Esquire Tavern

Esquire Tavern

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://esquiretavern-sa.com/
  • Phone: 2102222521
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:45pm, Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 4:45pm
    Dinner: Daily: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
    Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 4:45pm Bar is open from 11AM - 2AM daily
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Comfort Food, Gastro Pub
  • Executive Chef: Chef Brooke Smith & Master Barman Jeret Pena
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, View, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: St. Mary
  • Public Transit: Conveniently located in downtown on the San Antonio River, The Esquire Tavern is within walking distance from most major hotels. In addition, The Esquire is serviced by the Yellow Line Downtown Trolley conveniently located at the corner of Commerce and St. Mary’s fifty feet from our front door.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: The Esquire Tavern is encircled by four parking garages and various street lots, the closest being one half block east, the Market Street Garage across from the Westin Hotel with entrances on East Commerce and Market streets. One block further East on East Commerce and Presa is the City Garage. To the West, The Rand Parking Garage on Soledad and Houston and to the North, the College Street Garage at College and St.Mary’s St.
A word from Esquire Tavern
Located in the heart of downtown, The Esquire Tavern is the oldest bar on the San Antonio Riverwalk, opened the year, month and day that Prohibition was repealed. Tending bar in the early days was a highly prized and much sought after craft. Bar keeps then created many of their own syrups, mixes and concoctions and used the freshest of juices with the intention of serving the best products. We at the Esquire have taken a serious approach to the old world of bartending and spun it with a modern twist. Combining classic techniques and new world flavors and culinary concepts, our goal is to lead and set San Antonio's emerging cocktail culture on the map.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Esquire Tavern reviews from OpenTable diners
41 reviews since May 21, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (23)vibrant bar scene (23)late-night find (19)good for groups (16)neighborhood gem (16)romantic (15)great for outdoor dining (14)hot spot (12)special occasion (11)scenic view (9)great for lunch (8)notable wine list (4)great for brunch (2)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • A must dine experience....
    Nomnomnom
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    I am already looking forward to my next dining experience at The Esquire. The food was absolutely amazing and full of flavor. I fell in love with the atmosphere... Dimly lit and romantic but not over the top. The wait staff knew exactly when to check on us. I also enjoyed their very unique drink menu. A perfect dining experience!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great location
    Ralf100
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Good food, good drinks, great location, will come back!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food. Not so great for groups
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Limited seating for groups and it is VERY dark inside. However, the food is fantastic!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • yummmmm
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    For how uppity the Riverwalk restaurants can be, this is amazing food in a prime location at a great price, and although I am a super foodie I am young so money doesn't grow on trees for me yet! I had the bacon cheeseburger and it was so gourmet trading, fried pickles which were so good we got a 2nd order, and I don't even like pickles! And although the drinks are $10 they are worth every penny because they are 100% alcohol! Finally so cute inside and awesome helpful service!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful food, service not great
    Meghanswt
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Good: Food, drink, ambiance, location are wonderful!! Fresh ingredients. Had deviled eggs, ceviche, pimento cheese sandwich. Cool environment and hip without being stuffy. Bad: I reserved a table "next to the tv for the UT football game", online and by phone and it was confirmed. I was taking my brother & girlfriend out. We were seated in a booth by the tv, but I was told by staff another patron asked for a diff game first. I get it (sort of) but the staff didn't seem concerned. This shortened our visit & money spent so we could seek out a diff place to watch the game. Our waitress was amazingly uninterested & looked bored. Really puts a damper on things. I would go back for a diff server with no expectations as far as requests.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect for guests in town
    DocMilnerVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We were tired of taking our visitors to our favorite Mexican restaurants for a SATX experience. Someone suggested Esquire and we were very pleased! I will say, the 'spicy' food has been pretty toned down for out-of-towners but the cocktails were outstanding. The service was very personal and we never wanted for anything.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful experience
    bvdeezy
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    For cocktails we tried the French 75, Pimm's Cup and Brown Derby. We loved all of them and they are served very nicely. For food, we started with the deviled eggs. We preferred them without the pink peppercorns but still enjoyed them very much. They were already out of quite a few entrees but our choices did not disappoint. We had the Shrimp Toast and the Pork Loin. The shrimp toast was a surprising treat and was sooooo good with the goat cheese and jelly! The pork and potato salad were nicely done and the mole was unique and delicious! Our server was fantastic and offered good advice with the menu options. The atmosphere is great and we had such a fun evening!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellant Dining Experience.
    JohnMcC
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    My third time to dine and drink here in 1.5 years, traveling to San Antonio from the East coast. Initially discovered The Esquire by accident, walked in on a hot day in July, fell in love with the ambiance, then the beer and informed service, and then later several excellent meals. This last time I brought my hard to please brother-sisters-in-law on a Wednesday night and had a delightful meal, great service by Brandt, and favorable reviews by all. Will always recommend this unique Tavern, the great beer selection, delicious food and lovely ambiance to anyone visiting San Anyone!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, notable wine list, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service was horrible!
