East Austin is quickly becoming the best spot in town to guzzle down beers and cocktails for all breeds of booze connoisseurs.
However, navigating the bars of East Austin can be tricky. The district offers so many new and exciting places to drink that choosing where to spend your Friday night can quickly become an elaborate process more irksome than scrolling through the cornucopia of entertainment on Netflix. But lucky for you, we're here to help. East Austin offers a vast array of unique bars of all shapes and sizes, each with something insanely awesome to boast. Below, we've compiled a list of some the district's best bars. Save the exhausting deliberation for Netflix and read on.
– Update contributed by Mariel Lindsay –
1600 E 6th St
This Japanese-inspired, ultra-modern, cat-themed cocktail bar adjoins the downtown Ramen Tatsu-ya. Half-indoors and half-outside patio, this spot’s most Insta-friendly draw is beer topped with frozen flavored foam caps (vanilla cream, root beer, or ginger).
1502 E 6th St
Hands down, Hotel Vegas is one of East Austin's best venues. With live music offered seven days a week, Hotel Vegas is arguably the best spot to see up-and-coming bands. Focusing primarily on good 'ol rock 'n' roll, the bar is always—and we mean ALWAYS—poppin'. Also, the bar is connected to The Volstead Lounge, one of Austin's most danceable clubs, making Hotel Vegas one of the most versatile and eclectic spots in town.
1902 E 6th St
This spot has something for everyone. Between delicious house-brewed beer, a coffee bar, wine, cider, and root beer, there's a libation at Lazarus Brewing to suit every palate. The spacious bar also boasts a relaxed, dog-and-family-friendly patio perfect for afternoon hangs. Tacos, queso, and more will sate your munchies amply here. Lazarus is an all-around excellent spot that truly embodies East Austin's laid-back vibe.
1111 E 6th St
Not to be confused with Violet Crown Cinema, this laid-back watering hole is something of a local sanctuary. Dimly-lit and equipped with a spacious patio, Violet Crown Social Club is a perfect spot to escape the hustle-bustle of the city, kick back, and enjoy some ice cold brews. Violet Crown's biggest attraction, however, is undoubtedly their Orange Whip, a delicious cocktail that will have you smiling right through your brain freeze.
1816 E 6th St
This place has perfected the rustic-chic vibe – think dive bar, but with chandeliers and candles. They’re known for their artisanal cocktails but there’s also a lesser-known mezcal bar upstairs. Whisler’s occasionally hosts live music, too.
3526 E 7th St
Like its name suggests, Hard Luck Lounge is a sanctuary for those who lack in the luck department. An Irish Pub, Hard Luck features a 60s-era jukebox, a spacious outdoor patio, pool tables, and pitchers of cheap—and we mean cheap—beer. It's an unfussy watering hole where bartenders seem to know your name before they even serve you. Pop your bike tire on the way to work this morning? Lose your wallet at the show last night? Or maybe you're suffering from a generations-long family curse? Hard Luck Lounge is here to cure whatever affliction bad luck has thrown your way.
3304 E 6th St
The Brixton is one of the best places on East 6th to drink draft beer on a covered patio, no matter the season - with heaters in the winter and fans in the summer, the bar's outdoor seating always manages to be hospitable. Seasonal cocktails and well-known events like themed Monday Night Bingo and a monthly comedy hour make this hang a dependable winner.
East Cesar Chavez
1510 E. Cesar Chavez
Specializing in mouth-watering BBQ, this place has got it all: good food, good drinks, and a rooftop deck. Brunch with bottomless mimosas makes Eastside Tavern an ideal day-drinking destination.
1808 E. Cesar Chavez
This NYC hotspot now has another home in East Austin and boasts a more subdued vibe than most of the typical trendy go-to bars. Check out their Rushmore cocktail (vodka, ginger, honey, lemon, and rose raspberry).
1910 E Cesar Chavez St
Taking its name from the one middle school novel that everyone reads, Stay Gold is a chic bar focused on specialty cocktails and craft beer. Equipped with a stage that hosts live music and located alongside Toaster food truck, Stay Gold has got all angles covered: live music, drinks, and eats. Glancing at the bar's expansive cocktail list can prove daunting as each beverage is absolutely delicious. But if you're really stuck, we recommend El Diablo, a mouthwatering (and eye-watering) blend of Habanero-infused tequila, lemon, simple syrup, and blackberry.
Blue Owl Brewing
2400 E Cesar Chavez St
Like many breweries, Blue Owl is a home away from home. But what makes Blue Owl so special is their complete and total understanding of how to create the perfect sour-mashed beer. While the brewery's specialty is without a doubt sour-mash, Blue Owl also offers wheat beers, pale ales, stouts, and more. Take a load off and head to Blue Owl for some of the most delicious beer in Austin.
3108 Manor Rd.
Oozing rustic cabin vibes, this brewery specializes in “experimental small batch craft beer”, but also caters to wine-lovers with an impressive wine list. With pizza and old arcade games to top it off, it’s easy to get cozy at Oddwood Ales.
2310 Manor Rd
Self-described as "regionally-inspired comfort," local favorite Haymaker serves craft beer, delicious cocktails, and mouthwatering food. While Haymaker's drinks menu is, of course, off the chain, featuring some of the best beers in town and some of the strongest cocktails, the bar's food menu is really what drives this place home. Stacked with meat-inspired eats like the Wisconsin Wurst and the Cuban Pressed Burger, Haymaker will get buzzes going and fill empty stomachs.
