Sending messages back and forth on Tinder is easy, but what happens when that internet cutie wants to meet? Instead of hemming and hawing for an eternity, follow our guide to the best places for a first date. From casual coffee shops to oddball dive bars, these low-key San Antonio spots offer the perfect setting for turning sparks into an IRL flame.
Whether a first date is lousy or fireworks pop, this Hemisfair coffee shop can handle it. If that hottie turns out to be a troll, duck out after the first latte. If there is magic in the air, grab a frozen treat at Paleteria San Antonio or a pie from Dough Pizzeria Napoletana or squeeze in more time for googly eyes by taking a stroll through some of San Antonio’s most beautiful landmarks.
From disappointment to social jitters, there’s nothing a good, strong margarita can’t cure. Just as the name promises, this Market Square classic has some of the best in the city — not so lethal that you’ll be blabbing about your ex, but strong enough to get the conversation started. After sharing fajitas for two, take the proceedings to one of the nearby shops to peruse through some Spurs gear. After all, a future partner must give it up for the silver and black.
This Southtown favorite doesn’t quite feel like a bar. An antique fireplace greets guests when they first walk in the door, a yard sale of bric-brac and houseplants clutter nooks and crannies, and the back patio could be more accurately described as a yard. But touches like slate grey walls and pop artwork keep it from looking like Grandma’s house. In other words, it strikes the right balance between laid-back and hip — reason enough to swipe right every time.
The Rose Bush
Sometimes love connections come at the most inopportune times. But don’t let a little thing like budget kill the vibe. While stocking up on ramen for the rest of the week, pick up a bottle of inexpensive — but beautifully packaged — red to take to this cozy indoor/outdoor food truck park. There’s plenty to choose from, but we like the owner’s Philly’s Phamous Cheesesteaks. Just think how romantic it will be to wipe a little marinara off the corners of a new sweetheart’s mouth.
Silver Dollar Saloon
This gay honky tonk has all the ambiance of a Discount Tire store, but hear us out; it’s also one of the most memorable places in town. On any given night, the bar might be playing Tejano, retro ’80s and ’90s, and death metal in its sprawling set of rooms. The clientele offers can’t-miss people watching. And there’s frequently Jello shots for a buck. Before passing judgement, ask yourself, do you really want to tell your children you met at a Starbucks?
Tucker’s Kozy Korner
True, this historic bar doesn’t have the creature comforts as some of San Antonio’s obvious first date spots, but it does have something much more powerful: comfort. The vibe is friendly, the bartenders are attentive, and there are snacks in case an empty stomach causes a too-soon swoon. Schedule the meet-up on the first Friday of the month for the swinging Soul Spot Dance Party. We’re sure no one will be able to resist such sick moves.