    Ijistwantfood
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    They ignored our reservation, when we went to they gave our table up and where rude to us. They didn't find a quick solution, knowing that they made a mistake. Need to learn to try to make an effort to something. They could've asked to split us up, 4 at a table and 2 somewhere else!
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • excellent food good atmosphere
    Bogey
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Really unique food items on menu. Ecletic crowd. Grest experience!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hole in the Wall
    MandM
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Esquire is a unique find: hole in the wall appearance with decent ambience. They're known for their drinks, but the drinks were mediocre. Service wasn't great - the whole meal took 3 hours, with huge lags between courses. Food was pretty good, though. Good after worth place to grab a drink, possibly listen to live music, and eat good appetizers.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Wonderful environment, great service, tasty food. We will be back again soon!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great historic bar!
    travel4food
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Great historic bar with a warm fun vibe! The food is made with local organic produce & sustainably raised meats. It's prepared and presented beautifully, an unexpected find in a bar. The margaritas rank up there with the best ice ever had & the wine list, while small, is very good. The servers are very knowledgable & work hard to ensure a great experience. Favorite menu option- the bison burger! Yum!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Retep
    2Berated
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Tried Esquire by chance and found it to be a hidden gem on the Riverwalk. They certainly know how to make a good drink and the food is great. The Manager and Assistant Manager came over and introduced themselves. Went back a second time and it was just as good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Historic and Wonderful!
    Jsc5264
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We ate here on a Yelp recommendation - it was a great pick! We took a boat tour of the River Walk just before dinner and were delighted to discover our tour ended right in front of the Tavern. Great service, great food, wonderful ambiance - will definitely return the next time we're in San Antonio. The owner and staff are all delightful. Our cab driver shared even more history on the Esquire Tavern on the way back to our hotel - HIGHLY Recommend!!!!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Cool place to hang out
    Txssc
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The food was unique and very good. The drinks were made great. We really enjoyed ourselves
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not for food
    CRiv
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We picked this place based on Urbanspoon. I did not bother to read more than a couple of reviews so after our disappointing meal I went back and wondered how thy received an 83%. They seem to have one great entree and that is the bison burger. Most reviews that are positive about the food make mention of it. For us it was a crab salad, a pulled pork sandwich and an empanada. We found all servings small, in particular the empanadas at $14 and barely larger than a Hot Pocket, seem like a big miss. The pull pork entree as others said was served on a bun that was too doughy and the meat portion was small and not particularly savory. To make matters worse, you must purchase the sides separately. In summary, overpriced as a restaurant.
    Special Features:
    romantic, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cozy, classy dinner date place
    ChristiMF
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner date at Esquire Tavern. The organic sirloin burger was fantastic, and my husband's bison burger was equally as delicious. Just as notable is the charismatic bar and creative cocktail menu. They also have craft beers and wine. Delicious!! The atmosphere was dark and cozy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent food, super cool building
    Gracie
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Made online reservations here for my husband's 30th birthday. We were seated right away. The rustic chic decor complete with a buffalo head mounted on velvet demask wallpaper and vintage lighting was so cool. The drink menu was fun to read and delicious to drink! Both the bison burger and the chalupitos were amazing and the house salad was incredible! Our server was excellent and the other couple of servers who assisted were always polite and unobtrusive. Lethe only problem we had was finding the place based on it's address. We were able to access it from the river walk but it's not exactly on commerce street.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find!
    Yanna71
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Great place for drinks & happy hour. Not really recommended as a family dining locale.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great find on the Riverwalk
    Travel4food
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    The food & drinks were fantastic (ceviche, deviled egg, bison burger); the service was a little slow and disjointed, granted it was Saturday 7:30pm. We sat on the balcony so the view was incredible view.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    Great burgers! I was in SA for a conference and found Esquire Tavern on Yelp. Great find. My last meal in SA and it was awesome. Four others I was with all loved their meals. Two had the chile rellenos and said it was the best they had ever had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This is the Sheriff in Town
    NarragansettDave
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    This is the Restaurant that wears the Big Silver Star. The others in the surrounding area are merely deputies, each offering a bit of something good (mostly), but they all answer to this Oldest Bar on the Riverwalk that has EVERYTHING in comparison (great food and service, excellent prices even in this touristy town, ambiance and complete unique character). It's accessible without wait by using OpenTable for Reservations. I only wish we had just one more day to have another meal here. We indulged in drinks, a fried pickles appetizer (homemade pickles, yum), and some of the best beef burgers and sandwiches that we have encountered anywhere in a very long time. Don't miss the opportunity to grab a bite here! Incredible to say the least.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 18 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 21, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 171 reviews are from the Esquire Tavern reviews archive.
