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Nicole’s guidebook

Nicole

Nicole’s guidebook

Favorite Restaurants in Austin
American food with emphasis on local ingredients. Emmer & Rye brings a unique dining experience to Austin, as the city’s first restaurant to offer contemporary American seasonal small plates passed on circulating carts as part of their meal. Guests are able to order these items in addition to a weekly rotating menu using local farm-to-table ingredients. Emmer & Rye opened in late 2015, and chef Fink immediately began racking up the accolades, including being named one of Food & Wine's best new chefs and one of the best new restaurants of 2017 by Bon Appétit. While the menu does rotate based on season, current favorites include the White Sonora tajarin (thin pasta) with radish top pesto, confit fennel, Meyer lemon, and pecans, as well as the paneer (fresh cheese) with butternut squash, miso, beer vinegar, and young Brassicas.
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Emmer & Rye
51 Rainey St
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American food with emphasis on local ingredients. Emmer & Rye brings a unique dining experience to Austin, as the city’s first restaurant to offer contemporary American seasonal small plates passed on circulating carts as part of their meal. Guests are able to order these items in addition to a weekly rotating menu using local farm-to-table ingredients. Emmer & Rye opened in late 2015, and chef Fink immediately began racking up the accolades, including being named one of Food & Wine's best new chefs and one of the best new restaurants of 2017 by Bon Appétit. While the menu does rotate based on season, current favorites include the White Sonora tajarin (thin pasta) with radish top pesto, confit fennel, Meyer lemon, and pecans, as well as the paneer (fresh cheese) with butternut squash, miso, beer vinegar, and young Brassicas.
Great spot for brunch! It gets pretty packed, so I would suggest getting there early if you can.
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Josephine House
1601 Waterston Avenue
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Great spot for brunch! It gets pretty packed, so I would suggest getting there early if you can.
Clark’s is a cozy neighborhood spot with a fantastic raw bar, fresh fish, one of Austin’s top burgers, and cocktails that run the gamut from tiki to modern classics. The white-washed walls, aqua and yellow color scheme, and fish tank all contribute to Clark’s chic, beachy vibe. Try their very popular pan-roasted black angus hamburger (sauce gribiche, Gruyere with Clark’s fries or slaw), or a dozen oysters on the half shell -- both are a great deal during Clark’s happy hour (Monday-Friday, 3pm-6pm), where guests receive 50 cents off oysters, half-off burgers, and $5 martinis, oyster shooters, and draft beer.
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Clark's Oyster Bar
1200 West 6th Street
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Clark’s is a cozy neighborhood spot with a fantastic raw bar, fresh fish, one of Austin’s top burgers, and cocktails that run the gamut from tiki to modern classics. The white-washed walls, aqua and yellow color scheme, and fish tank all contribute to Clark’s chic, beachy vibe. Try their very popular pan-roasted black angus hamburger (sauce gribiche, Gruyere with Clark’s fries or slaw), or a dozen oysters on the half shell -- both are a great deal during Clark’s happy hour (Monday-Friday, 3pm-6pm), where guests receive 50 cents off oysters, half-off burgers, and $5 martinis, oyster shooters, and draft beer.
The boys have got nothing on barbecue royalty LeAnn Mueller and wife Ali Clem; the granddaughter of legendary pitmaster Louis Mueller and the popular ‘cue truck have garnered more attention than ever this year, and for good reason: Their meat is incredible and rivals you-know-who. The operation has moved from the sweltering food truck park into the air conditioned Quickie Pickie (thank you, Jesus) on East Cesar Chavez, and the lines and buzz don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Try the fatty brisket, pork ribs, or a sandwich with a hilarious name like El Sancho (sausage and pulled pork or chopped beef topped with pickled red onion on a Martin’s potato bun).
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La Barbecue
2027 E Cesar Chavez St
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The boys have got nothing on barbecue royalty LeAnn Mueller and wife Ali Clem; the granddaughter of legendary pitmaster Louis Mueller and the popular ‘cue truck have garnered more attention than ever this year, and for good reason: Their meat is incredible and rivals you-know-who. The operation has moved from the sweltering food truck park into the air conditioned Quickie Pickie (thank you, Jesus) on East Cesar Chavez, and the lines and buzz don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Try the fatty brisket, pork ribs, or a sandwich with a hilarious name like El Sancho (sausage and pulled pork or chopped beef topped with pickled red onion on a Martin’s potato bun).
