Best Of 2022

Best Hotel Bar

Winner: The Moon's Daughters

The Thompson Hotel

115 Lexington Ave.

(210) 942-6032

themoonsdaughters.com

The appeal of the indoor-outdoor bar atop the Thompson Hotel on San Antonio's River Walk may primarily come down to its view, especially at night, when the bar dims and the city comes alive with lights. But there's more to The Moon's Daughters. The rooftop drinkery's small cocktail menu is plenty enticing, and a curated selection of Texas craft beers skews toward San Antonio-area brews. The Mediterranean-inspired food menu includes appetizers and a few entrees, while the offerings expand from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to feature brunch items including shakshuka and a lobster scramble.

2. Menger Bar

The Menger Hotel

204 Alamo Plaza

(210) 223-4361

mengerhotel.com

3. Ocho

Hotel Havana

1015 Navarro St.

(210) 222-2008

havanasanantonio.com

Nightlife

Illuminados, Hays Street Bridge, 803 N. Cherry St. Artist: Los Dos

Winner: The Bonham Exchange

411 Bonham St.

(210) 224-9219

bonhamexchange.com

If Pose emcee Pray Tell, immortalized by Billy Porter, was tasked with distilling the Bonham Exchange into a single ballroom category, he might come up with something along the lines of "Gay Disco with a Side of Historical Realness." Although Porter isn't among the stars who have graced the multilevel downtown club over the decades, he'd easily find something to love here. For starters, the San Antonio landmark is housed in a former German athletic club built in 1891 — if only walls could talk, honey. After passing through its stately entrance, the grand hallway that leads to the main dance floor simplyscreams for a dramatic runway strut. And around almost any corner, you'll find your way to a bar slinging budget cocktails to a wildly mixed crowd of revelers. While all walks come here to dance — to trash disco and club bangers that span the eras — theBonham also boasts a low-key back patio that's ideal for mingling and a wraparound balcony with top-notch views of all the dance-floor action. Recently treated to a COVID-era face lift, the venue's stately upstairs ballroom is looking mighty fine. It also regularly welcomes RuPaul's Drag Race stars and local performers alike to a storied stage that's hosted icons ranging from Iggy Pop to Tina Turner.

2. Elsewhere Garden Bar & Kitchen

103 E. Jones Ave.

(210) 446-9303

elsewheretexas.com

3. Hugman's Oasis

135 E. Commerce St.

(210) 441-7225

hugmansoasissatx.com

Winner: Elsewhere Garden Bar & Kitchen

103 E. Jones Ave.

(210) 446-9303

elsewheretexas.com

Elsewhere was lauded by readers as Best New Bar a couple of years ago. Clearly, it's also become a go-to for diners who like their burgers, sandwiches, salads and tacos locally sourced and with a view of the Museum Reach of the San Antonio River. Whether it's a big, hand-breaded chicken sandwich with Philly waffle fries you're after, or a more adventurous combo of gochujang cauliflower wings and a PB&J burger, the smallish menu packs big flavor. For those on the far North Side, Elsewhere has a second location in the works. Instead of a view of the river to go with the food, expect a 45-foot Ferris wheel.

2. The Esquire Tavern

155 E. Commerce St.

(210) 222-2521

esquiretavern-sa.com

3. Francis Bogside

803 S. St. Mary's St.

(210) 369-9192 

francisbogside.com

Winner: Slackers

Multiple locations

instagram.com/slackersbarsa

2. Chicken and Pickle

5215 UTSA Blvd.

(210) 874-2120

chickennpickle.com

3. Elsewhere Garden Bar & Kitchen

103 E. Jones Ave.

(210) 446-9303

elsewheretexas.com

Winner: Vikki Buchanan, The Bonham Exchange

411 Bonham St.

(210) 224-9219

bonhamexchange.com

2. Stephan Mendez, The Esquire Tavern

155 E. Commerce St.

(210) 222-2521

esquiretavern-sa.com

3. Debbie (Boo), The Good Kind

1127 S. St. Mary's St.

(210) 801-5892

eatgoodkind.com

Winner: The Hayden

4025 Broadway

(210) 437-4306

thehaydensa.com

2. El Luchador

622 Roosevelt Ave.

(210) 988-3385

facebook.com/luchadorbarsa

3. Southtown 101

101 Pereida St.

(210) 263-3753

southtown101.net

Winner: Thirsty Horse Saloon

2335 NW Military Highway

(210) 348-1513

thirstyhorse.net

2. Lonesome Rose

2114 N. St. Mary's St.

(210) 455-0233

thelonesomerose.com

3. SA Country Saloon

1134 W. Hildebrand Ave.

(210) 908-9393

facebook.com/SaCountrySaloon

Winner: Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

11255 Huebner Road, Suite 212

(210) 696-5080

beerknurd.com

2. Elsewhere Garden Bar & Kitchen

103 E. Jones Ave.

(210) 446-9303

elsewheretexas.com

3. Big Hops

Multiple locations

bighops.com

Winner: The Bonham Exchange

411 Bonham St.

(210) 224-9219

bonhamexchange.com

If Pose emcee Pray Tell, immortalized by Billy Porter, was tasked with distilling the Bonham Exchange into a single ballroom category, he might come up with something along the lines of "Gay Disco with a Side of Historical Realness." Although Porter isn't among the stars who have graced the multilevel downtown club over the decades, he'd easily find something to love here. For starters, the San Antonio landmark is housed in a former German athletic club built in 1891 — if only walls could talk, honey. After passing through its stately entrance, the grand hallway that leads to the main dance floor simplyscreams for a dramatic runway strut. And around almost any corner, you'll find your way to a bar slinging budget cocktails to a wildly mixed crowd of revelers. While all walks come here to dance — to trash disco and club bangers that span the eras — theBonham also boasts a low-key back patio that's ideal for mingling and a wraparound balcony with top-notch views of all the dance-floor action. Recently treated to a COVID-era face lift, the venue's stately upstairs ballroom is looking mighty fine. It also regularly welcomes RuPaul's Drag Race stars and local performers alike to a storied stage that's hosted icons ranging from Iggy Pop to Tina Turner.

2. Brass Monkey

2702 N. St. Mary's St.

instagram.com/brassmonkeytx

3. Heat Nightclub

1500 N. Main Ave.

(210) 227-2600

heatsa.com

Winner: The Bang Bang Bar

119 El Mio Drive

(210) 320-1187

thebangbangbartx.com

2. SA Country Saloon

1134 W. Hildebrand Ave.

(210) 908-9393

facebook.com/SaCountrySaloon

3. Faust Tavern

517 E. Woodlawn Ave.

(210) 257-0628

facebook.com/thefausttavern