The Friendly Spot

The Friendly SpotThe Friendly Spot
The Friendly SpotThe Friendly Spot
Bar, Eatery

943 S Alamo St
San Antonio, Texas, 78205-3438
United States

(210) 244-2337 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 50 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of spaceycasey
spaceycasey from Texas

1.83/5  rDev -57.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1 | selection: 2.5

When I saw this place had a high rating, I wonder if I had stumbled across TijuanaBrotherAdvocate by mistake. Nope... it's BeerAdvocate. Weird.

Let's start with the best thing about this place - it's a good laid back vibe.

Now that the positives are out of the way, let's talk about the issues:

Selection I gave a 2.5. Sure, they have a lot of beer, but I saw some very very very very very old beers that probably aren't suitable for aging (ex: Freetail 6th Anniversary, a hoppy red ale, almost a year late and Saint Arnold Spring Bock... in December). If they are shooting for a cellar program... they're doing it way wrong. Having a huge tap list isn't that cool when everything is old and out of date. Fail. This also overlooks the fact that everything is severely overpriced. Unless these guys are paying Downtown New York highrise rents for their basically empty plot of land... I can't imagine the overhead is very high... especially considering...

...the bathrooms. Let's talk about the bathrooms. These might seriously be the most disgusting bar bathrooms I've ever set foot in. Straight out of the Mexican cantina from the shootout scene in Desperado.

It's actually a good thing everything is served out of a plastic cup here... because judging by the upkeep of the restrooms, I wouldn't trust these guys to wash a pint glass for me.

Didn't try the food because... well I saw the bathrooms and I didn't want to die.

Recommendation: go literally anywhere else in the area.

Mar 13, 2016
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3

Whomever started the Friendly Spot had a great idea! It's basically just food and beer stands on a big open patch of land. Of course bad weather hurts you, but there's a lot less to have to deal with - no washing dishes, etc.

As for the experience, I thought it was cool but it just doesn't match that of a bar or restaurant. I mean it's not like my friends and I don't get together for pool parties, porch parties, and outdoor hangs all the time with good beers and food. The one difference is we don't have hideous bathrooms! Ha! And, of course, it costs us much less.

As to the beer, great selection yes, but I personally have a hard time enjoying an unusual beer outside, and out of a plastic cup. And if I'm going to pay for it I might as well have it at home. So for me that part is kind of lost. I had something fairly basic and just chilled with my wife soaking up the atmosphere, and that's what I'd do again if I went back again... no special beers, just a trusted go-to.

Feb 04, 2016
Photo of szpourtastic
szpourtastic from Texas

4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Its a pretty cool place, but the prices are kind of high.

Huge selection
Playground for kids
Huge space for large groups
Huge screen to show movies and football/basketball games

Bathrooms are not great
All outdoors

Oct 28, 2015
Photo of ONovoMexicano
ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

3.41/5  rDev -20.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Not sure how the rating is so high for this. Plastic cups, man! Plastic cups for all their beers. Apparently it's a San Antonio thing since The Filling Station does the same thing but they charge a lot less, do growler fills and the service is cooler and more knowledgeable.

I got a pour of Divine Reserve and got a half pour (in a plastic cup) for $9. Whaaat? In San Antonio? In a plastic cup? Nah chill.

There's a play area and lots of kids were there so that was nice being on vacation with the daughter but the huge dropoff on the play structure seems to be begging for an accident.

And the tables and chairs up in the place were on some trailer park status. Rusted out as hell and cheap plastic everywhere.

Overall I get the impression the place is cheap and dirty but doesn't mind raping customers seeking a good beer.

Apr 09, 2015
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This is a mighty cool spot in a cool area of San Antonio I was not aware of- Southtown-King Williams. The stretch of South Alamo Street where The Friendly Spot is has a ton of restaurants and bars and an atmosphere that reminds me of New Orleans.

