San Antonio Dive Bar Guide

Urban Dives and Texas Hill Country Mix

The definition of San Antonio includes a bit of flexibility here, enough leeway to include some of the many can’t miss Texas hill country dive bars that surround the city. San Antonio proper includes everything that makes drinking in Texas great, including a number of downtown dives, but the inclusion of these dusty outposts only adds to the experience.

Case in point, Devil’s Backbone Tavern and Hangin’ Tree Saloon may be two of the best dive bars in the state and that’s before throwing in the holder of Texas’ first liquor license distributed after Prohibition, Riley’s Tavern in New Braunfels. All amazing in their own way, the chapel-like atmosphere of Devil’s Backbone is hard to beat, a tiny dive bar on a ridge that has expanded over the years without sacrificing the purity of cold beer on a Texas hill.

Spechts Texas, a little closer to town, retains a bit of that rural vibe with an expansive back patio that augments a building that dates back to 1887. And then there are more modern dive bar options, including metal-tinged Faust Tavern behind intimidating metal gates and the Bang Bang Bar, the final resting place for your great aunt’s couch, guaranteed.

The options spiral from there, both closer into downtown San Antonio like Texas T and further away like Hoity Toit Beer Joint and Happy Cow Bar further still. Exploring the city, exploring Texas hill country, San Antonio as home base unlocks a host of diverse dive bar drinking options.

San Antonio Dive Bar Reviews

Ranked Order

Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Devil's Backbone Tavern

Like a shrine to drinking atop an appropriately-named ridge under a sea of dollar bills.
Review Rating: 10 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Hangin Tree Saloon

Legit saloon doors swing into an all-wood, all-dive hill country classic.
Review Rating: 10 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Riley's Tavern

Holder of the first liquor license in Texas distributed post-Prohibition.
Review Rating: 10 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Hoity Toit Beer Bar

Grab a beer sleeve and beware the "Asshole Section" when selecting a seat.
Review Rating: 9 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Spechts Texas

Founded in 1887, this is drinking in a Texas field in the best way.
Review Rating: 9 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Shade Tree Saloon & Grill

Like a drinking and live music complex north of San Antonio.
Review Rating: 8 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

VFW Post 8573

Drinking here is doing a patriotic duty, and an affordable one at that.
Review Rating: 7 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Faust Tavern

The bar opens when the metal gates swing wide under the devil neon.
Review Rating: 7 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Bang Bang Bar

Like a used furniture store converted into dive bar drinking destination.
Review Rating: 7 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Happy Cow Bar & Grill

Listen for the train to roll by and partake in the Train Shot when offered.
Review Rating: 7 of 10
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

VFW Post 76

Downtown's multi-purpose river-adjacent dive drinking outpost.
Review Rating: 6 of 10

San Antonio Dive Bars Not Yet Reviewed

Must Visit Recommendations

Unfortunately, we have not yet been to every single dive bar in the city, but there probably a few more punch cards on our livers, so we’ll make it there soon. In the meantime, the curated list of dives below comes highly recommended by a variety of friends, online sources and drunks.

Downtown

Texas T Pub

121 Broadway
San Antonio, TX 78205
Google Map

Medical Center

Oak Hills Tavern

7920 Fredericksburg Rd
San Antonio, TX 78229
Google Map

Northwest

Whiskey Smith

6310 Callaghan Rd
San Antonio, TX 78229
Google Map

Southtown

El Luchador Bar

622 Roosevelt Ave
San Antonio, TX 78210
Google Map

Other Dive Bar Options

Alibis Sports & Spirits

1141 E Commerce St
San Antonio, TX 78205
Google Map

Bentley's Bar

8123 Broadway Ste B
San Antonio, TX 78209
Google Map

Bond's Rock Bar

450 Soledad St
San Antonio, TX 78205
Google Map

Boneheadz

9503 Console Dr
San Antonio, TX 78229
Google Map

Bushwood Country Club

13800 Jones Maltsberger Rd
San Antonio, TX 78247
Google Map

Charlie Brown's

11888 Starcrest Dr #101
San Antonio, TX 78247
Google Map

Club Sirius

228 Losoya St
San Antonio, TX 78205
Google Map

Cootey's Tavern

8318 Jones Maltsberger Rd #128
San Antonio, TX 78216
Google Map

Cross Eyed Seagull

19141 Stone Oak Pkwy #206
San Antonio, TX 78258
Google Map

Floore's Country Store

14492 Old Bandera Rd
Helotes, TX 78023
Google Map

Hidden Tavern

11407 West Ave
San Antonio, TX 78213
Google Map

JW's Bracken Saloon

18400 FM 2252
San Antonio, TX 78266
Google Map

Lowcountry

318 Martinez St
San Antonio, TX 78205
Google Map

Lucky Monkey

8143 Latigo Dr #2553
San Antonio, TX 78227
Google Map

Retox Bar

1031 Patricia #105
San Antonio, TX 78213
Google Map

Rod Dog's Saloon

2617 Wagon Wheel
San Antonio, TX 78217
Google Map

Rookies Too Tavern

9200 Broadway
San Antonio, TX 78217
Google Map

Silver Bullet Ice House

10929 Nacogdoches Rd # 3
San Antonio, TX 78217
Google Map

TBA Bar

2801 N St Mary's St
San Antonio, TX 78212
Google Map

The Base Line

1139 Harry Wurzbach Rd
San Antonio, TX 78209
Google Map

The Hidden Treehouse

4102 Rittiman Rd
San Antonio, TX 78218
Google Map

The Mix

2423 N St Mary's St
San Antonio, TX 78212
Google Map

The Reggae Bar

826 San Pedro Ave
San Antonio, TX 78212
Google Map

The Squeezebox

2806 N St Mary's St
San Antonio, TX 78212
Google Map

The Thursty Turtle

1626 NE Interstate 410 Loop
San Antonio, TX 78209
Google Map

Two Rivers Tavern

13550 O'Connor Rd #3
San Antonio, TX 78233
Google Map

Web House Café & Bar

320 Blanco Rd
San Antonio, TX 78212
Google Map

Zombies

4202 Thousand Oaks Dr
San Antonio, TX 78217
Google Map

What Did We Miss?

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