Things to Do in San Antonio at Night

From Parisian vibes to cowboy kicks, SA's nightlife has it all!

San Antonio is a little bit of this and a little bit of that, with a lot in between. The nightlife can be as thrilling or chill as you wish it to be. Whether you're looking for a special place to take a new love or a bunch of old friends, read on to find out what this top tourist town has in store for you!

The city's east side is growing by leaps and bounds with new restaurants and entertainment options. Pastiche is one of the newest venues to open its doors. Located unexpectedly along Houston Street, just a few minutes from downtown, this Parisian-themed cocktail bar is a true gem, with extraordinary handcrafted cocktails unlike anything else in town, a super cozy lounge area and a friendly kitty to meow away those blues, if you happen to be drinking by yourself. Throw in a library and a funky backyard patio, and you might just feel like you've found your home away from home. 

It's always fun to explore the local arts and theater, and few can give you a taste of the talent here more than the Overtime Theater. Local writers, actors and crew work tirelessly together to bring people a truly unique entertainment experience. The Saturday night improv group is also a ton of fun and the most bang for your buck!


For a relaxed atmosphere with great gluten-free food, including burgers, and great entertainment, The Cove has become one of the most popular places in town to grab a drink and a meal. 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, makes 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 care for using local, organic ingredients, grass-fed beef and the like.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: With an indoor and outdoor venue, Cove is the perfect place to enjoy some local music and great eats.

Kimberly's expert tip: Bring your dogs, bring your kids and get in on those fish tacos! Be aware, seating is first come, first serve.

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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.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: You can't visit San Antonio without putting on those cowboy boots and kicking up your heels, and this is the place to do it!

Kimberly's expert tip: Cowboys Dancehall offers free dance lessons throughout the week. Make sure to check their website for availability.

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The warm, LGBT-friendly atmosphere abounds at this coffeehouse, where you can relax on the patio with friends from work or stake out one of Candlelight's comfy couches. Thanks to a reasonably priced but thorough selection of coffees and a range of tasty desserts (including Italian cream cake), the neighborhood hangout is a stylish after-dinner choice. Sandwiches, beer, and wine are also available. In fact they have an admirable wine list. Candlelight is an inexpensive option that has been around for decades and provides a uniquely intimate and relaxing atmosphere. It's a great place to mingle and make some new friends.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: With a great wine list, not to mention coffee and a tasty menu, Candlelight is a hot spot for a romantic date or group outing.

Kimberly's expert tip: Candlelight is known for their decadent desserts!

Read more about Candlelight Coffee House and Wine Bar →

River Walk
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Travel + Leisure ranked the San Antonio River Walk as the #1 River Walk in America. Also known as Paseo del Rio, this major tourist attraction brings in over five million visitors a year. Delight yourself with a relaxing dinner at one of the numerous restaurants or cafes that line the river. Spice it up by visiting one of the numerous night spots or enjoying the sounds of mariachis and other live music. Adults and children enjoy floating on river boats piloted by San Antonio's humorous tour guides. The River Walk is the perfect place to hang out with family or sit quietly with your date while you enjoy the sounds of a bubbling waterfall.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The River Walk is a must for great food, excellent drinks and a lot of fun with old friends and new.

Kimberly's expert tip: With an abundance of restaurants, bars, clubs and more along the river walk, it's a great place to get lost on an adventure. It's also fun to people watch, so don't worry if you have a small budget.

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Shrinking violets beware: With two dueling piano players, a raucous atmosphere, and audience participation near 100%, Howl at the Moon is a great place to let loose. Musicians keep things boisterous with witty banter, good-natured ribbing, and familiar tunes that all seem to be crowd favorites. Get your courage up with tube or jello shots or an old-fashioned mixed bucket of beers. A mainstay of younger crowds, the bar also pulls in business travelers on a quest for a good time. Located in a hub of bars and restaurants, Howl at the Moon is a fun place to stop at along the way.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Howl at the Moon has been a favorite place for locals to bring their out of town friends, as your guaranteed a lot of laugh.

Kimberly's expert tip: An ideal destination for big groups who want to do something a little different in a high energy environment.

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The Tobin Center is a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose 1,759-seat (2,100-seat with flat-floor configuration) performance hall, a 250-seat studio theater, and an outdoor performance plaza connected to the river walk with a permanent 30 foot video wall and water taxi portal. The building itself is an architectural accomplishment. The Tobin is situated along the banks of the river walk and within walking distance of some of the city's finest hotels, such as the Havana Hotel and Tropicana, as well as San Antonio's enchilada-colored library and many fantastic restaurants. What was once a historic Municipal Auditorium, with its original facade preserved, has been transformed into an incredible venue that will be a huge draw for acts of all kinds, from opera to music and A-list comedians and speakers. A wide variety of stellar acts and performers can always be seen at the Tobin!