We got there on a sunny winter day, it got up to 75 degrees during our drive from Alpine. I can tell this would be an awesome spot to enjoy when the weather is mild, but even in a colder day with a coat on the idea of an “ice house” is cool (pun unintended). They had a DJ and a massive screen with the Spurs game playing.

10 taps at the front bar and 48 (the most interesting) on the bar back. Patios galore, chairs and tables scattered around and a barn for shelter in case the winter really hits San Antonio (but what about the poor bartenders outside??).

Prairie Bomb, Free Will La Muerta, Clown Shoes Extremely were some of the big beers on tap during my visit… plus a lot of Texas brews. The menus are on a screen behind the bar and have all the info you need (except for price, sadly). I paid between five and seven dollars for most of the beers the wife and I had, except Prairie Bomb, which was a rip-off at eleven bucks.

Service is friendly and knowledgeable, the bartenders will guide you through the menu and give you some tasters. The food menu looks good but we didn’t try anything because we were going for dinner at Hot Joy across the street (great modern Asian, check it out). The goat-cheese dip and the edamame-veggie burger are on my list for my next time at The Friendly. Love it here.

Jan 22, 2015
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elgatoborracho from Tennessee

4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

Laid back place with a small playground for the kiddos out front. Excellent selection, knowledgeable staff. No frills. Not for the pretentious our self-absorbed. Just a great place to kick back and share some brews with friends.

Dec 28, 2014
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chickenflea from Florida

4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

A unique place that wins on charm and selection but loses slightly on amenities. The place has two outside bars with two large picnic areas for seating. The seating is lawn chairs or picnic benches. It can be really hot during the day and many of the benches in the back are not covered, but there are trees and awnings in the front section. The selection for draft beers is huge and the quality is very good with many local microbrews represented among the major breweries and the imports. The staff was very knowledgable. The clientele was fun and diverse with mostly locals there. My Oud Bruin was served in a pint glass?! But other than that I really enjoyed it. Recommend it to anyone in San Antonio.

Jun 25, 2014
Photo of bubseymour
bubseymour from Maryland

4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

This has to be one of the coolest craft beer establishments ever. Bartenders were super friendly and knowledgeable. Gave numerous free samples about most any beer I asked about. The grounds and set up are incredible. So chilled and relaxed in the outdoor seating whether under the trees out front or in the middle section where you feel like you are in some shifty south of the boarder town but with awesome craft beer and friendly waitstaff. Any craft beer buff would love this oasis. I went back a second night for a beer after the great experience the night before. Pints are a bit pricey and it would be nice if they offered 1/2 serving sizes so you could sample more without getting wasted in the Texas heat (since they have so many taps). Other than that the place is a must stop when in San Antonio. Only about 3/4 mile from river walk.

Jun 12, 2014
Photo of 3sheets2wind
3sheets2wind from Texas

4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

In the craft beer desert, Friendly Spot is a shining beacon. They overcharge for a lot of their out of state beers but there are not any places in San Antonio that have such a variety. Plus they fill growlers now. Not too shabby. Don't go to the F Spot expecting a good deal, but do go for the casual scene and wide selection of beer.

Feb 27, 2014
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Sludgeman from District of Columbia

4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

Visited on a Thursday night starting at 6pm. It was a cool evening at the end of January. Bartender said it was unusually slow.

V – All about the outdoors. There is a small inside spot. Picnic tables. Mainly dirt, gravel, grass. Some small areas as well as the front and back bars are undercover. No stools at the bars. A good beer vibe. Kid friendly (there is a play area). Dog friendly as well. A cool neighborhood joint.

Ser – Everybody was very friendly. Briefly met an owner, who knew her beer. Back bartender (Trouper) was great – knowledgable, friendly, just enough talk.

Sel - Very good and broad range of beers on tap (about 40 in the back and 10 in the front), but not necessarily mind blowing. Another 50-100 choices in bottles. Had some Prairie Artisan.

