Kona Grill at La Cantera
15900 La Canter Pkwy Suite 7300
Conveniently located at La Cantera, Kona Grill is best for students who are preoccupied and halfway drudging their way through class in the morning and afternoon. Kona’s “reverse happy hour” alleviates the desperate need for a cheap drink after most of us have left class for the day. They call it “reverse” because it takes place at night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., in addition to the standard hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. that they also offer. For a college student, the unorthodox timing of drink specials makes it a rescue location when other bars are charging full price. You can’t go wrong with the sake bomb. Drinking it is the target of everyone’s “Snap story.” The music playing is indie and Top 40; you can hear the Strokes and Adele while enjoying a drink in Kona’s breezy outdoor patio. With price-slashed appetizers like sushi, avocado eggrolls, BBQ chicken flatbread and dumplings. The only draw back is portions. Definitely consider divvying up an order of several “apps” among friends, for food solidarity.
15606 Chase Hill Blvd.
12731 I-10 Frontage Rd.
If you want a dirt cheap alternative—we’re talking the money in your car’s cup holders or in between your couch cushions—Taco Cabana is the spot. From 3 p.m to 7 p.m. on a $3 dollar budget, you can order a personal bean-and-cheese nachos and a 10-ounce margarita or domestic beer for $3. Domestics are a dollar-off original menu price, and 10 oz margaritas are $1.50. If you’re with friends, the margarita pitcher prices are borderline insane. At $4.50 a piece, you feel almost criminal having one — they’re usually $14.95. The food is up there in the best available options for inexpensive but still tasty. Drink on a budget, sacrifice nothing.
516 Brooklyn Ave.
Located in the downtown area of San Antonio, this bar guarantees atmosphere. It’s an ideal location for a date you want to get to know without muddying noise drowning out conversation. The decor is simple, but provides its own classy vibe with small, divided sections with Victorian furniture, massive chandeliers hanging in the center of the room and wallpapers with subtle patterns. The bar’s claim to fame is “Tiki Tuesdays” when the bartenders take it up a notch and make classic one of a kind specialty cocktails featuring fresh fruits, such as “Only God Forgives,” “The Shrunken Skull,” and the “Sidewinders Fang.” The Guardian called this place “the epicenter of San Antonio’s cocktail culture” for a reason. It demands you scope it out, wearing your best clothes.
2801 N. St. Mary’s St.
TBA represents a zenith achievement in the “hole in the wall” genre. The bar is located across the street from the male dancers club “Hardbodies” on San Antonio’s well tread and infamous “St. Mary’s Strip.” TBA’s facade has that initially striking outdoor cage of a patio with a view of the street, but it’s interior offers a laid back, cool, no pressure, casual environment. The staff banters with patrons, but somehow still manage with a kind of sly magic to pop open beers and make flavorful cocktails without missing a beat or angering an impatient crowd. The music is usually indie, like Built to Spill and Grandaddy to name a pair of bands. While hunched on your stool, it’s definitely not a place to brood on gloomy feelings. Instead, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., it’s place the phrase “just hang out” was made for. (Tell Evan that Alex sent you!)
6851 N Loop 1604 W
Located at 1604 and Chase Hill, Deol is a bar without much hassle — the quick and dirty option for students not wanting to drive far out, but still desiring to get toasty for an inexpensive price. It’s a no-frills college bar. The place is a dependably there, and for that alone it deserves note. Expect the place to be an almost exclusively college crowd, with the music playing the trendiest on the radio. It’s a dive bar and has the expected but still appreciated offerings: pool tables, karaoke and appetizers. Less than a mile from campus, Deol is no logistical trouble; it’s the spot you go to when you want a drink and the affectations of other more dressed bars. Don’t count it out!