Live Music in San Antonio Will Rock Your World!

Traditionally, San Antonio has not made a name for itself because of its live music scene, but then again, San Antonio is often extremely underrated. In truth, you can actually discover some fantastic music here that's on par with anything you'd hear on the radio. Girl In A Coma, a band who signed on a few years ago with Joan Jett's label and has since been on tour overseas with Morrissey, has played in numerous venues across San Antonio and still claims it's their favorite city to play in. San Antonio will surprise you with their mix of music and venues, from the iconic Gruene Hall, which has seen the likes of Willy Nelson and George Strait to Carmens de la Calle Cafe, where you can expect to hear anything from flamenco to jazz. The Cove is a popular place to hear all kinds of local music and the Bharmacy is just a great place to hang out, grab a drink and relax with good music and even better friends. If you're on the look out for that cool speakeasy-type joint where you can impress all your friends, head on down to Southtown 101 for a neat little cocktail or foreign brew and listen to some live music, possibly a D.J. or funky cool band. Sound good?

10 Durty Nelly's Pub
Durty Nelly's doesn't offer traditional live music, but it just might be the most fun you've had in years! This genuine Irish pub, located right on the Riverwalk, is a tourist favorite. Even locals looking for a rowdy evening go to Durty Nelly's for the piano bar. This great little pub is a replica of the orginal Durty Nelly's in Ireland and dates back to 1620. This bar is always hoppin' so make sure to get in early to find a good seat. If you're looking for some nosh, Durty Nelly's has some good eats, including Fish & Chips, Jalepeno Poppers, Irish Fries, Wings, a Grilled Reuben, Shepard's Pie and more. What better way to spend your evening than with a frosty pint and a good sing-a-long?! ((210) 224-3343)

9 White Rabbit
The White Rabbit is one of only a few alternative rock venues in San Antonio, and one of the only ones large enough to have a raised stage. Some of their upcoming shows will showcase For the Fallen Dreams, Hudredth, Upon This Dawning, Sworn In and Wolves at the Gate. White Rabbit typically attracts a mostly young crowd to its black‑lit recesses but it's an excellent choice for a rowdy fun evening. As for food and drink, they offer an on-site bar and pizza shop that's not half bad when you're hungry. (210-737-2221)

8 The Korova
The Korova showcases national bands as well as local bands - a sweet selection of genres, from local D.J.'s to nostalgic punk rock bands. This stylish little joint doesn't get the biggest names, but they do feature up-and-coming artists as well as ones you may remember from your heyday. The cover is usually reasonable, as are the drinks, and they have a main stage on the ground floor as well as a small stage in the basement, that usually hosts local groups. The door people are fantastic, and the bartenders are amazing! If you need more reasons to like The Korova, you'll have to find out for yourself! ((210) 226-5070)

7 Cowboys Dancehall
Go to Cowboys Dancehall for some boot-stomping fun and authentic live Texas music! They are located on the northeast side of San Antonio and are probably the largest and most impressive music venue in the city. Besides great music and country dancing, Cowboys sports an indoor rodeo arena where you can see live events, such as professional bull riding. You'll want to plan ahead so you can buy your tickets early because many of their concerts feature well-known artists of all genres so they sell out fast. If your shy or out of practice, be sure to take advantage of Cowboys' dance lessons. (210-646-9378)

6 Olmos Bharmacy
Olmos Bharmacy is a local's favorite for good food and live music. Back in the "old days," this place was a Pharmacy, built in 1938, that was eventually turned into a restaurant. Now, when you walk into the Olmos Bharmacy, it's like walking into the past. You sit at the counter with a glass of wine, Belgian beer, or even a homemade milkshake, and it feels like you walked into the past. The Art Moderne style of the new exterior was considered quite daring for the area at the time, and today the building is considered an architectural treasure. The Bharmacy showcases a nice variety of live music, from Small World Jazz Jam on Mondays to Rod Campbell's Celtic Jam on Thursdays. ((210) 822-1188)

