When youre looking for an excellent cocktail menu
516 Brooklyn Ave., (210) 444-0707
The Brooklynite (or BKSA) was one of the city's first truly crafty craft bars, and it would be easy for them to rest on their obscure herbal bitters and arcane boozes. Not so. Though the staff behind the bar may change, the drinks are ever-inventive.
When youre in the mood for a margarita
For the best bar food
803 S. St. Mary's St., (210) 988-3093
Where else can you find scratch-made pizza, steak sandwich, green curry and lustful poutine to go with your Guinness or Irish Old Fashioned? At Franky Bogs, the food comes dangerously close to surpassing the cocktail program for best reason to visit.
Photo via Instagram, saflavorpics
Alamo Beer Co.
415 Burnet St., (210) 872-5589
When it comes to craft beer in the city of San Antonio, the good folks at Alamo Beer Co. are waving the banners and leading the metaphorical charge. Since the first batch of their Alamo Golden Ale flowed forth in 2003, Alamo Beer Co. has made it their mission to return San Antonio to its former place as the beer capital of Texas.
Photo via Instagram, alamobeerco
When youre pretending to be an out-of-towner
136 E. Grayson St., (210) 448-8300
We know we're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but it's hard not to fall for Sternewirth's dazzle the minute you step into the space. Cloaked in Hotel Emma's signature scent and filled with supple leather couches and a collection of artwork and tchotchkes from yesteryear, Sternewirth (named for free workday beer San Antonio Brewing Company employees were allowed during their shift, or "the Sternewirth Privilege") sets the stage for high-class wind downs.
Photo via Instagram, thehotelemma
For the best sports bar in town
The Ticket Sports Pub
420 E. Houston St., (210) 222-9722
Who doesn't love to hang out with some friends, grab a few cold beers and watch Los Spurs put another beatdown on a hapless team and enjoy all of these in a cool place? Devoted patrons can watch every NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB game and pretty much everything else on more than a dozen high-def TVs. The Ticket has a great atmosphere and is just a short saunter from the River Walk.
For the friendliest ice house in town
The Friendly Spot
With over 250 bottled brews and 76 on draft, The Friendly spot is an ideal hangout to kick back and sip a few. The ice house regularly screens movies and games on the big screen and serves up a mean Sunday Funday Brunch with $5 16-ounce beers, micheladas and of everyones favorite brunch drink: mimosas.
Photo via Facebook, The Friendly Spot Ice House
When you're in need of micheladaThe Pig Pen
When you need to nurse your hangover
1111 S. Alamo St., (210) 227-1187
Whether it's the airy setting, unpretentious vibe or ironic allure of recuperating (and/or retoxing) in a former convent, Southtown favorite Liberty Bar proves an ideal destination to comb through the hair of the dog that bit you. Pro tip: Liberty Bar also serves up the best bloody mary in the city.
Photo via Instagram, michaellajsmith
If youre looking to shake your ass
2702 N. St. Marys St., (210) 480-4722
With regular events like Jimmy Eat Wednesday, Thurgayz, etc., Bass Monkey is no joke. When youre looking to throw back a few pickle shots and dance your worries away, you bet this is the place to be.
Photo by Jaime Monzon
When youre in the mood for live music
Sam's Burger Joint
330 E. Grayson St., (210) 223-2830
Sam's is a haven for local legends and a springboard for those that hope to be. From its early days as a punk club, hosting some of the first Girl in a Coma gigs alongside the UK Subs, The Undead and other local, national and international notables, Sam's has provided San Antonio with one of the most sincere mid-level venues in the region.
2615 Mossrock Drive, (210) 267-5703
For a good time of singing with strangers, cheap drinks and maybe a few wrong decisions, Dad's Karaoke has got your back.
If dive bars are more your speed
Texas T Pub
121 Broadway, (210) 271-1058
Positioned next to a haberdashery (that's distinguished) and just down the street from its sister-in-squalor, the Traveler's Hotel, the Texas T Pub has cheap drinks, a big-screen TV, a digital one-armed bandit, peanuts and chips, pool tables and an internet jukebox. What more do you want from a local dive?
Photo via Instagram, hasselhoss
For the best bar arcade
5539 N. Loop 1604 W., (210) 202-2694
The multi-level driving range/bar/restaurant/game room in far northwest San Antonio is nothing short of a blast. While non-golfers might shy away from trying their hand at driving a few balls at the range, the family-friendly venue erases any anxiety through a mix of helpful staff, fantastic eats and an enormous variety of drinks. There are three levels at Top Golf with 100-plus hitting bays for groups. Top Golf, however, brings a twist to the driving range with 11 targets between 20 and 240 yards. Each ball has a microchip that tracks accuracy and distance. To mix it up, there are also a number of games to challenge even the most experienced golfers.
For a beautiful cocktail bar
102 9th St., Suite 400, (210) 340-9880
Mistress, lover, sideboo. Paramour might hearken thoughts of illicit affairs, but San Antonio has decidedly made this rooftop bar its main squeeze.
Photo by Jeffrey Burton