San Antonio's Best Bars and Hangs for the College Crowd 

Happy Hour

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When a case of the homework blues comes pouring down and all the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos in the world and a borrowed Netflix account can’t remedy intense stress, it’s time to do what college kids do best: party. Everyone in college, even freshly minted 21-year-olds, deserves a break at one point or another, lest they crack under the pressure of homework, essays and studying. Unlike the rebellious high school days, getting a light — or hardcore — buzz between classes is sometimes just part of the experience. If you’re not a boozer, there are still plenty of chillax-worthy hangouts where live music can be heard, art can be admired and fun can be had. Because San Antonio has a good amount of private and public schools, you can find good college-friendly bars across town. Have your ID on hand and Uber app downloaded, here are our picks for the top college bars and hangouts:

The Friendly Spot
Located in the historic King William neighborhood, The Friendly Spot has plenty to offer for the broke college student and non-drinkers. Free Wi-Fi lets you finish that tedious term paper while chowing down on flavorful Mexican and pub food. Friendly Spot’s daily specials, including $5 mimosas all day every Saturday and Sunday, and more than 300 varieties of beer, make the classic Texas Ice House the ideal chill zone. Open Monday-Friday 3pm-midnight, Saturday-Sunday 11am-midnight, 943 S. Alamo St., (210) 224-2337

Viva Taco Land
Known for its cheap, boozy drinks and even cheaper brews, the low-key hangout Viva Taco Land (a reinvention of iconic punk venue Taco Land) is one of the few no-frills joints around the Pearl. At night, you might encounter local artists painting in the courtyard or musicians jamming out. More importantly, Viva Taco Land hosts a Mario Kart game night, a young adult favorite. Because it’s open until 2 a.m., Viva Taco Land is perfect for students with late-night classes, or just looking for a hassle-free study break. Open Monday-Friday 4pm-2am, Saturday-Sunday 2pm-2am, 103 W Grayson St., (210) 368-2443

Draught Emporium
Compared to downtown universities Trinity, Incarnate Word and St. Mary’s, UTSA can feel like it’s in the middle of nowhere. While the heart of San Antonio has no shortage of hot spots, there are also plenty of options out on the edge of town. Fort Worth franchise bar Flying Saucer Draught Emporium is close to the campus and even closer to cool. Three-dollar beer specials are offered daily, and happy hour (4-7pm Monday-Friday) means $1 off all drafts. The bar is also home to a full menu of pub grub, ranging from deluxe hamburgers to mild-to-spicy chicken wings. Open Monday-Thursday 11am-1am, Friday-Saturday 11am–2am, Sunday 12pm-12am, 11255 Huebner Road, (210) 696-5080

Sparky’s Pub
LGBT favorite Sparky’s Pub is a laid-back place to get your drink and grub on. Nestled behind San Antonio College and neighboring hot spots such as Heat, Knockout and Pegasus, Sparky’s is an exciting stalwart of the Main Strip. A self-described “Old English style pub,” they’ve got a wide variety of beer, plus a wine bar and café. Whether you’re looking to club hop or seeking to energize a sleepy study session, Sparky’s Pub has your back. Open Monday-Sunday 11am-2am, 1416 N. Main Ave, (210) 320-5111

Vapure Lounge
A different kind of chill is E-Cig, vape and hookah headquarters Vapure Lounge. Along with hookah flavors ranging from “Banana Milk” to “Fro-Yo,” the hangout also hosts weekly live music, comedy shows and art vendors. Whether you have to catch up on Hemingway for English or do life drawing in a sketchbook, a night at Vapure Lounge is sure to be laid-back and stress-free. Open Sunday-Thursday 4pm–12am, Friday-Saturday 4pm–2am, 5431 Grissom Road., (210) 455-8568

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