Texans may love hunting and fishing more than the average American, but they love a good beer at the local bar after a long day as much as anybody.
We took in a few bars around the Lone Star State that offer not only drinks, but an outdoorsman-friendly atmosphere perfect for kicking back, trading stories of your adventures, or planning for the next ones.
These choices show off some of the best of the best when it comes to Texas food, atmosphere and above all, sportsman-centric ideals and traditions.
What would you say is the best bar for sportsmen in Texas? What about in your state? Let us know in the comments! Hungry as well as thirsty? Check out our list of the best American restaurants for wild game eaters.
View the slideshow to see our picks for Texas’ best sportsman bars.
The Truck Yard – Dallas
Dallas also has a number of bars spread throughout the city, but the Truck Yard in Lower Greenville stands out as a fun and casual atmosphere. If you hate snobby bars with a dress code, you’ll find the exact opposite in this beer garden surrounded by food trailers and decorated with rusty trucks, mobile homes and license plates. Grab your chosen food from your chosen trailer, then grab a seat as fast and attentive wait staff bring you drinks and their famous cheesesteaks. With a large open space packed with guests sitting on picnic tables and folding chairs, the Truck Yard has more the feel of a good old boys’ get together than a traditional yuppie bar, providing a good balance for the country boy or girl at heart who is stuck in the city.
Chili Willies – Rio Hondo
This place doesn’t even have a website, but it’s famous among the locals all the same. Commonly rated as one of the top bars for fishermen in the nation, you will likely have Chili Willie’s recommended to you by a guide or local if you’re taking a trip around the South Padre or Port Mansfield area. The bar serves beer and wine but also allows BYOB, and cooks up a popular menu of strip steaks, chicken, and burgers. The jukebox mostly cranks country western tunes, and the weekends see live music acts and specials on steak and shrimp. And, if a few drinks in, you get the hankering to grab your fishing gear and try your luck again, the bar is practically casting distance from the ocean.
Elm Waterhole Saloon – Kerrville
You know you’re going to an outdoorsman-friendly bar when it goes by the title of saloon. The bar is modeled after a 19th Century Wild West watering hole, but with all the creature comforts of the modern era, including flat screen TVS, a pool table, appetizers and of course, beer. The bar also frequently hosts live music acts on the weekend. Elm Waterhole Saloon is actually attached to the equally Western-themed YO Hotel (pictured above), so book a room and stay the night if you really want to imbibe without limitations.
Buckhorn Saloon – San Antonio
At first glance, The Buckhorn Saloon comes off a little as a cheesy tourist trap, but the bar still holds a lot of appeal for the average sportsman looking for a unique place to wet his whistle. The Buckhorn boasts a lot of Western history, having been open since 1881. The bar also has several locally-brewed and craft beers on tap, although sadly they no longer accept antlers and horns in exchange for a drink like in their early days. Still, nearly every inch of the walls are covered in mounted taxidermy, which is always preferable to neon and beer ads, and might even inspire your next hunting or fishing trip.
Dog and Duck Pub – Austin
Austin has plenty of bars to choose from, but as its name suggests, this British-themed pub is one of the only ones with an outdoors theme. The bar has a comfortable feel with a down-to-earth but delicious selection of fish and chips, burgers, and other fried pub fare as well as a sizable beer selection. For some Texans, going to Austin may feel like stepping into another country, and an English pub is a whole other trip, but they may be surprised to find themselves oddly at home here among hunting gear, local brews, and gloriously unhealthy pub food.