Explore the Monte Vista Area in San Antonio for This Evening's Escapades

If you're new to San Antonio, you're likely to stick to the downtown area, but then you'd be missing out. There's a whole world outside of downtown that's worth exploring. Let's start with the Monte Vista area.

This beautiful neighborhood is filled with beautiful houses, trees and a variety of great bars, restaurants and shops. For your evening adventures, there's no need to go anywhere else. 

Start your night off at Tribeca for some Happy Hour drinks and eats. They have great discounts on beer, wine and cocktails, as well as all you can eat snacks, and this place knows how to make excellent food!

Next, just up the road you can stop in at the Thirsty Camel for some live entertainment, dancing or Karaoke and a few more drinks with friends. 

If you're looking for some serious party time, head south to the HEAT and get lost in the music and the beat at this LGBT nightclub with the most hopping dance floor (not to mention multiple bars) in town!


Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Barbaro isn't just any pizza joint, think of it more as a pizza speakeasy, a neighborhood bar that features craft beer and absolutely fantastic pizza, salads and desserts showcasing the finest ingredients in combinations you wouldn't come up with on your own but make perfect sense once they're on your palette. The well -known Elisabeth Forsythe is at the helm of Barbaro's bar and is an expert mixologist. Barbaro is the best place in Monte Vista to go for the food and stay for the drinks! Located next to Lilly's cookies on McCullough, it's yet another brilliant culinary creation birthed by the restaurateurs of The Monterey and Hot Joy. These folks have developed a very loyal following for their hand-crafted food and drinks. Barbaro is also surprisingly family-friendly.

Recommended for Monte Vista's Best Nightlife because: Barbaro is one of the few bars located directly in the neighborhood, and thankfully, the best.

Kimberly's expert tip: If you don't drink, no worries, try the amazing egg creams!

Read more about Barbaro →

Bonham Exchange
Photo courtesy of Bonham Exchange

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 GLBT 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 Monte Vista's Best Nightlife because: Bonham is a wonderful place to go dancing with friends or meet new people.

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.

Read more about Bonham Exchange →

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 Monte Vista's Best Nightlife because: For a casual hangout in a beautiful setting with good wine and food, Candlelight is perfect.

Kimberly's expert tip: Sit outside on their beautiful patio!

Read more about Candlelight Coffee House and Wine Bar →

The Last Word
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

If you like a low-lit, intimate atmosphere that feels like a modern day speakeasy, then The Last Word might just be the bar for you. This beautiful new venue serves up some of the city's finest handcrafted cocktails, beer and wine in the growing popular downtown area. Devised by cocktail expert, Jeret Pena and The Boulevardier Group, also of The Brooklynite and Stay Golden Social House, The Last Word is a sophisticated, classy but relaxed space to enjoy true craftsmanship along with your friends or that someone special. They're so cool they even have cocktails on tap - such as the 404 made with Absolut Vodka, lemon juice, St. Elder and Aperol.

Recommended for Monte Vista's Best Nightlife because: The Last Word is one of the newer bars and makes exceptional craft cocktails.

Kimberly's expert tip: These bartenders know to to make an exceptional craft cocktail.

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HEAT calls themselves the #1 dance club in town. In fact, HEAT Nightclub is more than just a dance club. It is also a night time entertainment venue for San Antonio's LGBT community. The club is described as 'sprawling' and features a video room, dance area, large bar and an outdoor patio that is heated during the winter months. Open Wednesday through Saturday, you'll find entertaining shows and a talented cast of performers including the former Miss Gay USofA. They are known for offering great drink specials and are a popular place to go for eye candy. If you love watching hot guys dance, head to HEAT!

Recommended for Monte Vista's Best Nightlife because: HEAT has been a hot spot for years for late night dancing and partying.

Kimberly's expert tip: This club will sometimes stay open after 3:00 am so if you get a late start and want to stay out later, this may be a good option.

Read more about HEAT Nightclub →


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. They have a cozy bar, but a giant game room, big enough for your entire tribe of friends and family. 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.

