On October 31, 2017, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network recognized San Antonio, Texas as a Creative City of Gastronomy. San Antonio is one of only two cities in the USA with the Creative City of Gastronomy status; Tucson, Arizona made the list in 2015.
Through UNESCO, gastronomy is about a city’s culinary heritage, how a city shares that heritage and is it sustainable for future generations. San Antonio is a crossroads of geography, geology, fauna, civilizations and cultures. Drawn to the San Antonio river, the Spanish colonists introduced new traditions and tastes when they settled in the 1700s. European, Asian and African settlers then came in the 1800s and brought with them new culinary techniques to create a complex fusion and characteristics that make San Antonio’s cuisine distinct
As a Creative City of Gastronomy, San Antonio envisages:
• creating a public-private partnership to create a cultural and arts destination in the heart of downtown, to develop business concepts and activities that interpret San Antonio’s diverse culinary heritage;
• using cultural mapping and oral histories to engage citizens with the concept of conservation, and enabling them to support the preservation of cooking techniques, foods, and recipes handed down from generation to generation;
• developing a series of culinary trails connecting the city’s historic and cultural assets;
• creating a juried film festival featuring food-focused submissions from independent film-makers worldwide;
• pioneering a Chef-in-Residency culinary exchange programme to feature culinary diplomacy master classes or workshops in other Creative Cities; and
• continuing to host symposia and festivals with a focus on the protection and promotion of intangible heritage, including the role culinary heritage plays in tradition, cultural arts, and spiritual life.
Facts and figures
1 205 km2
City 1 511 946
ø January °C 4 – 17
ø July °C 23 – 35
Designated Unesco Creative City since 2017
Director World Heritage Office