2307 Manor Rd
Connected to Austin's cherished Vortex Theater, this cozy bar offers a spacious patio, delicious eats, and live music. Butterfly Bar's drink menu is one of the most exciting drink menus in town, offering top-notch cocktails like the Handcrafted Margarita, the Tennessee Ginger, and the Butterfly Nectar, a refreshing infusion of Tito's Vodka, fruit, and ginger. Butterfly Bar is a posh, intimate setting to get your drink on.
2201 Manor Rd
Located on East Manor, Tech Mezcaleria & Agave Bar is the neighborhood's premiere south-of-the-border-themed bar and also its only lounge featuring a rooftop speakeasy. The bar, of course, focuses mostly on Agave-inspired spirits and Mezcal-themed cocktails like the Curo Cabeza, an intoxicating blend of Orange Curracao, Mexcal Maguey sap, chocolate bitters, and orange peel. With latin aesthetic and its amazing cocktails, Techo Mexcaleria & Agave Bar is sure to quickly become a neighborhood favorite.
1905 Aldrich St, #110
Looking to get a pop of energy and a buzz at the same time? This is the place for you! Halcyon is both café and bar and features caffeinated cocktails. Halcyon’s downtown location is better known, but for those unwilling to make the trek or deal with parking, this is an easier option up north. Try the “Breakfast Can Wait” (Jameson, Bailey’s, and cold-brew coffee with a frozen coffee-cube.) For dessert? S’mores roasted table side.
1905 Aldrich St, #130
After 16 years of faithfully serving East 6th St, Irish Pub B.D. Riley's has opened a second location on Aldrich Street. Owner John Erwin always desired to export his delicious Irish cocktails and beers to another part of town but could never manage to find the perfect feel. Lucky for us, he found a spot in the up and coming Mueller neighborhood that preserves the small town, where-everybody-knows-your-name vibe of B.D. Riley's previous location. So Mueller residents prepare your livers for frosty pints of Guinness and Irish Car Bombs, B.D. Riley's has arrived.
2039 Airport Blvd
Ahhh Skylark, one of Austin's most beloved bars. Skylark Lounge is a cool spot that specializes in blues, brews, and as you might have guessed, beer. But really, Skylark constantly keeps good times rolling whether it's showcasing some of the best blues musicians in town or just keeping the ice cold beer flowing. Dark, a little seedy, and always a good time, Skylark Lounge is everything a blues bar should be.
5420-B Airport Blvd
Described as an "epic neighborhood dive bar that's never missed a day," Barfly's is indeed your go-to watering hole. Located in the upstairs of an older building, the bar is dark, dingy, and unabashedly seedy. There's no beer on tap, no table service, no cocktail menu, and certainly no live music or entertainment. The only things inside Barfly's are friendly bartenders, cold cheap beer, a TV, a pool table, and a jukebox filled with an eclectic assortment ranging from Built to Spill to Willie Nelson. Barfly's is truly a perfect dive bar.
4631 Airport Blvd.
This social club and billiards room has a full bar with 20 rotating beers on top, daily beer specials, and decently-priced drinks. On Mondays, all service industry employees play pool for free.
Cameron Road Neighborhood
6214 Cameron Rd.
The East Cesar Chavez location was so popular, Cenote opened up a location for the rest of us up north. This place is a coffee shop, wine bar, and taproom all in one, offering many options that are locally sourced and organic.
1213 Corona Dr
We dig Nomad Bar for a variety of reasons: the affordable drinks, the spacious outdoor patio, the trivia nights. What's not to love about this cozy little nook? With an excellent draft beer selection and seasonal cocktail menus, Nomad Bar keeps the alcohol flowin'. Right now, the bar's Spring and Summer drink menus have taken over, offering savory cocktails like specialty Arnold Palmers, mojitos, and the Summer Gin Cooler, a delicious blend of Don Julio Silver Tequila, fresh lime juice, and a splash of orange juice. Beat the heat over at Nomad.
1810 E 12th St
Full Circle is a low-key, laid-back place to drink a few beers and play some skeeball. Influenced by a Brooklyn bar of the same name, Full Circle contains some interesting features unlike other bars in the area. We already mentioned skeeball, but they also offer Prosecco on tap and even boast a knish counter in the back. Cozy and friendly, Full Circle is an enjoyable place to kill stress and drink some good beer.
1906 E 12th St
With a name like King Bee, this bar has got to hold the throne in some department, right? And this Eastside favorite is without a doubt king of serving up iced cold brews, creative cocktails, and housemade pizza. The bar is stacked with local drafts and spirits, and also, a rotating series of seasonal jams. A little divey but also a little swanky, King Bee offers a one-of-a-kind drinking experience that feels both vintage and contemporary.
1812 E. 12th
A neighborhood rock n’ roll bar that hosts some good DJs and boasts a consistently chill, happy atmosphere. Check out their Instagram @bar13thflooraustin for events.
1203 Chicon St
Recently relocated from East Sixth, Rio Rita maintained its charm and successfully found a new comfortable home six blocks north. Pegged as a "mild-mannered coffee shop by day, swanky lounge by night," and filled with comfy couch seating, east-side favorite Rio Rita is a perfect spot to relax and kill your morning hangover in some sunshine on the patio or lounge inside under dim lights. You can also bring your dog!
Other great East Side Bars:
1902 E MLK Blvd
1413 Webberville Rd
114 Linden St
1700 E 6th St
2025 E 7th St
Got a favorite bar that you think should be on the East Side Bar Guide? Let us know.