With 17 beers on tap, standard and tournament-sized pool tables, and a TV playing the big game, it's back to basics at Joey's. Keeping things simple has made this St. Mary's bar a longstanding success. College students and neighborhood regulars lend a laid-back vibe to the proceedings. Grab a seat on the rooftop deck if the weather's nice, or get the best view of the television from the second-floor balcony. With reasonable drink prices and better-than-average food, Joey's is always a good bet.

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Broadway 50 50 (cleverly located at 5050 Broadway) treats locals to exposed brickwork, plasma TVs, and a Pulp Fiction-inspired menu. An eclectic mix of folks from the -09 neighborhood (that's Alamo Heights, zip code 78209) frequents this friendly hangout, accented with taxidermic delights and diner-style booths. Catch some local music on Friday and Saturday nights – styles range from alternative rock to jazz and salsa. Pool tables and arcade games offer diversions when bands have the night off. Perfect for a laid-back evening with friends.

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Monte Vista

Superior drink specials on pitchers and cocktails, pool and foosball tables, and occasional live bands make Mix a nighttime favorite.

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Asia, Scotland, and a whole bunch of college kids meet up at Mad Dogs, whose original location is in Hong Kong. The bustling pub serves traditional fish and chips along with some surprising vegan options. Past events like Beach Party and Boogie Night are proven crowd-pleasers. Bring your friends and try to cram into the authentic red telephone booth – you'll fit right in.

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