Q – Glassware was generally correct, but variable. Every beer is served cold, so you need to let some warm up. Discussed the cooler system and CO2/Nitro system as well as tap cleaning (every line and tap at least once a month).

Food - Very good fish tacos, but that was it - 2 small fish (lots of meat) for $7. No side, no nothing, but very good. I ordered it twice.

Value – Beer can be a bit pricey. $$$

Jan 31, 2014
Photo of CDRSchafer
CDRSchafer from Texas

4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

This is a great place to go if you're downtown in San Antonio and have small children as there is a playset in the back. My girls played there for a couple of hours as we had lunch and drank beer. This was in December and the weather was perfect for sitting outside.

Great selection.

Aug 09, 2013
Photo of TheBeerDog
TheBeerDog from Texas

4.75/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Best craft beer bar in San Antonio, with the Cove as a close second. They recently installed a second bar area in the back which added to their already massive and diverse selection of excellent craft beers. It's located in the King William district, a cool neighborhood with many good restaurants and drinking establishments. The bar is almost exclusively all outdoors, which is cool, but a little rough during the summer months. I believe there is an indoor area, but I've never spent any time in there. I wish I lived closer to the Friendly Spot, I'd be there all the time!

May 26, 2013
Photo of ChanceK
ChanceK from Texas

4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

My favorite spot in SA to grab a pint. It's all outside under oak trees with people's kids playing on the jungle gym and it's pet friendly. It has a very Austin vibe to it. The people behind the counter are always very helpful and the selection is great, draft or bottles. Have never tried the food, but I've heard it good.

May 26, 2013
Photo of Pvh16
Pvh16 from Indiana

4.88/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Excellent place. Great beer selection with very friendly and knowledgeable bartenders. A must vist. Very relaxing atmosphere during the day and week nights. Weekends are a bit crowded but fun crowd. Didn't try the food but it looked good. Flat screen TVs in back.

Apr 07, 2013
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero from California

4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

Since I was last in town (summer, 2012) San Antonio’s The Friendly Spot has done some serious expansion. Gone is the old back bar and in its place is a 48-tap row along the side of the property—with monitors showing the name, ABV and style, but not the price. I could use the price, guys.

The customer service here is par excellence, definitely living up to its name. Certainly was fun on a slow night talking beer with the guys working, as they know their stuff and had some excellent recommendations. Plus it’s always exciting to see Texas’ selection grow by leaps and bounds.

I hate to end on a critical note but two things sour my otherwise friendly opinion of the Friendly Spot. First, my bar food expectations are generally low but the veggie/black bean burger I had was sub-par even for those reduced standards. And second, their prices are on-par with what I’d expect for a big city or a nicer beer bar, but given that this is an outdoor ice house I wasn’t expecting to pay so much. Dial it back by a dollar or two or throw in a happy hour discount and I’d say good deal.

Mar 31, 2013
Photo of MystikCelt
MystikCelt from New York

4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Heard about this place on BA and couldn't wait to swing by when I was in town on business, and it lived up to the hype. Great big yard with tables scattered among some old shade trees, just off the road behind a white picket fence in a quiet part of town, off the tourist path. Even has a little fenced off playground for the kids which must be nice for the locals with younguns who still want something resembling a social life. As a New Yorker, this is exactly the kind of place I wish we had the weather to keep open year round in the northeast, but alas. Great relaxing atmosphere where you can pull up a stool at the bar and chat up the friendly staff, or kick back and relax under the shade trees while sipping from their large selection of craft ales, many of which I can't find back home. Personally, I soaked in the atmosphere while kicking back and writing over a few bottles in the shade, then chatting the guys up and trying a few more at their suggestion barside before wandering off. And, if you're in town on foot, as I was, there's a conveniently located rent-a-bike rack just up and across the street which you can ride up and drop off near the Alamo, which is pretty much the center of all things SA.

Two snaps up in a z formation!

