san antonio hildebrand avenue

Hildebrand Avenue Antiques and More

If you’ve been told that you have a serious antique shopping problem, then I have good news for you. You can enable this problem to its likely wallet-busting end on Hildebrand Avenue. Don’t worry if you’re a casual shopper though. You’ll want to spend all your money here too!

Hildebrand Avenue

When you think about roads and streets, most likely you don’t really consider the history and development of a particular thoroughfare. But the reality is, these culture-filled linear features contribute so much to a city’s history. Heck, to a country’s history! Just think of Route 66 and the Camino Real. Now, the history of Hildebrand Avenue is relatively recent compared to other roads in and around San Antonio.

This east-west oriented road was once considered the northernmost boundary of the city limits. The narrow dirt road called Cow Street (1886), North North Street (1890s), and then Carey Street (1908), was widened and paved between 1928 and 1940. By that time, it was renamed after Henry Elber Hildebrand. It begins at Fredericksburg Road west of IH-10 and terminates right at New Braunfels Avenue in Alamo Heights (two other history-filled roads).

At only four miles in length, it’s worth taking a spin from each end to experience the various neighborhoods Hildebrand Avenue intersects. From Monticello Park, Beacon Hill, Olmos Park, Monte Vista to Alamo Heights, you’ll experience many local shops, restaurants, and even The University of Incarnate Word and Trinity University traveling through. But if you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, the stretch between San Pedro Avenue and Beacon Road will hit that mark.

Hildebrand Avenue

Antiques Galore

The anchor, and one of the first of the series of shops along Hildebrand Avenue, is Antiques on Hildebrand. Encompassing approximately square feet of space within two buildings (Fine Furniture at the corner of Hildebrand and Breeden), this shop contains so many furnishings you’ll get whiplash with all the head-turning to get it all in. It is a casual stroller’s paradise with tightly packed rows of dressers, armories, tables, and so much more. Antiques on Hildebrand might be the larger of the shops but don’t let that distract you from the other smaller shops along the road.

Within the same side along, the smaller shops are unassuming but no less fantastic. Bruno’s Antiques along with R&G Antiques and Treasures usually have large elaborate historic pieces that make you wonder how they got them in the shop to begin with. Within the same row of shops and not necessarily an antiques one is Big Grass. Focused more towards outdoor decor and furnishings it’s still a great top to make for inspiration on developing your own natural oasis.

Antique shop on Hildebrand Avenue

The MCMers

Hildebrand is a pretty busy road and unfortunately there really isn’t an easy way to get across it without dodging cars like Frogger (look it up if I lost you on this reference). So you can take a risk and hope you have enough energy to sprint across, or just jump in your car and take five minutes to park on the other side. Either way, you need to visit the southern side of the road just in case the one thing you were looking for is in those shops waiting for ya. Lasting Impressions is another two buildings full of large antique furniture of dressers, drawers, and armoires. Most of the furniture is early 20th century with a few late 19th century pieces. But if you’re looking for something a little more recent, it’s neighbors may fit the ticket.

As a huge fan of mid-century modern design, there is no shortage of great shops here in San Antonio with pieces that would make any collector drool. You have Period Modern at Olmos Park and of course San Antonio Furniture Finders at the Shops at Blanco Roundabout. But here on Hildebrand you have double the fun with Urban Goods and Contact Modern. Both places have beautifully curated pieces, restored couches, accent chairs, credenzas, and bar cabinets. Take your time as you browse too. They have classic barware and vintage glasses scattered throughout along with other unique items from the era. If you’re itching to get that Mad Men feel in your decor, look no further.

sign of restaurant, mama's kitchen, in san antonio

The Neighborhood

What’s great about this block is that it also has some neighborhood go-to shops. It’s got a couple of barber shops, specifically Look’s and Lewfades Barber Shops, and Tees Hair Nail Salon to keep it’s neighbors looking good. You also have Texas Taboo’s Tattoos in case you want to get inked or take care of a touch-up. There’s no shortage of good food around this area both up and down Hildebrand and of course along San Pedro and Blanco. But at this particular block, you don’t have to go too far to get local grub. Mama’s Kitchen is serving up 110% Mexican food. Not a 100%…but 110%. I’m thinking the extra 10% is making you feel like family when you walk in. I was excited to try their mole and I’m happy to say that it did not disappoint.

Update, Update!: The aptly named My Friend’s Backyard Bar has since closed as well the Smack’s Chicken Shack across the street. The chicken sandwich goodness has now gone back to a food truck in between Artisan Craft Bar and the Burleson Yard Beer Garden in the Dignowity District. And the one of my favorite snackity-snack-snack spots, Chamoy City Limits, shut it’s brick-and-mortar. They were consistently getting vandalized and robbed over the last few months and understandably had to throw in the towel. The lack of tenants in the the shopping area and poor lighting has made it unappealing to visit. However, the new Lady Bird Beer Garden has just taken over so hopefully it won’t suffer the same issues. Seems like it’ll be a great addition to the ‘hood and hopefully lure more biz around this way. The only bummer is that they also painted over the mural of rap legends DMX, Big Pun, Eminem, and others. But here it is below in case you missed it.

Art mural of rappers, Outkast in teal background, Fat Joe in Pink background, Big Pun and Eminem in Orange-yellow background, and DMZ in white background
Art mural of rappers, Outkast in teal background, Fat Joe in Pink background, Big Pun and Eminem in Orange-yellow background, and DMZ in white background

Now, Chamoy City Limits holds a special place in my heart. It is the only place in San Antonio (that I know of) that has Pink Leche raspa. What is Pink Leche you ask? Only my childhood in the RGV (Rio Grande Valley). I’ve loved this unique blend of cinnamon syrup and sweetened condensed milk for as long as I can remember. I’ve never seen it outside of the RGV until I discovered Chamoy City Limits. And it’s so good!

But Chamoy is not only known for its Pink Leche. It’s really known for it’s incredible sour raspa concoctions with their homemade syrups and sour candies. They’ve even started their own CBD-infused line of candies?? Whaaa?? They’re genius in my opinion. And the Hot Cheetos Deluxe snack box? It’s like listening to Metallica’s Master of Puppets on the Himalayan carnival ride in your mouth. What’s even cooler? The owner Ana Fernandez was part of the “The Art of SA Eats” exhibit at the McNay. But even if you missed it you can check out the website.

Luckily, they’re going back to their roots and revving up the food truck again to hit the parks and other events. They’ll primarily be at O.P. Schnabel Park on the weekend once the truck is up running and across other city parks during the week.

Pink Leche

Since my last update, Hildebrand has had a lot of changes. And I’m hoping that the antique shops and others keep holding strong in spite of the issues that have plagued it. These are good people and good shops along this stretch of road so support them in any way you can!

Drop a line below if you’ve enjoyed any of the shops and establishments along this block! I’d love to hear about your favorites or any other incredible finds I may have missed. Happy shopping!

graphic of hildebrand avenue

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