The real deals

7 hot San Antonio happy hours where you can wine and dine for less than $20

7 hot San Antonio happy hours to wine and dine for less than $20

The Esquire Tavern deviled eggs
Deviled eggs are only $3 during The Esquire Tavern's happy hour. The Esquire Tavern/Facebook

Quick, empty out that sports coat or bag gathering dust in the closet. Chances are you’ll find a long-forgotten $20 bill that begs to be put to good use.

That new windfall can buy dinner and drinks at these generous Alamo City happy hours where $20 goes further than you'd think.

Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden
Six bucks will get you a classic daiquiri at this Pearl hot spot. It will also get you a variety of small plates like eggs stuffed with deviled ham, crunchy chicharrones served with hot sauce, and fried curry chicken balls with crumbled cheese curds. Combine any of the above, and you’ll have a light dinner and drinks for around the normal price of an entrée — and reason to come back from 3-6 pm every day of the week.

Chart House
Usually known for fancy date-night dining, the Tower of the Americas’ slowly spinning restaurant is just as friendly for casual early evening hangs. Start with a cocktail like a pomegranate margarita for $7 or a glass of Cabernet for $6, then feast on the bargain appetizers like fried artichokes, truffle fries, ahi tuna nachos, or lettuce wraps for $4-$5 each. Check it out on weekdays from 4:30-7 pm.

Those who think cheese deserves its own food group will find much to love at Chisme’s happy hour, running 5-7 pm on Tuesday through Saturday and 4-8 pm on Sunday. Although other food is available, it's easy to fill up on free chips and queso while enjoying a devilish array of $5 drinks like micheladas, boozy aguas frescas, rosé, and Maracuja Mules. The draft beer is even more affordable at $3 per pint.

The Esquire Tavern
Some things are too good to be true, but then there’s this downtown cocktail mecca, which offers fantasy pricing every weekday from 3-7 pm. Five tempting dishes — ranging from jalapeños rellenitos to shrimp toast — are available for $3, so you can splurge on the always well-crafted drinks. Even those are $3 off, making the budget stretch even further.

The Hoppy Monk
Garfield might like Mondays if he knew about the Hoppy Monk’s all day “hoppy hour” featuring a huge assortment of local beers, a quartet of cocktails, and wines by the glass priced at $6 and under. At those prices, guests can afford to pony up for full-price plates like roasted local veggies, mac and cheese, or sweet-and-spicy Brussel’s sprouts. Can’t make it at the beginning of the week? Catch the deals from 3-6:30 pm on Tuesday through Friday and 10:30 pm to close on Sunday through Thursday.

Paloma Blanca
One of San Antonio’s highest rated Mexican restaurants is a treat at full price, but the deep discounts during happy hour make it even better. From 3-6 pm on weekdays, feast on a small queso and guacamole, nachos, or three tacos al pastor for only $5 per plate. A nice variety of wine and domestic beer is available for an on-the-cheap pairing, but the small frozen or rocks margaritas are the best deal at only $3.50 a pop.

Sangria on the Burg
Sangria chef and owner Caesar Zepeda knows what folks want in a happy hour, whether it's a session with friends after work or a nightcap before bed. Available from 3-6 pm Tuesday through Sunday and 9 pm-close Tuesday through Saturday, Sangria's deals include snacks like brisket nachos and loaded fries for under $5 and tacos for just $2. The mangonada margarita is a little pricier at $7, but it's worth every penny.