Clubs in San Antonio: The Best Spots for After Dark
Top Ten Recommendations for Night Life in San Antonio
Six Flags, SeaWorld, and of course the Alamo...there's a lot to do in San Antonio during the day. But when darkness falls, there's more fun yet to be had in the River City. Here's ten top picks for where to party hard, party fun, and party cheap in the coolest corner of the Texas Triangle.
The Ivory Lounge is not just a name. The décor here is all done in purest white. This is a testament to its cleanliness; if there were a speck of dirt to be found, it would show up on this unblemished upholstery, but it's all spotless! The music seems to be mostly premixed radio hits, but it's a fine playlist if pop is your pleasure. It's seldom crowded, which can be an upside or a downside depending on if you like to party in a packed place or if you're more into a roomier dance floor.
Beyond the unique look though, the Ivory Lounge might not be anything special in particular, but it's definitely worth a drop in for the cheap drinks (especially their tasty martini menu!) if you're in the area. On Friday nights they run a great drink special, anything you want on the menu for just three dollars! There's no cover, but there is a dress code, so keep your look as clean as the white couches if you want to get into this classy, low-key establishment.
This three-level bar is not only LGBT-friendly, it's friendly to EVERYBODY! There are four rooms, each filled with fun music, plus an outdoor smoking area, so there's lots of space to mill around and schmooze or bounce around on the dance floor with the go-go boys! It's a fun, lively place with an upbeat vibe, and it attracts a very diverse crowd.
At the Bonham Exchange, you don't need to worry about whether you're going to fit in as too young, too old, too trendy, too alternative—they're open to one and all, as evident by their very friendly staff. Be sure to bring cash if you drop by though, because while the drinks aren't expensive, the cover can be stiff and the ATM costs a full a five dollars to use. Also be prepared for a brief, brisk pat-down by the security, so it's obviously a safety-conscious establishment.
All that and they have drag shows on Sunday night!
The Falls Bar & Nightclub
Favored by San Antonio locals in particular, The Falls Bar & Nightclub is a multi-venue establishment that hosts a wide variety of DJ house music and live bands. There's rock, R&B, and hip hop, there's new up-and-coming local talent and international stars, there's little-known indie groups and big record labels, there's just about anything you could want music-wise. The Falls provides lots of space to enjoy it too, with six bars, three rooms, and an outdoor patio.
As far as other attractions go, they've got good drinks that are cheap to decently priced, and bottle service for only $99 if that's your thing. The specials are even better; their “happy hour” is from two to nine, and you can get any drink you want for $2.50 on Tuesdays! Plus, there's poker on Sundays! Where else can you go for a card game and a concert in the same place?
Well, this is Texas, of course there's a cowboy-themed bar/dance hall! The music at Wild West is a mix of country alongside more typical club beats of pop and hip hop, which makes it unique without being too niche. There's lots of parking space and a friendly, lively crowd. The cover is cheap if you're over 21, about five or six bucks if you're a man...and no charge at all for the ladies on some nights! You don't have to try to get lucky at guessing which night is cheap either, they each night's cover online.
Some of the crowd is on the older side, but the location also brings in a good deal of college students as well. Regardless of age, it's as high class as it is honky tonk, so there is a dress code. No need to swagger in looking like a hoity-toity Yankee, just be sure to remember to wear the jeans and cowboy boots that haven't been out to pasture today.
As soon as you step in to this particular club, you can tell that Hi-Tones is unique. The interior is dark and funky like a classic dive bar, but chic rather than seedy. The music is live, usually indie stuff from the local scene, which tends to attract a more hipster-geared crowd and makes for an eclectic mix of what you're likely to hear on any given night. The drinks are delicious, and come in lots of fruit flavors. Hi-Tones is particularly famous for their two dollar apiece pickle shots. If you're wondering, those are pickle juice mixed with vodka. It sounds disgusting, but the proof is in their popularity; people love 'em! Their Hawaiian, La Raspa, and Chamoy cocktails are all also worth trying, and most of their drinks are only around three dollars or so. The bartenders are swift servers too—and friendly ones! All this plus cheap admission means that Hi-Tones does attract a bit of a crowd, and there's unfortunately only one bathroom per gender, so if you don't like lines, it might not be for you. But if you like great drinks at great prices and music you can't hear anywhere else, give Hi-Tones a try!
