We had to go to penalty shootouts (hand counting paper ballots!) to determine a winner after full time resulted in a “Best Brewery in Austin” draw. The fans decreed that a fair result was indeed a stalemate between the two beer giants: Jester King and Meanwhile Brewing. Each represents the current climate of Austin’s beer scene, respectively: in Jester King, an old world farmhouse brewery/playland devoted to mixed culture, spontaneous fermentation, and families; and in Meanwhile, a new-skool urban brewery/playland devoted to diverse IPAs, hoppy lagers, and, well, families.
Informed by founder Sammy Lam’s twin passions of wine and travel, both Wanderlust locations boast extensive, globally influenced self-pour, on-tap wine lists, including many Texas-made brands. Wanderlust also hosts community events involving champagne towers and cheese plates, so … why are you still reading this?
Tito Beveridge may have rocked the global alcohol industry when he totally pwned the San Francisco World Spirit Competition back in 2001, but these days the hometown hero's brand of vodka-flavored vodka is the established front-runner in a world of spirited contenders, a world where the more clueless bar tourists will request a “Tito’s and vodka.”
Tito's Handmade Vodka
Some might argue that Matt’s El Rancho is the inception point of Austin-style Tex-Mex. Their most enduring contribution to the ubiquitous tipple in this part of Texas, the margarita, is an introduction of freshly squeezed lime juice. History is written by the victors. The House Frozen is the go-to, or if you want a complete attitude adjuster, Matt’s Knockout Martini.
The team at this gorgeous Oaxacan-inspired wonderland created a uniquely inspired spirits menu to accompany incredible dishes like beet huarache, tlayuda de hongos, and ceviche de coco. Their four robust tequila styles (even extra Anejo) produced in five Mexican states using only Blue Weber Agave really make our hearts sing. The Don Dario – with reposado, tamarindo, lime, and sarsaparilla bitters – is good luck indeed.
Sure, this Eastside hang is almost always packed to the gills with filthy beautiful people, but it’s also a total dive (in the best way) that boasts an annual Coney dog eating contest. Which makes it a primo destination for a killer whiskey menu. Whether you fancy it neat, old-fashioned, or dolled up, these folks can quench any small-batch single-barrel whiskey craving you can imagine.
Who doesn’t love a wine list organized thematically by figures from pop culture like Jayne Mansfield and the Notorious B.I.G.? Here are dozens of old-world, natural, and bubbly wines by the bottle, and almost a few dozen offerings (at any given service) by the glass. If you can’t find something to suit your palate, you’re just too picky. Salud.
Logically, a place is going to have the best beer selection in town when they brew 21 different (delicious) in-house variations of it while also curating the most well-rounded guest beer wall in all 254 counties in Texas. If there’s not something you can happily swig here, maybe take up doing taxes as a hobby instead. The Draught House isn’t called The Drought House, after all.
With more than two dozen house ciders, cider-based cocktails, and guest ciders, Austin Eastciders: Barton Springs has you covered on selection, while Austin Eastciders: The Collaboratory offers a more pared-down selection of house ciders on tap and in cans/bombers to take home. If you’re leaning crisp and dry, choose the Texas Brut. If you’re feeling tropical, go for Pineapple.
No matter the “why,” sometimes a craft cocktail sans booze is precisely the right move. The skill level of the mixologists at this small but mighty North Loop spot – which carries several variations of Seedlip, by the way – means you’re guaranteed the full-bodied flavor you’re hankering for without any risk of hangover or regret.
You crave a smooth, creamy milkshake. Luckily, there’s a P. Terry’s near you, so now all you have to do is choose. Do you go classic with double chocolate or vanilla? Or try the creative shake of the month? Either way, it’s not going to break the bank, and you don’t even have to get out of your car.
P. Terry's Burger Stand
404 S. Lamar, 512/473-2217
3303 N. Lamar, 512/371-9975
4220 W. William Cannon Ste. B-200, 512/358-0380
8515 Burnet Rd., 512/420-9242
3311 RR 620 S., 512/263-9433
204 W. Ben White, 512/462-4998
12301 N. MoPac, 512/719-4810
12018 Research, 512/257-0990
701 Capital of TX Hwy. S., Bldg. H, 512/306-0779
5701 N. I-35, 512/420-9984
1551 Hwy. 71 E., 737/209-0059
5900 N. Lamar, 512/814-0129
13770 Hwy. 183 N., 512/219-9992
1800 E. Oltorf, 512/284-8137
12901 N. I-35, 512/531-9683
517 W. MLK, 737/212-0420
515 Congress, 512/473-8722
8600 S. I-35, 512/487-5103
What’s bright green, tastes like peanut butter and bananas, and comes in a compostable cup? JuiceLand’s Wundershowzen, which harnesses the aforementioned power of PB and B with spinach and hemp protein, and is discounted on Thursdays. Fall into a Wundershowzen rut, or challenge your tastebuds with a durian, strawberry matcha, or Blue Majik-topped smoothie.
1625 Barton Springs Rd., 512/480-9501
2307 Lake Austin Blvd., 512/628-0782
7329 Burnet Rd., 512/524-1129
2601 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/351-8439
4500 Duval St., 512/380-9046
2828 Guadalupe, 512/494-6905
12226 RR 620 N., Cedar Park, 512/436-8095
1900-A E. MLK, 512/519-9806
6705 Hwy. 290 #610, Oak Hill, 512/865-7081
9901 Brodie Ln., 512/373-8731
4526-A West Gate Blvd., 512/358-0009
5521 Balcones, 512/514-0310
2422 RR 620 S. Ste. A-114, Lakeway, 512/284-9044
701 Capital of TX Hwy. S. #580, 512/243-5719
2210 S. First #1, 512/383-8399
1801-A E. 51st #140, 512/494-5899
120 E. Fourth, 737/300-2120
10721 Research #100, 512/342-1966
3120 Palm Way #114, 512/291-3409
6301 W. Parmer #104, 512/249-0956
3600 Presidential Blvd. Gate 16
Radio’s coffee is excellent, as are the beers. The noms – Veracruz All Natural tacos, Dee Dee’s Thai street food, those Briscuits – are their equal. As is the welcoming place itself, with that expansive outdoor patio and a superb lineup of live music and other events throughout the week. If we could, we’d probably live here.
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