Nestled amidst the vibrant Texan landscape lies a hidden world of clandestine indulgence: San Antonio’s speakeasies. These secret gems harken back to the Prohibition era, offering a unique blend of history, mystery, and mixology. Join us on a journey through the city’s best-kept secrets, where concealed entrances, vintage ambiance, and expertly crafted cocktails transport you to a bygone era of rebellion and revelry. Discover the best speakeasies in San Antonio that beckon the curious and those seeking an unforgettable night out.
1015 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: (210) 222-2008
The Hotel Havana is one of my most beloved hotels in the state for its exceptionally beautiful location and architecture. You can wile away your morning in the Ocho Lounge’s glass conservatory overlooking the Riverwalk, then spend your evenings in the basement’s speakeasy-style Havana Bar. It’s intimate and classic, with antique sofa seating and deliciously dark lighting, ideal for socializing over Santiago Painkillers and Paloma Verdes.
1142 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: (210) 463-5386
After a meal at Toro Kitchen + Bar in St. Paul Square, head downstairs to Cellar Mixology. It’s the perfect fusion of modern and vintage, with neon lights adorning their exposed brick walls and red velvet armchairs tucked next to the wooden casks. If you’re a gin drinker, order Down the Rabbit Hole with creme de cacao, blood orange liquor, and hints of cardamom and hibiscus. They also make a stellar liquid nitrogen Spicy Margarita dressed up with pineapple and ginger for something more classic.
8400 N New Braunfels Ave, San Antonio, TX 78209
Phone: (210) 605-2292
Before your next day on the green at the San Antonio Country Club, set up a reservation at RD Hidden Speakeasy behind the Barn Door Restaurant. Once you text the number, you’ll get a secret password that you’ll need to whisper through the peephole upon your arrival. Once you’re in, you’ll be treated to a selection of finger foods and a chef-curated cocktail to whet your appetite for the main event. I highly recommend a classic boulevardier with smoke-infused whiskey.
1420 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78204
Phone: (210) 227-1420
You’ll find Bar 1919 hidden away in Southtown’s Blue Star Arts Complex, down dimly-lit stairs and through a secret entrance. Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by plush leather seats, dark wood, and well-stocked liquor shelves. Their list of libations is sorted into three categories– Dollhouse, Classic, and Signature. I stuck with the Dollhouse menu and was thoroughly pleased with the Perfect 10, a gin and elderflower-based drink with hints of pear and citrus.
516 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215
Phone: (210) 901-8646
The Modernist is a mid-century-inspired speakeasy in a groovy 1920s home near The Pearl. You’ll recognize it by the avocado green paint job and bright orange door. I was delighted at all the little details, from the mod-style glass table to the eight bright green stools at the bar where Olaf Harmel works his mixology magic. I went in the winter when one of their features was a soul-warming Mezcal Toddy with passion papaya black tea.
401 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: (833) 379-1840
Two blocks south of Travis Park, in the historic Burns Building, is one of my favorite and the best speakeasies in San Antonio. Devils River Whiskey Distillery consists of four areas: a basement-level Speakeasy Lounge decked out in antique wood and vintage copper hardware. Unsurprisingly, they specialize in house-distilled whiskey cocktails, but I wasn’t expecting the incredible range of flavor profiles. I ordered the lemon-mint Born Sinner with DRQ Agave, then followed that up with a delicious Espresso Yourself Coffee Bourbon with espresso and oat milk.
20626 Stone Oak Pkwy #101, San Antonio, TX 78258
Phone: (210) 497-3722
While the Green Lantern isn’t hidden behind a secret door, its location under the 1718 Steakhouse and Bar off Stone Oak Pkwy and Vermeer offers a cozy ambiance and expert mixologists. One of my favorite things about Green Lantern is its seasonal menus. On my summer visit, I had the Velvet Oaxaca with tequila, Velvet Falternum, apricot, lime, and a red wine float. They also host Speakeasy Sundays, when you can get Prohibition-era cocktails like the Bees Knees while listening to jazz.
Basement, 229 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: (210) 305-6066
The Bunker Mixology is best described as post-apocalyptic chic, surrounded by exposed brick, and with a yellow 1952 MG as you head through their underground vault doors. While the decor is a throwback, the cocktail menu is a modern, multisensory experience inspired by artists like Michelangelo and Van Gogh. I was delighted with my selection of Rembrandt’s “The Storm of the Sea of Galileo,” with Hendricks gin, lime, cucumber sorbet, and a sweet-spicy grapefruit habanero salt rim.
155 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: (210) 222-2521
Despite the many afternoons I’ve spent at the Riverwalk, I didn’t even know that Downstairs at Esquire Tavern existed, but I’m glad someone filled me in. It’s a leather-clad vintage lounge tucked away underneath the Esquire Tavern. Given its location on the Riverwalk, ordering the Just Keep Swimming house cocktail, a gingerbread and cacao-spiced mezcal drink, seemed appropriate. My date and I enjoyed their triple chocolate birthday Equilibrium Imperial Stout.
312 Pearl Pkwy Building 6, Suite 6001, San Antonio, TX 78215
Phone: (210) 332-9386
Jazz, TX, is one of the most immersive and best speakeasies in San Antonio, I’ve enjoyed visiting in the Lone Star State. It’s in the Pearl district, nestled inside the basement of the restored 19th-century Historic Pearl Brewery. While you’re enjoying live jazz, big band, Texas swing, and blues music, you can sip on craft cocktails like Whiskey in the Shade– made with rye, lime, pineapple, and cinnamon– or the pisco-based Peruvian Lily with flavors of citrus, mango, ginger, and blanc vermouth.
540 S Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78205
If you’re in Southtown on a date night, Amor Eterno has a quiet, intimate atmosphere and an excellent menu of Tejano food courtesy of pop-up restaurant ¡Bucho! Be sure to go on a Sunday, when you can get $10 cocktails from 3 p.m. to midnight. On a friend’s recommendation, I tried the Don Martin cocktail with aged rum and a transcendent house-made coffee syrup. My partner’s Noches de Amor was a fun take on a margarita with strawberries and a splash of champagne.