A bit off the beaten path, Draught House Pub & Brewery provides welcome relief from downtown's Sixth Street. The European pub atmosphere and exhaustive selection of imported drafts make this bar a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The seating is excellent, with high-backed wooden seats and very thick wooden tables. Come visit on Wednesday for pitcher night with free pizza or on Saturday with free bratwurst.
This venue, south of the river, is a throwback to the 1950s. Roots rock and country reign supreme in this bar, where one can often find men in leather jackets and classic Cadillacs out front. With live music nightly, tributes to Elvis, and celebrations of Hank William's birthday, this place is great for dancing, drinking and kicking back on the high stools. Happy hours feature some of Austin's favorite songwriters. The venue has broadened its range of live music to include occasional indie rock.
With its menu of Italian bistro cuisine and charming interior, Enoteca Vespaio offers a less expensive but still fresh and high-quality alternative to Vespaio, its sister restaurant next door. Enoteca boasts offerings like the mozzarella panino stuffed with housemade mozzarella cheese and roasted tomatoes, flat-crust pizzas, and rich pastas. Fresh ingredients are in abundance. The dessert case at the entrance offers a glimpse at their tarts, cookies and cannoli. Sunday brunch offers a selection of egg dishes and sweet breakfasts like pancakes and freshly made bread. The interior is small but welcoming, and the outdoor patio at Enoteca Vespaio allows diners to gaze at passers-by strolling down South Congress.
Hidden behind a bookshelf in the Firehouse Hostel, The Firehouse Lounge features classically prepared cocktails, meat and cheese boards, a relaxing and inviting atmosphere, and a variety of tasteful live music. Their high quality libations are hand-crafted, consisting only of the freshest ingredients, prepared by professionally trained and thoroughly knowledgeable staff here to provide you with an all-around superior beverage service. Elevate your experience and come enjoy what the Firehouse has to offer.
Set in an attractive stone building, Clay Pit serves mostly North Indian food. The chef Maqbool Ahmed is the real McCoy, having served a stint at the Oberoi Hotel in New Delhi, and has brought his panache for the tandoor to Austin. A must eat at this restaurant is the tandoori platter bedecked with chicken, lamb, broccoli, tomatoes and even zucchini. As always, Indian restaurants are a haven for vegetarians and this is no exception, serving dahl, paneer and a lot of veggie curries.
Kerbey Lane Cafe has been cloned several times now, but the original location of this Austin icon is still a local favorite. Its wonderfully diverse menu is a sight to behold for vegetarians. The vegetables are homegrown and pesticide-free, and the beef and chicken are free-range. Breakfast features omelets, pancakes and great breakfast tacos. The restaurant is open 24 hours between Thursday and Sunday, perfect for your late night weekend eats. No wonder it is an institution here.
With chef Benjamin Nathan at the helm, the Belmont seeks to transport you back in time to the Las Vegas and Palm Springs of the 1960's. Looking around, you might expect to see the Rat Pack as you sense the nostalgia of the elegant leather and soft lighting while being entertained with music of the era. The menu offers a wide range of American culinary options including cedar planked salmon and grilled asparagus as well as shrimp and grits. For the lighter appetite, try one of their unique salads like the arugula, pear and goat cheese salad or iceberg wedge salad. All in all, this place has achieved what it set out to become, an upscale classic American restaurant and bar.
Maiko, a part sushi/part martini restaurant helps break the stereotype of the rigid Japanese sushi chef. The lounge and bar at Maiko serves fusion cocktails like the Sake and Wasabi Martinis and the menu is no less. Prepared by chef Fumi, it's an amalgamation of eastern precision for the western palette. The decor at Maiko reflects this cross cultural harmony equally well; also the occasional DJ spinning grooves, something you won't find at a sushi bar talks of it. Perfect for an evening for two or for an after office drink with your pals.
At Gloria's Latin Cuisine, delicious Latin-American cuisine is served in a warm, cozy and comfortable atmosphere. Here you get to taste a little of everything from tamales, plantains, papas to fajitas, enchiladas and more, everything is served with salsa and warm black bean dip, which is heavenly. The menu is dominated by Latin-American specials with few Mexican dishes. They are also known to serve some of the best margaritas in town and they also house a full bar. Their waiters and staff are really friendly, warm and welcoming, known to make you feel as ease as soon as you enter. On Saturday nights, the place turns into a dancing hub as they push aside the tables to make room for you to welcome you weekends.
Downtown Austin is home to Chef Andrew Curren's Italic known for its superior quality of Italian offerings perfectly paired with Italian wines. The menu features an eclectic selection of cured meats, Italian cheeses, olives and home-made focaccia. Guests can choose from an array of rustic wood-fired pizzas and farm-to-table selection of pastas made from the freshest seasonal ingredients. To top it all, pamper your sweet-tooth with gelatos and other Italian sweet confections crafted by Chef Mary Catherine Curren.
Set in a functional parking garage is this speakeasy vibe, cocktail bar called Garage. Look out for a large sign that screams cocktails and is nestled in a dimly-lit parking lot and you will have found the bar. This is a great place to enjoy inventive and perfectly crafted cocktails in an intimate and cozy setting. Make sure to eat a hearty meal before you visit this bar as they so not serve any food!
The Roosevelt Room is a 1920s style cocktail bar and entertainment venue where you can treat yourself to delicious handcrafted concoctions like the Westside Story which is a blend of vodka, cucumber, mint, lemon, orgeat and peychaud or the White Tuxedo prepared with gin, dry sherry, grapefruit bitters and salted olive oil. You can also opt for their signature cocktail De Rigueur. Packed to the brim with a young, hippy crowd, The Roosevelt Room is the ideal place to go to, if you want to have a lively evening out, meet new people or listen to eclectic live music as you sip tantalizing cocktails. The wonderful atmosphere at this place is sure to lift the spirits of anyone who walks in.