Sometimes (read: often) working stiffs need to unwind with the help of an alcoholic beverage or three, but, unfortunately, booze doesn't usually come cheap. That said, mastering San Antonio’s happy hour schedule will put you way ahead of the curve, and to make things even easier, we’ve narrowed the field down to 16 premium specials around town. Go ahead, leave work early; we'll cover for you*.
*We won't. Sorry.
Irish Hazelnut Cream Is the Boozy Winter Warmer You Needed
When: Thurs, 8pm - 2am The deal: Go to Wurzbach for college night and $1 off draft beer, $3 off Piraat, $2 off Arrogant Bastard, and $2 off Linemans Framboise. Not attending UTSA, UIW, St. Mary’s, or the SAC? Don’t worry -- nobody's going to check your college credentials like a FAFSA document. Pro tip: Pre-game here too, because wells drinks are $2.50 from open 'til 8 pm. Sounds about as dangerous as a 7am foreign language seminar.
When: Mon - Sat, 4pm - 7pm The deal: Blues master Robert Johnson recorded an album here in the early '30s. Not sure if that was before or after he sold his soul to the devil, but if you’re looking for stiff drinks, history, and bartenders who know what they’re doing, then look no further. The deals are pretty solid during happy hour: $5 will get you an Old Fashioned, and another $5 gets you a crab cake.
When: Weekdays, 3pm - 7pm The deal: Some of the best cocktails in SA for $3 less? That’s what the folks at Esquire are gifting you. After a couple rounds, order some deviled eggs, curried chicken wings, and nachos for another $3 a pop.
When: Every day, 3pm - 6pm The deal: Pizza alert! Flash the Pizza Alert signal! Select beers, well drinks, and house cocktails are half-off, and when you’re done drinking, buy some pizza. Or do both at the same time. Pro tip: Buy five pizza-sized tupperware containers, and insert two leftover pizza slices into each one. Now you have a meal plan for the work week.
When: Mon - Sat from 3 pm to 6pm The deal: Half-off all cocktails. Do you know what this means? You can get a Chef Salad for $4.50. Maybe you can convince your boss to let you out early, so you can experience this for yourself -- tell them it’s for research, or team morale, or some other lie.
When: Weds all day The deal: You’re not above well alcohol, right? Who can tell the difference between Canadian Mist and Pappy Van Winkle, anyway? Order your well drinks with pride and authority here, because every one of them costs a measly $3.
When: Weekdays, 11am - 7pm The deal: All beer is $1 off. Sure, this special might not be the most inventive of the bunch, but when it happens to include some of the best beer SA has to offer, we all need to take notice.
When: Weekdays, 4pm - 7pm The deal: $2 domestic bottles and $3 Tecate micheladas. We're not endorsing this but, technically, you could get five beers and one order of queso for $13, plus tip. Drink responsibly.
When: Weekdays, 3pm - 6pm The deal: If you get off work at 5pm, or work half-days, or enjoy some other bourgeois work schedule, then we envy you -- for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that you can make it in time for Paloma’s happy hour. You'll get an award-winning margarita for $3.50, and $5 will afford you a fat plate of nachos.
When: All day, every day The deal: $1.51 Lone Star and Lone Star Light -- we're pretty sure that’s the price our dads paid for a beer during the 1970s. No way 151 makes any money on this deal, but hey, the price is right for us, so enjoy.
When: Weekdays, 4pm - 7pm The deal: $3.50 will get you a delicious pisco sour, caipirinha, or mojito. If that’s not enough to get you through the doors, consider this: All domestic beers are $3. After you enjoy a few drinks, stick around for the regular menu and enjoy some of the best tartare in San Antonio.
When: Mon-Fri, 4pm - 8pm The deal: $1 off wells and drafts won't always get you far. But when you're in the Pearl, surrounded by $12 drinks stuffed to the brim with blackberries, mint, and simple syrup, $1 off a strongly poured whiskey gets the job done.
