San Antonio Nightlife - Local Bars


San Antonio pretty much has it all in the way of nightlife. From eclectic wine bars and tequila bars to comedy clubs, amazing live music venues and hot dance clubs, those looking for entertainment after dark have no shortage of options. Around the Bend is a perfect neighborhood bar to hang out with friends after work or late into the night. For a great place to eat and have a tasty beer, Broadway’s Lion & Rose Pub delivers a quality experience. Those who enjoy tapas and a fine cocktail, Posh Lounge & Dining is a favorite among San Antonio locals. From Downtown to the Strip to the epicenter of San Antonio nightlife on the Riverwalk—where there are numerous bars all within walking distance—the Alamo City’s bar and club scene is definitely an experience.
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Azuca

713 S. Alamo St., San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.225.5550
The Nuevo Latino bar and restaurant Azuca combines all things Latin in fare, drinks and entertainment. Azuca spreads across two buildings with a patio in between. The contemporary interior pits vibrant color against rigid black and white table coverings, and Chihuly-inspired illuminations dangle in the air. Executive chef Rene Fernandez's culinary creations reinterpret standard Latin classics with imagination. For the Latin dance lover (or the wishful thinker), Azuca offers music and dancing Wednesday through Saturday.

Bar America

723 S. Alamo St., San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.223.7462
Down along the Alamo Street strip, where one can find plenty of flamboyant entertainment, Bar America is a pleasant, theme-free, old-fashioned establishment, where the drinks are cheap and the stools hold your backside up off the floor. The décor is simple: beer ads are tacked to the walls and life-sized cardboard models holding lassos and six-packs adorn the atmosphere. A few rows of booths for sitting and talking extend from the back wall lined with inventory, and a few pool tables are available for those who'd like to indulge. At Bar America there's no frills, no fuss.

Blue Star Brewing Company

1414 S. Alamo St., San Antonio TX 78210; Tel. 210.212.5506
Tucked amidst the galleries and workspaces of the Blue Star Arts Complex, Blue Star Brewing Company uses its own creative genius to concoct delicious beer. The lacquered-wood walls and high ceilings juxtaposed with brilliant stainless-steel vats gives this place a natural, yet industrial feel. This duality also informs their beer creations. The Stout is bold with overtones of fresh veggies. The King William Ale (Blue Star Brewing Company's flagship brew) matches bitter ale with the sweetness of cranberries. Locals flock here before making their way down to the monthly First Friday Art Walk on nearby South Alamo Street. Wireless internet service wafts through the air.

Broadway 5050

5050 Broadway, San Antonio TX 78209; Tel. 210.826.0069
Flip the name and you've got the address of Broadway 5050. Serving “09ers” (the people who live in this zip code, hence the numeric name) for over 60 years, the recently renovated bar and restaurant has changed from an unremarkable watering hole to a hip neighborhood bar with a few plasma screens, bricks and natural tones, and a Quentin Tarantino theme. Try the Vincent Vega, a generous dollop of spicy guacamole atop a tasty slab of ground beef served on a hoagie bun (by the way, all of Broadway 5050's burgers are rectangular patties on a hoagie bun). There's also the Royale with Cheese, the Butch and the Big Kahuna (you get the point). Wash it down with a brew or a cocktail from the full service bar.

Casbeers

1719 Blanco Rd., San Antonio TX 78212; Tel. 210.732.3511
Unless you knew about Casbeers, you wouldn't bother stopping to park in front of its decaying, yesteryear strip center facade. But in spite of its homely exterior, this is, indeed, a special place. The interior sprawls out under a low ceiling with funky old fans spinning what appear to be tires, while a in the back, a single kitchen worker pounds out orders for Casbeers delicious enchiladas -- a must. On most nights, a band spins out a web of music for all walks of life on the corner-tucked stage. Expect to hear anything from local songwriters trying out new pieces to music legends playing for one intimate evening.

Club Cohiba

1015 Navarro St., San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.222.2008
Situated in the basement of the Havana River Walk Inn Hotel, Club Cohiba is a plush, cozy nightclub offering drinks and cigars for aficionados. The tapas grill serves dishes inspired by Cuban, Caribbean, Spanish and South American cuisine. The martinis are considered the specialty and, of course, a wide selection of cigars is available. Plunk down in the deep, leather chairs, imbibe martinis from the quaint bar, and enjoy the warmth of this quiet, secluded nightclub.