Recommended for Monte Vista's Best Nightlife because: Joey's is a regular joint for people who want to relax and have fun.

Kimberly's expert tip: They have shuffleboard!

Read more about Joey's →

Tribeca 212
Photo courtesy of Yvonne Deleon

Tribeca is an excellent choice for a casual and cozy Happy Hour, which they offer every Monday through Saturday between 4 and 7 pm. This includes an $18 bottle of wine or $5 glass, $3 domestic beer, $4 import beer, $3 well drinks, $5 Cinco Vodka martinis (Dirty, Cucumber and Ginger), as well as $10 carafes of Long Island Iced Tea, Margarita or Sangria. Not a bad way to start out your evening! If you've got the munchies, you're in luck, as Tribeca is one of the hot eateries in the Olmos Park and Monte Vista area. Enjoy all-you-can-eat truffle fries with bacon aioli, chicken wings, Southwestern Hummus with pita and veggies, fried pickles and peppers and a mini iceberg salad. Oh, and did we mention it's $5 off any pizza? Enjoy!

Recommended for Monte Vista's Best Nightlife because: Tribeca is an upscale full-service restaurant and bar that hits the spot every time. You can also relax out on the patio.

Kimberly's expert tip: The fries are a must for a great bar snack!

Read more about Tribeca 212 →

Even if you're not a member of the LGBT community, this fabulous bar has become a local's favorite from college students to professionals. They're conveniently located near downtown right along the strip, where you'll find an assortment of other bars and nightclubs. Sparky's has a warm, inviting yet casual atmosphere and sports two outdoor patios. They offer an extensive wine list and selection of drinks. It's the perfect place to go to grab a late lunch. They have a quaint little cafe attached to the bar that serves a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches and homemade desserts. If you're travelling alone, this is the place to go to plant yourself on a barstool and make some new friends.

Recommended for Monte Vista's Best Nightlife because: Sparky's is a great place to meet friends for happy hour or later for mingling.

Kimberly's expert tip: Ask to sample some of their fine wines before you make your final decision.

Read more about Sparky's Pub →

Photo courtesy of TBA

TBA is a concept that is certainly unique for the San Antonio scene. TBA stands for "To Be Announced," and in terms of this snazzy little snack bar and cocktail lounge, it means that there's no telling what exciting concoctions Chef James Moore and your bartender will be titillating you with on any given night. The bar doesn't even sport a sign because, well, just because it's cooler for you to go in and find out on your own without some silly sign telling you what to expect! But we'll tell you what to expect, and it's a bunch of awesomeness in the form of craft cocktails and small batches of infusions such as Serrano and cilantro infused tequila and cardamom infused bourbon that will tempt even non-bourbon lovers to drink it neat. As for snacks, think elevated bar snacks such as grilled gourmet sandwiches, charcuterie and pickled okra. They're open on fantasy Sundays for football, offer a boutique wine list, beer by the bottle and even have a patio where you can enjoy those fabulous drinks outside on a warm Texas evening. Somebody serve us up a Mint Julep, stat!

Recommended for Monte Vista's Best Nightlife because: TBA always offers folks a good time in a relaxed yet upscale atmosphere.

Kimberly's expert tip: This is the perfect place to go for a chill evening out with friends - good music, great vibe!

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Just a short drive from the airport, North Star Mall and the San Antonio Zoo, you'll also find an option for your night life and dancing. The Thirsty Camel has been totally remodeled and also prides itself on providing a safe location. Parking features plenty of lighting for more security at night. Drink prices are less expensive here than at some of the places on the Riverwalk. Thirsty Camel provides an art lounge for relaxing and two outdoor patios to enjoy the evening. You'll also find some great live music and talented DJ's at The Thirsty Camel, not to mention some Karaoke for some retro enjoyment.

Recommended for Monte Vista's Best Nightlife because: The Thirsty Camel is a popular bar hop stop in the neighborhood to drink, sing and dance!

Kimberly's expert tip: Be sure to check the club's Facebook page as they announce nightly specials and promotions.

Read more about The Thirsty Camel →


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