San Antonio has numerous bars where the eats are rather complementary to the drinks. Some bars are upscale, and the food menu reflects that level of service, other bars are more basic, neighborhood spots, but the food is no less exceptional. Here are our top picks for the best pub grub in town.
Claude Hopper's, near Stone Oak, is a craft beer bar with more than 40 brews on tap. It also puts a spin on pub grub with menu items offered for $10 or less. Bavarian-style pretzel sticks are baked onsite, served in Italian, Cajun, or traditional style. There are house-baked flatbreads, "naked" wings tossed in one of many house sauces or rubs, and smoked ale pulled pork street tacos and sliders. There are also nachos with beer-infused queso to please a crowd.
The Hangar is a full bar whose kitchen offers a variety of affordable pub grub in a low-key, casual atmosphere. Entrees include your choice from three burgers, a grilled chicken sandwich, chicken strips, or a BLT. The $12 bottomless brunch is available Saturday and Sunday. Don't forget the $1 mimosas.
The Esquire Tavern
The Esquire Tavern, on the western side of downtown, is the oldest bar on the River Walk and boasts the longest wooden bar top in Texas. Visitors need all the elbow space they can get to enjoy the craft and traditional cocktails with upscale food. The kitchen staff does not squelch on culinary quality or presentation at the buzzy tavern. Appetizers such as deviled eggs, boiled peanuts, and pork belly rillettes are fan favorites.
La Tuna Grill and La Tuna Icehouse
Located in Southtown, La Tuna is an unassuming, family- and budget-friendly venue for an easygoing afternoon meetup or dinner. La Tuna Grill and La Tuna Icehouse are separate entities, with separate owners, but they are on the same property and share the same vibe reflective of the Southtown community. The icehouse features dozens of domestic and imported beers, any of which can be enjoyed with fried stuffed jalapeños, white bean chili, seared salmon salad, torta milanesa, or roasted lamb sandwich.
Cullum's Attagirl, from Chris Cullum of Cullum's Attaboy fame, loves its chicken. The icehouse offers 12 craft beers on tap to help you cool down from the Nashville hot, Southern fried, or daily smoked wings. If that’s not enough, consider chicken with waffles or the fried bologna sandwich topped with pimento cheese and homestyle pickles.
Charlie Brown's, for a full neighborhood bar on the North Central side of town, has a solid budget-friendly menu. Charlie Brown's offers buffalo wings; eight styles of burgers; and nine sandwiches, including the prime rib and the Philly cheesesteak. Entrees include Salisbury steak, 10-ounce New York strip streak, 16-ounce rib-eye, or fish and chips.
Tucker’s Kozy Korner
Chris Cullum offers Southern soul food dinner options at the casual yet hip lounge, including the red-eye molasses ribs, fried chicken livers, collard greens, skillet cornbread, and fried catfish. Like Cullum’s Attagirl icehouse, Tucker’s offers Southern-inspired Sunday brunch, complete with eggs Benedict, biscuits and gravy, chicken and waffles, a Bloody Mary bar, micheladas, and mimosas.
Ocho restaurant and lounge shares space with Havana, a full bar, at the upscale Hotel Havana. Enjoy a pan-Latin-inspired lunch, dinner, or late-night snack with a cocktail, while overlooking the River Walk. The all-day menu includes coconut rice and beans, shrimp and crab campachena, and a classic Cuban sandwich.
Want more great stories like these delivered to your inbox daily? Then sign up for our emails.