Sep 09, 2012
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vickersspitfire from Texas

4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

This is an awesome place to sit back and relax, I love watching the parents drop off their kids and then dissappear ... shame on you all! Any ways I guess i'll be doing that in about five years!Their beer selection is really good, as a matter of fact it's probably the best selection you'll find on the south side of San Antonio. Their food is just OK, but when you bring price into the equation, their foods just straight sucks ass. The batenders are nice, sometimes fun and knowledgable. Back to their prices, these guys are just a bit away from reasonable.Obviously the people who state this place as being reasonable make way more money than I do, or it could be that they drink far less than I do. In any case, go to this place, its fun, relaxing and overall very enjoyable.

Jul 29, 2012
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BeerTwigs from New York

4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This place is fantastic. While on business in San Antonio I got sick of looking at all the Sam Adams and Shiner Bock downtown so I decided to take a short walk over to this place after reading some reviews. I enjoyed the atmosphere, a nice open area with tables and a big screen inflatable TV in the yard. The beer selection was great, about 18 taps of goodness and 4-5 coolers with a good bottle selection as well. It was nice to get some beers from the Mid-West and South since I don't usually have access to those in NY. The staff was knowledgeable and the patrons were friendly. This place is a definite must for those looking for craft beer in San Antonio. Cheers.

Feb 03, 2012
Photo of watthree
watthree from New York

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Read the reviews here and decided to try this out while visiting San Antonio and was very impressed. The whole set up is very friendly and inviting. I sat at a big table with some other people watching football and rugby on a giant inflatable screen while kids, dogs and bicycles meandered through the yard. Normally, I don't like kids in bars, but this had a feeling like somebody's back yard barbecue.

The bartenders were very knowledgeable and helpful. I got some great recommendations and ended up falling in love with a Widmer Bros. IPA. They have a huge bottle selection with a broad range of beers, so you'll find something you like.

Loved the beers, loved the service, loved the vibe. This would be a great place for a group of friends or family. Definitely recommend.

Sep 25, 2011
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lackenhauser from Maryland

4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

What a great, laid back concept all in. A white building set back from the sidewalk between 2 massive trees. Pretty much a dirt courtyard with retro outdoor tables and chair set up. Nice size kids play area with a swingset and jungle gym.

Very nice selection-there must have been about 15 taps out front and more at the bar in the rear though I did not go and see if they were the same or different. Probably 80 or so bottles in the front cooler. Service was great and very friendly-after all it is The Friendly Spot!

Did not try the food but since visiting I have had 2 people tell me the food is quite good. Pint of Ranger Creek IPA and bottle of Miller lite was $7.50-not too shabby.

Very laid back-kids and dogs running around. Footloose showing on the big blow up movie screen. Chillaxation all in at this place. Well worth a stop on a nice evening to mellow out.

Sep 17, 2011
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jdense from Oregon

4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Highlight of SAT beer tour, visited twice, 4.21.11 and 4.22.11.

Has the look of a converted ice house, two towering oaks up front provide some shade from the ever-present Tejas sun, cool set of retro sixty-ish patio furniture strewn about fairly randomly, a kids play area up front near the street. Features three bar areas, the one up front has about 20 taps and 100 bottles, good selection of Texas micros on tap, St. Arnold's, etc, pretty good selection of bottles, Doghead Fish, Victory, etc., fairly impressive and surprising, didn't expect to see some of these brews here. There is a back bar area with less taps and a secondary indoor bar that wasn't open during my visit. Friendly and attentive staff, always had a smile on their face, quick service. Mexican style fare, while the portions were pretty small, quite tasty. I had the quesadillas, quite traditional, cotijo on small tortillas, not a big selection of food but paired well with the beers that were available. Evidently they show movies on a big outdoor screen out back in the summer time, and the first time I visited they were having a tasting with four breweries, so evidently there are some special events. Beer prices were average, though I paid $6 for a pint of Saint Arnold 11. About as cool, chill vibe as you can expect in 90+ heat. Parking is street-only, locates just south of downtown in pretty neat, touristy area, worth a visit when in SAT. I preferred this to Freetail, the beer selection was a definite step up. The website could use an update, perhaps twitter, etc. current beer list. Recommended.

