Seven Places in Austin to Eat and Drink on a Budget: Jan. 30-Feb. 5
Your day by day guide to the best local happy hours and deals
By Brandon Watson,
10:30AM, Mon. Jan. 30, 2017
Damn. Last week was a week. From Mary Tyler Moore proving that the curse of 2016 is still with us to a group of Trumpy Old Men doing their best to reopen the hellmouth, every day wore us out. And from what we see on Twitter, this new week is going to bring us Drake levels of thirst. Here's our daily guide to how we're going to quench it.
1209 E. Seventh, 512/524-1448
Fun fact: We recently attempted to make a homemade allspice dram, which we named “Dram Gina!” It was gross. So now we get our fix in The Hightower’s Hightail, a mix of the liqueur with rye, honey syrup, and lemon. The sweet and sour cocktail works well with the bright flavors of the Eastside haunt’s happy hour menu, like the fennel and orange in the ceviche and the preserved lemon in the grilled cabbage. At $6 per pop, you can order several of the small plates without taking out a payday loan. Or order several of the house cocktails instead if you want to forget that you just made a Martin pun. Happy hour: Daily 5-7pm.
TuesdayKing Bee Lounge 1906 E. 12th, 512/600-6956
Rio Rita 1203 Chicon, 512/524-0384
OK, hear us out. We know we promised you bargains this week, and bargains we shall bring you henceforth. But on Tuesday we want you to spend as much as you can afford to help fund the important work of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. Woke baes King Bee and Rio Rita are donating part of their proceeds for the entire evening, so order a round for your pals at both bars, order a pizza or three at King Bee (which are a bargain, btw – see we told you we would bring it), order another few drinks, take a car home, and make another donation instead of drunk shopping on Amazon. It will feel better than buying a second pair of Handerpants, believe us.
704 W. St Johns, 512/765-4816
You drank a LOT last night, and we partially feel it’s our fault. So maybe fortify that belly with hearty plates like meatballs served with fried polenta, sweet potato fettuccine with brown butter, and crispy pork belly bánh mì buns. All are $2 off during happy hour and affordable any time. If you need some late day hair of the dog, we won’t judge you as we sip our $4 Pearl Snap. Happy hour: Tue.-Sat., 4-7pm; Sun., all day.
1300 S. Lamar, 512/551-9980
On Thursday evenings we like to shimmy into a pinstriped threepiece and give a brush to our nubucks. “George,” we say to no one in particular, “you’re the elephant’s eyebrows. Let’s skidoo to Backbeat for some brown plaid.” The whole act gets us some serious side-eye, so naturally we have no choice other than drowning our sorrows in a $7 classic cocktail washed down with a $2 discounted sherry. The bar snacks are discounted $2, too. That’s probably for the best now that you're zozzled? Happy hour: Tue.-Thu., 4-7pm; Sun., all night.
FridayHopdoddy Burger Bar
Congratulations! You made it through five days of arguing with your tone-deaf aunt on Facebook and bungling spreadsheets. Come up with some excuse to leave work early (we like to say we had a herpes flare-up) and meet your favorite buds at Hopdoddy Burger Bar. Their re-razzle-dazzled happy hour gets your weekend started right with $5 craft drinks like their Doble Fina Margarita. The seasonal burger special is only $5 too, but we usually skip that and go straight to the $5 fries, which we rub all over our face like Cindy Crawford in “Freedom! ’90.” Sup, bro. Happy hour: Mon.-Fri., 3-6:30pm.
10006 Manchaca Rd., 512/761-3757
Hot Mess 10006 Manchaca Rd., 586/260-2001
It’s just like Beyoncé said in her ode to affordable potables, “Drunk in Love,” “How the hell did this shit happen?” Sometimes you just have to go hard. The $1 discount on draught beers and well liquors during the South Austin hangout’s happy hour may not seem like much, but their drinks are already affordable. Since we are emotionally stunted, we like to take our Tinder dates there and share a plate of the Hot Mess food truck’s namesake dish, a roadhouse scuffle of fries, sausage, bacon, Cheddar, and smoky jalapeño aïoli. Nothing says manly like pork on a mustache. Happy hour: Daily 4-7pm.
105 Tillery, 512/366-5908
We know this sounds just a tiny smidge sacrilegious, but when we have the urge to be catty after a day of prayer and atonement, we head on out to one of the newest happy hours in town. When you are going to talk smack, your environment best be on point so when you inevitably tag your frenemy in a shady Instagram, they know you’re not there to discuss Leviticus. If they weren’t such a backstabber, they’d be there with you anyway, enjoying discounted picadillo tacos and $6 frozen margaritas while reading the rest of your fam to filth. Happy hour: Wed.-Sat., 5-7pm; Sun. 5-10pm.