Club Rive

245 E. Commerce St., San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.222.4700
This large, multi-level industrial-chic nightclub comprises four smaller venues. Club Rive consists of The Bubble Room (where live bands play), a domed, round dance floor with mirror ball, a hookah lounge with velvet sofas and a room with skimpily-clad pole dancers in hotpants wriggling on the bar in knee-high boots. For high rollers, Club Rive offers a VIP room with all the bells and whistles you can afford. After-hours action goes until 3am on weekends.

Dave & Busters

440 Crossroads Blvd., San Antonio TX 78201; Tel. 210.515.1515
Dave & Busters is a senses-assaulting madhouse where a full restaurant, bar, arcade and pool hall are dolled up with all the bells and whistles of a casino. With a belly full of darned tasty food and plenty of liquid courage from the full bar, geeks become social and socialites act like geeks at this grown-ups version of a Chuck E. Cheese. Dave & Busters in San Antonio may not be cheapest place to spend your evening, but hey, where else can you get drunk, play SkeeBall and go toe to toe with your equally shameless friends in a few rounds of Dance Dance Revolution?

Dolores del Rio

106 River Walk St., San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.222.9998
Tucked away inside of what could pass for a Hobbit-hole along the River Walk is Dolores del Rio, a sexy little nightclub that, apart from serving drinks and dinner (country Italian), accommodates a small lunch rush. Occasionally, patrons have the chance to observe the fantastic belly dancers. More commonly, however, they listen to the jazz combos that fill-in the tiny corner stage.

Durty Nelly's Irish Bar

200 S. Alamo, San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.222.1400
A provocative club thriving under the foot of the Hilton Palacio del Rio, this bar has soothed tired River Walk wanderers for years. Stool perched and shelling peanuts, one can expect to find people from around the world knocking back drink and chuckling to quips and “durty” little jokes by the piano player, whose sharp wit pins even the most belligerent patrons to their seats. Plus, he knows a song or two.

Esquire Tavern

155 E. Commerce St., San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.222.2521
The Esquire Tavern proudly boasts of being the oldest continually operated tavern in Texas. And its 72-year history certainly explains its appearance. But the well-worn room and beat-up old bar are what makes the Esquire so authentic and so unique. The people who come here are as interesting as the place itself, and the little jukebox in the corner plays all types of music: from Tejano to swing, from country to rock 'n' roll. As far as cost, the thirsty River Walker will not find a cheaper drink along the river.

Flying Saucer

11255 Huebner Rd., San Antonio TX 78230; Tel. 210.696.5080
Widely considered one of the best bars in San Antonio, the Flying Saucer is Eden for beer-lovers where the only forbidden fruit is that of abstinence. Seriously, over 300 varieties of the loveable suds are available for your drinking pleasure at this sublimely fun and lively, with brews from more countries than we care to list. What’s even better about this bar near the Medical Center in Northwest San Antonio is that 75 of the generally affordable brews are available for an even more affordable $2.75 a pint on Monday nights. If you’re still sitting here reading this and you’re not on your way to the Flying Saucer, then something is wrong with you.

Hangar

8203 Broadway, San Antonio TX 78209; Tel. 210.818.7699
The Hangar is an Alamo Heights nightlife spot that promises satisfaction for those in noble pursuit of drunkenness. This perennially packed bar blends the lively atmosphere of a neighborhood joint (albeit one with a dress code) and the across-the-board appeal of a Coyote Ugly-type of hangout, courtesy of the hottest all-girl staff of friendly bartenders around.

Irish Pub San Antonio

9726 Datapoint Dr., San Antonio TX 78229; Tel. 210.692.7620
If this Northwest San Antonio bar’s moniker doesn’t give you an idea of what kind of hangout it is, then you might as well hang up your spurs, swill another round and think long and hard about how dense you are. All the standard trappings of a great bar are happily intact, from ample quantities of booze to sports-drenched TVs to downright dangerous drink specials to live bands. To top it all off, they offer free wireless Internet access, allowing the multi-taskers of the world to get drunk and work all at the same time. Yes – for a place that has quite possibly the most uncreative name in the history of Irish pubs, Irish Pub San Antonio is a pretty awesome hangout.