Jun 17, 2011
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DaveLikesAle from Ohio

4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The best way to describe The Friendly Spot is a park with a bar. A large outdoor seating area, a dozen or so good taps, 150 bottles, decent Tex-Mex food. There is a fenced in play area with swing sets and slides for the kids (pretty full when I was there). Dogs leashed to the chairs while the owners drank and ate, and ample bike parking. Oh, and a giant inflatable projection TV in the back. I went there 3 times in one day, bringing different people with me each time. Definitely a place just to hang out with friends and family. A brief walk from the Riverwalk area, but seemingly worlds away. If you're looking for good beer, good eats, and a place to chill, check it out.

Feb 07, 2011
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markalonge from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This is simply a great place. Walkable from the Riverwalk, but far enough to avoid the tourist hell of downtown San Antonio. And considering how bad the beer selection is in the average bar in Texas, I cannot express how happy I was to find the Friendly Spot. Several beers on draft. I had Victory Hop Devil and it was $3.50. You won't find such a good beer for that price any closer to the Riverwalk. It is almost entirely outside, but I was there in January, so I was glad for the little enclosed space in the back (with its own bar, too). But you can tell that most of the year the spacious outdoor setting would be great (even in January, it's not out of the question if you're dressed for it). I didn't carefully scrutinize the bottled beer selection, but it looked pretty substantial. If you're in San Antonio, it's a can't-miss stop.

Jan 12, 2011
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LacquerHead from Illinois

4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Visited 8/21/2010

This has to be one of the most chillaxed beer spots I've been to. It is neatly tucked away in the historic King William neighborhood not far from the Blue Star Art Complex.

This place is Ice House style. You're outside the whole time so forget the AC. There is no meathead doorman because there is no door! They have a chest high iron fence in the front with an opening big enough for a small car. You can ride your bike right on in and chain it to the fence.

As you enter you will see an Alamo shaped bar in the center of the grounds, which has tall shady trees here and there. Patio style tables/chairs are scattered through out.

Behind the center bar there is a small restaurant - it was closed for the night when I got there around 10pm. Don't worry, if you're hungry they serve munchies after the restaurant closes. They have two small stages for live music or performances, one in the front area and one in the back.

Look for the chalkboard signs listing various specials and events. They had a movie night the week I was there-they were showing Caddyshack.

They have a small enclosed playground so go ahead and bring the kids. Dogs are welcomed as long as they don't cause a ruckus.

Now to the beer. They have 6 coolers behind the bar chalk full with over 140 different beer bottles. The selection was pretty solid. American craft/micro brews dominated the selection. I liked the set up because they put all the macros on the bottom shelves, so the craft beers were at the forefront. Also, they didn't waste tap space with to much macro swill - they had 2 out of 19 on tap. I was told that the tap and bottle selection was always changing, but they still try to offer 140 or more bottles.

The bartenders were super cool-nothing but smiles. They were well acquainted w/ their beer selection, and they even take the time to remember customer's names - a rarity these days. They serve their drafts in plastic pint glasses, but don't fret. You can ask for a regular pint glass; the bartender will happily bring you one. You will also have to ask for a glass when ordering a bottle. (Seriously, leave the beer snobbery at home.)

Definitely worth a visit if you don't mind sitting outside. This truly was a friendly spot.

Note: I purchased for me and family: 12oz bottles - Ska Pinstripe Ale, Young's C. Stout, Black Butte Porter, B.R. Red Rocket Ale...On Tap - Old Speckled Hen and Tilburg's Dutch Brown Ale. All for only $30 bucks! Not to shabby.

Sep 01, 2010
The Friendly Spot in San Antonio, TX
Place rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 50 ratings