinks and food were satisfying. Dos Equis served in glass mugs with lime and a large bowl of potato crisps made for an excellent, relaxed evening with friends. A runner-up, Faust, offers a more alternative environment with lots of outdoor seating and a pleasantly dark indoor area with a good selection of drinks.Gabriel Levine, Opinion Columnist

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Smoke Shack

Finalists: Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ, Augie’s Barbed Wire Smoke House

While $8 turkey sandwiches make Smoke Shack a bit too luxurious for weeknight barbeque runs, the inclusion of brisket in their grilled cheese and frito pie saves the Shack from Bill Miller-dom. The brisket grilled cheese makes up for much of the Shack’s overpriced hipster vibe, combining the tender smoked beef with vinegar-y barbeque sauce and American cheese. For the sake of both your wallet and your health, I would recommend the Smoke Shack in very limited — but artery-fulfilling — doses. – Georgie Riggs, A&E Contributor

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Olmos Park Barber Shop

Finalists: Medusa. The Salon, Toxic Salon

Olmos Park Barber Shop is the place to go if you’re looking for a fine haircut in an old-fashioned setting. The vintage parlor offers you the full experience as stylists Adrian and Andrew work away at crafting you a new hairdo. They even offer you a free beer as you’re waiting, so you know that their customer service is top-notch. They specialize in men’s haircuts, so ladies, I would recommend Medusa.The Salon, our runner-up, for your haircut needs. – Julia Weis, Managing Editor

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Tycoon Flats

Finalists: Big Bob’s BurgersThe Cove

When it comes to burgers, one place rules the day for Trinity students — Tycoon Flats. A quick 10 minute walk from campus, Tycoon Flats serves a delicious combination of burgers, fries and dessert options. From the traditional Flatsburger to a Chicago-style hot dog, everyone can find something that hits the spot. With its affordable and tasty menu, comfortable seating and their acceptance of TigerBucks, it’s easy to see why Trinity students continue to flock to this renovated gas station. –  Jordan Bruce, Webmaster

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Local Coffee

Finalists: Rosella Coffee, Candlelight Coffeehouse, CommonWealth Coffeehouse

Local Coffee at the Pearl is conveniently located so you can grab a cup to go and explore the rest of the Pearl. With a simple menu of classic coffee drinks and a variety of pastries available, it’s the perfect place to stop for a caffeine boost before a stroll along the river or checking out the Saturday market. There’s also plenty of outdoor seating if you want to sip your latte outside on one of San Antonio’s cooler days. While it might not the best place if you’re looking for a study location, Local at the Pearl is a must-try for the Trinity student looking to enjoy more of what San Antonio has to offer. Kendra Derrig, News Reporter

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Tacos El Regio

Known to most Trinity students as “the taco truck,” Tacos El Regio is a staple of San Antonio nightlife. Unfortunately, the truck doesn’t open shop until 11 p.m., but while you’re waiting, you can spend some time on the Strip. And though there is often a long line snaking through the lot, it moves quickly, and soon enough, you have a warm plate of tacos in your hands. The food truck sits in the parking lot of Hard Bodies and across the street from Limelight, and its seemingly aglow exterior is a beacon to many on a Saturday night. If you’re hungry but don’t know what you want, they have it. From veggie quesadillas to tacos pastor, the menu offers anything you could want at midnight, especially arroz con leche and elote. Kathleen Creedon, News Editor

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Tomatillo’s

Finalists: Panchito’sBombay Bicycle Club, Chisme

Though the happy hour at Tomatillo’s was nothing to write home about, it’s easy to understand the appeal: $4 margaritas and a never-ending supply of tortilla chips. The limited happy hour menu includes both boring and kinda-boring nachos, taquitos and a variety of queso. The nachos were average and the queso was below average — it solidified into a congealed mess after five minutes — even for happy hour prices. Overall, just basking in the festive decorations and being surrounded by fellow Trinikids while tipsy on a no-longer-frozen margarita had a certain appeal, but it did not convince me that Trinity’s students voted to the best of their abilities. — Evan Chambless, Copy Chief