5 Carmens de la Calle Cafe
Carmens de la Calle Cafe is a colorful European-inspired cafe with live entertainment every weekend. Some might call this place cramped but with their sexy ambiance and warm decor, you don't really care. Carmens is also known for their authentic and delicious tapas bar. Favorites include paella, Moroccan-style sausage and figs, Matador steak over couscous and their exceptional empanadas, which come in about a half a dozen different varieties such as beef picadillo and Poblano roasted chicken. For a special date or evening out, Carmens should be at the top of your list, but just make sure to get there early so get a good table. (210-737-8272)

4 Sam's Burger Joint
Many people in San Antonio claim that Sam's Burger Joint is the best place to see live music. In fact, for the second straight year, they have been awarded BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUE by San Antonio Magazine. In terms of a good ol' relaxed place to kick back and grab a great burger while enjoying some live music with your buddies, Sam's Burger joint is the joint! They have a fairly large venue for concerts that sits behind the diner-style restaurant. Throughout the years, they've seen some great acts blow through, including local legend, Girl In A Coma, who are on their way to international acclaim. ((210) 223-2830)

3 Southtown 101
If you're looking for a place with a cool vibe in a cool space, Southtown 101 is it! This hip little joint features some interesting local music, including D.J.'s. They have an incredible beer selection for brew aficionados and happens to be one of the only bars in Southtown that offers liquor. The interior is lovely, with lounge seating and awesome artwork in a smoky, romantic atmosphere. They've also got a great patio, which offers some shade from the heat, if you go out before sundown. They also have a small dance floor, but this place is more like a speakeasy where you can simply have a drink and enjoy some good music. (210-263-9880)

2 Gruene Hall
Although Gruene Hall is located outside the city limits of San Antonio, it's worth the extra gas to get to what has now become an iconic venue. Built in 1878, Gruene Hall is considered the oldest running dance hall in Texas, and the Central Texas birthplace to many famous songwriters and musicians, including George Strait, Ace in the Hole, Jerry Jeff Walker, Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, Robert Earl Keen, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Hal Ketchum, Bruce and Charlie Robison, and many more. This is the place to put your boots on (or an excuse to buy some if you don't already have a pair), grab your guy or gal and head on down for an evening to remember! (830-606-1281)

1 The Cove
The Cove is quickly becoming one of the most popular venues for local live music in San Antonio because of their relaxed atmosphere, great food and quality entertainment. This is the kind of place that looks like it belongs in a movie. This one-of-a-kind restaurant, beer garden, live music venue is also, strangely, a Laundromat and carwash. The picnic-style seating, both inside and out, make for a very casual yet intimate atmosphere that is both family-friendly and dive bar-esque at the same time. Expect to hear some great local bands every night of the week (except for when they're closed on Mondays), including big jazz bands, folk music, country and more. The menu is exceptional with a care for using local, organic ingredients, grass-feed beef and the like. ((210) 227-2683)

Kimberly A. Suta is a professional freelance writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur with a background in marketing, advertising and social media. Her first business, Midnight Sun Innovations, involved a partnership with Regal Cinemas, the largest theatre chain in the world. Kimberly has written, directed and produced several films that have screened at Texas film festivals and she produces an annual film competition at the popular Alamo Drafthouse theatre. She recently published her second novel, The Rain Queen, which can be found on Kimberly currently lives and works in San Antonio, Texas, a place of much inspiration to her.

Read more about Kimberly Suta here.

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Maps and Directions

Durty Nelly's Pub 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Live Entertainment, Pub
Neighborhood: River Walk
White Rabbit 10Best List Arrow
Type: Live Music
Neighborhood: Monte Vista
The Korova 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cowboys Dancehall 10Best List Arrow
Type: Dance Club, Live Music
Neighborhood: San Antonio
Carmens de la Calle Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Type: Live Music
Neighborhood: Monte Vista
Southtown 101 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Live Music
Neighborhood: Southtown
Gruene Hall 10Best List Arrow
Type: Dance Club, Live Music
Neighborhood: Gruene
The Cove 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Live Entertainment, Live Music, Pub
Neighborhood: Downtown