17 Austin Bars With Great Food and Drinks
These one-stop shops are known for more than booze
The recent Uber strike has got us thinking about the wisdom of one-location hangs. Not only do you avoid the bedevilment of surge pricing, but there's also less of a chance part of the crew will drop out in the critical moment of shifting from dinner to drinks or vice versa, only to head home for some quality time with their Netflix account. In that spirit, here are some of our favorite Austin food-centric bars, restaurants that serve great drinks, and everything in between!
91 Rainey #120, www.eatdrinkanthem.com
The mix of Asian and Southern flavors is nothing new on the Austin food scene, but Anthem takes it to the next level with brain-meltingly decadent flavor combos that embrace the most indulgent aspects of both food traditions and kick them up 10 notches. Try the brisket rangoon (yes, please), shishito pepper queso, or the Miso Mac Daddy. Max out with a shared pupu platter for the ultimate social experience.
1505 Town Creek, www.buzzmillcoffee.com
There's a reason Buzz Mill is such an Austin standby. They have everything: BYO record nights, open mic comedy, afternoon salve-making classes, flea markets, book releases, and now, brunch. Buzz Mill is a true community hub, so naturally there's a menu to match. Three food trucks offer cheesesteaks, pizzas, and veggie burgers, and BM's drinks include craft beers of all kinds, a huge variety of house-made elixirs (pickle-infused vodka!), and a delightful variety of flavored coffees and teas.
2400-A Webberville Rd., www.thecavalieratx.com
This unpretentious neighborhood watering hole is anything but cavalier (get it?) about the business of constructing a good time. Their drink menu has its tongue firmly in cheek with entries like the Dad Bod Special (a Lone Star tallboy and a shot of Old Forester), and the food menu is heavy on sandwiches and snackworthy, Southern-inflected shareables like bacon-topped pimento cheese and fried pickled okra, so you can get that dad bod the easy way.
Deckhand Oyster Bar
4211 S. Lamar Ste. C-1; 500 Parker Dr., Round Rock; www.deckhandoysterbar.com
The oyster bar so nice they opened it twice, with locations in Austin and Round Rock. Deckhand is the kind of relaxed, family-friendly seafood shack you can imagine kicking back at on a weekend trip to the Gulf. With a drinks menu that's heavy on the brewskis and an ambitious list of seafood preparations that covers everything from popcorn shrimp fried in a cornmeal coating to Thai papaya salad with fermented shrimp and crab, it's the perfect place to pretend you're on vacation. Use that green sauce!
1600 E. Sixth, www.domo-tatsuya.com
The latest concept from the Ramen Tatsu-ya family is a playful, cat-themed space with a freewheeling feel that makes it ideal for a late-night hang. Wash down your Ban Ban Dog (an absurdly baroque concoction of crispy panko brioche, silky hot Japanese curry chili, teriyaki sauce, honey aïoli, and cabbage) with a palate-cleansing glass of Melon Ball Z, a sweet blend of tequila, lime, honey, and fizz that takes the classic hot dog and soda combo to the next level.
101 Red River, www.fultonbaratx.com
You don't have to be a guest to chill at Fairmont Hotel's super-bright main-floor bar. Sit under the shade of a huge faux tree (aka Big Oak), admire the flooring designed to mimic our city's beautiful river system, and munch on bites like deviled eggs, smoked beef tartare, and Mexican chicken nuggets while you stare out the multistory wall of windows.
3501 E. Seventh, www.kindatropical.com
This neighborhood mainstay is the kind of one-stop shop we wish were scattered throughout the city as ubiquitously as H-E-B: part bar, with an outdoor hang zone and a tailored menu of day-drinking-friendly tipples; part restaurant, with snacks like house-made black bean hummus and a pulled jackfruit sandwich; and part mini-mart, stocked with beer, wine, tasty international snacks, and occasionally a succulent or two. Take an art mag from the reading rack and stay awhile.
