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  • Esquire Tavern

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Esquire Tavern

Esquire Tavern Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://esquiretavern-sa.com
  • Email: erica@esquiretavern-sa.com
  • Phone: (210) 222-2521
  • 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: Gastro Pub, Comfort Food
  • 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The Esquire Tavern is the oldest bar on the San Antonio Riverwalk, opened the year, month and day that Prohibition was repealed.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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Diner Reviews
  • "Nice spot for a casual lunch- service was laid-back - that can be fine when you know that going in to your meal."
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "We were seated promptly but our waiter was apparently not informed by the hostess that he was assigned to us. We were left alone for a good 20 minutes or more until we were acknowledged. Service was then better but still not great when the dinner crowd came rolling in. Food was very slow coming out and I had finished two rounds of drinks before food came out. Food was decent. I would come here again not hungry and only wanting drinks and atmosphere."
    Dined on 9/7/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "Slow service, dark room (insufficient lighting), good but not great food"
    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!!"
    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!!!"
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Esquire is not a place to go to for the food. It is a big dark bar with live music. When I say dark it is really dark - I had to use my phone to read the menu. The shrimp toast was a sugar fest. The fried shrimp sandwich was OK. They were "out" of mashed potatoes, so I tried the chili slaw which seemed to be just cole slaw with jarred chili powder stirred in, yuck. Wine by the glass a little pricey. I'm not against live music, but these guys never took a break in approximately two hours, wow. Fortunately they were not at all too loud."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "No problems with the reservation. We were running late and I called to let them know; we actually arrived about 20 minutes past our reservation and they saved our table for us. We went early and I am glad we did because it was standing room only by the time we left. Great cocktails and food. The menu was slightly outdated as some of the cocktails were no longer available--not really an issue since the menu is so extensive and there are plenty of other things to order. Also our server told us that there is a limited quantity of a few of the food items listed and they tend to run out early. Again, not a problem for us since we went early. Overall we had a great time at the Esquire Tavern!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "The menu at the Esquire is not the biggest you will find, so if you're wanting to look over 15 pages of food items you're going to be disappointed. The food here, however, is awesome, the people are friendly, and accommodating. Great place to eat and drink before heading to the theater."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Went for lunch with a group. Staff was very accommodating and friendly. Food was excellent - most of us got the bison burger which was juicy and flavorful. We also gots some appetizers of fried pickles which were also cooked perfectly. Would definitely come back, especially at night to hang out at the bar. Very unique and different."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "was an amazing place to bring friends and family. we enjoyed the food and drinks very much!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "The food and ambience were a step up from the other joints along San Antonio's riverwalk. The Esquire had a nice selection of local beers and craft cocktails. The food was better than average bar food, with some Texas spice thrown in, even the mashed potato had a kick. Too bad our server - who had been great - neglected to remove a $25 copper cup charge from our bill. I still don't think the restaurant has reversed that charge. A second bill was run through, almost doubling our total for light dinner and drinks to over $150."
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "We really appreciate that all food is made in house. It was fab! We have sent several people over for dinner. Only complaint at night it isjust a little too dark. But will go back."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "The food is fantastic! My only critique is that it's slightly too dark and it's hard to see your food to eat it!"
