San Marcos has a vibrant nightlife, including several craft breweries that are making unique local offerings, like Middleton Brewing.

San Marcos is full of trails for hiking and water for floating, but the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. San Marcos is a college town stocked full of bars, breweries, restaurants, and live-music venues to entertain those looking for a little fun.

Like most things in San Marcos, the action revolves mostly around the Square. This historic downtown area is home to charming neighborhood cafes, rustic honky-tonks, laid-back dive bars, and hip breweries where visitors can dine, dance, or relax.


Where to Get the Best Brews

Craft beer aficionados might be surprised by how many options this tiny town has to offer.

AquaBrew is a great introduction to the San Marcos craft beer and food scene. Located right off the Downtown Square, you’re in the perfect spot to enjoy the San Marcos life.

The Taproom features more than 102 beers, with at least 40 of those on tap, while Sean Patrick’s Irish Pub is always a favorite for letting loose while drinking one their six house beers (or the more than 70 on tap!).


Middleton Brewery is one of several local options for craft beer.

For high-quality breweries outside the square, check out Middleton Brewing, a brewpub that offers Belgian, American, and English-style beer. If they have it, try the jalapeño beer, which is always a fan favorite. And just down the road is Roughhouse Brewing. Roughhouse Brewing is a small, family-owned craft brewery that specializes in farmhouse-style beer. Enjoy your beer while being serenaded at one of the picnic tables out back! 


There’s Plenty of Entertainment Here

Even though nearby Austin promotes itself as the live music capital, San Marcos has plenty of its own live music to offer.


The Cheatham Street Warehouse features a wide variety of live music to enjoy.

Since 1974, Cheatham Street Warehouse has been the town’s quintessential go-to honky-tonk. The laidback bar features live blues, country, rock, and soul bands several times a week. Every Wednesday night songwriters stop by to perform original music during Kent Finlay’s Songwriters Circle. Over the years, George Strait, Randy Rogers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Shelley King, and many others have honed their skills on its stage.

One of the newest additions to the San Marcos music scene also has by far the best daiquiris in town. Not only does Crafthouse Kitchen and Tap have a menu full of burgers and beer and great live music performances, it also serves up more than 40 varieties of daiquiri. Choose from traditional flavors like mango margarita, piña colada, and strawberry lemonade, or try something unique. If you are daring, order a Suicide, which is all 40 flavors mixed together in one cup.

The Marc is possibly the best-sounding live music venue on the square. With its state-of-the-art sound equipment, the club hosts many of the national acts passing through San Marcos.


Other Fun Options for Hanging Out in San Marcos


Set in a 1930s gas station, Zelicks Icehouse is known for its craft cocktails and huge beer list.

For those who want to catch up with friends on a lovely patio, try Zelicks Icehouse. Zelicks calls itself the Best Little Ice House in Texas. Set in a 1930s gas station, Zelicks features an al fresco seating area that’s the perfect place to drink an ice cold beer on a beautiful afternoon. The bar serves craft cocktails and features a huge beer list. With plenty of outdoor space surrounded by green plants, the bar has one of the best patios in San Marcos. Televisions, pool tables and Texas-inspired games like washers, horseshoes, and corn hole are available, too.

For those who want nothing more than to drink an adult beverage and play childhood games, Putt Pub and Black Rabbit Saloon are great options. With two bars, mini golf, food trucks, and much more, Putt Pub is a great place for friends to enjoy a lively night out.

Black Rabbit Saloon is like a grown-up game room with whiskey. Choose from Skeeball, Golden Tee Golf, darts, pool, and a number of arcade games both vintage and new. All your favorites from childhood, plus an impressive selection of whiskey—140 varieties to be exact!

So while you may spend the day on the water, save a little energy for the nighttime. No matter your taste in music, food, and drinks, you’ll find something to love in San Marcos.

Written by Jennifer Simonson for RootsRated Media in partnership with San Marcos CVB.