Though not a brand-new restaurant on the block, Odd Duck wins points for its consistently good cuisine which accounts for its popularity. Approaching its one-year anniversary, the South Lamar restaurant is the reincarnation of Bryce and Dylan Gilmore’s original food trailer -- opened post-Bryce’s Barley Swine success -- and operates with the same focus on supporting local farmers, featuring local ingredients, and working from scratch. The result? Food and drinks that are always, always evolving.
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Odd Duck
1201 S Lamar Blvd
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Though not a brand-new restaurant on the block, Odd Duck wins points for its consistently good cuisine which accounts for its popularity. Approaching its one-year anniversary, the South Lamar restaurant is the reincarnation of Bryce and Dylan Gilmore’s original food trailer -- opened post-Bryce’s Barley Swine success -- and operates with the same focus on supporting local farmers, featuring local ingredients, and working from scratch. The result? Food and drinks that are always, always evolving.
Real Neapolitan pies and a well-curated wine list in an intimate space Bufalina’s authentic Neapolitan pizzas are the real deal, following strict guidelines set by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (try saying that three times). After adding toppings, the pies are baked in a 900-degree Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven for about 90 seconds; pizzas emerge properly charred and slightly wet in the middle, a Neapolitan hallmark. While all are good choices, we’re slightly obsessed with two of them: the simple and slightly spicy Calabrese (tomato, mozzarella, salami, serrano, garlic, basil) and the simultaneously earthy, herbal, and mildly sweet roasted mushroom (caramelized onion, comté, mozzarella, herbs). Bufalina’s wine list is thoughtful and interesting, too, so you should definitely ask your server for a rec based on your pie.
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Bufalina Pizza
1519 East Cesar Chavez Street
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Real Neapolitan pies and a well-curated wine list in an intimate space Bufalina’s authentic Neapolitan pizzas are the real deal, following strict guidelines set by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (try saying that three times). After adding toppings, the pies are baked in a 900-degree Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven for about 90 seconds; pizzas emerge properly charred and slightly wet in the middle, a Neapolitan hallmark. While all are good choices, we’re slightly obsessed with two of them: the simple and slightly spicy Calabrese (tomato, mozzarella, salami, serrano, garlic, basil) and the simultaneously earthy, herbal, and mildly sweet roasted mushroom (caramelized onion, comté, mozzarella, herbs). Bufalina’s wine list is thoughtful and interesting, too, so you should definitely ask your server for a rec based on your pie.
Walking distance from the condo and it's BYOB.
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Little Deli & Pizzeria
7101 Woodrow Avenue
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Walking distance from the condo and it's BYOB.
Translated from the Japanese word “house,” the award-winning Uchi is located in a refurbished South Austin bungalow. Award-winning chef Tyson Cole’s signature, non-traditional take on Japanese food has delighted Austin’s diverse dining crowd as well as visitors from all over since 2003. Uchi is also THE restaurant that put Austin on the culinary map and produced a pool of extremely talented alumni who have gone on to also contribute to Austin’s food culture. Here’s what to expect at Uchi (and sister restaurant Uchiko): fresh fish accented by bright fruit, vegetables, herbs, grains and other flavors inspired by both Japan and Texas, with favorites from the cool tastings menu include the hama chili (yellowtail, ponzu, Thai chili, orange) and sake kosho (salmon, clementine, kiwi, puffed rice).
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Uchi
801 South Lamar Boulevard
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Translated from the Japanese word “house,” the award-winning Uchi is located in a refurbished South Austin bungalow. Award-winning chef Tyson Cole’s signature, non-traditional take on Japanese food has delighted Austin’s diverse dining crowd as well as visitors from all over since 2003. Uchi is also THE restaurant that put Austin on the culinary map and produced a pool of extremely talented alumni who have gone on to also contribute to Austin’s food culture. Here’s what to expect at Uchi (and sister restaurant Uchiko): fresh fish accented by bright fruit, vegetables, herbs, grains and other flavors inspired by both Japan and Texas, with favorites from the cool tastings menu include the hama chili (yellowtail, ponzu, Thai chili, orange) and sake kosho (salmon, clementine, kiwi, puffed rice).