Jim Cullum's Landing

123 Losoya St., San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.223.7266
At a bend in the San Antonio River, under the Hyatt Regency hotel, Jim Cullum and his band of Dixie jazzers play every week for thousands of people live and on the air. Although The Landing's nationally syndicated broadcast creates mass appeal, it hasn't lost the tight, snappy presence of a swinging little jazz club. Each night, tourists and locals alike stop by to hear Jim's trumpet and watch as his musicians pound out flawless solos, one after the other. Since this nightclub is a tourist magnet, the prices prove it's a seller's market. When you go, try the Bambino Huey: a dessert with ingredients as elusive as the words to describe it.

Joey's

2417 N. Saint Mary's St., San Antonio TX 78212; Tel. 210.733.9573
Joey's is a great little place to get out of the crowd. Once you're there, step up to the bar (which is strangely reminiscent of a religious alter) and enjoy its assortment of Texas brews on tap. If you get a hankering to shoot some pool, take your pick from a dozen pool tables located in a large room with high ceilings directly behind the bar. The balcony at Joey's is a cozy, quiet refuge for couples, and outside on the patio you can relax under the stars.

La Tuna

100 Probandt St., San Antonio TX 78204; Tel. 210.212.5727
Near an intersection of crisscrossing streets and train tracks stands La Tuna, a walk-up bar surrounded by patio tables and picnic benches. On that rare, cold San Antonio night, friends huddle around the fire pit to sip their beer. Just across the open yard -- gleaming with bottle caps -- sits La Tuna Grill, offering its array of San Antonio standards. This bar is perfect for a crisp night out with friends, just be prepared to shout over the sound of passing trains and street traffic.

Limelight

2718 N. Saint Mary's St., San Antonio TX 78212; Tel. 210.735.7775
Live music venue that attracts college kids and devoted audiophiles because of the great sound, smoke filters and drink specials. Listen to local up and comers like Girl in a Coma while tipping back one of 35 kinds of beer, a glass of wine or a scotch selection. 21 and up only, cover charge varies.

Luna

6740 San Pedro Ave., San Antonio TX 78216; Tel. 210.804.2433
With deep, red curtains as the stage's backdrop, Luna evokes classic jazz establishments of New York, Miami or Havana during the the great days of jazz. Luna's excellent sound system and stage provide a hospitable environment for the musicians, which, after all, is what matters most here. A sea of tables and chairs, upholstered in red matching the carpet, a small bar to the side and a long row of seating that wraps the outer wall complete the cozy venue. Light fare and fine drinks are available.

Menger Bar

204 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.223.4361
Just a few steps from the Alamo, the Menger Bar -- housed inside the longest continuously operating hotel (of the same name) west of the Mississippi -- opened its doors in 1887. The design replicates the House of Lords Pub in London, but this place has a notable history of its own. It was here that Teddy Roosevelt recruited candidates for his Rough Riders -- the volunteer cavalry serving in the Spanish-American War. In fact, legend has it that an apparition of Roosevelt appears late at night donning his Rough Rider attire and pointing in a gesture of selection to the unfortunate onlooker. The Menger Bar also provides a more satisfying -- and authentic -- taste of San Antonio than the tourist traps opposite the bar on Alamo Plaza.

Mix Nightclub

2423 N. St. Mary's St., San Antonio TX 78212; Tel. 210.735.1313
This nightclub may not be sexiest place you've ever been, but what the meek environ fails to provide is more than compensated for by the prices. Low-key is the attitude for this St. Mary's nightclub. Anyone looking for a place where the bartender shoots an honest smile and hands you a bill that won't sour your evening will feel right at home at Mix. And if you get the urge to checkout a band, The White Rabbit -- a rampaging habitat for young musicians -- is just across the street.

