Where to drink now
With the San Antonio Cocktail Conference taking over downtown starting January 16, it’s going to be a boozy weekend in Alamo City. It’s smart to have a game plan. Long after the parties and pop-ups announce last call, these restaurants will still be lending a helping hand with Bloody Marys and mimosas that are sure to wake up the weekend.
The Bang Bang Bar
There are plenty of outrageous micheladas and Bloody Marys around town, but none quite reach the heights found at this cozy neighborhood dive. After you choose vodka or beer, the real fun begins with “garnishes” like a mammoth hickory smoked turkey leg and a full chicken on a stick. It’s a little bit silly, but brunch should always be a little frivolous.
Nothing is too excessive for this tiny Southtown eatery. The mimosas are a Technicolor dream with a rainbow skewer of strawberries, grapes, brownie bites, cereal, marshmallows, and cotton candy. Not to be outdone, the Bloody Mary piles it high with pickle slices, pepperoni sticks, fries, and a full-size burger. As in any good arrangement, there’s also a little green from a leafy stalk of celery.
Beloved by the vegan community, this colorful restaurant offers keeps its michelada toppings cruelty-free. On mornings where we need something with a little more oomph, we order up the Pepino Blanco, an easy mix of gin, cucumber, mint, and lime with just enough simple syrup to make the medicine go down.
With a hearty menu of enchiladas, fajitas, and piled-high tostadas, this Blanco Road joint is a must-hit when the previous night’s festivities get a little out of hand. Nothing on the menu, however, is quite as restorative as the masterful michelada. Lined with shrimp and chili dusted cucumber wheels (and precariously balancing an upturned Dos Equis), this over-the-top sipper might as well be a meal in itself. Drink a couple then settle in for a well-deserved nap.
A perpetual hot spot for dinner, this farm chic favorite also has a killer brunch with two bloody offerings that are sure to perk up even the groggiest weekend warrior. The traditional Bloody Mary comes with vodka and can be loaded with nibbles like olives, pickled cauliflower, gherkins, and thickly sliced bacon for just a couple bucks more. The Smokey Maria is just as good with a jolt of Ilegal mezcal.
This brunch staple doesn’t spend too much time decorating its Bloody Mary glass, only rolling it in salt before plunking in a couple of skewered olives. The focus is instead on the vibrant tomato mix — thick enough to feel substantial without going full marinara. Try it with gin instead of vodka for an herbaceous twist.
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
It’s a no-brainer that this Pearl anchor would have a great michelada. The real surprise is the house punch. A little sweet with a citrus bite, it has a lightness that’s perfect for day drinking. And it has a mini berry salad on top, so its practically a health food.