Most modern domestic drinking cities first earned their stripes as culinary meccas before garnering recognition for their bar programs. But San Antonio did things a little differently. Mark Bohanan opened his eponymous downtown steakhouse and cocktail lounge in 2008, when the River Walk was a bonafied tourist attraction featuring mainly Tex-Mex and chain restaurants. And when he boldly brought in the late cocktail guru Sasha Petraske (Milk & Honey, Dutch Kills, The Varnish) to consult on his eponymous bar and train the staff, he kickstarted a citywide cocktail revolution.
By the time Bohanan launched the San Antonio Cocktail Conference in 2012, his original barkeepers could be found shaking things up at new spots all over town. And as the bar network continues to grow against the canvas of a revitalized downtown, so does San Antonio’s culinary scene. Next time you visit the Alamo City, be sure to raise a glass at these top spots.