Sometimes after a long, hard day at the office, you need to go to happy hour to unwind. You shake off the pressures, cares, and worries of the day by relaxing with your colleagues and friends at a restaurant or bar. But where to go?
Sure, you can go to the nearest “bar and grill” casual dining chain restaurant, but this is Austin… This city has countless watering holes where you can experience each facet of what makes Austin weird. The eclectic mix of Austin happy hour spots is ever-changing and evolving, so there’s always a new place to try.
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If you’re fresh out of ideas for your next happy hour, try one of these South Austin happy hour places. Your new five o’clock spot is waiting to be discovered!
10.) Bender Bar and Grill
With their slogan, “We’re cheap so you don’t have to be!,” Bender Bar and Grill is your happy hour spot on a budget. Their patio seating is the perfect place to chill out with some discounted food and drinks. But beware: the patio allows smoking. During happy hour, they offer 50 cents off beers and well drinks and $2 off beer pitchers. They also have daily kitchen specials Monday through Thursday, including their super popular 50 cent wings.
321 West Ben White Boulevard, Suite 300; Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
9.) Porter Ale House & Gastropub
When a place bills itself as a gastropub, it sets expectations high. And chef-driven Porter Ale House & Gastropub meets those expectations while keeping an approachable and inviting atmosphere. Here, the food and the beer are co-headliners of the show.
Happy hour here has tons of great deals — $3 well drinks, $1 off wine glasses and draft beers, and $3 truffle popcorn just to name a few. And don’t forget about the beer cheese fondue!
3715 South First Street, Suite A; Happy hour: Sunday-Thursday, 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
8.) Winebelly Vino & Tapas
One of our original bruschettas found its way back on the menu! If you are new to our Winebelly family, and have yet to try the confit duck bruschetta with red onion, frisee, and pecorino cheese, stop by and give this bad boy a try. #tapas #bruschetta #atx #foodie #mmm #atxfoodie #texas #texasfood #duck #quackquack #austin #wine #winebar
A small menu is usually a sign of a good restaurant. The kitchen knows what it does well and sticks with it. Winebelly Vino & Tapas is one of those restaurants. Gather with some friends for some good wine and killer shareable tapas — order several bites, and everyone will come away happy.
Their mid-week happy hour features $5 house wines in red, rose, and white varieties. Pair those with great food selections like parmesan truffle fries, beef carpaccio or shishitto peppers, and you have the start to a great evening with friends.
519 West Oltorf Street; Happy hour: Tuesday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
7.) Gibson Street Bar
Gibson Street Bar is all about the drinks, especially the craft beers. And they’re pretty proud of their signature cocktails, plus their wine and champagne lists.
Their happy hour has a wide variety of drink choices. First off, you can get $3 well drinks. For liquor, they offer $4 Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, Monopolowa Vodka, El Jimador Tequila, and Fireball. For craft beer, they serve $4 Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn Defender IPA, Live Oak Hefeweizen, Pearl Snap Pilsner, and 512 Pecan Porter on Nitro.
The food is out front in Luke’s Inside Out trailer in the parking lot. If Luke’s sounds familiar, you may have seen the food featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.”
1109 South Lamar Boulevard; Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
6.) Odd Duck
If you’re into the farm-to-table concept where restaurants source as many of their ingredients from local producers as possible, Odd Duck is a restaurant you need to try. Their sister restaurant, Barley Swine, has been one of the most talked about Austin restaurants in recent years, and the buzz is strong with Odd Duck, too.
The schedule for Odd Duck’s Sunday through Thursday happy hour is a little complicated. From 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., you can get half off bottles of wine, large format beer, and $5 draft Melon Margarita cocktails. From 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., select food is half price.
1201 South Lamar Boulevard; Happy hour: Sunday-Thursday, 2:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
5.) Saxon Pub
Sometimes after a long day at the office the last thing you want to do is talk to people. Maybe you were on the phone all day, or maybe you delivered an all-day training class. Either way, you want to give your vocal cords a rest.
