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Where to eat in San Antonio right now: 6 late-night spots for great eats

Where to eat in San Antonio right now: 6 spots for late-night eats

The Esquire Tavern hamburger San Antonio
Esquire Tavern serves a perfect late-night burger. The Esquire Tavern/Facebook

With the longer days and steamy weather, late dinners are a hallmark of the summer season. But finding an eatery that doesn’t close at 10 pm is no easy chore. Luckily, some of the best restaurants in San Antonio understand that the early bird doesn’t always get the worm.

Whether you want a bite after a night of clubbing or work the late shift, these Alamo City restaurants will keep you in good eats long after the sun goes down.

Pizza and late nights go together like Mary-Kate and Ashley, but Barbaro doesn’t sell the greasy pepperoni slices you usually eat after a night out at the bars. Instead, expect a white clam pie kicked up with bacon and chilis; roasted mushroom pizza with ricotta salata, herbs, and cremini mushroom oil; and a country ham special with red onion, hot sauce, and cilantro. The starters are great, too. (We challenge you to make it through the evening without ordering a second plate of fried mozzarella.) The kitchen is open until midnight Sunday-Thursday and 1 am Friday and Saturday.

One of the most original concepts in San Antonio, chef Geronimo Lopez’s contemporary restaurant in the Pearl explores traditional chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) and nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) cuisine. The mash-up of cultures creates unexpected pleasures like lobster fried rice with heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs, and huancaína (a creamy sauce with mild yellow chilis) and steak frites with avocado emulsion, fried yucca, salsa criolla, and chimichurri butter. Open until 11 pm on both Friday and Saturday, Botika is also great for a nightcap like the surefire classic Pisco Sour.

Esquire Tavern
Late-night eating doesn’t have to mean Taco Bell. At this downtown hangout, chef Brooke Smith proves that approachable food can also be, well, good. The burgers and bologna melt are legendary, but branch out and you’ll find exemplary beer-battered fish and chips, a complex chicken mole with esquites, and a legit ribeye served with rich garlic-herb butter. And the cocktails are some of the best in town in case you aren’t quite ready to call it a night.

This popular Southtown haunt switches over from a coffeehouse in the day to a hip lounge at night. Though the menu is somewhat limited in the wee hours, but you can enjoy chicken biscuits, mac ’n’ cheese with smoked pulled pork, nacho tots loaded with marinated steak, and red pepper hummus until 2 am. The s’mores dessert, which allows you to roast your own marshmallows at the table, is a perfect end to a great date.

This Tobin Hills mainstay has been preventing hangovers since 1949. The late-night menu, available until 3 am, has everything you need after a night of dancing from old-school loaded nachos to huge cheeseburgers. Naturally, they serve breakfast all day, with diner favorites like a breakfast plate with eggs, hashbrowns, toast, and your choice of crispy bacon or sausage. If you aren’t a night owl, there’s still plenty to recommend, especially the Saturday night drag shows hosted by Lyn-Z Lang Andrews.

Mi Tierra
Yes, this San Antonio legend is full of tourists almost any time of the day, but the amazing Tex-Mex and colorful bakery make it a must for any insomniac. The affordable 24-hour breakfast is a particular treat. Choose from huevos rancheros, eggs with chorizo, menudo, chilaquiles, and machacado — all for under $10. If you get there before last call, don’t skip the killer margaritas.