Best Bets for Budget Booze and Grub Near Campus

click to enlarge Best Bets for Budget Booze and Grub Near Campus
George's Keep

Some of the best moments in college are the ones you don’t spend studying. When you find you finally have an entire day without homework, and you can’t possibly binge-watch another series, it’s good to have somewhere to escape and get together with friends who share the stress of student life. With no shortage of university and college campuses, San Antonio is home to an increasingly large student population. And it’s no accident that the Alamo City boasts an abundance of campus-convenient bars and hangouts that offer happy hour prices and daily drink specials tailor-made for college wallets. Whether you’re a freshly minted 21-year-old or a perpetual student who enjoys turning 21 every couple of years, dig this list of bars and chill spots for days and nights of homework-free fun.

UTSA Main Campus

The Block SA
14530 Roadrunner Way, (210) 690-3333,

Whether you’re looking for food, drinks or entertainment, The Block SA has it all. Located right outside of UTSA’s main campus grounds, The Block is a popular hangout for students, offering daily drink specials and a variety of tasty treats from several local food trucks. With an ice-house type feel, The Block consists of a large grassy lawn and 1,500-square-foot covered patio. Challenge your friends to jumbo Jenga or cornhole after a long day of classes and studying. Plan to watch your favorite major sporting events on The Block’s multiple large screens, or take a break from the textbooks to celebrate Sunday Funday. Family- and pet-friendly, The Block SA is an ideal spot to make new friends of hang with your gang.

Hills and Dales
15403 White Fawn Drive, (210) 695-2307,

Under the new management of Justin Vitek and Mike McMillan, owners of downtown’s On the Rocks Pub, Hills and Dales now has a friendlier feel to it, catering to more diverse crowds. The ice house offers a large outdoor deck, as well as a roomy interior. Play pool with friends or brave the Texas weather with a cold drink on the patio. Daily drink specials are perfect for a student budget, but you’ll find all sorts of people at this “center of the universe,” making it the perfect place to meet new friends.

George’s Keep
17101 La Cantera Pkwy., (210) 310-3733,

If you’re the speakeasy type and dig a dark atmosphere, eclectic crowd and carefully crafted cocktails, George’s Keep is the spot. Nestled in the terrace level of a sprawling resort, George’s is known as the area’s best-kept secret. The bar’s large wooden front door looks like something straight out of Middle Earth. George’s attracts all sorts of patrons from traveling white-collar execs and vacationing hipsters to restaurant industry workers, students and local residents. If you’re on a budget, don’t get discouraged — George’s hosts happy hour daily, with all-day happy hour on Sundays and Mondays. George’s dark atmosphere is well accented by mood lighting, making it a great place to take a date that’s far more refined than the boisterous antics of clubland.

5638 W. Hausman Road, (210) 314-4423,

There comes a time in every college student’s life where you begin to expand your food palate. This pivotal time is perfect for experimenting with foods from other countries and cultures. Sapporo has been catering to the UTSA main campus community since 2012, offering Japanese/Korean fusion plates and smartly priced sushi rolls. Take a break between classes and grab a bento box lunch special, or end the long day with a sake bomb. Sapporo blends Asian decor with modern colors, stylish lighting and pan-Asian favorites. A perfect spot for getting lunch with friends or a quiet dinner date, Sapporo will be a popular destination for students for a long time to come.

PK’s Pub and Grub
8338 N. Loop 1604 W., (210) 354-7473,

Starting as a small undiscovered sports pub and grub, PK’s has recently gained a large following of regulars. Well-known for their daily drink specials catering to the student community, PK’s has become a staple of the UTSA Main Campus area. Decked with signs from former bar establishments, the spot offers a bit of an aesthetic potluck. However, PK’s is an awesome place to watch the Spurs, football, or any sports event, with large flat-screens lining the entire bar. PK’s offers a small and simple menu of standard American fare, but the wings and pizza are the kitchen’s specialties. And, most importantly, PK’s delivers quick service and student-priced drinks that won’t break the bank.