86 Rainey, Austin, 78701, 512/391-1566
The only bar on Rainey Street with a full-time dedication to original Austin music, the Blackheart stands apart from its neighbors as the black band-T-shirt alternative to a suit-and-tie-heavy house bar strip. The wood-planked structure, built in 1889 as the home to Austin’s weighmaster Augustus Basnett, now houses rock, folk, country, and occasionally metal on an 75-capacity indoor stage and a 325-capacity outdoor patio stage. The whiskey-specializing drinkery also hosts a defining residency with delta blues trio Mrs. Glass, which has carried on since the bar opened in 2012.
This tiny place serves reasonable small plates such as blistered shishito peppers with miso aioli and pomme frites with truffle aioli and Grana Padano, as well as some of the most inventive cocktails in town.
200 Congress, 512/827-2760
What’s an Irish pub without Irish music? Named after first generation Irish immigrant Bessie Dee Riley, B.D. Riley’s retains a bit of Old World charm before the street descends into the shot bars of Dirty Sixth. Residencies include rock & roll harp from the Kristen Gibbs band and the mandolin of Donnybrook leader Davey Arwine, but there’s music every night from Austin performers, including the harmonic free-for-all of the Sunday night Irish tune session, and Monday’s Celtic-flavored open mic. Sláinte!
204 E. Sixth, 512/494-1335
Some say the sliders here are the best in town. Happy hour draws a crowd, and so do the 31 TVs for the sports set.
214 E. Sixth, 512/469-0001