RESTAURANTS/CAFES Occasional Live Music


B.B. Rovers Cafe & Pub
(C-9) 12636 Research, 335-9504.

Food Served allBeer and Wine Served Never a Cover

Jollyville City Limits, the local singer-songwriter showcase and off-Broadway answer to Austin City Limits, takes place at this North Austin restaurant/pub every Sunday night at 8:30pm. No fancy studio, no TV cameras, just a pub grub/comfort food menu, a big-screen TV to keep an eye on the game, and an international beer list that boggles the mind.
http://www.bbrovers.com


Bongo BBQ
(UT-10) 1004 W. 24th, 478-7427.

Food Served allBeer and Wine Served Never a Cover

West Campus' Bongo BBQ owner Mike Wallace is a big bluegrass fan, and these mighty fine tastes are reflected in the string bands and folk-leaning soloists the restaurant hosts every Friday and irregular Thursdays, either outside on the patio when weather permits or inside, which seats 42.


Cafe Mundi
(E-4) 1707 E. Sixth, 236-8634.

Food Served allNo Smoking Never a Cover

A new Eastside boho combo coffeehouse/artspace/gift shop, Cafe Mundi is equally eclectic in its live music offerings. Jazz and world music bands and singer-songwriters rotate flavors like the coffee du jour Tue-Sat nights (including a Saturday afternoon slot), with a popular and energetic open mike on Thursdays starting at 8pm.


Chez Zee
(C-15) 5406 Balcones, 454-2666.

Food Served allLiquor Served Never a Cover

Regulars and novices alike have been flocking to this bistro for 10 years running in search of sweet indulgences like Chez Zee's famous crème brulée french toast -- to name just one of their 20 wicked dessert options. On weekends, the restaurant hosts jazzmen who tinkle away at the standout house instrument, a blonde oak baby grand. And if the stroking of both your gustatory and auditory isn't enough, there's a ready-to-assemble jigsaw puzzle atop the piano for guests' tactile pleasure.


Copper Tank
(6th-32) 504 Trinity, 478-8444.

Food Served 21+Liquor Served Always a Cover

The Copper Tank is more of a brewpub (with five original beers and two or three seasonal brews on tap at any given time), which occasionally has live music, although it regularly hosts acts in two different rooms during SXSW. The five-year-old establishment caters to college party crowds and the like, and with an enormous main room, it can cater to almost 850 of them at any one time.
http://www.ctank.com


Curra's Grill
(S-21) 614 E. Oltorf, 444-0012.

Food Served allNo Smoking Liquor Served Never a Cover

Tarantino and Clinton may hang out at Guero's when they're in Austin, but if it's real hometown celebrity you want (not to mention some of the best Mexican food in town), then Curra's is the place. They have live music at least three times a week, from Cajun to mariachi to German and Mexican polkas, with the highlight coming every Saturday with local duo Correo Aereo and their mix of traditional, Latin American folk music. With Austin microbrews, 30 varieties of tequila (no need for Cuervo here), and two kinds of homemade corn tortillas, the Garcia family qualifies as the best hosts in town.


El Sol y la Luna
(S-14) 1224 S. Congress, 444-7770.

Food Served allLiquor Served Never a Cover

A local favorite since it opened on South Congress in 1995, this cozy restaurante mixes mole, pozole, Mexican folk art, and a healthy dose of Latin rhythms. From Cuba to Colombia to Peru, samba to salsa to Andean folk, El Sol y la Luna's musical compass points decidedly south, and the resulting blend is as tasty as their celebrated migas. Live music Friday and Saturday evenings (7:30pm-9:30pm) and Sunday brunch (11:30pm-1:30am).
http://www.citysearch.com/aus/elsolylaluna


Gilligan's
(D-22) 407 Colorado, 474-7474.

Food Served allLiquor Served Never a Cover

The cuisine is called "New World." This means fresh seafood and tropical sauces when it comes to the menu, but the music featured in this restaurant could be called the same. Reggae, jazz, or a soloist on the baby grand is usually the order of the day. A small stage in the cocktail lounge has music Tue-Sat, and though it's mostly for background, bands like Alamo Suite and Tribal Nation can command attention as well as any macadamia-crusted haddock with mango-chipotle-chutney might.
http://www.citysearch.com/aus/gilligans


Gino's Italian Grill
(C-42) 730-A W. Stassney, 326-4466.

