Austin Dive Bars That Are Neighborhood Icons

Come for the cheap drinks, but stay for the community


Casino El Camino on Sixth (Photo by John Anderson)

Austin takes great pride in its dive bar culture, and even though pricey cocktail lounges and artisanal breweries are more popular than ever, there’s still a place for hole-in-the-wall saloons with cheap drinks, unflashy decor, and neighborhood regulars who embrace these spots as pillars of their communities. Only a few of these are within walking distance of Downtown, but they’re all worth the extra effort.


Casino El Camino and Casino South Side

Standing boldly in the face of neighborhood vibe shifts since it opened in the mid-Nineties, Casino El Camino offers a chill, unpretentious respite from the chaos of Dirty Sixth. Regulars keep coming back for the inexpensive drinks, the fantastic jukebox, and the loaded burgers, which have become the stuff of local legend. About 20 years after launching Casino El Camino, the team decided to expand with another location right off of Ben White. But Casino South Side isn’t just a beat-by-beat remake of Casino El Camino. Instead, it’s a dark, quirky, gloriously weird dive with obscure horror movies playing behind the bar, pool and shuffleboard tables that are just rickety enough, and bartenders with encyclopedic memories.

Casino El Camino: 517 E. Sixth, casinoelcamino.net

Casino South Side: 1502 W. Ben White, casinosouthside.com


Deep Eddy Cabaret

We love a dive bar with serious longevity and Deep Eddy Cabaret has been keeping Austinites well-quaffed since 1951, so it deserves a spot on this list. West Austin cherishes its local watering hole for its down-to-earth charm, very reasonable shots-and-beers drink menu, a legendary jukebox, and proudly vintage flair.

2315 Lake Austin Blvd., deepeddycabaret.com



Frozen "pool drink" from the Aristocrat Lounge (Photo by John Anderson)

The Aristocrat Lounge

Neon lights, vinyl banquettes, mounted stag’s heads, and Skee-Ball: all the markers of a quality Texas dive bar, and all present and accounted for at the Aristocrat on Burnet Road. This bar will serve you a nicely made cocktail (and they even have cocktails on draft), but cheap beers and relaxed energy are the main attractions. If you work up an appetite – or you need to soak up the Aristocrat’s strong pours – Yeni’s Fusion, the impeccable Indonesian food truck parked outside, is a must-visit.

6507 Burnet Rd., aristocratloungeatx.com


Sam’s Town Point

If you want a dive bar where you can two-step, then Sam’s Town Point has you covered. In far South Austin, you’ll find a cheap AF dive that’s a hub for live local music and that heartily encourages its patrons to get out on the floor and start dancing.

2115 Allred Dr., samstownpointatx.com


Ego’s

Karaoke aficionados in Austin will tell you that the No. 1 place for living out your rock-star fantasies is Ego’s on South Congress. But even if you don’t have musical talents, you can enjoy Ego’s for its slightly run-down aesthetic, inexpensive drinks, and pool table.

510 S. Congress, instagram.com/egosbaratx


G&S Lounge

South First Street is becoming an impressive avenue of prestige restaurants, but G&S Lounge is still why many Austinites choose to head down to that area. Low-cost beer, charmingly surly bartenders, and dim lighting are readily available here. Because this location has been serving cheap booze and DGAF vibes to Austinites for over 40 years, it’s worth a visit for any dive bar aficionado.

2420 S. First



The Lost Well (Photo by John Anderson)

The Lost Well

As East Austin continues down the express lane of gentrification, it’s refreshing to find a genuine and unapologetic biker bar amid the chic coffee shops and cocktail boîtes on Webberville Road. The Lost Well has been holding court in this area for a decade with an ever-present fleet of motorcycles out front, punk and metal bands rocking the house on a nightly basis, reliably inexpensive drinks, and an excellent daily happy hour.

2421 Webberville Rd., thelostwell.com

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

SXSW 2024, Casino El Camino, Casino South Side, The Aristocrat Lounge, Deep Eddy Cabaret, Sam’s Town Point, Ego’s, G&S Lounge, The Lost Well, Mini-Guide

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