I had just turned 21 when I first moved to Austin in the brisk Winter months of 2011. Everything was so new to me then, drinking, hanging out with friends without worrying about homework, not worrying about meeting a curfew, paying bills (sort of) on time, adulthood. In that time, I have come to know and love (and know...and hate) a few great staple bars that have stuck around here in Austin.
As we look back in this Holiday season on all the things we’re thankful for and all the best memories we’ve made throughout the year, we thought it high time to mock up a list of our favorite things and share a little of that love and memories with you.
- Salty Sow - this little Eastside staple is my personal all time fav. So much so, that I have a rewards card here (shout out to all my coupon lovers). Fried chicken in honey butter, parmesan crusted brussel sprouts, an incredible mixed drink selection, all on their “$5-ish” happy hour menu.
- Licha’s Cantina - we’ve celebrated more birthday at this Eastside joint than I can count on two hands. Their happy hour includes $5 specialty cocktails, Sopecitos, and more.
- Workhorse Bar - One part divey, one part killer burgers, and two parts a whole-lotta-love, this place has fried pickles and with a slogan that says, “happy hour starts when you get here”...you really can’t miss it (plus, $3 pints all day, everyday, need I say more?).
- Whisler’s - Like a location shot from a Tom Waits music video, Whisler’s comes complete with a happy hour everyday from 4PM-7PM on specialty drinks, as well as an East Side King: Thai Ku food truck on site .
- El Sapo - With this Burgers-meet-TexMex joint, happy hours run 3PM-7PM weekdays, and 5PM-7PM on weekends and includes discounted cocktail specials, as well as a place to run inside and sit should you catch yourself in the cold.
- The Market - This was one of my first favorites coming into the city. Taking up three floors, the Market (formerly known as the Tap Room) has shuffleboard, N64, bean bags (um, yeah), and a rooftop patio overlooking downtown.
- The Hightower - If you don’t go for the peanut candied brussel sprouts, stay for the specialty drinks. The Eastside’s Hightower has a happy hour that just won’t quit, running from 5PM-7PM weekdays, and 5PM-close on weekends.
- Easy Tiger - At this point, downtown Austin staple Easy Tiger has become a must-try for Austin visitors and newcomers. They have cheeses, craft beers, and fresh-baked goods that make their happy hour worth the street parking.
- Schoolhouse Pub - Built inside an actual old schoolhouse (it even has a working bell, ringable at the end of every happy hour!), this pub has a happy hour from 3PM-7PM daily, including discounts on classics like fish and chips.
- Takoba - Aside from the fact that their brunch is actually my personal favorite in town ($7 mimosa carafe’s?! Yes, please), Takoba’s happy hour is filled with Tex-Mex favorites, includes a Gluten-free menu, and has a giant patio that is totally dog-friendly.