Food Served allLiquor Served Never a Cover

Five nights a week you can sample their fresh-baked breads and sausages while local favorites like Rusty Wier and a slew of other country & western and Fifties and Sixties rock acts play center stage, commanding every bit of audience attention. Call to see which acts are featured and be sure to check on seating availability -- this is a relatively small locale, seating about 75.


Green Mesquite BBQ
(S-6) 1400 Barton Springs, 479-0485.

North: (C-0) 2700 W. Pecan Street (Pflugerville), 251-7388.

South: (C-45) 7010 Hwy 71, 288-8300.

Food Served allBeer and Wine Served Never a Cover

There are few places that combine the Austin essentials of food and music as effortlessly as the Green Mesquite, where you can grab a slab of 16-hour brisket with a side of fingerpickin' at three spots around town. At the original Barton Springs location, you'll find free live music under the pecans on the patio every Fri-Sun, with Sundays reserved for the WST (We Surely Try) Bluegrass Band. You'll find more of the same indoors at the restaurant's Oak Hill and Pflugerville locations. The Green Mesquite advertises its music as "not the loud kind" -- mostly blues, ballads, and bluegrass -- so you can leave your fingers out of yer ears and wrap 'em around a sandwich instead.
http://www.greenmesquite.com


HighLife Cafe
(6th-11) 407 E. Seventh, 474-5338.

Food Served allBeer and Wine Served Never a Cover

If you can call downtown a "neighborhood," the Seventh Street cafe/restaurant/bar HighLife Cafe has emerged as the neighborhood gathering spot; the Regal Beagle for Austin's jet set. The classical piano of Laura Scarborough (every Wednesday) and Carl Settles' jazz standards (every Friday) resonate handsomely with the help of HighLife's limestone walls, and the first Thursday of every month Rumbullion fills the many nooks and crannies of the bistro with their French cafe jazz.


Kerbey Lane North
(C-8) 12602 Research, 258-7757.

Food Served allNo Smoking Liquor Served Never a Cover

Although pancakes and enchiladas are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if your digestion requires the aid of live music, Wednesday is the day for your trip to this northside eatery. Every week, 8-10pm, Ptarmigan fills the bar with Irish and Celtic folk music and the sounds of fiddle, flute, and banjo, and while Kerbey Lane books music more heavily at times -- usually acoustic and folk up to five nights every week -- for now the weekly jig suffices.


Laura's Bluebonnet Kitchen
(C-16) 5408 Burnet, 467-9552.

Food Served allNo Smoking Beer and Wine Served Never a Cover

This northside diner has that they-don't-make-'em-like-this-anymore grandma kitsch aesthetic in both food and decor, making it an unlikely but comfy setting for a weekly Friday suppertime (6:30-8:30pm) accompanied by live music. Their comfort food goes down even better with the gentle encouragement of the jazz, country, blues, and Celtic acts that squeeze in among the formica tables.
http://www.citysearch.com/aus/bluebonnetkitchen


Live Oak Coffeehouse
(C-10) 12310 RR 620 N, Ste 104, 873-7249 x2.

Food Served allNo Smoking Always a Cover

This coffeehouse on the grounds of North Austin's Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church hosts singer-songwriters and other acoustic music in monthly shows that benefit local charities. As befits the church, the shows start early (7:30pm), and are alcohol and smoke-free. Individual performances run $7; season tickets are available for $24; childcare is available.


Malaga
(D-17) 208 W. Fourth, 236-8020.

Food Served allLiquor Served Never a Cover

Opened in mid-1998, this warehouse district wine andtapas bar is proving a holdout for a uniquely Austin crowd -- part hippie, part hipster -- providing a respite from the South Dallas Armani scene overtaking the warehouse district. Their current live music calendar has Teye y Viva Flamenco holding down Thursday nights and ex-Cula du Cafe frontman Joey de Lago on Saturdays playing boleros and other flavors of Latino makeout music. The club expects to book for Friday nights in the near future.


Mojo's
(UT-15) 2714 Guadalupe, 477-MOJO.