1914-C E. Sixth, www.laststrawatx.com
Serving up tropical vibes in this retro East Sixth nook, the Last Straw is the last word in trendy Austin summertime boozery. There are the picturesque shared-bowl cocktails, alcoholic slushies, and an ambitious beer-and-shot combination menu that'll have you glued to your seat in search of the anchoring caloric solstice of their kimchi patty melt – the umami bomb mixture of kimchi, mozzarella, and ginger scallion sauce you never knew you needed.
The Little Darlin'
6507 Circle S Rd., www.thelittledarlin.com
There are few more relaxing ways to while away a sunny summer afternoon than sprawling out on the patio of Little Darlin' with a Lone Star and an order of country-fried steak with potato-mushroom hash, tilting back in your chair and looking up through the leaves of the tree in the center of their garden. There might be a fire in the fire pit. Someone might pass around an Antonelli's cheese plate. Just go with it, man.
8504 S. Congress, www.fb.com/nicolazasbar
We're big fans of Hopfields, so it's no wonder we've got a little crush on this new South Austin cocktail bar. With everything from horchata cocktails to curated craft beer lists on the drink menu, the food had to come prepared to wow, which is not a problem since Nicolaza's boasts the food trailer version of French gastropub fare. It doesn't hurt that the atmosphere is a cooler version of your überchic living room.
3108 Manor Rd., www.oddwoodales.com
This hyper-cozy neighborhood brewpub seems like it was designed in a lab to appeal to the largest number of Austinites possible. Relaxing, Texan farmhouse-style space? Check. A wall full of locally brewed wild ales? You betcha. A menu of thin-crusted pizzas and approachable small bites with a small but well-curated wine list to match? Naturally. And it's dog friendly. Because of course it is.
111 E. Cesar Chavez, www.thelinehotel.com/austin/food-drink
This is next-level rooftop hanging. They source local produce not only for the dishes, but for the cocktails as well. Designed by Michael Hsu and Sean Knibb, this converted parking garage at Downtown's LINE Hotel might also be the most Instagrammable spot for faking it 'til you make it. Amp up that ambition with some tuna crudo or roasted beets.
The Roosevelt Room
307-B W. Fifth, www.therooseveltroomatx.com
The draw here is most definitely the 80-drink cocktail menu arranged by time periods, house classics, and new twists, but with all that booze, you're going to need some sustenance. There are 11 dishes (five small, four large, and two desserts), including sweet and spiced mixed nuts, avocado toast, several delectable charcuterie/cheese boards, and a grilled cheese – the best choice to soak up some suds.
108 E. Seventh, www.smallvictory.bar
A night at Small Victory is kind of like kicking back in your foodiest friend's living room. The space is intimate, with the semi-hidden entrance (one of the bar's top Google results is people asking how to find it) making you feel like a member of the in-crowd as you wind your way up the narrow staircase in search of bites and cocktails. The menu is comfortingly old-fashioned, with drinks divided by glassware type and a dignified selection of small plates that's heavy on the well-composed cheese and charcuterie boards.
The Upside and Pool Bar
1108 E. Sixth, www.eastaustinhotel.com
Nothing says summer like a poolside bar, and East Austin Hotel's new one is a doozy. With a tropical vibe expressed in fanciful tipples like their champagne paloma, it's the perfect place to sit back and sip the afternoon away. Or head inside to the Upside, their Moroccan-themed lounge full of poufs and lush textiles where you can snack your way through a global menu that includes everything from lamb kebabs to tater tots to jackfruit bánh mì.
7010 Easy Wind #150, www.vigilantebar.com
Consider Vigilante Gastropub and Games as the ultimate three-in-one. Not only do they have food (a digital choose-your-own-adventure menu with three small plate options sent to your table for $12 a head) and drinks (everything from wine to sake bombs to shareable boozy milkshakes), there's also a menu of games of all types, tailored to suit the energy of your evening.
11500-D Rock Rose Ave., www.wonderbaratx.com
This Instagrammer's wonderland is probably better known for their glowing Price Is Right-style prize wheel and carousel horse statue/posing area than anything that's actually on the menu, but some of what's inside those ridiculous themed containers (our favorite is the rainbow-hued Disco Bull) is actually pretty delicious. Pair some corn dogs or fried pickles from their carnival-themed food menu with a wheel shot and test your luck.
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