When: Mon-Fri, 4:30pm - 7pm The deal: $4 well drinks, AND you get to sit atop Tower of the Americas, spinning around the city like you own the damn place. Feel free to buy some food too: Another $4 will get you some truffle fries. Just make sure to look out the window, a lot. This is the best view of our city, and happy hour is an affordable time to enjoy it.
When: Every day, 5pm - 7pm The deal: $2 off drafts, $4 wells, $4 house wines, and half-off all appetizers is too generous, Liberty Bar. We should feel embarrassed -- like when your friend buys you a gift you know they can't afford. This ludicrous happy hour means you can order Serrano Pickled Chiles for $2, and steak tartare for $7. Add that to some cheap beer and a location in Southtown, and you've got a recipe for a classic San Antonio evening.
Sign up here for our daily San Antonio email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in the Alamo City.
T he World Cup is upon us, and the world’s best players are about to battle it out in Russia -- and sure, the United States team didn't qualify, but that's no reason to skip it. Some of the world’s fiercest rivalries will be playing it out on the big screen, and the Cup lasts from June 14 through July 15, so you have no excuse not to catch a game (or five). Many of San Antonio’s finest drinking establishments, pubs, and restaurants will be showing the tournament, and we've picked out the best spots to post up and watch all the low-scoring action. We'll be updating this page with more details about drink and food specials as they emerge, but for now, plan on visiting some of the following spots to fulfill your World Cup needs.
Best for: England fans, and maybe Spain fans too This is your footie pub HQ, right here. The Winchester has a classic British pub atmosphere, with an intensely fanatical British fan base to match. The pub is the central point for supporters of Tottenham, West Ham, and Liverpool. There have even been some sightings of some Spanish supporters – likely Real Madrid, but unconfirmed. Every day that a regular season game is in play, The Winchester has it on all of their flat screen televisions, and on Sundays they host a soccer brunch to accompany the match of the moment.
In anticipation of the World Cup, they will be hosting a massive FIFA tournament, in which the final will take place on the first day of World Cup. In addition, they will have an inflatable pitch out back to play some mini matchups. Beware though, still no word on what the reaction will be if you walk in wearing a Suarez jersey -- you might get bitten.
Best for: A lively, boisterous atmosphere There is no question: Freetail's brewpub at 1604 has some of best watch parties in San Antonio, particularly when World Cup rolls around. A big game entails multiple pitchers of beer, and an infectious atmosphere that usually devolves into chanting. At the last World Cup, they pulled down a huge projection screen and people were already streaming in to save seats for a 6pm game somewhere around the 10am mark. The only downside to all this, of course, is that if you want to actually get a table at Freetail, you’ll probably have to carefully calculate getting there hours in advance to reserve a table. Worth it, though.
Best for: Fans of Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, or Peru If you're a Mexico futbol supporter in San Antonio, you should already be familiar with Ojos Locos -- and if you have a Chicharito jersey, this bar will be your home from June to July. Outside of the Cup, Ojos Locos shows futbol matches about every Sunday, and pairs it with cold Mexican lager and spicy margaritas. The drinks are cheap, the crowd is rowdy, and on Sundays the ladies get $1 margs until 11pm. If you are a Costa Rica, Panama, or Peru fan (first time in the finals since '82!), then this is likely the spot for you to enjoy the game. But beware: If you're the superstitious sort of fan, do not show up for the fifth game.
Best for: Catching an early morning game Despite being the new kid in town, Irish pub Francis Bogside is already blossoming, and they are planning on going all-out for World Cup. You'll find proper pints here, as well as a large and comfortable area for seating, and a projector screen television. No word yet on whether they will be supporting a particular team -- Ireland didn’t qualify this go around -- but they will be opening for every single match (even the 7am games) and showing them on their big projector screen, with food and drink to match.
Best for: Dog-friendly outdoor game viewing Künstler is better known for its delicious and varied German-style beers and artisan-style food selections. It's a relatively smaller venue, but punches above its weight thanks to outdoor televisions and delicious food. Word on the street is that a few Czech Republic fans make this brewery their soccer watching area on Sundays during the regular season. Künstler is tentatively thinking of doing food pairings with specific teams, including Germany and Spain, but no final decisions have been made as of yet. If you want to bring your parents or a smaller crowd (i.e. under 10 persons) to watch a match with a traditional German beer and carefully thought out native dish, this is the place for you. Better still, dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating area.
