For several weeks in the fall and another run of weeks in the spring, Austin weather is absolutely perfect. Mild, sunny days combine with cool evenings to make the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Austin’s outdoor dining scene flourishes during these periods.
But even when the weather doesn’t cooperate, you don’t have to stay indoors. Many establishments keep their outdoor spaces temperate with misting fans in the summer and portable heaters in the winter. No matter the weather, you’re covered!
Then again, those perfect weather days are why many people call Austin home. After a day of running, hiking, cycling or playing in a park, you’ll want a bite to eat and a good drink to cap off your day of playing in the sun. You’ll definitely want to check out these 10 Austin outdoor happy hours.
Beer and barbecue go together like Austin and live music. So when a smokehouse that doubles as a cocktail lounge serves up $5 barbecue sandwiches at happy hour, you know where you’re going when you get off work. Freedmen’s typically lands somewhere in the mix when people rank Austin barbecue restaurants, so even if you go just for the food, you’ll be satisfied. Happy hour drink specials include $2 Lone Star Draft and Pabst tallboys, $3 Whiskey of the Month, and $2 off wine glasses and well drinks.
Address: 2402 San Gabriel Street; Happy hour: Tuesday-Friday, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
The ambiance of a South Texas ranch meets the open space of a beer garden at Contigo. This ranch-to-table restaurant just off Manor Road has a small but varied menu, a Sunday steak night, and a boatload of happy hour specials. If you come to their daily happy hour, you can get $4 to $6 bar snacks, half off whiskeys, $6 cocktails and wine glasses, and $3 Austin Beerworks Pearl-Snap Pilsner. And if happy hour isn’t long enough for you, they extend their happy hour all night on Thursdays!
Address: 2027 Anchor Lane; Happy hour: Daily, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.; Thursday, all night
8.) El Alma
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When you eat at an Austin Mexican restaurant, you expect the food to be spicy. But have you tried the Margarita Chilanga at El Alma? This margarita gives you a kick of heat, and it’s only $7 during happy hour. If a spicy margarita isn’t your style, El Alma has plenty more happy hour drink specials. Plus, they have discounted appetizers.
Address: 1025 Barton Springs Road; Happy hour: Daily, 3 p.m.-6 p.m.
Backbeat is a two-story bar that includes a cocktail lounge and rooftop patio nestled among Austin hot spots like Ramen Tatsu-Ya, The Saxon Pub, Odd Duck, and Barlata. Both of Backbeat’s seating areas provide perfect spots to grab a drink and some delicious bar food. Happy hour deals are $7 classic cocktails, $6 featured wines the the glass, $4 draft beers, and $2 off all bar snacks.
Address: 1300 South Lamar Boulevard; Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, all night
6.) Licha’s Cantina
Austin has scores of Tex-Mex restaurants that can scratch your itch for beef enchiladas or carne guisada, but there aren’t as many places that serve food hailing from Mexico’s interior. Licha’s Cantina takes your tastebuds even further south of the border and has a $5 happy hour that’ll make your money stretch. Take your pick of $5 cocktails and $5 food specials.
Address: 1306 East 6th Street; Happy hour: Tuesday-Friday, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
5.) Rebel Pizza Bar
With gaze-worthy murals on the walls by local artists, you may not even make it to the rooftop patio and bocce ball court at Rebel Pizza Bar. The wall art and the pizza celebrate creativity and being original. Their happy hour is chock full of discounts: $2 off wine glasses, drafts, cocktails and appetizers; $4 well liquor; $10 off wine bottles; and $5 pizza by the slice.
Address: 7858 Shoal Creek Boulevard; Happy hour: Daily 4 p.m.-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close
Seasonal menus mean you get the freshest local ingredients. At Lenoir, they change their menu throughout the year as the products they get from area farmers, ranchers, and cheesemakers adapt to the seasons. And you can enjoy this fresh food in their wine garden which features a Tuesday through Sunday happy hour. What exactly are their happy hour specials? You’ll have to go to find out!
Address: 1807 South First Street; Happy hour: Tuesday-Sunday, 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
3.) Red’s Porch
Red’s Porch is a great South Austin hangout where you can sit with friends and enjoy a leisurely meal. No one’s going to hurry you to turn the table over to new customers, but you’ll want to roam around to take in the views and play yard games. Red’s happy hour has too many drink specials to rattle off here, but trust us, you’ll find something you like that’s friendly to your wallet. On weekday evenings and late on Sunday, Red’s has appetizer specials, also too numerous to list here, but again, trust us when we say you’ll find something great to try.
Address: 3508 South Lamar Boulevard; Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
2.) Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden
Beer of the Day: @bellsbrewery Two Hearted. Brewed with 100% Centennial hops from the Pacific Northwest and named after the Two Hearted River in Michigan's upper peninsula, this IPA is bursting with hop aromas ranging from pine to grapefruit from massive hop additions in both the kettle and the fermenter. Bonus: it's Country Thunder Thursday! Live music by the Southsiders featuring Marcus Tharpe from 8pm to 11pm! . . . . . #beeroftheday #countrythunderthursday #craftbeer #beergarden #sxswiscoming #austin
If the Rainey Street entertainment district was a shopping mall, Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden would be an anchor store. This place has a huge beer garden perfect for hanging out with groups large and small. Have you ever had chicken fried sausage? No? Well, you need to get over to Banger’s. And happy hour is the perfect time to catch a discount on their extensive list of beers.
Address: 79 & 81 Rainey Street; Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
1.) Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar
If farm-to-table is good, ocean-to-table must be good, too. At Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, they receive shipments daily of fish flown in from both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. You can enjoy this fresh seafood while sitting underneath oak trees on Perla’s patio. During happy hour they offer 50 cents off oysters and $2 off beverages.
Address: 1400 South Congress Avenue; Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m.
This article is part of a series about Austin Happy Hours. Be sure to check out our posts about South Austin Happy Hours, East Austin Happy Hours, North Austin Happy Hours and Downtown Austin Happy Hours, too!
Feature photo courtesy of Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.