7. Mezcalería Mixtli
5313 McCullough Ave. (856) 630-5142, mezcaleriamixtli.com
Cue the Etta James classic because San Antonio has its own mezcal bar, at last.
After the success of their train car concept, the guys of Mixtli have extended their interior Mexican fare with a smoky bar selection inside a larger interior (though not by a whole lot when it comes to rowdy weekend nights).
For those still not in the know, mezcal, other than being a gift from the Aztec god Centzon-Totochtin (one of several party deities), is an agave variant. Basically, the tequila you've been drinking is a watered down mess compared to the smoky, grassy wonders of mezcal. You can try upwards of 70 types, from several Mexican states at the Mezcalería with co-owner and bar manager Jesse Torres. Even if you're not into sipping tiny clay copitas, Torres has crafted a menu that introduces newbies to the fine spirit, further educates aficionados and keeps mezcal lovers more than happy.
Try La Guadalupana, a fizzy number served in a flute that rivals a French 75, or go the boozy route with a Mariposa Negra, Torres' nod to an Old Fashioned made with Olmeca Altos tequila reposado, Averna, Demerara syrup, licorice root tea and Orinoco bitters.
All the booze requires great food and you won't have to leave the premises to find it. Order the beef cheek and get to taco making with this fragrant and hearty barbacoa. Or keep things simple with an order of crunchy chicharrones and douse it with Valentina hot sauce.
It's the bar we never knew we needed but now can't live without. Our bar has come along.