Authentic Mexican food near the condo.
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Fonda San Miguel
2330 West North Loop Boulevard
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Authentic Mexican food near the condo.
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Juan in a Million
2300 East Cesar Chavez Street
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Eberly
613 S. Lamar
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Moonshine Grill
303 Red River Street
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Salty Sow
1917 Manor Road
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Great brunch! You have to get the Manmosa!
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Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden
79 Rainey Street
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Great brunch! You have to get the Manmosa!
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Sway
1417 South 1st Street
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Great late night spot!
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24 Diner
600 North Lamar Boulevard
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Great late night spot!
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Péché
208 W 4th St
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Culinary Dropout
11721 Rock Rose
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Great spot right near the condo!
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Lucy's Fried Chicken
5408 Burnet Road
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Great spot right near the condo!
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Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile
3235 E Cesar Chavez St
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Perla's
1400 South Congress Avenue
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Funky Austin spot! They don't take reservations for parties under 6 people, so try and get there early to beat the crowds!
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Justine's
4710 East 5th Street
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Funky Austin spot! They don't take reservations for parties under 6 people, so try and get there early to beat the crowds!
Great breakfast tacos near my condo!
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Tacodeli
7301 Burnet Road
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Great breakfast tacos near my condo!
Favorite Bars in Austin
Hipster honky-tonk with live music, two-stepping, and cheap booze. Honky-tonk, two-stepping, and ice-cold Lone Stars -- this is why we flock to The White Horse. Any night of the week you can catch a great country, jazz, bluegrass, swing, conjunto, zydeco, or honky-tonk band up on the red velvet-clad stage. If you need a break from dancing and drinking Two Steps -- that’s the Lone Star and whiskey shot special -- hit up the smoking patio, pile into the vintage photo booth, or order from the resident taco truck, Bomb Tacos.
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The White Horse
500 Comal Street
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Hipster honky-tonk with live music, two-stepping, and cheap booze. Honky-tonk, two-stepping, and ice-cold Lone Stars -- this is why we flock to The White Horse. Any night of the week you can catch a great country, jazz, bluegrass, swing, conjunto, zydeco, or honky-tonk band up on the red velvet-clad stage. If you need a break from dancing and drinking Two Steps -- that’s the Lone Star and whiskey shot special -- hit up the smoking patio, pile into the vintage photo booth, or order from the resident taco truck, Bomb Tacos.
Country music and swing dancing!
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Donn's Depot
1600 West 5th Street
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Country music and swing dancing!
Anywhere on Rainey Street - the bars are homes that have been converted in bars. Great spot!
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Rainey Street
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Anywhere on Rainey Street - the bars are homes that have been converted in bars. Great spot!
Popular cocktail hangout with a large patio and legit mezcaleria Whisler’s is easily the most popular cocktail bar in East Austin because it manages to pull off a chill, social atmosphere while serving some of the best cocktails in town. Whisler’s menu -- thoughtfully developed by the uber-talented bar team over months -- embraces the season’s flavors in stunning new ways. The perfectly balanced, low-ABV Stuck in Spain (vermouth, lemon, orgeat) is a current standout, but Whisler’s most popular drink is a take on the classic Old Fashioned; a balanced blend of rye whiskey, demerara sugar, and Angostura bitters. Upstairs you’ll find Mezcaleria Tobala with a nice selection of mezcal varietals served in tiny copitas with orange slices and chapulin (grasshopper) salt. Pro tip: Food truck Thai Kun on the back patio is one of the best food trucks in Austin. Order the crispy Thai-Kun fried chicken or the fiery beef panang curry if you dare.
