San Antonio’s best bars shake tiki drinks and classic cocktails

Each year, we celebrate Alamo City’s best restaurants and bars with the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards. Now is the time to raise a drink at the best bars in San Antonio.

Our 2021 Bar of the Year nominees range from new businesses that are surpassing expectations amid the pandemic to long-standing establishments in San Antonio. Among them, two leading trends emerge: a celebration of tiki drinks and classic cocktails.

From the River Walk to Southtown, from casual spots to chic bars, these are the five best bars in San Antonio. Read about them below, stop for a drink, and then join us on August 5 at the Austin Fair Market for the Tastemaker Awards, when we unveil the winner of this category and more. Tickets for the signature tasting event and awards ceremony are on sale now.

everlasting love
This new cocktail bar is rocking Southtown. Located behind historic Bar America, Amor Eterno is an intimate spot for a drink or two, celebrating Alamo City’s vibrant culture through colorful tiki-style drinks and offering a fun tiki brunch on Sundays to cap the week off.

Bar 1919
This San Antonio sweatshop, named for the Year Prohibition Ratified, serves classics perfectly crafted for the most discerning drinker. Belly up to Bar 1919 for award-winning classic cocktails and signature creations. Don’t ask for Cosmo or Long Island iced tea (it’s really against house rules).

The squire’s tavern
Esquire Tavern offers a menu of classic drinks reminiscent of its 1933 origins. Pair a cocktail with the bar’s comfort food (stuffed eggs, burgers, and even a fried seafood platter) for a quintessential evening on the River Walk. It’s the attraction’s oldest bar, after all.

hello paradise
San Antonio bar star Jeret Peña is doing it again with Hello Paradise, Southtown’s new hot spot for fresh sips. Here you can create your own “Frozen Drank” by choosing a base – daiquiri or margarita – and then adding flavor to it. Go classic with mango or strawberry or go unique with spicy cucumber or matcha. There are also house shots and cocktails, plus a menu of authentic Thai food to balance the alcohol.

Hugman’s oasis
This new River Walk destination from restaurateur Chris Hill is like a trip to the Pacific Islands. All the tiki classics are here – painkillers, Mai Thai and more – complemented by Hugman’s in-house creations (try a piñagroni, made with gin, washed pineapple campari and sweet vermouth). Sip them with affordable, high snacks such as candied jalapeño rangoons ($ 7) or galbi ribeye skewers ($ 9) to complete your tropical getaway.

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