San Antonio, Texas is something of a featherweight when it comes to its rooftop bars. Really, we aren’t exactly going to make any “best of” list for this category. And that’s due to our approach toward growth. We're more outward than upward, which means we just don’t have the city skyline or buildings that truly make for great rooftop bar locations. But what we lack in quantity, we certainly make up for in quality as the rooftop bars we do have offer some of the best views in all the city. And when you pair a dramatic view with a refreshing cocktail, you’re in for an evening of sheer delight. Here are the 5 best rooftop bars in San Antonio, plus a few honorable mentions that are rooftop-ish.
Rooftop Bars in San Antonio for Drinks with a View
The Moon’s Daughters
High atop the luxury Thompson Hotel in downtown San Antonio is the rooftop bar, the Moon’s Daughters. This indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge boasts gorgeous views of the Alamo city from its 20th story vantage point. Bar décor pays homage to the Greek goddess of the moon with lots of shimmering lights, twinkling stars, and modern art.
The Moon’s Daughter is a full service bar with beer, wine, and classic cocktails available, along with a decent sized food menu. Given its location in a pricey hotel, drinks here follow suit with cocktails coming in around the $16 mark.
Given this bar’s popularity, we highly recommend you make reservations in advance as it does tend to fill up especially on the weekends or when the weather is lovely outside (which is about 8 months out of the year!).
If you’re going for sheer altitude, there’s no better place than Bar 601, a rooftop bar that lies at the top of the Tower of the Americas. This 750-ft. tall radio tower is the only place in SA where guests can get stellar 360° views of the city from the bar at the top.
This modern bar has a small food menu and a respectable cocktail menu with both traditional drinks and house specialties. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, head on up during happy hour Mondays through Fridays between 4:30pm and 7pm for $4-$10 eats (we’re talking lobster tartare and prime rib sliders) and an array of $7 cocktails including the popular pomegranate mojito and pomegranate martini.
Photo Credit: Yelp Jason W.
Keep in mind that this bar is on the smaller side and does not take reservations, so you need to be prepared for the possibility of a wait – and a lengthy one at that. To avoid the crowds, try visiting on weekdays between 1pm-4pm when the lunch crowds have already departed and the happy hour crowds haven’t yet arrived.
Paramour at the Phipps
Photo Credit: Yelp Paramour Bar
Paramour at the Phipps is kind of an outlier among the rooftop bars in San Antonio. This quirky and colorful 4th-floor bar is as much about the community you keep as it is about the cocktails you drink. So, while you aren’t as likely to have your breath stolen by the views (you can see downtown, but a 4th-floor view simply cannot match a 20th-floor view), you will find yourself among good friends and good drinks. And sometimes that is all that’s required for a good night.
Photo Credit: Yelp Melanie V.
Located north of downtown on a quieter part of the San Antonio Riverwalk, Paramour is eclectically outfitted in oversized puffy chairs, bright colors, and lighted signs imploring you to “Speak Like Hemingway'' and “Party Like Gatsby.” The off-the-wall vibe makes Paramour a particularly enjoyable and unique place.
Paramour’s bar menu is an absolute beast that seems to go on for days and is whimsically categorized by what Paramour believes are the 5 stages of a successful relationship: Vulnerability, Trust, Pleasure, Agony, and Fulfillment. Cocktails here come in around $18/drink and bar food averages about $20/dish.
Photo Credit: Facebook 1Watson
1Watson has a storied history dating back to 1872 and includes tales of intrigue, gun fights, bar brawls, poker, and vaudeville. While 1Watson today is considerably more high-brow and way less bawdy and violent, its distinctly old-west origin story as well as its location make it one of the best rooftop bars in San Antonio by a long shot.
Located atop the AC Hotel by Marriott San Antonio Riverwalk, 1Watson is 15 stories up with extensive city views (especially in a westerly direction so come for your gorgeous sunset photos). Cozy fire pits bring the whole aesthetic together resulting in a comfortable and refined experience. 1Watson does accept reservations with a two-hour time limit and entrance to the bar is external to the hotel.
Photo Credit: Facebook 1Watson
1Watson’s alcohol offerings are more than sufficient, with craft cocktails, a wine list, and beers on draft, all at prices that are comparable to the rest of the Riverwalk. They also offer a small number of shared plates available until 11pm and a Saturday/Sunday brunch for those who like to day drink while taking in all the sunny days this great city affords.
Fairmount Rooftop Oyster Bar and Terrace
Photo Credit: Yelp Maitina M.
The Fairmount Rooftop Oyster Bar (owned and operated by Silo Elevated Cuisine), located on the 4th floor roof of the Fairmount Hotel in the heart of downtown, is a great option for those looking to enjoy their libations in a relaxed location with wonderful views of Hemisfair Park and the Tower of the Americas.
The Fairmount rooftop bar showcases an al fresco terrace area with partial shade, and lots of comfortable seating. When it comes to bites, as it is with many of Silo’s properties, it’s all about the oysters so grab a plate and order your favorite cocktail and enjoy the views.
If you’re still looking for more great options for rooftop bars in San Antonio, be sure to check out Sanchos Cantina & Cocina, Rosario’s Comidamex and Bar, and Bar America. All three are technically rooftop bars but given that the rooftops they are on are only 2-3 stories up, they lack the amazing views of the other properties.
That said, if you like grittier, more rough-around-the-edges type bars, these should definitely be your go-tos. You won’t find the breathtaking views of the Riverwalk bars, but you will find good company and good drinks, and all at reasonable price points. And maybe that’s enough.
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