Don't let showers this weekend get you down. The rest of SXSW promises beautiful weather – perfect for enjoying Austin's patio culture.
Yellow Jacket is one of the few places left in Austin that truly feels like it’s for locals only, and that’s probably because it’s a little bit off of the beaten path, nestled into the largely residential East Fifth Street. It’s still cheap, too, and unpretentious, a favorite with skaters and the service industry. It’s an ideal spot to spend a relaxed afternoon on the shady patio in true Austin style with a can of Lone Star, one of their daily frozen drinks, or a hearty sandwich or snack from the “picnic” section of the menu.
Photo courtesy of Yellow Jacket Social Club
Check out the Whisler’s patio for some of the best craft cocktails in Austin, cooler-than-you but still friendly bar service, and selections from the Thai-Kun trailer out back, one of Austin’s favorites. It’s not the cheapest bar on East Sixth, but that doesn’t stop the weekend crowds that pack the patio to take in a well-crafted cocktail; don’t forget to check out the tiny upstairs Oaxacan-style Mezcalería Tobalá, which is always worth a visit.
Photo courtesy of Whisler's FB
Although many Austinites leave Rainey Street to the tourists, the entertainment district is one of the best home camps during SXSW. Lustre Pearl, located right at the head of Rainey, is a Dunlap ATX project that offers a casual backyard and rooftop with your basic array of tallboys, draft beers, and cocktails. It’s a great place to start the night off before heading Downtown for some more rowdy entertainment. And if Rainey isn't your vibe, you can enjoy the same atmosphere at Lustre Pearl East
Photo courtesy of Lustre Pearl FB
Perla’s may arguably have the most popular patio in Austin at the moment, occupying a key spot on South Congress’ ever-busier main thoroughfare. Battle the weekend crowds for a spot on their coastal-casual themed deck under the 100-year-old live oak tree. The oysters, seafood, and prime steaks are worth the wait.
Photo courtesy of Perla's FB
Another South Congress hot spot, Jo’s is the perfect spot to take a breather and refuel with an iced Turbo while you take in some of the best people-watching in the city. And if you really want to stick out like a sore thumb tourist, don’t forget to take a picture with the graffiti scrawl “i love you so much …” found on the north side of the stand.
Photo courtesy of Jo’s Coffee FB
Easy Tiger’s patio offers a bit of respite from the hustle of Sixth Street, parked right on Waller Creek and offering up 33 draft beers, homemade sausages, and charcuterie and cheese boards. Be sure to try out their pretzel while you challenge a friend to a game of pingpong, and take some fresh-baked bread and pastries with you from their bakery upstairs.
Photo courtesy of Easy Tiger FB
Radio may be a bit off the beaten path, but it’s one of the best patios in Austin for a casual night of local craft brews, draft kombucha, and live music. The expansive patio is open all day for coffee, beer, and wine, and also offers access to two food trucks, Veracruz All Natural and Cazamance. But be prepared to get social: They turn the wifi off at 5pm every day.
Photo by John Anderson
After an afternoon at Zilker Park or a stroll around Lady Bird Lake, head to Juliet Ristorante for Italian classics and craft cocktails. Enjoy chef Jacob Weaver’s combination of rustic and refined Italian on the green, shady patio reminiscent of nearby Barton Springs, as you sample their formaggio selection, their unique Negroni or olive oil flights, or opt for a more classic pizza or risotto.
Photo by John Anderson
This truly one-of-a-kind spot is a smorgasbord of everything you could ever need from a venue: It features two stages, one indoor and one outdoor, a cafe/bar, tattoo parlor, barber shop, clothing boutique, multiple food trucks, and extensive patio seating. Dubbed by the owners as a “small carnival-village,” Spider House is an Austin institution, and promises a fun time no matter what you’re looking for.
Photo courtesy of Spider House FB