Food Served allBeer and Wine Served Never a Cover

You know it. It's the white, purple, and green two-story on the Drag with all the scenesters, goth kids, and lightweight chess champs schlepping in and out at all hours. When not sipping coffee from bowl-sized mugs or taking drags from imported cigarettes some of these kids form bands. And, on sporadic weekends, you can sit yourself down at a rock slab table in a wobbly chair or slouch against a the sidewalk fence and check them out. They tend to be largely "indie"-style rock bands, but Mojo's also specializes in hip-hop DJs.


Moon River Bar & Grill
(L-3) RR 2322@ Pace Bend Park, 264-2064.

Food Served allLiquor Served

A mixed bag of rock and Top 40 bands every Friday and Saturday night at this 1800s schoolhouse with a dance floor and a large beer garden.


Mother's Cafe
(C-29) 4215 Duval, 451-3994.

Food Served allNo Smoking Beer and Wine Served Never a Cover

Simultaneously one of the anchors of the historic Hyde Park district and a vegetarian oasis in a sea of steaks 'n' ribs, Mother's has held its ground for over 17 years and shows no sign of faltering. Aside from the expansive list of veggie and vegan meals they offer, there's also musical accompaniment for those dining on their garden patio. More like an untamed jungle greenhouse, this is the perfect laid-back setting for classical guitarists, folk artists, and even harpists to do their thing for an audience as eclectic as the neighborhood itself.


Mozart's
(L-12) 3825 Lake Austin Blvd., 477-2900.

Food Served allNo Smoking Never a Cover

When the weather is fine, the 300-seat deck at Mozart's on Lake Austin is the perfect place to drink a fresh cup of coffee (roasted on site) and take in some music. Mozart's has instrumental sounds, usually jazz or Latin-influenced, Thu-Sun to accompany your lakeside lazing. The coffee shop attracts an international crowd, from tourists to students, with its juice bar and deli, and a bakery that makes a killer cheesecake.


New World Deli
(C-27) 4101 Guadalupe, 451-7170.

Food Served allNo Smoking Never a Cover

The Guadalupe locale of this deli that serves up sloppy joes as well as sandwiches holds the all-acoustic series "Hyde Park Unplugged" every Thursday evening at 7pm. Esteemed local singer-songwriter and radio pundit Steve Brooks hosts an eclectic mix of singer-songwriters, poets, and storytellers.


Oasis
(L-8) 6550 Comanche Trail, 266-2441.

Food Served allLiquor Served Never a Cover

Self-billed as the sunset capital of Texas, the Oasis' decks are absolutely packed during the twilight summer hours as people literally watch the world turn. It's a bit of a hike out toward Lake Travis, but the views are worth the trip and the crowds and the margaritas are a de rigueur part of the experience. Live music, featured only during the summer, tends to be unobtrusive and intended for the background, perfect for ending a day on the lake.


Polvo's
(S-18) 2004 S. First, 441-5446.

Food Served allNo Smoking Beer and Wine Served Never a Cover

Every Sunday, La Familia, a Mexican take on the Partridge Family, accent heaping plates of cheesy-beany goodness with folklorico, mariachi ballads, and boleros. While some patrons might recall Friday and Saturday outdoor open mike and jam sessions at Polvo's, they're regrettably a thing of the past. Maybe if we ask nicely and cross our fingers, that will change.
http://www.citysearch.com/aus/polvos


Shady Grove
(S-5) 1624 Barton Springs, 474-9991.

Food Served allLiquor Served Never a Cover

Summer finds the patio of this popular anchor of the emerging Barton Springs restaurant row crowded with folk post-swim munching on Shady Grove's famous chili-cheese fries. Less greasy but just as finger-likkin' is their small stage for intimate performances such as KGSR's yearly "Unplugged" summer series.


Ski Shores
(L-10) 3907 Pierce, 346-5915.

Food Served allBeer and Wine Served Never a Cover

Sail your boat right on up to Ski Shores where Austin's "oldest family establishment'" (in business since 1954) hosts a wide range of music every weekend -- April through September. Their schedule offers a taste of Austin hard-hitters (Alejandro Escovedo, Trish Murphy) and local lesser-knowns.


Su Casa
(E-14) 3301 N. I-35, 236-1219.

Food Served allNo Smoking Never a Cover

Mi Madre's es Su Casa: The former I-35 feeder road location of the Eastside migas-making geniuses Mi Madre's reopened last year under new ownership. Local songwriting duo Christy Claxton and Jim Eastburn are attempting to make Su Casa even homier with their new suppertime series beginning at 5:30pm every Wednesday.