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Enchanted Rock

Finalist: Big Bend National Park, Brackenridge Park

This weekend, I ventured out to Fredricksburg to climb the famous Enchanted Rock. As a Pacific Northwesterner and a Trip Leader on Trinity’s Outdoor Recreation, I’m pretty into hiking. I had a lot of expectations for the giant pink rock that my fellow Texans had hyped up so much. While it’s no Big Bend, the short 30–45 minute hike gives you great views of the Texas Hill Country. A great hike for those of you wanting to get out of the San Antonio bubble. Just make sure you explore the caves too. – Julia Weis, Managing Editor

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Amy’s Ice Creams

Finalists: Lick, Menchies

As an Austin native, stopping by Amy’s Ice Creams is a welcome piece of home. There was a short, but quick-moving, line and the employees were cheerful, friendly and wearing some fantastic hats that fit in well with the shop’s bright color scheme and pop music playing in the background. While there aren’t a wide variety of flavors offered, they have all the staples such as strawberry and vanilla, as well as an ever-changing cast of specialty flavors with names like “Mozart” and “Rainbow Rock.” The ice cream was delicious and the waffle cone is a must-try. – Andrea Nebhut, Staff Illustrator

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Don’s and Ben’s

Finalists: WB Liquors, Spec’s

I was glad to see that Trinity students granted this distinction to Don’s and Ben’s, a local liquor chain that’s been serving San Antonio since 1940. The location on McCullough is a quick three-minute drive from campus, but convenience isn’t its only strong suit: Not only do they offer a 10 percent discount on liquor purchases to students that present a university ID, the folks behind the counter are always promoting taste tests of new booze. Every now and then, a vendor representative will be offering samples of local spirits inside the store, to boot. The cashiers are friendly folks; Greg, who works afternoons and evenings most days, attributes the store’s success to the quality of their service. “Trinity students are regulars,” he told me, for better or worse. Drink responsibly, Tigers. — Daniel Conrad, Editor-in-chief

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Paper Tiger

Finalists: Aztec Theater, Hardbodies

When it comes to music clubs and concert halls, San Antonio has more than its fair share of entertainment destinations. Paper Tiger stands as the ideal for the modern Trinity student; it is not only a short walk from campus and located tantalizingly close to the delicious Tacos el Regio truck. The shows themselves are generally a delightful mix of touring rock bands and eclectic local flavor, and tickets are priced so that you can afford to explore bands from more obscure origins without breaking the bank. — Nick Smetzer, A&E Editor

Graphic by Grace Frye and Evan Chambless

Winner: La Gloria

Finalists: Tomatillo’s, Panchito’s

Looking to try out the best margaritas in town? Go no further than the local San Antonio establishment La Gloria. Just seven minutes away from campus in the Pearl, this restaurant offers a family-friendly environment with a lively bar outside. The staff is more than happy to give recommendations, and after trying their sangria margarita, I am too! After going during happy hour, I can easily agree with Trinity students that La Gloria margaritas are the most delicious way to start dinner off right. — Cathy Terrace, News Reporter

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: El Milagrito Cafe

Finalists: Tomatillo’s, Tacos El Regio

Family-run El Milagrito Cafe is walking-distance from campus and serves cheap, authentic Mexican food. This is a prime choice for broke college students, as it’s fairly easy to feed two people here for less than ten dollars. The vibe is cozy and relaxed: sit either outside to people-watch or inside, where the walls are adorned with colorful flags and pictures. Grab a breakfast taco or a big pile of meat for a great price, but be aware that vegetarian options are few and far between at this cafe.  Kara Killinger, Pulse Editor

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Regal Alamo Quarry

Finalists: Alamo Drafthouse, Santikos Northwest

The Regal Alamo Quarry theater has two atmospheres: the chill vibes that you might feel at a small town theater with only two screens, and the exciting suspense of sitting in a theater with over 50 people all waiting for the same highly anticipated feature film. Because of its multiple screens, it’s easy to find old and new releases at the Regal Quarry. While it may not offer the wide array of classy food options that the Alamo Drafthouse features, the Regal Quarry still rises to the top with its solid popcorn, varied candy options and wine and beer on tap. This theater is a dependable, trustworthy option for moviegoers. — Soleil Gaffner, Opinion Editor