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "While the food was competently prepared, it was nothing special. The Chili Salt Fries were overcooked. The Bison Burger was on par with those I've had at Red Robin. The only redeeming feature was the Tres Leches Cake, although mine was absent the strawberries and candied pecans as billed. Don't go out of your way for this venue."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "Upon arriving to the restaurant we noticed immediately that it was very dark. The only light in the place are the small gas lamps on the table which you need to bring towards you to not only read the menu, but also see what you are eating. The fried pickles were amazing, the jalapeño burger was delicious and the pulled pork was savory. The selections of drinks were great too. We just wish we could see everything!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "You can't beat the drink menu and the knowledgable staff. Best bar food in town hands down. Just greasy enough to make the fries taste good but not so much that your burger bun is soggy if it sits for a few minutes. BEST FRIED PICKLES IN SAN ANTONIO."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Food interesting and good...server very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the history of the place...atmosphere dark with candles...fun on the Riverwalk!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "The food and wine list are limited, but there is something for everyone. Easy walk to the Majestic and Empire theaters."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Great find, hidden away on the river walk Esquire's dark earthy ambience gives off an almost prohibition like old school feel. Great cocktails and surprisingly diverse entree menu the food was impressive. A smaller area overall esquire offers booth seating perfect for intimate date nights as well as tables for larger groups. During warmer evenings outdoor dining will also be an option. Only downside was the original wait for our appetizer. Our server was extremely knowledgable as well as attentive he made the experience all the more enjoyable."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "This place felt like a great locals/tourist hybrid. The food was amazing, the cocktails inventive, and the service impeccable! Went twice during a four day trip to Sant Antonio."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "Food was good; everything had a distinct flavor; ketchup was homemade and recipes were unique. The place is worth seeing with its historic past."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "drinks were good. the food we had was not good, and they were out of several things we ordered. The band came out and played for about 10 minutes, and were way too loud. We will not go back"
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "Overall experience was great. Food was good enough that I would go back. Chicken Mole and corn was so good, perfect mix of sweet and smoke. Steak Burger was nice, but needed more salt and pepper. Sesame seed bun was so soft and flavorful. Chili salt fries, YUM! Cocktails were top shelf and served with nice garnishes. We ordered Old Fashioned with Rye. Normally prefer dim lighting with warm feeling however, thought the restaurant & bar were almost too dark. Would have liked one more level of lighting. Booths need more cushion please! The wait staff was great too."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Very nice old-time ambiance However, the waiter and kitchen must have been having a completely off night It took forever to get our menus, forever to get our beers, longer to get our food A half hour after we placed our order, our waiter told us the calamari were all gone, so one diner settled for just a salad After a 45 minute wait, my friend and I both had the lamb stew and had the same gastric distress that night Our waiter offered complimentary desserts to make up for the problems, but, frankly, that doesn't make up for a spoiled evening We headed to Big Bend where there is no cell phone or internet service, the next day, so I didn't have an opportunity to give them a call"
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Overall, all of my experiences at Esquire have been great. Improvements can be made but I always leave satisfied. Key points to hit- The hostess has an attitude or at least she comes off that way. She was helpful and nice with me but I'd just watch the tone and stress customer service. As far as food and beer, just amazing. I love all the local beers and praise this joint for bringing in some top notch beer. The food is unique and quite an experience. Most of it is spicy but I'm not one to complain about some heat. The thing that has stuck out the most is how on point the manager is. I've forgotten his name but he has helped me on more than one occasion and truly makes it so that I want to keep coming back."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Food seemed overpriced for mediocre quality. They didn't have what I originally ordered. Server was in training. Friendly but unable to answer questions."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "The drinks will kill your wallet pretty fast at this spot but the food is worth the trip."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "Dined with friends for lunch. The food ranged from average to good. Thumbs up for bison burger and hot sandwich "special" du jour but the pork entree that our server recommended was so-so (and a bit undercooked for my taste). Service was satisfactory for peak lunch crowd. This is a great "non-touristy" place for drinks with friends on the Riverwalk (and to perhaps grab a bite to soak up the alcohol....but I would not necessarily make this a "meal" destination)."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Super service. Food was good but not quite as good as expected. Deviled eggs were under seasoned and the fried pickled beets appetizer while tasty, had really uneven sized pieces so some we're burning hot others were almost cold. Husband had a burger which was very good, daughter had a salad and the dressing could have used a touch of acid. I had the chili relleno which was different and tasty but quite spicy. Very dark- needed to use the flashlight on my phone to read the menu. Pricy."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "I will definitely be going back! Try the shrimp toast and the bison burger. They are both awesome! Lots of great drinks that you can't find in ither places! Can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "I am from Tennessee and saw this Bar/Restaurant in a recent edition of Gun and Garden so I took some friends there for drinks and dinner. Very historic (oldest bar in town) and great drink selections. Food was very good, service was very good, prices was reasonable ($50 each with drinks). I would go back."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "The service was not great and we did wait 20+ minutes for our initial beers, however restaurant had a very different and cool ambiance about it. Food was not great, but not awful. Homemade ketchup, however, was awful. Note to self: bring your own."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "For a small intimate group this place is awesome. This time I hosted a large group (at least 20, double the reservation).The drinks are always great, we had a great server he was very accommodating and did not seem overwhelmed by the table at all. There was a hostess with a red shirt on that night with an attitude. I caught her rolling her eyes and whispering to other servers about our table, I would pass by her multiple times without a smile. Very rude and not friendly at all... I understand that we were a large group, but far from loud or rude and we only stayed about an hour max… I will limit my visits to Esquires to early evening and with VERY SMALL groups."
    Dined on 1/11/2014