Sullivan's
(D-23) 300 Colorado, 495-6504.

Food Served allLiquor Served

Fancy-pants. That's what Sullivan's is. A la carte delights for the discerning carnivore. And to help that porterhouse down, someone like Hank Hehmsoth, James Polk, or Obatallah tickles the ivories of the big piano, with maybe a saxophone to help it along. The arrival of Sullivan's, with its adjoining Ringside music room, was key in filling up empty warehouses with swank pubs and eateries, and they offer valet parking to alleviate one major drawback of entering the warehouse district. There's music Mon-Sat; they're closed Sundays.


Texas Bar & Grill
(C-3) 14611 Burnet, 255-1300.

Food Served Liquor Served

This North Austin establishment has been around for the better part of a decade and deals primarily in blues and blues-based rock.


Treehouse Italian Grill
(S-20) 2201 College, 443-4200.

Food Served allLiquor Served Never a Cover

One of Austin's most magnificent trees sets the scene (or dwarfs it, depending on your perception) for atmospheric, original singer-songwriter talent. And when the weather is less than ideal, dining parties can hear strumming and vocals wafting down from "Old World"-style balconies. Romance is definitely the leitmotif.


Treeside Patio
(C-14) 6701 Burnet, 206-4466.

Food Served allLiquor Served Never a Cover

If Pee-Wee Herman were to open a restaurant, there'd be a singing tree, a corral complete with decorative piggies, room after room of different, surreal themes, X-mas and strobe lights, and musical acts that manage to make Mingus on mandolin actually work. Too late, "the legendary" Jon Paul already beat him to it. He considers it his gift to North Austin; a retreat from everyday life that they don't have to drive all the way across town to enjoy.


Triumph Coffee House
(C-12) 3808 Spicewood Springs, 343-1875.

Food Served allNo Smoking Never a Cover

At this North Austin coffeehouse, the specialty beans are Vietnamese and the live music is classical, jazz, and Christian. The music starts at 8pm Friday and Saturday nights.
http://www.triumphcoffee.com


Tropical Heat
(C-4) 900 E. Braker, 837-9396.

Food Served allLiquor Served

Old-time rock & roll is what the Tropical Heat is all about. All week long they serve up burgers, salads, and California-style pizza (thin crust and lots of cheese), but after 8pm on weekends it becomes adults-only and the back room comes to life with the blues and rock sounds of local acts like Mojo and Terry Wheeler. With a full bar and a capacity of almost 250, there's plenty of space at this north-end neighborhood joint for anyone from age 21-71 to dust off those rockin' shoes
http://www.carablueone.com


Volente Beach Club
(L-7) 16107 Wharf Cove (FM2769), 258-9993.

Food Served allLiquor Served Never a Cover

It's as much like "Beach Blanket Bingo" as you can find off the Pacific coast: volleyball and horseshoes on the manmade beach; swimming in Lake Travis; burgers and fries; and weekend jams in the sand. All you moondoggies and betties wishing to catch the live performances should visit between 1-6pm, Saturdays and Sundays.


Waterloo Brewing Co.
(D-10) 401 Guadalupe, 477-1836.

Food Served 21+Liquor Served Never a Cover

Waterloo is Austin's oldest brewpub, which is slightly misleading given that it's been around all of five years. The downstairs is a restaurant (big burgers, etc.), the upstairs is a bar (darts, pool tables, air hockey), and atop the building is a rooftop deck. Live music isn't a fixture here, but during the summer they have bands on the roof, and two or three or four times a year (SXSW included) they put up a tent over the parking lot and have a whopper of a shindig
http://www.waterloobrew.com


Whole Bean
(C-27) 4101 Guadalupe, 467-8334.

Food Served allNo Smoking Never a Cover

The most recent addition to the Hyde Park Marketplace, Whole Bean has managed to achieve what many thought impossible: comfortable chairs, ample light, smoke-free air, and music conducive to the completion of the thought process. On Tuesdays, they have open mike nights for acts that range from folk to blues, and Fridays they book bands they've run across and deemed underdogs in the Austin music scene. Owners Kevin and Nikki Williams see it all as a way to "make a place for everybody." Coming soon, Sunday gospel shows.
http://www.citysearch.com/aus/wholebean