Ice Houses

The Friendly Spot
The Friendly Spot

The Texas ice house is a steadily disappearing landmark. Once dotting the street corners of San Antonio, much like Starbucks does today, they provided communities with, as the name suggests, ice. As ice houses took on the role of local gathering places, they started to offer other goods. Beer, natrually, became the most popular. Sometimes food was added, but outdoor drinking with neighbors became their hallmark. Though ice houses do not enjoy the widespread popularity they once did, San Antonio still offers some of these icons from the past.
— Joshua Pedrick


This casual Southtown ice house offers lots of open-air seating and two bars covered by awnings. With 48 brews on tap in the back and 25 in front, any patron would be hard-pressed to walk away with an unquenched thirst. The bartenders are eager to answer any questions and match you with the perfect beer. If you need a place to sit down out of the elements there is a comfortable barn in the back with some televisions.

943 S Alamo
(210) 224-2337


If you aren't looking for it you might miss this tiny ice house on Blanco. Don't be intimidated by the motorcycles outside — the crowd, though older, is friendly and welcoming. Regulars have their birthdays on the wall and the doors are always open to let in a fresh breeze. There's not a lot of room for a large party, but the beer is cheap and the space is perfect for a couple of friends.

4102 Blanco Rd.
(210) 735-8691


Situated right across from the Blue Star complex, this little ice house invites you to enjoy a cold brew in the ample outdoor seating. A fire pit lies in the middle of the chairs, a shield against chilly evenings, while colored light bulbs dangle from strings crisscrossing the courtyard. The bar is cash only, but the La Tuna grill, sitting just on the other side of the seating area, offers cash back on food purchases.

100 Probandt St. 78204
(210) 212-5727

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