Nov 23 Best Bars in Austin
Austin has always been dedicated to keeping it weird, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the “Live Music Capital of the World” has kept the party going throughout 2020.
Austin’s climate extends the outdoor season well beyond many big cities, and the capital city of the Lone Star State has gone all-in on sidewalks, patios, and backyards to keep entertaining us in this crazy year. Here are some favorites to support, especially now as the outdoor heaters kick on.
It seems that Lou’s in East Austin was always built for this moment. Food orders are placed at an outdoor takeout window, and all seating is outside on a well-spaced patio with plenty of picnic tables. Trees, fans, and canopies ensure that it is always a good time to relax and enjoy their famous rotisserie fare and classic frozen treats. Taco Tuesday is still half-price wine with two happy hours daily.
South Lamar is home to Loro, a fusion of Chinese, sandwiches, and BBQ that only seems normal in Austin. The large patio provides a beautiful setting to savor the Asian-Texas smokehouse favorites, and Loro also is providing curbside, takeout, and Uber Eats. Reservations are not a thing these days, but come for weekday happy hours with $4 frozen G&Ts or mango sake slushies.
If you can’t bear to separate from your canine pal, check out Yard Bar in Allandale. Their outdoor area is fully fenced, allowing Rover and friends to cruise with his pals while you’re getting some traditional bar food to go with an adult beverage. A reservation system has been launched to ensure everyone is COVID-safe, so take a sec to click through their site to avoid a long wait. Dogs, beers, and burgers – what could be better?
South Congress, which is home for Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden, proudly serves craft cocktails in addition to its namesakes. Frozen cocktails, flights, cocktails on tap, and “Boozy Coffee” make this bar perfect for a long night out. Their large outdoor space is shaded by Texas oak trees and hosts some of the city’s premier food trucks (posted online). They have reduced hours and firmly adhere to protocols, so check the website before you head over.
If you’re feeling nostalgic, hit up Scholz Garten, the oldest bar in Austin and oldest operating business in Texas! This German bar with a great beer list is just steps from UT and has been perfecting patio life for a while. Being so close to campus, don’t even think about showing up without a reservation on game days. But if you’re craving their Jagerschnitzel or Jakalope, they’ve fully embraced curbside pick up.
Meanwhile, for some Mexico City Soul Food, head to East Austin and the converted house that hosts Licha’s Cantina. Dine and drink in the front yard under a giant tree that is strung with lights, or head to the backyard patio lined with murals. No matter the view, enjoy the tequilas, mescal, and sotol menu while dining on camote, mole con pollo, and artisan tacos. Happy hours are Tuesday through Friday with an equally tasty menu, and all available for takeout.
No matter where you choose to kick back, be sure to check in advance for any COVID-specific protocols and be sure to grab your mask.