Saxon Pub is the perfect place to do that. While they don’t have the traditional happy hour trappings of cheap food and drinks, they offer a weekday happy hour show with no cover. So you get free entry into one of Austin’s most famous music venues to see a local musician. It doesn’t get more authentically Austin than that!
1320 South Lamar Boulevard; Happy hour: No cover for weekday 6 p.m. shows
4.) Black Sheep Lodge
Come try something new! Our new food special is a Portobello "Burger" – Chipotle marinated portobello mushroom cap grilled to perfection and topped with melted Swiss cheese. Served on a toasted white or wheat hamburger bun with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and smokey chipotle mayo. Get it with a fried lodge side or even our daily veggie #portobelloburger #southlamaratx #blacksheeplodge #humpday #dollarbeers
Sometimes you don’t want happy hour to end. At most places, the dinner crowd’s arrival means an end to cheap drinks. But that isn’t the case at Black Sheep Lodge. Their daily drink specials are available open to close.
Each day of the week has great offerings, but you might want to mark your calendar for Mondays and Wednesdays. On Mondays, Texas beer pints and Texas liquors are $3. On Wednesdays, Black Sheep Lodge has $1 “white trash cans” (Lone Star and Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboys, Schlitz, Pearl, etc.) and $4 Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka drinks.
On top of all that, they claim to have the best burger in South Austin between Kinney and Oxford Avenues. Considering they’re the only place serving burgers between Kinney and Oxford Avenues, they stake a reasonable claim to the title. You be the judge!
2108 South Lamar Boulevard; Daily drink specials all day
3.) North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewery
North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewery in South Austin? Wait, what? Seriously, they have a location in far South Austin. The original location is actually what the name indicates.
This place brews all of its own beer. The menu has mainstays you can order year round, nitrogen infused selections and seasonal beers to complement the weather. And, of course, there’s a pumpkin spiced ale to help you maintain your fall and winter holiday cheer.
Happy hour offers $1 off select beers and special pricing on other drinks and appetizers.
5701 West Slaughter Lane, Building D; Happy hour: Everyday, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
2.) Alcomar Mariscos y Mas
Mexican food is an Austin staple. But there’s so much more to Mexican food than tacos, enchiladas, carne guisada, mole, and migas. At Alcomar Mariscos y Mas, you can enjoy the flavors of Mexican seafood.
This isn’t your typical Tex-Mex. Chefs Alma Alcocer and Jeff Martinez created a menu sampling regional flavors, ingredients, and dishes from each of Mexico’s coastlines. Options including adobo grilled shrimp, achiote grilled salmon, and shrimp & crab relleno await you.
And for happy hour, house margarita pitchers are $29. Plus, many cocktail and margarita varieties are $3 off.
1816 South 1st Street; Happy hour: Everyday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m.
1.) Barlata Tapas Bar
Happy Monday! We've got the cure for the Monday Blues: happy hour all night until 10 pm! Try our new seasonal cocktails that'll warm you up! . . . . . . . . . #Eatnowplaylater #getinmybelly #eeeeeats #yougottaeatthis #mealformeal #igfoodie #livetoeat #cameraseatfirst #foodstamping #fooddiaries #foodism #foodilicious #foodography #foodshot #fooddaily #foodpicoftheday #mondayblues #cocktailgram #drinkstagram #seasonalcocktails
Happy hour is a time to gather with friends. The food and drink are centerpieces for the conversation. And what could go better with a shared conversation than shared food?
Barlata Tapas Bar specializes in shared appetizers, commonly called tapas. In this restaurant, the tapas take on the flavors of northern Spain, chef Daniel Olivella’s homeland. He and his wife Vanessa Jerez want you to experience Spain through their food, so much so they want Barlata diners who’ve visited Spain to be reminded of their past travels through Olivella’s dishes.
The happy hour menu has special prices on a wide selection of tapas, a half-dozen wine specials, and a cocktail and paella combination of the day.
1500 South Lamar Boulevard, Suite 150; Happy hour: Sunday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Featured photo: Flickr user Didriks, Creative Commons licensed