The three distinct identities of Sixth Street

Sixth Street is more than just what tourists know of and has more than just one vibe.

Photo provided by Flickr Creative Commons

It seems you can’t live in Austin without having some relationship to Sixth Street. Whether you love it or hate it, you’ve likely experienced it and have more than one story to tell about it.

But Sixth Street is so much more than what tourists think of. In fact, Sixth Street has three distinct identities.

Dirty sixth

This is the sixth street nearly everyone who’s heard of Austin knows about.

Dirty sixth is more touristy and racially and ethnically diverse than the other parts of sixth because of that. You'll hear sales pitches from bouncers and homeless people. The music’s loud and right in your face, since some of the bars are windowless, and bar hoppers are more belligerent. There’s a decent amount of pizza places and rooftop bars and a few Austin gems, like Alamo Drafthouse Ritz.

It feels more like a club and less like the rest of Austin.

West sixth

West sixth feels a little more high class.

Some of the girls wear heels, some of the guys dress up. This section of sixth is filled with young professionals. Nearly all the bars play sports and you’ll hear cheers centered around the game. People aren’t loud drunk here, but definitely tipsy. Lots of laughter and better beer options than dirty sixth. Lots of front yard seating. Even the beards over here seem more organized.

It feels a little LA-ish, but Austin’s version of that.

East sixth

East sixth has more of a bohemian feel.

The bars are quirky, divey and colorfully painted. People seem to be having more in-depth conversations, paired with a buzz. The seating’s often out back, in abundance and near food trucks. The occasional indie rock band plays a set (or a hip DJ). Beards thrive on east sixth, as do eclectic colorful clothing.

East sixth sure keeps Austin weird.

You don’t have to choose just one part of Sixth Street. You can have it all and probably should.


Tags: Sixth Street, Austin bars, Austin music, Dirty sixth, east sixth, west sixth, Austin nightlife

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