Best for: Fans on the Riverwalk Waxy’s is one of the most iconic and authentic restaurants on the Riverwalk; the interior of the bar was actually moved piece by piece from the motherland (aka Eire) to San Antonio. The pub is boisterous, welcoming, and the layout of the place is elongated to the point that it fits both large and small parties without anyone missing out on a spot at the bar or a quick pint. During the year it is typically an Arsenal fan hangout, but they go all-out during the Cup. Word is that management is planning on showing all the matches on their televisions and offering several drink and food specials, but won’t release them until closer to opening day.
Best for: A laid-back, kid-friendly atmosphere outside Friendly Spot is an outdoor venue with plenty of shade beneath a handful of mammoth oak trees, and welcomes children and dogs with a very secure playground area. For the Cup, there will only be a select few matches (TBD) projected onto a big inflatable screen here -- still, The Friendly Spot is an ideal family-friendly bar where you can get a cold (and cheap) beer and still holler at the projector. The bar is entirely outdoors, though, so if you’re going to catch a game here make sure it’s in the early morning or evening.
Best for: Casual-to-hardcore fans Cover 3 has easy parking, great food, and good drinks in an attractive indoor/outdoor setting -- it also has a dozen or so big-screen televisions, and they will all be showing Cup matches when the time arrives. Although the place isn't dog-friendly, it is family-friendly, so you can catch a game and still get a good meal. Note, though, that the place tends to get packed during World Cup games, with a diverse assortment of fans ranging from the casual to the die-hard Schweinsteiger jersey wearing Germany fan. In other words, you should feel right at home no matter how much (or little) you know about the various teams.
Best for: Socceroos fans The Roo Pub is inarguably one of the best overall sports bars in San Antonio, with a huge venue, countless televisions, and ample parking. If you're part of a big group, this Australian bar and grill is the place to be -- and if you're a Socceroos fan, then this is your bar for the duration of the Cup. No word yet on drink or food specials, or whether the Roo will open up for the early soccer games, but those details are sure to come.
Best for: Germany/beer fans This traditional German beer hall is the closest you can get to feeling like you’re in Munich while you’re still in Texas -- and it's within 30 minutes of San Antonio, so we're including it here. The biergarten itself has 73 beers on tap, including 30 traditional German beers. For the World Cup, Krause's will be showing the matches on the four televisions outside, as well as the large indoor projector. In terms of German food, Krause’s is unmatched, with a heavy emphasis on traditional dishes such as schnitzel, bratwurst, and Bavarian pretzels. Krause’s is still in the process of figuring out what food or drink specials will be offered for the World Cup, but it's sure to emphasize either German or Mexican beer (depending on who is playing). If you're a die-hard German supporter and want to root for your team in a traditional atmosphere, this is the place for you.
Find out where to watch the World Cup games with all the soccer fans in your city with our list of the best World Cup bars in NYC, LA, SF, Chicago, DC, Miami, Houston and more.
We all know the allure of exploring -- the thrill of discovery and novelty. But exploring isn’t just in nature preserves. If you want to see your city differently, there’s just as much mystery inside its limits as out. Don’t be shy about squeezing through the cracks to discover the town’s hidden secrets.
Food & Drink
Austin's Best Bars to Watch the FIFA World Cup This Year
S occer devotees in ATX are crossing their fingers in hopes that Austin will someday see a hometown-based MLS team -- but for now, they’ll have to keep watching big games on the big screen. The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off June 14 and runs through mid-July, and soccer fans will be flocking to the best spots in Austin to raise a friendly glass and watch some non-American football. And since it’s taking place in Russia, it’s all going down during daylight hours.
Though Austin’s sports bar scene may not be as robust as some cities, we’ve got the good food + good vibes + good beers thing down pat. We’ve outlined the best sports bars & destinations in the city to drink some suds and watch some soccer below; keep an eye on this page for more special events & details as they’re announced.
