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!
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: For an unforgettable night, head to Gruene Hall for a classic night of Texas fun.
Kimberly's expert tip: Buy your tickets in advance because shows can sell out quickly.
Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club should be on the top of your bucket list, especially when headlined by Jade Esteban Estrada from Bravo TV and Comedy Central. Find out when this fabulous comedian is performing in a city near you at www.getjaded.com. Each week, LOL brings in A-list top comedians fresh from LA and NY comedy clubs, Vegas showrooms, the Tonight Show, the Letterman and Jay Leno shows, HBO and Comedy Central. Centrally, located, the LOL club has free parking and is located next to the Drafthouse, so you can enjoy a good movie and dinner before heading over to the late night LOL show for some laughs and fabulous cocktails!
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: All of the best comedy acts in America stop at the LOL Club!
Kimberly's expert tip: Check the website to find out when they have their free open mic nights. They're a blast!
If you're looking for the best local dive in town for some cheap beer and entertaining patrons, Bar America is your destination. Located in San Antonio's arts district, Southtown, Bar America is frequented by artists, musicians and other interesting folks and within walking distance of some equally interesting bars. You can expect to find primarily domestic beer but at prices you haven't seen in a decade, which is why this a favorite stop for late-night partying on a budget. The jukebox and pool tables add to the cool grunge atmosphere, making this an excellent place to go after a long day of walking around the city.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Bar America is the perfect place to kick off the evening.
Kimberly's expert tip: As Bar America has been a neighborhood staple for decades, it's a must stop on a Southtown bar tour.
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.
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 its authentic and delicious tapas bar of globally-inspired dishes. Favorites might include paella or their exceptional empanadas, such as beef picadillo and poblano roasted chicken. Carmens provides the perfect intimate atmosphere for a chill evening with friends or that special someone. Friday nights they offer live Flamenco music and dancing, which is a rare find in the city. Saturday nights vary. You might hear some live world music or a showcase of singer/songwriters, for example. The point is for a one-of-a-kind low key venue for live music, Carmens should be at the top of your list, but just make sure to get there early to get a good table.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Carmen's is a great place for an intimate evening with someone special.
Kimberly's expert tip: Plan on dinner along with the live music or flamenco.
If you have time to plan ahead a romantic night out be sure to check out who is performing at the Majestic Theatre. The Majestic Theatre is San Antonio's oldest and largest atmospheric theatre. The theatre seats 2,311 people and was designed by architect John Eberson, for Karl Hoblitzelle's Interstate Theatres in 1929. This beautiful and elegant theatre is host to all the top performers from musicians such as Willie Nelson to comedians such as Aziz Ansari and Broadway shows such as Wicked. They're also home to the very talented San Antonio Symphony. Majestic Theatre San Antonio was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and also designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Majestic Theatre is a beautiful cornerstone of the city that showcases a variety of world-renowned entertainment.
Kimberly's expert tip: Wanting dinner and a show? There's a bunch of great restaurants within 100 feet of the theatre.
The East side of San Antonio just got cooler with this giant indoor/outdoor space filled with picnic tables that features craft draft beer and live music. Located next to the iconic Hays Street walking bridge, this bar is really one of the most interesting places to enjoy drinks with friends in the city. Alamo Beer also has a rich history. Years ago there was a beer called Alamo that was brewed by the Lone Star Brewing Company. The Alamo was a local's favorite made from the best barley malt, saazer hops and Texas rice. However, prohibition put an end to Alamo until the arrival of local entrepreneur, Eugene Simor. It took Simor a while but by 2003, he acquired a licensing agreement and Alamo Golden Ale was flowing on tap in the city. San Antonio supporters have followed his story and come out to support the brewery whenever they can. It helps that its good beer, good people and a fantastic location.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Alamo Beer Brewery is a gorgeous bar and facility that offers wonderful local brews and a giant outdoor patio.
Kimberly's expert tip: They offer free tours of the brewery on Thursdays at 6 pm and Saturdays at 1 pm.
This outdoor bar is the best place to hang out when the weather's perfect. While it's not a traditional sports bar as they only have one giant inflatable screen, there's nowhere better to watch the NFL games on Sunday or the always popular Spurs games. Voted by readers of the San Antonio Current as the best ice house, best michelada and best patio, The Friendly Spot is an excellent place to relax under a shade tree and enjoy any of their phenomenal beers, of which they have almost 200 selections from Texas brewers. Alamo Beer Company and Real Ale Brewing Company are among the offerings. Its location at the heart of the trendy and pedestrian-oriented King William Historic District is one of the magnets; the pet- and family-friendly environment is enhanced by the playground next door, and their bar menu's pretty good too!
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Friendly Spot is the perfect place if you're looking for a laid back place to relax with friends and family.
Kimberly's expert tip: Call ahead to make sure they're airing the game you're wanting to watch.
Perhaps San Antonio's most unique dance club, the Bonham is housed in a building that is over 120 years old. The club is known for inviting everyone to come in and be whoever you are without fear of criticism. Founded back in 1981, the original owner had a dream to launch a nightclub that was welcoming to San Antonio's LGBT community. He succeeded and today The Bonham welcomes EVERYONE. The Bonham Exchange has been in business for over 30 years. This is quite a feat for any night club. Come prepared for large crowds on the weekend with a variety of popular music. There are three levels in the club and each day of the week promotes a different 'special.'
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: If you're looking to twirl the night away on the dance floor, head to the Bonham.
Kimberly's expert tip: Check out their fan page for specials and promotions depending on which day of the week you are planning to go out.
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!