- Casey Howell
Ah, San Antonio suburbia: Your vast strip mall centers, chain stores and impersonality compel one to take the first exit south for a touch of edge. Sure, SA’s North Side can feel a little unoriginal, but don’t fret if you just signed that Stone Oak apartment lease—we tracked down these hoppin’ local neighborhood bars and coffee joints that’ll have you staying put and inviting your Downtown friends up for drinks in no time.
502 Embassy Oaks, (210) 257-8125, 502bar.com
Try not to overlook this music venue, home to an eclectic range of genres and performers. Don’t just stop in for the tunes; 502 features an impressive lineup of brews and a popular $5 beer and shot special that may help with that stage fright if you find yourself handed the mic during the bar’s Monday night karaoke.
Copa Wine Bar
19141 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 495-2672, thecopawinebar.com.
Have a glass of wine after work at this full service wine bar that serves casual Mediterranean food (hummus and Chardonnay, sure, why not?), meat and cheese plates and pizza. This winner of the Current’s Best Wine Bar (2013) scores points for its friendly staff, warm interior and hefty, right-priced wine flights.
Knife and Fork Gastropub
20626 Stone Oak Pkwy #103, (210) 497-7111, knifeforkgastropub.com.
Beer, games and fun found here. This modern neighborhood pub features skee-ball, classic arcade games, a full menu, 16 beers on tap and cocktails.
Greenhouse Rooftop Bar
4553 N Loop 1604 W, (210) 862-6414.
Formerly the Ivy, Greenhouse is part-lounge, part-garden and located on the far, far North Side. Have a drink on the rooftop of the remodeled bar, equipped with features you may not find anywhere else, like a metal cage with 10,000 rocks and a roof deck with Edison bulb chandeliers. Be sure to wear your dancing shoes, because Greenhouse specializes in EDM on the weekends.
700 E Sonterra Blvd #1113, (210) 530-8740, localcoffeesa.com.
Carefully selected coffee beans (these guys are hella serious about their java), locally owned and operated, and a sleek space with free wi-fi make this coffee joint a perfect spot for a work session or catching up with a friend.
555 W Bitters, (210) 233-1974.
This restaurant and coffee bar offers up everything from s’mores to caprese sandwiches. As for coffee, they’ve got frappes, espresso and a mix of brewed joe.
La Taza Coffee Shop
15060 San Pedro, (210) 494-8292, lataza.biz.
Get your caffeine on with a latte, coffee, blended frappe or go for one of their hot teas, chai teas or fruit smoothies. Pair with pastries, cookies and a sandwich while you’re there, cruising the free wi-fi.
Mildfire Coffee Roasters
15502 Huebner, (210) 492-9544, mildfirecoffee.com.
This neighborhood restaurant/coffee shop roasts their beans in-house and even sells them by the pound.