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Tobin is a world-class venue that showcases a variety of top entertainment.

Kimberly's expert tip: Check out their online calendar to buy tickets in advance.

Read more about Tobin Center for the Performing Arts →

Burleson Yard Beer Garden
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Located on the east side of downtown, Burleson Yard Beer Garden is simply one of the most enjoyable venues in all of downtown San Antonio. Although they have an indoor bar, this is the preeminent place to go when you just want to kick back outside with your friends and a few brews. Bring your dog, kids, parents or co-workers - the vibe is always super chill. They have a ginormous patio, a stage for live music or a DJ, ping pong tables and a wide variety of libations, from beer (of course) to creative cocktails. As a bonus, they offer food, whether its in-house or from one of the many popular local food trucks. The staff is always friendly and it seems so are the guests. Everyone's here just to have a good time! A local's favorite, it's also a great place to get in on a fun event, featuring San Antonio chefs or holiday celebrations.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: A fun place to hang with friends and enjoy a few drinks and bites, ping pong and live music, on their outdoor patio.

Kimberly's expert tip: The margaritas are cheap and oh, so good! Sample the watermelon or strawberry for the ultimate refreshment.

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Jazz, TX
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

There's something quite magical about Jazz, TX with its stellar live music, cool speakeasy vibe, out-of-this-world cocktails and incredible food. It simply hits on every note! Located in the basement of the once bottling plant, now a food hall, at the Pearl Brewery, stepping into this jazz joint is like stepping back and forward in time all at once. There's nothing else like it in San Antonio, perhaps, in the entire state of Texas. Doc Watkins is the star of this show - a jazz artist, pianist, and singer. When he takes the stage, he lights up the room and sings an array of classic tunes across genres. You can also find some traveling acts here, but there's a primary focus on local, very talented, musicians. Jazz, TX is the purest definition of "dinner and a show!"

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Visitors from near or far love Jazz, TX. It's a truly unique experience in San Antonio, perhaps all of Texas.

Kimberly's expert tip: Check out their midnight show for late night fun!

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The Overtime Theater
Photo courtesy of Bryan Ortiz

San Antonio's Overtime Theater may be the only theater house in town dedicated to featuring original works written by ingenious San Antonio writers and played by talented San Antonio actors. Every performance is a collaboration of true heart, blood, sweat and immense creativity. The Overtime has some exciting upcoming performances and is always open on Saturday nights for their hilarious Improv troupe! They consider themselves the "theater for the people," and it must be working because they've won the San Antonio Current readers' favorite theater award for four years in a row now. You'll find everything from community-based plays, science-fiction and superhero epic adventures, broad comedy, gritty realism, and especially that which hasn't been seen before. The Overtime Theater may just be creating the freshest, hottest live theater in San Antonio!

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Overtime Theater features original and inventive plays and entertainment created by local artists.

Kimberly's expert tip: Improv with "The Denials," the oldest running group in San Antonio, is on Saturday nights at 10:30 pm. Tickets only $8 or $5 with any main stage show.

Read more about The Overtime Theater →

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Get a sip of Paris at one of San Antonio's newest cocktail bars, located on the burgeoning east side close to downtown proper, Pastiche is setting the bar high for nightlife revelry that's both classy and cozy. The owner, a brilliant mixologist, has transformed this intimate cottage into a bar that makes you feel at home with comfy couches, elegant and eclectic decor, French music and even a resident kitty who happily greets and interacts with guests. He has also created a clever menu of cocktails that will shock and delight your palate, including one-of-a-kind libations and familiar drinks with handcrafted twists such as a Dirty Martini, Pompadour and Ethereal. They like to say the glassware is as unique as the drinks, and makes the experience all the more enjoyable. For non-drinkers, you can partake of a nice cup of tea while perusing the books in their library. It's the perfect place to go to lounge and dive into deep conversations with your friends.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Pastiche is a new Paris-inspired cocktail bar on the growing east side and unlike anything else in San Antonio.

Kimberly's expert tip: Grab a cocktail and sit outside on their lovely outdoor patio. It feels just like you're visiting one of your artist friend's homes.

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Meet Kimberly Suta

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,...  More About Kimberly