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Whisler's
1816 East 6th Street
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Popular cocktail hangout with a large patio and legit mezcaleria Whisler’s is easily the most popular cocktail bar in East Austin because it manages to pull off a chill, social atmosphere while serving some of the best cocktails in town. Whisler’s menu -- thoughtfully developed by the uber-talented bar team over months -- embraces the season’s flavors in stunning new ways. The perfectly balanced, low-ABV Stuck in Spain (vermouth, lemon, orgeat) is a current standout, but Whisler’s most popular drink is a take on the classic Old Fashioned; a balanced blend of rye whiskey, demerara sugar, and Angostura bitters. Upstairs you’ll find Mezcaleria Tobala with a nice selection of mezcal varietals served in tiny copitas with orange slices and chapulin (grasshopper) salt. Pro tip: Food truck Thai Kun on the back patio is one of the best food trucks in Austin. Order the crispy Thai-Kun fried chicken or the fiery beef panang curry if you dare.
Great music
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The Continental Club
1315 South Congress Avenue
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Great music
Firehouse Hostel, housed in a former fire station, provides accommodations for travelers who don’t mind sharing a bunk bed, and the lounge downstairs provides a refuge from the pandemonium of Dirty Sixth. Enter the lobby of the hostel and slide open the bookcase to enter Firehouse Lounge which is (appropriately) painted red from floor to ceiling. Order from the menu of classic cocktails or call your poison -- either way the highly capable staff is going to take great care of you. Happy hour is from 5pm-8pm everyday: select classic cocktails and all wine is $6, and rotating draft beers are $4. This New Year’s Eve, expect Firehouse’s chill approach with complimentary bubbles toast and some live jams.
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Firehouse Lounge
605 Brazos Street
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Firehouse Hostel, housed in a former fire station, provides accommodations for travelers who don’t mind sharing a bunk bed, and the lounge downstairs provides a refuge from the pandemonium of Dirty Sixth. Enter the lobby of the hostel and slide open the bookcase to enter Firehouse Lounge which is (appropriately) painted red from floor to ceiling. Order from the menu of classic cocktails or call your poison -- either way the highly capable staff is going to take great care of you. Happy hour is from 5pm-8pm everyday: select classic cocktails and all wine is $6, and rotating draft beers are $4. This New Year’s Eve, expect Firehouse’s chill approach with complimentary bubbles toast and some live jams.
Right nearby the condo! Every city in America needs a Lala’s: a bar that’s both oddball and endearing and is capable of transporting you to another time. Also known as Lala’s Christmas Bar, it was named after its previous owner, Miss Frances Lala. You’ll almost always encounter silver-haired regulars who spend most nights perched at the bar with a Budweiser in hand, and they’re always happy to chat you up or tell a joke you just know they’ve told hundreds of time. So, order a beer or an Old Fashioned, put some cash into the jukebox, and revel in the warm weirdness that is Lala’s.
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Lala's Little Nugget
2207 Justin Lane
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Right nearby the condo! Every city in America needs a Lala’s: a bar that’s both oddball and endearing and is capable of transporting you to another time. Also known as Lala’s Christmas Bar, it was named after its previous owner, Miss Frances Lala. You’ll almost always encounter silver-haired regulars who spend most nights perched at the bar with a Budweiser in hand, and they’re always happy to chat you up or tell a joke you just know they’ve told hundreds of time. So, order a beer or an Old Fashioned, put some cash into the jukebox, and revel in the warm weirdness that is Lala’s.
Swanky speakeasy in the heart of Dirty Sixth Once part of Austin's red light district, The Midnight Cowboy pays tribute to its former brothel glory as a reservations-only, buzz-in cocktail lair, where clients are encouraged to flirt with staff as long as they abide by house rules. Reservations are for one or two hours, and there’s a two-drink minimum per guest. With so many expertly crafted cocktails to choose from -- some of which are even prepared table-side -- you can’t really go wrong. Ring in the new year with festivities that will include a cheese plate for the table, a Champagne toast, and a cocktail for $50 a head.
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Midnight Cowboy
313 East 6th Street
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Swanky speakeasy in the heart of Dirty Sixth Once part of Austin's red light district, The Midnight Cowboy pays tribute to its former brothel glory as a reservations-only, buzz-in cocktail lair, where clients are encouraged to flirt with staff as long as they abide by house rules. Reservations are for one or two hours, and there’s a two-drink minimum per guest. With so many expertly crafted cocktails to choose from -- some of which are even prepared table-side -- you can’t really go wrong. Ring in the new year with festivities that will include a cheese plate for the table, a Champagne toast, and a cocktail for $50 a head.
