This South Austin bar is everything Austin’s laid-back culture should be: an unassuming dive bar with gruff locals, black T-shirts and tattoos galore, pool tables and horseshoes on the spacious dog-friendly patio with cheap drinks, and unpretentious bar food that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor. It’s the latter that earns it a spot on this list. All dive bars should serve up grilled Caesars.
6507 Circle S
The former site of Austin institution Green Pastures is kicking it back to the old-school in their refurbished, sprawling South Austin home with gorgeous interiors and an ambience that pays homage to everything that made Green Pastures the beacon of Southern hospitality it once was. For the full experience, join Mattie’s for a leisurely brunch under their great live oak. Just don’t pet the peacocks.
811 W. Live Oak
This “shamelessly inauthentic Southeast Asian” trailer slings bites that are salty, spicy, sweet, and sour – in other words, perfect drinking food. Which works out well, considering Soursop is parked in the backyard of the burgeoning St. Elmo Brewing Company. The fatty pork, panang eggplant, and flaky roti with a dipping curry are crave-worthy – with or without a beer.
440 E. St. Elmo, Bldg. G-2
We’re not saying that Bob Dylan isn’t a big deal, but whoever invented Tuk Tuk’s bacon fried rice is really who deserves the Nobel. Oh, and if they came up with the great idea of BYOB too, we’ll just go ahead and give them that EGOT.
5517 Menchaca Rd.
If Valentina’s were on RuPaul’s Drag Race, we would pronounce “shante, you stay.” If it were on Survivor, we’d vote to keep it on the island. Whatever the reality, we’d bet that the humble trailer could win any competition – especially when it brings out those brisket breakfast tacos.
11500 Menchaca Rd.
Reyna and Maritza Vazquez are the best counterpoint to snobby Centralists’ side-eyeing of South Austin. Frankly we would move to Siberia if it meant we could be closer to their chicken mole tacos. Sure, there are two other locations scattered about town, but this one has the generous taps of Radio Coffee & Beer.
4208 Menchaca Rd.
Glassy eyes, full belly: This Oltorf neighborhood favorite boasts an impressive patio and an even better wine list. Plus, they’ve got shishito peppers blistered to perfection and some of our favorite tapas (halibut Veracruz! Veal-ricotta meatballs!) in town.
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