No-frills, two-story sports haven with beer by the pitcher and an outdoor patio One of the longest continuously running establishments in Austin, The Tavern is packed anytime there’s a game on and that goes double for soccer. It’s the official home of FC Barcelona Penya Austin, opens early for Arsenal Games and hosts gameday watches for the Austin Aztex so it makes sense that they’ll have their TVs tuned in. While you’re there, have some of the White Wings -- bacon-wrapped chicken with jalapeño dunked in Buffalo sauce -- and you might not even care who wins. Specials: Daily game-day surprise specials rotate each day; call for details
Fun, funky, experiential hostel with bar, coffee shop and restaurant Part hostel, part coffee shop, part event space, part cocktail bar… Native Hostel is at the intersection of everything cool, and hosts fun and quirky events regularly. They’ll be screening all World Cup games (as befits their local and international clientele), and there'll be free game watch parties with drink specials as well as discounted rooms with the promo code Kick15. They’re also doing a 1-on-1 soccer tournament in their indoor soccer court, if that's your jam. Specials: Discounts on White Russians, Irish Coffees, and some international beers
Dog-friendly sports bar with crafty beer, hefty burgers, and a popular patio Black Sheep is a spot with regulars; beer signs on the wall, shuffleboard, drink specials every night, and a pub-style food menu all combine to make it a neighborhood fave. It’s most well known for its burgers -- big beefy affairs -- and extensive craft beer selection, but the dog-friendly patio is a hangout during spring and summer nights, and they’ll be showing any game that falls during their regular open hours. So, the afternoon games. Specials: $3 Whitestone Brewery Konverter Kolsch Pints & $12 Pitchers
East Sixth St
Dog- and kid-friendly East Austin brewery with tacos, craft beer, and coffee With their big beautiful taproom, community tables, string lights, and concrete floors, Lazarus Brewing has channeled the spirit of Austin brewing: the spot is kid- and dog-friendly, too, and they’ve got coffee and wine for the non-beer drinkers. Grab a taco and a brew here, and watch the games live in their new “Cool Store” -- a reference to the long-time east Austin building they replaced. Specials: Free coffee or beer if your team wins, and the person with the most team wins gets a Patron Saint glass and free beer for life.
Casual bar/restaurant with heavy pours and good-natured patrons This place might be right across from The Butterfly Bar but the feel here couldn’t be more different: Haymaker has stacked sandwiches, cheap drink specials daily and a great television view from every community bench seat in the house. It’s widely regarded as the best place to watch soccer due to its affiliation with the American Outlaws, the US soccer fan club, and they’ll be showing World Cup games once it’s down to 16 teams, though popular matchups may also warrant an early open. Specials: $3 Whitestone Brewery Konverter Kolsch Pints & $12 Pitchers
Inexpensive neighborhood joint with walls covered in soccer memorabilia Squatting awkwardly in a parking lot, this bar has nonetheless managed to build a reputation for football fandom. Soccer pennants line the walls of Mister Tramps in all their riotously colored glory, and the place frequently hosts special events around matches. If there’s a major game on somewhere in the world, you can find it at Tramps; for this year’s World Cup, they’ll be opening at 7am to provide patrons with breakfast and match viewings. Specials: Daily specials (e.g. $3 wells, $4 Texas Liquors on Tuesdays)
Irish-American bar with Guinness on tap Irish bars are always a safe bet for a solid soccer watch party, and both locations of B.D. Riley’s are no exception. The Mueller location is the official home of Austin’s Liverpool fans, but both locations feature handmade bars imported from Ireland that beg for the ol’ belly up. They’ve got a wide selection draft taps and friendly bartenders willing to pull you the perfect pint. The TVs around each corner and a good pour of Guinness are all you’ll need while cheering on your favorite futbol player. Specials: $5 Magners Cider and $4 Harp, Guinness Blonde, Lite, and Shiner, all in real 20-ounce imperial pints