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Ann’s Nails and Spa

Finalists: Quarry Nails, Holly’s Nail Bar & Spa

The sound of quiet laughter, instrumental covers of Ed Sheeran, and a bubbling fountain fill the room at Ann’s Nails and Spa. Nail salons have a very relaxing atmosphere and allow students to feel pampered without emptying their pockets. Spending time at a nail salon is nice way to end a long week, and students believe Ann’s Nails and Spa to be the best one around. The stylists of Ann’s Nails are very nice, and a manicure is fairly cheap. The atmosphere is relaxing and perfect for a weekend out with friends, or some quality ‘me time.’ Andja Bjeletich, Pulse Reporter

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: D.R. Semmes Family YMCA

Finalists: Gold’s Gym, Lifetime Fitness

D.R. Semmes Family YMCA dominated the competition for this year’s Best Off-Campus Gym category. Located on St. Mary’s street, this gym is a quick 10 minute walk from campus, making it easily accessible to students with and without cars. This YMCA was opened in 2009, so it contains state-of-the-art cardio and weight equipment, a rock wall and several group exercise studios. For the last two years, Trinity and the YMCA have partnered to offer special group rates to Trinity students. To access this discount, show your Tiger Card upon registration. — Hailey Wilson, Sports Reporter

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: The Pearl

Finalists: Candlelight Coffeehouse, Japanese Tea Gardens, The Quarry

The winner of Best Hangout Spot was the Pearl District, where my friend Ben Gonzalez and I went to hang out for an evening. There are myriad snacking and dining options in the Pearl District, of which my friend and I visited two: Tenko Ramen for dinner and Lick ice cream for dessert. Overall, the intricate lights, bustling crowds and fantastic dining made for a wonderful locale to relax and enjoy time with a friend. Nathaniel Pigott, Copy Editor

Graphic by Evan Chambless

Winner: Rosemont at Olmos Park

Finalists: Tobin Lofts, The Beverly

Rosemont apartments offer a secure, gated community of apartments with a public swimming pool and nicely shaded balconies. Apartments vary in size depending upon needs but are generally spacious with carpeted floors and large living spaces aside from bedrooms. Kitchens are fully equipped and facilities services are attentive. Tobin Lofts, a runner-up, is also serviceable; it resembles a dorm, but is perfectly fine. The Beverly, another runner-up, is generally comfortable and relatively close to campus, albeit farther than Rosemont.Gabriel Levine, Opinion Columnist

Graphic by Grace Frye and Evan Chambless

Winner: Starbucks

Finalist: Local Coffee, Summermoon Coffee Bar, Rosella Coffee

The proximity of the Starbucks on Broadway to the Trinity campus is a primary draw for the hardworking student hoping to escape the monotony of the library or their dorm. Studying outside is an option, if you enjoy the ambient street noise of Broadway. It’s also a great place to network with our UIW neighbors or Alamo Heights PTA moms. The lack of outlets puts a natural limit on your screen time in case you’re worried about straining your eyes — once your laptop dies, you’ll have to put it away and go home. And if you are sensitive to the taste of coffee, the familiar Starbucks blend will never surprise your taste buds, unlike those minimalist hipster spots with their rotating list of single-origin roasts. Kendra Derrig, News Reporter

Graphic by Grace Frye

Winner: Pizza Classics

Finalists: Main Street Pizza, Barbaro

Pizza Classics is one of the most interesting places I have discovered in San Antonio. Their pizza is top-notch, both in quality and in the variety of specialty pizzas offered. Customers can treat themselves to a macaroni and cheese pizza or an alfredo chicken pizza, or can stick to the basics and build their own pizza with only the toppings they like most. The restaurant also serves salads, pasta and wings for those wanting to branch out. But the best part about Pizza Classics? BOGO pizzas, all day, every day, as long as you pick your food up. – Cristina Kodadek, Copy Editor

