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.
Mohawk is a unique nightclub in Austin. Its aim is to bring independent and upcoming acts — local and otherwise — through its doors. Fostering an inclusive community of artists, Mohawk welcomes musicians from a wide variety of genres and styles. It's hard to stand out in a town so inundated with music clubs as Austin, but with its fresh acts, tasty drinks and friendly crowd vibe, Mohawk shows how it's done.
Rated as one of the top restaurants in Texas, Uchi is a very romantic restaurant with dimly lit lanterns. If you want some privacy, then the sushi bar is for you. For an appetizer, try the Yokai Berry, Sakana Carpaccio and Machi Cure. Make sure you leave some room for desserts, the creme caramel, gelato and panna cotta are delectable. As for the selection of sakes, it is wise to come in for the daily Sake Social to sample small bites and sakes that pair perfectly.
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.
The Butterfly Bar is widely hailed as serving some of the best cocktail mixes in town. Get seated on their large outdoor patio and sip on an exotic list of cocktails prepared by friendly and experienced bartenders. It also has an impressive wine and beer collection. The light snacks and the yummy cheesecakes make for good accompaniments with drinks. All in all, this intimate space meets high standards, while also having reasonably priced drinks.
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.
The Iron Bear is a lively bar and club in downtown Austin that is geared towards the gay community. Here is a great example of a fun-loving establishment that is genuinely friendly and open to all. At least, so long as you're 21 years of age or older. The drinks are inexpensive and the bartenders are friendly. There's a DJ that plays the latest music and there is room enough to dance on the dance floor.
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!