NYC-based cocktail concept in a two-story house with adjoining garden Weather Up is a relaxed, grown-up spot to enjoy cocktails and conversation, which is probably why you’ll often spot (and inadvertently eavesdrop on) first dates. You can sit inside where copper light fills the room or on the garden-esque patio, sipping beer, wine, or cocktails like the tart, aromatic El Nacional (tequila, hibiscus grenadine, Bénédictine, fresh lime juice, and rosewater) or their signature happy meal: a shot of house-made “fireball” and a Lone Star. Chef Kristine Kittrell has made Weather Up much more than just a cocktail bar, but a great spot for brunch and dinner. We love the indulgent Benedict (biscuit, poached eggs, Hollandaise, ham, and greens).
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Weather Up
1808 East Cesar Chavez Street
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NYC-based cocktail concept in a two-story house with adjoining garden Weather Up is a relaxed, grown-up spot to enjoy cocktails and conversation, which is probably why you’ll often spot (and inadvertently eavesdrop on) first dates. You can sit inside where copper light fills the room or on the garden-esque patio, sipping beer, wine, or cocktails like the tart, aromatic El Nacional (tequila, hibiscus grenadine, Bénédictine, fresh lime juice, and rosewater) or their signature happy meal: a shot of house-made “fireball” and a Lone Star. Chef Kristine Kittrell has made Weather Up much more than just a cocktail bar, but a great spot for brunch and dinner. We love the indulgent Benedict (biscuit, poached eggs, Hollandaise, ham, and greens).
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Grizzelda's Restaurant
105 Tillery St
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Circular, cement cocktail bar tucked in a parking garage In the great Austin tradition of opening bars that are hard to find, we have Garage -- the low-lit, former valet office nestled in the parking garage on 5th and Colorado that's marked with a neon blue sign. Their most popular drink is the sweet and herbaceous former official drink of Austin, the Indian Paintbrush (vodka, rosemary, grapefruit) but we love their take on a Penicillin (Earl Grey Scotch, more Scotch, lemon, ginger, honey). Feeling fancy? Garage has an impressive collection of Japanese whiskies.
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Garage
503 Colorado Street
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Circular, cement cocktail bar tucked in a parking garage In the great Austin tradition of opening bars that are hard to find, we have Garage -- the low-lit, former valet office nestled in the parking garage on 5th and Colorado that's marked with a neon blue sign. Their most popular drink is the sweet and herbaceous former official drink of Austin, the Indian Paintbrush (vodka, rosemary, grapefruit) but we love their take on a Penicillin (Earl Grey Scotch, more Scotch, lemon, ginger, honey). Feeling fancy? Garage has an impressive collection of Japanese whiskies.
Easy Tiger checks off all of those essential Austin bar needs: great outdoor space, wide-ranging beer lineup, curated whiskey list, cocktails, and sausages and pretzels to boot. It’s just the place for an easy hang indoors or out right on Dirty Sixth.
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Easy Tiger
709 East 6th Street
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Easy Tiger checks off all of those essential Austin bar needs: great outdoor space, wide-ranging beer lineup, curated whiskey list, cocktails, and sausages and pretzels to boot. It’s just the place for an easy hang indoors or out right on Dirty Sixth.
The vibe is decidedly dive-y (moody lighting and retro signage included), with a craft cocktail menu to counter it. Patrons love Nickel City for its approachable dive bar setting without the subpar dive bar drinks. Nickel City Negronis and Aperol Spritz are on draft, while the rest of the cocktail list is divided into well-known, lesser-known, and unknown cocktails—plus, a section devoted simply to beer-and-a-shot combos. This is a great spot to come for a down-home experience in Austin.
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Nickel City
1133 E 11th St
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The vibe is decidedly dive-y (moody lighting and retro signage included), with a craft cocktail menu to counter it. Patrons love Nickel City for its approachable dive bar setting without the subpar dive bar drinks. Nickel City Negronis and Aperol Spritz are on draft, while the rest of the cocktail list is divided into well-known, lesser-known, and unknown cocktails—plus, a section devoted simply to beer-and-a-shot combos. This is a great spot to come for a down-home experience in Austin.
Jazz
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Elephant Room
315 Congress Avenue
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Jazz