Best Bars in San Antonio
San Antonio. Home of the Alamo Mission and many other beautiful cultural installations that have survived through history. Although renowned for the celebrated and deep rooted cultue dating back till 1718 when the first outpost was founded, the tiny patch of land has exploded over the last three hundred years, and is now the seventh largest city in the United States.
But besides the gorgeous architecture and history, San Antonio is one of the hottest tourist attractions in the United States and for good reason. The nightlife is supurb. It’s unreal. The cockstails & food are spectacular. So where do you go to party or enjoy a mellow but fun night out? Don’t worry, we’ll point you in the right direction.
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A quick journey downstairs down to the basement of the dynamic and rowdy Blue Star Art Complex, you’ll find a collection of dangerous cocktail craftsmanship. Relish in the range of scotch, bourbon, and rye, and know that the times waiting for a cocktail is living well spent.
Helpful and expertly trained bartenders will joyfully curate options for your drink, so that you may enjoy a wonderful time out with your friends. Especially you’re encompassed by dark luxurious booths, it becomes quite easy. So sit back, relax and just take it all in.
The Esquire Tavern
Since the end of Prohibition in 1933, the Esquire has been open serving their classic cocktails which alone make this bar worth the visit, but the grand bar selection of food makes this just as much of a dining location. The Esquire boastfully claims the state’s longest wooden bar top, which is longer than 100 feet giving more then enough drinking space.
Find a place at the bar if there exists an open seat, or make your way into a booth — or steal a seat at one of the tables found outside viewing the River Walk. And fear not, cocktails with perfectly cut garnishes and spot-on construction keep this from feeling like a tourist hangout. Or follow the stairs down to the river for a nice drink at the more private Downstairs, and you’ll find yourself experiencing another bar entirely. But don’t worry, it’s same bar.
The Bang Bang Bar
Bang Bang is one of the most fun bars in San Antonio according to the locals. The bar brings just enough of a wild to feel fun without feeling like you’re walking too much on the crazy side. It’s the place where the walls are black, your Bloody Mary comes decorated with a turkey leg, and the house special shot comes with Pop Rocks.
Grab a drink and play a couple rounds of Skee Ball in their game room, or hang out in one of their comfy armchairs and catch some classic reruns being played on a vintage TV set.
Sternwirth Tavern & Club Room
If you want to show your friends from out of town one of the most talked-about locations in San Antonio, make sure they stop at the Hotel Emma’s signature bar. Gorgeous hardwood floors and upholstered sofas mismatch with the concrete walls and modern lights that disguise the building’s past life from the Pearl Brewery.
Craft beer and thoughtfully chosen wines are offered. The bar also serves famous cocktails, each with their own unique and hilarious back story.
With subway inspired tiled floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, gorgeous wooden beams above, and a mix of lived-in booths and high wooden bar tables, this cocktail attraction feels a bit more like a coffeeshop then a top bar. That’s because in the space’s previous life, it was one.
Now, the small and cozy dining space fills up fast with a diverse crowd of young creative types, families, and post college graduates. They all come for the some of the city’s most excellent pizza, a well-balanced wine selection, a regularly alternating collection of craft beers, and well-made cocktails. Grab a seat, enjoy some excellent dishes and cocktails.
Step down into the vault of the Pearl Brewery food hall, and forget yourself in live jazz, delicious drinks, and a substantial selection of elevated bar entres. The center of the bar is a bit more comfortable in person than it looks online, with brick walls, bistro tables, and hardwood floors combine to give a retro modern character. Show up for a performance and enjoy your first round as there’s no cover charge during the week, then pay the cover and stick around for a while.
Open the seafoam-colored door to this refurbished cottage set blocks away from the Pearl, and experience a nostalgic rememberance to a mid-century modern living arrangement. This space-age bachelor pad even features a 1970s-era turntable at the bar.
Alas, a smartphone running Spotify sits next to the turntable and pumps out the lounge, chill and hip hop soundtrack. You can order a classic cocktail, but the better move here is to tell the bartender what flavors or cocktails you like, and ask for a drink created specifically for you. You can also step out back for a yard of artificial turf and an outdoor tiki lounge.
The Bar at Bohanan’s
Located at street level below the best steakhouse in the city, this is a must for any sophisticated imbiber. Should you ever forget what a proper Hemingway Daiquiri, Old Fashioned, or any other classic American cocktail should taste like, the bartenders here will recalibrate your palate. The polished service, hardwood floors, and leather furniture create a setting that demands stylish dressing and good behavior. The extra finesse from servers and bartenders adds even more of a sense of refinement; that’s a touch from the bar’s founding advisor, the late Sasha Petraske, the New York entrepreneur who was credited with inventing modern cocktail culture.
A professional clientele regularly packs this place, tucked between a longtime pizza joint and a French-Asian fusion restaurant. And why shouldn’t they? The streamlined, modern design with zen-inspired flourishes conveys a pan-Asian aesthetic without veering into kitsch, while tasty cocktails and munchies show restrained good taste. In the background, a soundtrack of upbeat lounge music creates an energetic-yet-controlled atmosphere, while friendly and knowledgeable servers guide newbies through the menu. Come on a Monday or Tuesday for the all-day happy hours; bring some friends and share an order of pork bao, salmon sashimi, and mirin-glazed wings, while enjoying a couple of rounds and extending the evening.
The Friendly Spot
Families, singles, and tourists of all ages come together in this beloved outdoor drinking destination. Let the kids romp around on the play structure while you choose from the 76 beers on tap (and the additional 300 beers in bottles and cans). A small-but-satisfying food menu offers chips and queso, wings, burgers and tacos to keep you in a good mood. Come on a night the Spurs are playing, and watch the game on the big screen that goes up at one end of the gravel patio surrounded by several dozen of your newest close friends.
Alamo Beer Company
The opening of the Alamo brewery/beer hall/event venue in 2014 marked the first time a beer called Alamo was brewed in San Antonio since Prohibition, and it’s a welcome addition to the local beer scene. From its single original Golden Ale, Alamo now produces an impressive array of seven signature beers and three seasonals. Grab a seat in the courtyard of this expansive and beautifully designed beer hall and gaze at the historic Hays Street Bridge overhead or cast your gaze west and take in an outstanding view of Downtown. This is the place to bring any out-of-town guests when you want to impress with your taste in architecture and in beer.
SoHo Wine & Martini Bar
SoHo was one of the first wave of bars that launched San Antonio’s craft cocktail movement when it opened in 2007, and while the list of cocktail joints in town has grown a lot longer since then, this original more than holds its own. Creations range from riffs on a boozy Old Fashioned to an often-requested S’more martini; just tell the bartenders what kind of flavors you like, and let them work some magic. Live music and an equally lively atmosphere offer more reasons to brave SoHo’s location (just off the busiest section of the River Walk).