Graphic by Evan Chambless

Winner: The Pearl

Finalists: Japanese Tea Gardens, Cappy’s Restaurant

The already vibrant nature of the Pearl brewery district was made even more lively by my date for the evening, Nathaniel. The easily accessible parking was great and only around 100 feet from the main area. Dates can spend time exploring the elegant main square of the Pearl Brewery, surrounded by trees decorated with Christmas lights, forming an area perfectly suited for admiration while holding hands with your significant other. We chose to eat at the Food Hall, which had a variety of dining options, including vegetarian ones. We ordered similar ramen bowls from Tenko Ramen, where we slurped tasty noodles in the food court style dining room. Afterwards, we walked past a crowd of children playing in a fountain to enjoy some dessert at Lick. – Benjamin Gonzalez, Opinion Columnist

Graphic by Evan Chambless

Winner: Goodwill

Finalists: Boysville, Buffalo Exchange

According to Trinity students, Goodwill is the Best Place to Shop for Deals. With a Goodwill located less than ten minutes from Trinity, it’s easily accessible to students. Everything sold at Goodwill is used, which makes the prices low and affordable for students on a budget. At Goodwill, Trinity students can shop for anything from vintage clothes to affordable holiday decorations. Shoppers can also feel good about the money they’re spending. At Goodwill, you can round up a purchase to the next whole dollar. Students can also donate their old clothes to Goodwill to make room for their new purchases. – Gabby Garriga, Pulse Reporter

Graphic by Evan Chambless

Winner: Target

Finalists: The Quarry, The Pearl

From clothing to school supplies, from candy to flat screen TVs, the Target on Austin Highway has everything a gift buyer could want or need. While Target may not be what you’d think of as a conventional gift shop, the chain retailer offers a wide variety of items at low prices. It’s no wonder Trinity students voted for Target as the best place to buy a gift — nothing makes a college student happier than low prices. – Saul Malek, Sports Reporter

Graphic by Evan Chambless

Winner: Boysville

Finalists: Buffalo Exchange, Goodwill

For Trinity’s Best Resale Shop, I traveled to Boysville, a resale shop founded in the 1950s which support a local children’s shelter for boys and girls. I put together a nice ensemble for the price of $26. I ended up nixing the $4.99 necklace and the $6.99 shoes, but did buy the $5.99 dress and $7.99 jacket, which I wore later that day because I looked good, okay? They have shoes, clothes for all ages and books and chairs. It’s a great shop that supports a great cause. – Elise Hester, Sports Reporter

Graphic by Evan Chambless

Winner: Target

Finalists: HEB, Walmart

The Target on Austin Highway is a wonderland of every conceivable product. Wandering the aisles is an adventure through each department, and there’s always something new on display. The dollar section at the very front is great for small gifts, especially for those who left Christmas shopping until January. It has a full grocery for hungry shoppers, and contains supplies and inspirations for every project. I always go there whenever I need crafting supplies, both for the variety of products offered, and the fact that it’s open until 10 p.m. for those, like me, shopping at the very last minute. – Cristina Kodadek, Copy Editor

Graphic by Evan Chambless

Winner: Green Vegetarian Cuisine

Finalists: Senor Veggie, Bok Choy

Green Vegetarian Cuisine in the Pearl is a clear choice for best vegetarian restaurant for Trinity. The food at Green is 100 percent vegetarian and 100 percent kosher. Though the restaurant is somewhat more expensive than other vegan and vegetarian restaurants in San Antonio, Green Vegetarian has a great variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner foods and vegan desserts. Because of its proximity to campus, its many food options and its approval from vegans, vegetarians, omnivores and those with other dietary restrictions, Green Vegetarian Cuisine is a convenient and satisfying dining option. Kaylie King, News Reporter

Graphic by Evan Chambless

Winner: Uber

The word “Uber” has become shorthand for getting home from parties or concerts, and it’s not hard to see why. It seems like everybody drives for Uber as a side gig, which means that a ride is only ever five or 10 minutes away. A word of advice: If you’re not prepared to listen to your driver rant about murderous pets, conspiracy theories or any other topic for the entirety of your travels, then you might be better off walking. — Nick Smetzer, A&E Editor