The Davenport Lounge sports a beautiful, spacious interior with tall ceilings and long chandeliers, giving it an elegant vibe that's romantic and ritzy. It's as famous for its cucumber martinis as Hi-Tones is for pickle shots, though there's much more on their cocktail menu besides that, served by friendly bartenders. The music is live, but more people come here for the quality drinks and the classy atmosphere than the bands. The Davenport Lounge is on the more upscale side so it's not as cheap as some of the other places listed here, but it's not truly expensive either. In fact, everything pretty fair for what you're getting, which is the right amount of class and fun mixed together like a good cucumber martini. And if the price for that is still too stiff, you can always try happy hour!
This small but friendly dive bar is a hidden San Antonio gem. Club Sirius caters to a casual crowd and, like the Bonham Exchange, is welcoming to all who step within its doors. Due to its chummy everyday atmosphere, it has a good-sized crowd of regulars, so it's a great place to chat with locals who can give you advice about what to see and do in the area. Unlike some more cliquish places, they're not hostile to tourists here. It's the sort of spot you go to watch the game and meet nice people; definitely not an intimidating venue. The long list of great drinks at great prices just brings it all together for the perfect place to drop in after a long night on the town...or to get ready for one. If you're looking for some laid-back no-frills fun, look no further than the cozy little Club Sirius.
Formerly known as the White Rabbit, Paper Tiger is a half-indoor half-outdoor covered concert venue. It's not the hugest of concert halls, but there's enough room to accommodate a good-sized crowd while still keeping everyone close enough to the stage to get their money's worth for the music. They host local, regional, and national groups. While there's no genre they turn down, the style does lean towards more alternative types of tunes most of the time, making it a strong recommendation for you hardcore indie and punk types out there. The small outdoor bar offers some nice local brews at reasonable prices, particularly for a concert venue, the sound system is sweet, and pretty much everyone has something nice to say about the clean restrooms (which can be an unfortunately rare find in this scene!) Parking can be a problem, however, and there's only one exit, so be prepared to do some squeezing on both counts.
Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
The Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club is exactly what the title advertises: a place to double over with a good case of the giggles. The drinks are on the pricey side, but the food is decent, the parking is free, and the service is great. Be warned however, their rules are no laughing matter; they strictly enforce cell phones being off, but this is really more of a plus than a minus since it ensures that the performance you paid for goes completely uninterrupted. One of the other rules is that there's a two-item minimum (not two-drink, just two-item; it can be anything on the menu) so be prepared to pick something out. Their menu is online, as is all their information for parking, tickets, and other rules. Now, for the most important question...are the acts funny? Unfortunately, that's the one thing we can't answer for you—since they've always got someone different on stage, you'll have to be the judge of who's your favorite modern jester!
Last but definitely not least on the list of San Antonio must-sees is this trendy Tejano discotheque that prides itself on bringing Latin luxury to the San Antonio nightlife scene. Featuring LED walls and floors, this two-level club hosts famous bands and equally famous Djs. The fun and fancy Club Rio hosts a full calendar of hot events all year 'round, but even on a “normal” night, you're guaranteed a great time at this light-up Vegas-like venue. The lines look long, but they move fast, and the security is en-pointe here to keep out the troublemakers. The cover is usually ten dollars, but it can go as high as twenty for concert nights and other events. Be aware that they also maintain an upscale dress code. Just how upscale they require varies by event, so if in doubt, glitz it up a bit just in case before you go out! After all, you don't want to be under-dressed at this opulent establishment.
There you have it folks; from a casual sports bar to a classy lounge to a country western dance hall, this city has it all. Whether you're a hard-rocking punk, a pop-loving club kid, or just looking for a few laughs, there's something for you in San Antonio!
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