NAO at The Culinary Institute of America San Antonio
*subject to closures based off student academic calendar*
Outdoor Kitchen at The Pearl Farmers Market
Saturday: 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Closed for major holidays, due to students being off campus.
If you are being dropped off, please direct your driver to Hotel Emma. We are directly across from the entrance of the hotel
if using a taxi or uber, have them drop you off at 136 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215. this is the address for hotel emma, which is directly across from us.
We love sharing food with people. Celebrate benchmark birthdays, recent retirements, or much-deserved promotions. Let our staff help you make a lasting impression on colleagues, association members, family, or friends while you share a great meal.View Private Dining Details
Wonderful concept, entire dining experience is presented by Culinary Institute of America students. Menu is not overwhelming but has enough variety to satisfy varying palates. We are told that the menu changes frequently... hook, line and sinker - we'll be back!
I enjoyed dinner here with my friend. It was super cool that the culinary students were the chefs, and I love how vegan friendly this place is.
We went for the restaurant week menu, which we found to be overpriced compared to their regular menu. The appetizers were alright; the empanadas had too much dough and not enough of the meat filling. My steak was fantastic -tree seasoning as delicious and consistent in every bite, and it as cooled perfectly. The tres leches was incredible ... My husband amidst didn't share!
The service was great. A little forced in terms of attentiveness, but very polite and professional.
The ambiance is pleasant. Not too quiet, not too loud. And it's fun to see the kitchen while the chefs and students work!
Overall, an enjoyable experience. Would probably go back if we're in the area, though the competition in the area is stiff!
Portions were too big and the ribs were tough and not tender.
NAO has great menu options, the food is delicious, and the service is good. Our server told us they were closing. That’s too bad. :(
Flavor of the food was good for the steak & ribs. However, the ribs were a bit too salty. Empanadas were good but a bit small. Duck flautas were really good. Tres leche cake a bit dry & chocolate cake too small.
Our 4th visit to Nao was disappointing this time. Service needs to be improved- forgot an appetizer serving spoon until requested, forgot an ordered drink from the bar, duck flautas overdone, Grilled octopus was poorly prepared and rubber-like compared to the other times at Nao. Server was polite.
The food never disappoints! Every dish we tasted was superb--especially the paella!
Our selections were beautifully presented with great flavors.
The food was so delicious & the service was great. I cannot wait to go back!
Great food and menu - nice service with student wait staff - bring back the MOLES! We'll be back......
Great Service and great Food!
Nicely served fresh food; delicious, interesting and sophisticated flavors, good menu selections and very professional wait service.
Food was excellent and the staff were friendly and very knowledgeable. Looking forward to a return visit soon!
Service was outstanding, wait staff very knowledgeable
Appetizer and entree was very good
The cale for desert was dry and crumbley
I cannot say enough good things about Nao. The food, drinks, presentation, atmosphere, and service were all outstanding!
Overall we had a good time. The venue itself felt very cozy and comfortable. We were greeted as soon as we walked in and the waitstaff were very attentive when it came it making sure we always had water. But our server though he was friendly seemed very nervous. He took our order but apparently forgot to put it in so we were left waiting for our food. He also forgot one of our appetizers. The food that we did get was all amazing. I don’t think there was one person in our group who didn’t enjoy their meal. Everything-food, drinks and dessert were amazing. We would definitely return!
Appetizers were very good. Dessert was delicious! Choice of drinks (flight of three bubblies) was nice. Main dish could use improvement. Ordered a steak. It was not very tender and was a bit oversalted. Disappointing.
The service was great and the food was just delicious! My family and I went for a celebration dinner and each ordered something different from the menu. I had the roast chicken and it was seasoned and cooked to juicy perfection. My grandson had such a tender ribeye. Mom enjoyed her duck flautas and the grilled octopus appetizer, cooked just right. When my desert arrived (a heavenly cheesecake), the chef even wrote Congats on my place in caramel! Thank you for a lovely dining experience.
This is my fourth visit to the NAO. There was a minor hick-up with one of the dishes we ordered. It was dealt with promptly and we had our fill of great recipes. A foodie dream place. The creativity does not disappoint. Our service this particular evening was impeccable. I'll be back again soon.
We went to NAO several years ago right when it opened and LOVED it. It was a fabulous experience with beautiful, creative food. We were sad to not have the same experience this time. Everything was mediocre and menu not near as innovative as it had been in the past. We hoped for more coming from the CIA and their students. Hopefully changes can be made to bring back the original spark.
Great food, courteous and friendly service all in a teaching environment. Will definitely return!
Not too expensive BUT ALSO SUPER GOOD!! If you get the chance you must go
ALWAYS a delightful dining experience! Love to sit at the counter and visit with the student chefs-to-be.
My favorite restaurant at the Pearl!
The food was wonderful and our waiter was exceptional. I highly recommend this place.
We went with some friends , the food was delicious and the service was really good. They run out of brisket empanadas I hope they can extend their schedule on Friday nights
Service was great, very relaxed atmosphere. Food was amazing. This is a must if you are in San Antonio.
Had a good time at NAO. limited children's entree's which was kind of disappointing. the duck tapatios were DEVINE! The kids ate some Mac & Cheese and my husband had the shrimp tacos. Smaller servings compared to other restaurants, but was filling enough. they are only open for a limited time, stop by and check them out!
We spent our 2nd anniversary in San Antonio and felt this would be a great spot to try something unique and support the students of the CIA. It did not disappoint! We enjoyed the octopus tastados (could have had 3 rounds of these!) the service is fantastic and fun. Sit at the bar if you go, you’ll get to interact with the studying chefs and maybe even snag some extra goodies 😁
Amazing staff. Great service and love the shrimp elote, empanada, duck flouta, steak. Desserts were all awesome. Made the birthday celebration memorable
Rock shrimp appetizer was to die for. Guacacmole' spice needs to be backed off. So much serrano ruins the fruit experience. Overall, great place.
This was a great experience! Staff and food were exceptional. Will do it again!
Excellent food and service. Truly impressed!
It was an outstanding service. I personally drove 4 hours to go to the restaurant after it was recommended to me from a coworker of mine. It was a wonderful experience, one of a kind for sure. The menu was superb even though it was familiar to me since I come from a Latin region where food like it is served. Highly, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend .
My only suggestion would be to ask patron how they prefer their burger cooked. Chori burger was delicious but a raw spot in the middle. Replacement burger was over cooked. I didn’t mind because the students are so friendly and eager to please. Both my friend’s and my dinner were comped so we donated money to CIA. I will continue to dine with Nao and brings friends with me. One of my favorite spots in SA.
Delicious meals, my wife had the Chicken Skewers and said the marinade was very good. We will look forward to going back.
Our waitress was nice and courteous. We are deaf so she was patient with us. However she forgot my request to grill the shrimp instead of sautéed. She didn’t offer to fix this.
She took my margarita when I was not done with it. Still have some left to drink. She didn’t bother to ask me if I’m done with my drink.
I think the price was way too much since portion of each meal was not full portion. Overall it’s overpriced.
Need to teach the students are how to serve deaf customers.
It was my boyfriends birthday, the atmosphere was excellent , the service was good. Amazing food and presentation !, would definitely go back