Fathom Favorites : Austin Nightlife

1. Little Longhorn Saloon

Little Longhorn Saloon

With over 250+ live music venues in Austin, it can be hard to settle on just one. If you’re seeking out classic Honky Tonk, though, The Little Longhorn Saloon is a must-see. Be sure to visit on Sunday for a truly unforgettable Bingo experience (you read that right).

5434 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX 78756
+1-512-524-1291

2. Broken Spoke

Broken Spoke

One of the state’s last original honky tonk dance halls is all soul, no frills. This 52-year-old spot is nothing short of iconic, and those who are light on their feet (or who have two left feet) would be remiss to pass up a dance here.

3201 S. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78704
+1-512-442-6189

3. The Townsend

The Townsend

In the front, it's a classy and elegant bar. In the back, it's one of the best acoustically sound rooms for seeing live bands. Original cocktails from Justin Elliott are on-point! It's a great place to stay from happy hour through closing. Hot chicken is a must.

718 Congress Ave. #100
Austin, TX 78701
+1-512-887-8778

4. Half Step

Half Step

This shining gem of a cocktail bar on bustling Rainey Street is the sister restaurant of world-renowned Varnish in Los Angeles. Created by Austin native Chris Bostick, expect a concise list of drinks alongside local bands through the week. While you're in this hood, drop by other classic bungalow bars like Lustre Pearl, Banger's, Icenhauer's, and No Va.

75 1/2 Rainey St.
Austin, TX 78701
+1-512-391-1877

5. Backbeat

Backbeat

Jessica and Michael Sanders — of North Loop neighborhood favorite Drink Well — bring their blend of food, customer service, and cocktails to South Lamar (it's just a few doors down from local landmark The Saxon Pub). With fair Austin weather, the rooftop is the perfect place to drink and listen to eclectic playlists.

1300 S. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78704
+1-512-551-9980

6. Small Victory

Small Victory

Tucked away on the second floor of an office building, the bar is local bartender Josh Loving's first solo venture. The meticulous approach to classic cocktails, served in an intimate space, exists outside of time and makes it easy to forget the world's troubles.

108 E. 7th St.
Austin, TX 78701
+1-737-701-0500

7. Péché

Péché

One of the first classic cocktail bars in Austin and a longtime breeding ground for many of the city's best bartenders. Along with hearty food, Péché easily claims the largest curated liquor selection in town.

208 W. 4th St.
Austin, TX 78701
+1-512-494-4011

8. Mean-Eyed Cat

Mean-Eyed Cat

It used to be a chainsaw shop and there are still signs on the wall advertising blades. But don't let that scare you. These days, it's a bar...no, make that a shrine to the late, great Johnny Cash. They only serve beer. (Seriously, no joke: No liquor, and the bartenders will set you straight right quick if you act like a jerk about it.)

1621 W. 5th St.
Austin, TX 78703
+1-512-920-6645

9. Antone's

Antone's

The first music club on 5th Street, Antone's is one of the largest and most established venues in town: Everyone has played here. If you have a thing about crowds, you might want to check out smaller venues like Stubbs or Mohawk a few blocks up.

305 E. 5th St.
Austin, TX 78701
+1-512-814-0361

10. The White Horse

The White Horse

Cowboys meet hipsters in an unconventional honky-tonk saloon for free live music and the two-step. Down Makers on tap, then get a shoe shine out back. On your way out, hit another diehard bar, Yellow Jacket Social Club, just a block away.

500 Comal St.
Austin, TX 78702
+1-512-553-6756

11. Continental Club

Continental Club

"Who's at the Continental?" is a phrase you hear a lot in Austin. Open since the 1950s, the Continental is legendary. Located in a strip of stores along South Congress Boulevard, it's been a supper club and a burlesque club but for the last four decades has been the premier place to see live music. If you're lucky, Patricia Vonne, Haybale, or Joe Ely will be putting on a show.

1315 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704
+1-512-441-2444

12. Butterfly Bar

Butterfly Bar

Three blocks of Manor Road are dense with bars and restaurants, so just spending the evening there will be a mini-getaway. Hidden behind a big wooden wall, the Butterfly Bar is attached to a little theater called The Vortex, and Patrizi's truck is parked outside. Get the cacio e pepe pasta with a coddled egg.

2307 Manor Rd.
Austin, TX 78722
+1-512-478-5282

13. The Lost Well

The Lost Well

A beloved downtown punk rock dive bar brought back to life. The also beloved-but-displaced-for-development Dog and Duck British-style pub is now right across the street. And for terrific sandwich and brew, Gourmands is right next door.

2421 Webberville Rd.
Austin, TX 78702
+1-512-524-0590

14. Firehouse Lounge

Firehouse Lounge

Across the street from The Driskill, enter the hostel in a circa-1885 fire station and open the library wall to find a hidden lounge and music venue.

605 Brazos St.
Austin, TX 78701
+1-512-212-4244

15. King Bee

King Bee

A local favorite with one of the best mezcal selections in town, creative pizza, and a neighborhood vibe. The mirrored doors are a tip-off to cocktail bar neighbor Dozen Street.

1906 E. 12th St.
Austin, TX 78702
+1-512-600-6956

16. Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy

A reservations-only speakeasy on "Dirty 6th" has a non-descript door and a buzzer to get you in for tableside cocktailing in little booths where, until a few years ago, massages (ahem) were dispensed.

313 E. 6th St.
Austin, TX 78701
+1-512-843-2715

17. Hard Luck Lounge

Hard Luck Lounge

An enclosed beer garden and bar with its own little compound away from it all. Southern food with a global flare from the Lady Luck food truck will help with the hangover.

3526 E. 7th St.
Austin, TX 78702
+1-512-867-5309

18. The Aristocrat Lounge

The Aristocrat Lounge

Also referred to by its old name, The Poodle Dog, this dive is dark and filled with regulars playing Skeeball, but offers craft cocktails and a great selection of mezcal. A special cocktail menu goes with Southern delights from Three Little Pigs outside.

6507 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX 78757
+1-512-363-5288

19. Whisler's

Whisler's

Rustic craft cocktail bar downstairs, cozy Oaxacan-style mezcalería upstairs, Paul Qui's East Side King Thai-Kun outside. And live music almost every night.

1816 E. 6th St.
Austin, TX 78702
+1-512-480-0781

20. The Liberty

The Liberty

Austin has food truck lots all over town, and there are plenty parked at dive bars. Head straight to the backyard, where everybody is very drunk, having converged for cans of Pearl Snap German Pils and, more dramatically, to line up at Top Chef-winner Paul Qui's East Side King truck for a plate of WTF-good chicken karaage and crowd-favorite deep-fried roasted beets dusted with shichimi and dressed with kewpie mayo.

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1618 E. 6th St.
Austin, TX 78702
+1-512-514-0502

21. Easy Tiger

Easy Tiger

Bake shop and beer garden, a winning combination. Play table tennis by the creek, and pair your craft beer with a homemade pretzel and beer cheese.

709 E. 6th St.
Austin, TX 78701
+1-512-614-4972