New to San Antonio? Or perhaps you’re looking for a new watering hole in a different part of town. We all know downtown is filled with an interminable list of bars, lounges, and taverns alike, sometimes there are just too many to choose from. We compiled a list below, where you will find a guide of spots that stand out most to us. As always, please drink responsibly.
Take a step back in time with skillfully crafted cocktails, dark wood, dark leather, and brick walls inside Juniper Tar on 244 W. Houston. Juniper Tar’s atmosphere is a time capsule within itself, mainly accredited to its co-owner, bartender, and master mixologist, Benjamin Krick, whose wanderlust has inspired the drink menu and décor. It’s definitely one of our favorite places to stop and grab a drink downtown. Juniper Tar is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. including a happy hour from 5 to 8 p.m.
Next, the oldest bar on the Riverwalk – Esquire Tavern on 155 E. Commerce St. A great dark and cozy spot if you’re looking to escape the bustle of downtown. Esquire also offers some delicious grub to pair with your drinks and fuel your downtown adventure. Esquire’s kitchen closes at 1 a.m. Thursday through Sunday so you can grab that late night meal. With a strong variety of cocktails, a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and prime food – Esquire is a must visit. Did we mention Esquire Tavern’s Bison Burger is one of the best burgers in SA? See for yourself!
If wine is your drink, look no further than Zinc Bistro & Bar at 201 N. Presa St. Zinc holds more than 4,000 bottles of wine from around the world in their extensive cellar, so you’re bound to find a glass to satisfy your taste buds. Zinc’s atmosphere is also one of my personal favorites, featuring a hidden outside courtyard, a great selection in ambient indie music, cozy décor, and a marvelous menu of plates to choose from if you’re hungry. As far as cocktails go, try their Prickly Pear margarita. You won’t regret it! Zinc is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. with a happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. every day!
Open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. everyday, The Last Word, located in the heart of downtown at 229 E. Houston St., embodies a bar where books come to life through cocktails and themed events manifest, inspired by literary history and culture. Decorated with books, typewriters, and other antiques, this downstairs hidden gem is perfect for the bookworms. Just this past summer, Last Word hosted parties celebrating books such as: A Clockwork Orange, Frankenstein and Where the Wild Things Are – all with special drinks accompanying their literary counterpart.
Have a group and can’t decide exactly where to go? What about a place with a wide selection – something for everyone? Swig Martini Bar off the Riverwalk at 111 W. Crockett offers a variety drinks for any thirsty downtown explorer. 26 beers, 22 martinis, 20 wines, and 25 plus cocktails to choose from – Swig has you covered. The martinis range in inspiration from double agent Bond (Goldfinger), to American novelist Hemingway, and Sir Winston Churchill. Swig doubles as a cigar lounge also! Swig is open Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Do you have a favorite joint you frequent downtown? Let us know!