Pointe Martini Lounge

19178 Blanco Rd., San Antonio TX 78258; Tel. 210.494.0910
Smallish, stylish and snobbish. That’s the point of The Pointe. San Antonio Spurs players have been spotted in the VIP room of this tiny Stone Oak hideaway, located across from another Northside fave - Kennedy’s. Dress up; the crowd is just as smooth and attractive as the interior design. A line starts after 10:30pm, so arrive early for easy entry.

Red Eye Bar

8800 Broadway #111, San Antonio TX 78217
Formerly the Broadway Bar, the Red Eye Bar in Alamo Heights impresses with a whole new look for the once dive-y, down-tempo hangout. Now a more urbane neighborhood bar, low slung furnishings, cozy couches, snazzy pieces of artwork and a black granite bar combine to give this joint a hipster vibe. The only thing that hasn’t really changed about this place is the crowd of Jack-&-Coke-drinking, minimal-frills regulars.

Revolution Room

8123 Broadway St., San Antonio TX 78209; Tel. 210.320.1683
Puff on a hookah, shake your moneymaker, shoot some pool. This slightly schizophrenic, ultra modern bar excels in versatility. Check out the live music up front and the djs at the Blue Bar in back. Across from perennial summer favorite Rebar (same owners), Revolution is a new classic with the twentysomething demo. The Broadway location is strategic: the crowd is a mix of local college kids, military members and some young professionals. If you don't find what you're looking for, head next door to Karma or Hangar. Revolution's unofficial slogan "Always a party, never a cover" captures its essence perfectly.

Rosario's Mexican Café Y Cantina

910 S. Alamo St., San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.223.1806
Rosario's makes up one of the several great Latin music venues in San Antonio. The large, bulbous bar protrudes out into the restaurant, cutting the dining area apart from the dancing area. The weekends are always full of live music, like the notable salsa band Orchestra Predilecta that performs on Friday nights. The Mexican food is killer, and the margaritas give you plenty of fuel to keep moving. Rosario's is packed on First Friday's, but is well worth the wait and the crowd. Even better, there's no cover charge.

Suede Lounge

231 E. Houston St., San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.223.2029
With the recent opening of Suede Lounge, Houston St.'s reputation as the city's hottest party strip has been sealed. Suede joins the massively popular trifecta of Zen, Davenport and Vbar amid the high rise condos, office spaces and hotels of south central downtown. Suede makes a bold statement with its impressive size and masculine, modern design. Head up to the mezzanine (VIP section) for the best seats and views. To get a table you'll have to buy a bottle, but on a Saturday night the extra breathing room justifies the expense. House and Trance starting bumping when the crowds pile in. A huge projection TV will please Spurs fans, but you won't see any jerseys here — at least not yet — dress code strictly enforced. (Megan Power)

Swig Martini Bar

111 W. Crockett #205, San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.476.0005
Swank and cosmopolitan, Swig Martini Bar makes dapper its old San Antonio facade. The smart interior couches a large bar stocked with the makings for Swig's monolithic martini list. Clientele range from suited men and ladies in fine dresses to curious tourists unyoking themselves from their cameras and searching for chap stick inside of their fanny-packs.

Vbar

150 E. Houston St., San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.227.9700
Slip past the metal bead curtains and step into Vbar. Overlooking the Riverwalk in the neoclassic Hotel Valencia, this intimate and cosmopolitan bar is designed for patrons to converse, sip, and discreetly survey each other. The elegance factor puts off most of the college crowd — instead the bar draws mostly professionals and discerning tourists. Locals DJs and artists contribute to the relaxing ambience. Vbar is the perfect place to warm up for a night out. (Review: Megan Power)

Zen Bar Ultra Lounge

221 E. Houston St., San Antonio TX 78205; Tel. 210.271.7472
One of the first bars to recognize and celebrate San Antonio's growing prosperity, Zen started a trend in exclusive, beautifully designed places for young urbanites. The Buddha motif and dramatic use of red successfully create a Far East, otherworldly feel. A transparent glass wall between restrooms may be intended as a comment on the separation of the sexes, but mostly it just makes people blush or point and laugh. Dancing can be awkward in a bar of this size, but the selection of DJs makes it hard to resist trying. Two fountains comprise the centerpieces of the outdoor courtyard, where it's much more zen, and a great place to mingle.
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