Semi-upscale restaurants with American fare and a definite sports bent Equal parts hearty American restaurant and bar, Cover 3 is mini-chain with spots in Austin, Round Rock, and San Antonio that holds its own on both fronts. There’s a special almost every day -- fish and chips on Friday, half-price wine bottles on Wednesday, a weekend Bloody Mary bar -- and both Austin locations open for business at 11am, meaning you’ll be able to catch all the afternoon games here. Soccer lovers may come for the games, but their tagalongs will be equally happy with the award-winning burgers and crafty cocktails. Specials: TBA
Breezy bakery, restaurant, and beer garden with pastries, wine, and pints Eschew your regular coffee shop routine and head to Easy Tiger with your fellow soccer fans. Famed for its baked goods and craft brews, Easy Tiger is opening its Beer Garden early for World Cup viewing parties; pull up a seat at one of the long community bench tables while the weather is still a cool 85 degrees. Pastries and draft beer are served before 11am, at which point the full menu comes available. Make sure to check their calendar for opening times, as they’ll vary depending on game schedule. Specials: Free drip coffee during morning games, $3 Founders Solid Gold later on, and $5 World Cup Bloody Marys all day
Good times sports bar with drink specials, bar games, and a Southern-fried menu This long-time haven for sports fans has expanded in the last couple of years, much to the delight of sports fans. In all three locations, you’ll find a TV on every wall, drink specials, and a bevy of bonafide soccer enthusiasts; they’re also paired up with Turf N Surf po-boy, which means you’ll have access to Southern-style fried fish, chicken, and shrimp plus snacks. Specials: TBA
Busy brewpub/smokehouse serving specialty crafts plus smoked meats No matter what match you’re into, Uncle Billy’s will be showing it at full volume on the patio on multiple HD TVs. They’ll be open for all morning games -- including the 5am-ers. Breakfast, barbecue and burgers are on the menu (depending on time of day), and along with on-site craft beer, fans can find specialty cocktails (like Bloody Marys) made with Uncle Billy’s spirits. Specials: None, but breakfast is served with the early morning matches until 11am
Upmarket sports bar with locally sourced food menu & craft cocktails You won’t find beer-soaked floors and expired chips here; helmed by veteran restaurateurs, this leveled-up sports bar offers craft beer and cocktails alongside a gourmet pub food menu put together by a pedigreed chef whose past exploits include a stint at Uchi. BaseCamp’s large, comfortable booths scattered around 13 big screen TVs make it an ideal spot to post up on match day. Specials: TBA
Expansive Irish pub in the Domain with 82+ beers on tap With Fado gone, Austin's other Irish bars are stepping in to fill the gap. Jack and Ginger’s plans to open early for all of the games, sweetening the deal with breakfast drink specials, and they’ll be be serving their elevated pub food menu as well, so devotees can indulge in soft pretzels, pizzas, or a stacked sandwich during game time. Specials: $5 Screwdrivers, $6 Irish Coffee and $5 Micheladas
Indoor/outdoor, family-friendly, come-as-you-are bar With five locations in Austin, you’re never too far from Little Woody’s particular brand of lovable sports bar. There are sports on the telly year ‘round along with daily drink specials that include fireball shots and buckets of beer. (Friday is steak night if you’re feelin’ classy.) Though they likely won’t have special watch parties until the grand finale, you’ll be able to catch a game here if you ask. Specials: Game-day deals vary by location; for example, the Burnet Road bar has specials on Heineken and Dos Equis, but the 6th Street bar has none. Call for details!
Casual hometown joint with craft cocktails and killer wings and dogs With promises “to show all matches on the big screen!” Nickel City might be the darkest, coolest place to pull up a stool and watch your favorite team do their thing. They’ve managed to juxtapose a retro, neighborhood bar vibe with craft cocktails; come here for a Boilermaker… or for a perfect Negroni. During games, they’re offering a specialty cocktail menu with items like a Caipirinha made with Leblon Cachaca and a Mezcal Mule. The food trailer onsite, Delray Cafe, slings burgers, dogs, wings, and all the tater tots you need to fuel a futbol carb-load. Specials: Happy hour during games, and a specialty drink menu
Find out where to watch the World Cup games with all the soccer fans in your city with our list of the best World Cup bars in NYC, LA, SF, Chicago, DC, Miami, Houston and more.