We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Review of Esquire Tavern

Esquire Tavern
Ranked #53 of 4,911 Restaurants in San Antonio
Price range: $10 - $20
Cuisines: Gastropub, Brew Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: St. Mary
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.
Description: One of the Top 25 Bars in America, The Esquire Tavern opened in 1933 to celebrate the end of Prohibition - a beloved San Antonio watering hole ever since. When it comes to choosing the best Riverwalk bars to spend your time, atmosphere certainly matters. Our legendary establishment is the quintessential downtown bar: dark, cool, redolent with history, and serving cold beer, swanky cocktails, and excellent food. Don't believe us? Step right up and sink your teeth into some handmade SA comfort food including Organic Sirloin Burgers, Crispy Chile Salted Fries, Big Red Empanadas, and Fried Apple Pie with Bourbon Carmel Sauce made from scratch! Now that you trust us a bit more....feel free to stay a while and enjoy hand crafted cocktails using the best of spirits and freshest of juices from the Margarita to the Moscow Mule. Beer lovers, indulge with over 10 Texas/regional brews on tap and enjoy the ice cold bottled beers you love.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

We had drinks here before our dinner at Bella. It is the oldest Tavern on the River. From the river you climb up stairs to the street level. They also have outdoor tables over looking the river.

Thank Vista_CaliforniaDeeh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (1,217)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

1,122 - 1,126 of 1,217 reviews

Reviewed February 2, 2013

I visited the Esquire with some friends - we were in San Antonio for the day and wanted to see some sights. The Esquire has the longest wooden bar in Texas and so that was worth a look.

For the sake of seeing it - that was good. We wanted some lunch and so foolishly decided to eat here. At the time of our visit, the restaurant was very quiet and we were a group of seven (including two kids). Our waiter came over reasonably quickly and so that was good, but as soon as be started talking, I knew we were in trouble. He was a nice guy but a terrible waiter. He offered us water, then went away for five minutes, brought water, went away, came back ten mins later, tool a drinks order then brought drinks, then went away another five minutes, then came back to take a food order. As he was taking the order be realised he didn't have a pen - so off he went to get one and then, at last, he took the order. Would it really have been so hard to come over, introduce himself, talk through any specials and then take a drinks and food order?

In ordering - I had the bison burger, the waiter didn't say anything to me when I ordered it (wait for the payoff on that one). When food came, my burger had no fries. Admittedly, the menu did say that I could add chili fries to my meal for three dollars, it also said I could add onion rings and some other things. Foolishly, I expected that burger would come with fries - much like burgers do in more or less every other restaurant on earth. Chili fries, to me, sounded like something special and different. When I ordered I would have expected the waiter to pick me up on this - how many people really order a burger without fries intentionally?

Anyhow, I ordered some more fries - it took ten minutes for them to arrive. My food waited on my table while they cooked, steadily getting colder.

The fries arrived and they weren't bad, to be fair. One of my group asked for ketchup - they don't have any, only their own home made relish. Really now, how many places these days don't have anything as basic as simple ketchup? The burger, on the other hand, was really bland and tasteless, the meat was not rich as bison should be. I had a bison burger from Twisted Root Burger in Plano a few days ago, a fast food burger joint beat these guys hands down. Just a poor effort.

Service was slow clearing up our plates, slow bringing the bill and we all agreed this was a poor lunch experience.

We were tourists, but businesses that ride the cost tails of their fame and great customers poorly and offer poor food can't ride those cost tails forever. This place is worth a look to see the bar and have a drink, I strongly advise you to give the restaurant a swerve.

I note the manager has told other guests that their drinks are on him next time they come in - I'm not going in again. I saw the bar once - that's no offer to tourists.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Pete J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Lots of cocktails on the menu - especially from the 50's............great selection. I had the bison burger - was a little on the salty side - but good. My friends enjoyed their entrees - a mix of everything on the menu - old style favorites with a twist. Definately go for the dirnks and atmosphere

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank lablover7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2013

This is a terrific place to relax, have a cocktail. I saw hard boiled eggs on the menu and I knew I was in a good place. Staff was terrific, fun bartenders, The food was very good, I recommend the bison burger.
There was a band playing one night, and I went back 2 other times! Great liqour offerings, and a really cool coktail menu.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MBabz10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

Loved the atmosphere, and the service was great. From there it went down hill for us, we started with fried pickles, the fried part was ok but the pickles were bad, maybe homemade, just tasted strange and not pleasing. My wife got the sirloin burger and I had the bison burger both with chilli salt fries, salt was right, they seemed to be saltier than McDs. The ketchup was home made and IMO and my wifes gross, I asked for some Heinz, no luck. The sirloin burger was too "gamey" for her otherwise it may have been ok. My bison burger the meat was the only good part, there were some weird onions on it and sauce on the burger that didn't seem to belong on a burger.

I would highly suggest just drinking at this bar, the food experience was disappointedly lackluster, I really didn't think you could screw up bar food but this place sure does it.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PatrickCarter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Esquire Tavern also viewed


Been to Esquire Tavern? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing