Where to drink now
To tell the truth, we’re tired of skulking in half-lit taverns. This month we want to bask in the sun. Luckily, San Antonio’s nightlife is just as fun in the daytime — especially when we can grab a pint and some grub at these luminous Alamo City bars.
Burleson Yard Beer Garden
Like the name suggests, this casual spot does indeed offer a gobsmacking selection of beer, from mainstays like Shiner Bock to cans from cult craft breweries like Cigar City and Save the World. A bigger surprise is the vigorous frozen margaritas, available in almost a dozen flavors like grapefruit and amaretto. There are even a few celebratory mocktails for designated drivers. The virgin Paloma is amazing on a balmy spring day.
Located just a hop from the University of Texas at San Antonio, this place attracts a mostly student crowd, but makes a studious effort to make everyone feel at home. And the craft beer selection, curated from Texas’ best breweries, keeps it from feeling like a campus dive. Hosting a rotating crew of food trucks like Mr. Fish, Bull Gogi Boys, and Go Vegan also earns it gold stars.
This altruistic concept near the Alamodome has tons of al fresco seating and one of the best happy hours in town, with a trio of sippers priced between $5-$6. Both the daiquiri and gin sour are delicious, but we like the punch of the Buffalo Old Fashion paired with citrusy twice-fried chicken wings from on-site eatery Kuriya. Whatever customers choose, it’s impossible to leave without a smile knowing that 100 percent of proceeds are donated to local nonprofits.
The name of this joint is slightly facetious. Funky upcycled furniture invites guests to come as they are — and one will find more sandals and sneakers than dress shoes and pumps. Ease in with one of more than 20 draft beers or an always affordable selection of wine to pair with the Juicy, the aptly named signature burger. Come to think of it, with a menu like this, maybe the name is in earnest after all.
This neighborhood bar near the Witte Museum offers a little something for everyone. Little ones can work off steam on the playscape while adults sip a beer from the outdoor bar. All ages will enjoy tasty food truck snacks like smoked wings, brisket nachos, and grilled cheese — not to mention the weekly live music with early set times to make sure the next day isn’t ruined.
Pregame for a show at neighboring Paper Tiger at this casual hangout featuring plenty of outdoor seating and some of the best frozen drinks in town. With white rum, mango, chamoy, and sprinkle of Tajin, Some Great Reward is a San Antonio best seller, but the habañero-spiked Spicy Fro-Guy delivers when it's time to amp up the spice. If that’s too hot to handle, guests can always cool in the air conditioning indoors.
This reinvention of a San Antonio icon fits perfectly into its eclectic Southtown neighborhood. In addition to serving over 90 beer labels and mason jars filled with “illegal” lemonade, Viva Tacoland packs its schedule with weekly theme nights like outdoor Mario Cart and live painting demos from local artists on Mondays, trivia on Tuesdays, and open mic performances on Wednesdays.