One of the best kept secrets downtown on the Riverwalk, Las Canarias is not only a great place for lunch, but is a fantastic experience for those of us dining gluten free. It is one of the nicest "hotel restaurants" (it is affiliated with the Omni Hotel here in San Antonio) we have tried.
A particularly nice feature at Las Canarias is that there are different seating areas, the nicest of which, at least in good weather, is the outdoor seating area along the river. Not only can you enjoy a wonderful meal, but you can watch the continual show as oodles of locals and tourists make their way along the busy Riverwalk. The time you seem to spend waiting for your meal seems to pass more quickly here than just about anywhere.
Of course, you usually come to a restaurant for its food, and the menu at Las Canarias will offer you a multitude of reasons to come back again and again. First of all, the menu changes daily to adapt to seasonal variations in the availability of ingredients. Las Canarias strives to offer local, fresh choices as frequently as possible.
The good news is that Las Canarias, as a result, can adapt more easily to patrons with dietary restrictions. The "bad news," if you can call it that, is that you won't know in advance exactly what dishes will be available on the day you visit, but I can tell you that it is back to "good news" in that every dish I have had at Las Canarias has been a treat. If you need to eat gluten-free, simply ask your waiter or the chef to make some suggestions from which you can choose. At lunch, about half of the choices will be gluten free, but be aware that some of these will involve asking for gluten-free bread.
As at many fine dining restaurants, lunch can be a relative bargain, and the same is true at Las Canarias. Dinner is moderately expensive, but the good thing is that the chef can usually make a few substitutions to just about any of the dishes he is preparing that evening in order to keep you gluten free.
Recently, one of our Bed and Breakfast guests asked me where to have a lovely dinner celebration downtown, and after studying my suggestions, they decided on Las Canarias. They were not disappointed. In fact, they called it one of their top gluten-free dining experiences ever!
The restaurant validates parking in the Omni Hotel garage.
This review was written by Anne Barfield in October, 2009.