  • Overall good experience
    lynngraysea09
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Has a quiet and cozy feel to it. The service was good and the food and drinks were amazing. Can't wait to go back and try more off the menu.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A classic for sure
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    We were in San Antonio for an anniversary weekend and the Esquire was another great meal of many. Shrimp cocktail, empanadas, meatloaf sandwich were all to die for. Specialty cocktails galore. Joe was a wonderful server with suggestions. Highly recommended!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Historic pub
    Boxerlover19
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Great bar with pub grub. Service was attentive and friendly. On a beautiful location on a quieter part of The Riverwalk. Recommend getting reservations as it can get very busy
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Shrimp toast - AMAZING
    Leeann
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    The shrimp toast was AMAZING! It sounds weird but believe me, as a Foodie, this dish is well worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Baalcony seating was great
    Tbar2
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    Recommend anyone wait for balcony seating to be available
    Special Features:
    Great for Outdoor Dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, indifferent service
    DaveVIP
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    I guess you can't expect too much from a tavern/pub, but I expected better service. The food was surprisingly good, but the service was indifferent at best, and sometimes even slightly rude. I would not go back for dinner, but I might if all I wanted was a drink and an appetizer.
    Special Features:
    Scenic View, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    Nice spot for a casual lunch- service was laid-back - that can be fine when you know that going in to your meal.
    Special Features:
    Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We loved our experience! Food
    Joe1234
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    We loved our experience! Food was fantastic, and so was the ambiance. I think our particular server could have been more attentive. We are definitely going back for the food!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • More than just Cocktails
    Not2picky
    Dined on 4/9/2014
    Our meal was exactly what we wanted. The Esquire prides itself on its cocktails. We arrived during happy hour and sampled the old fashioned. It was delicious. We both had a hanger steak salad and shared the shrimp toast. The salad was very good. There was plenty of meat for a lighter dinner. The shrimp toast was a first for us and it was delicious. The magic of the evening was stepping back out onto the riverwalk and strolling along the river in the twinkly lights. Great location and great food and drinks.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quiet stretch of Riverwalk
    Hurlenhop
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    Our experience at The Esquire was wonderful. We were seated on their small balcony overlooking a quiet stretch of the Riverwalk and had a couple of their vintage cocktails before dinner. We opted for a "tapas-like" dinner because so many of their apps sounded too good to decide between. The deviled eggs and chips with Texas onion dip were delish! I particularly liked the tacos con papas...yum! We then split a grilled pimento cheese sandwich that was equally tasty. All in, the food and the ambiance were fantastic. I would have given 5 stars except for one detail. The table we were sitting at had a film on it that stained my husband's brand new shirt as he rested his elbows on it. It seems they just need to replace the few outside tables.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place, old style, good beers
    Guss
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    We were on large table., 10 people, we mainly had beers and some drinks. The service was good, fast, so I would definitely recomend this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We never got our dinner!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/24/2014
    We arrived at the Esquire early for our 6:30 reservations. We got our drinks and appetizers after a long wait, but after two hours we still didn't have our dinners. We were never offered an explanation. They kept telling us our meals were almost ready. Finally at 8:30 when they said it would be ten more minutes, we left. The appetizers we received were nothing special. The drinks they offered us as consolation for the long wait tasted like fruit punch. I can't remember ever having as disappointing a restaurant experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Early late night menu
    Traveleater1VIP
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    Went on a Sunday night while in town. To our surprise, we were only offered the "late night" limited menu at 8:30pm. And to top it off, they didn't have a few things on the menu! San Antonia May not be NYC, but we didn't think 8:30 fell into the definition of late night!! That said, burgers were good, fries were excellent, and a very cool space. I'd go back. Try it!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place
    TCR83
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    It was my first time to visit. I was super excited and it didn't let me down one bit. Great staff, amazing drinks, and incredible food! You may not find your classic cocktail here, but the experimenting is half the fun. If you don't like experimenting you can always have beer or wine or whatever. Such fun!!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Take a step back in time
    Newlywed
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    Walking into the door I felt like we took a step back in time! The staff was dressed in classy tavern style attire, the main light for out table was an oil lamp, and the light bulbs in the few lights they did have looked like Thomas Edison made them himself. It was a perfect look. The manager took time to wait on us and make suggestions since we made a reservation. He even made me a custom cocktail! (It was amazing) My husband tried something called pimm's cup. I have never hear of a drink using ginger, he loved it though!! I doubt he'll find something he likes that much again! The food was not what you would expect! I expected greasy bar food but I was shocked when the manager suggested the best deviled eggs I have ever had!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • slow service in a dark room
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    Slow service, dark room (insufficient lighting), good but not great food
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • never got food
    foodee
    Dined on 3/17/2014
    We waited for an hour to get our food, never got it. We ended up paying for our drinks and leaving. The waitress did not deserve the tip, but we did not want to wait any longer to receive our change.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet