We’ve all heard stories about major business deals being made on the golf course, and yes, they’re often true. The moral of the story is often misconstrued as needing to take up golf to get ahead in business. But that’s an oversimplification. The actual takeaway is broader: Get to know potential business partners on a personal level.
Happy hour is a great place to make friends with colleagues. Sharing a drink, a bite to eat, and some quality time allows you to connect with professional acquaintances in ways that lead to friendships.
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Austin is a great town for happy hour. Places with happy hour drink specials, appetizer discounts, and inviting atmosphere are all over Austin. And we at Austin.com have your definitive guide to picking your next happy hour spot no matter where you work.
North Austin Happy Hours
You can find plenty of North Austin happy hour spots, but if you want a variety of restaurants and bars within a small area, head over to The Domain. This fancy-schmancy shopping center gets its reputation from all the high end restaurants it houses. Cruise down Rock Rose Avenue and see which places attract you. You’ll find weekday happy hour specials at 77° Rooftop Bar, Jack & Ginger’s Irish Pub, The Dogwood, and Kung Fu Saloon just to name a few.
Venture off Rock Rose Avenue, and you’ll find other happy hour favorites like Copper Restaurant + Dessert Lounge and Urban: An American Grill. Stray outside The Domain, and North Austin has plenty more to offer such as our list-topping Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar.
South Austin Happy Hours
The late Austin American-Statesman columnist John Kelso made a running gag out of referring to South Austin residents as “bubbas” and other synonyms for rednecks. But you wouldn’t get that impression from the fine establishments on our list of South Austin happy hours.
Using their shareable appetizers with a Spanish flair, Barlata Tapas Bar is helping South Austin develop a more cosmopolitan reputation. Happy hour at Barlata gives you the opportunity to enjoy tapas, paella, wine, and cocktails at discount prices. Your mouth will go on a journey to Spain.
Bring your tastebuds back across the Atlantic for Mexican seafood at Alcomar Mariscos y Mas. Get your colleagues prepared to collaborate by sharing a pitcher of margaritas.
East Austin Happy Hours
While the common conception of East Austin is hole-in-the-wall Mexican food and trendy gourmet restaurants, the most intriguing happy hour special in that part of town is fish and chips at School House Pub. Pair a $5 fish and chips special with a $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon or Lone Star, and you’ll walk out with a fat wallet and full belly.
The food is the main attraction at other East Austin happy hours. If you need some sustenance at happy hour, try Haymaker for knockout burgers, Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile for upscale dining, and Sawyer & Co. for the tastes of New Orleans.
West Austin Happy Hours
By visiting West Austin happy hour restaurants, you can take a culinary trip around the world. Traipse across Europe at Fabi + Rosi. Relax in Italian opulence at Visconti Ristorante & Bar. Journey to the Mexican interior at Las Palomas Restaurant-Bar. Mosey over to the American Southwest at Chisos Grill. The world’s cuisine awaits in the hills of Austin.
Downtown Austin Happy Hours
A downtown Austin happy hour is a great way to end your workday or begin your evening. Perhaps your happy hour adventure is sandwiched between your workday and a night on the town.
No matter the prelude or postlude, downtown Austin has your happy hour spots within walking distance of your other destinations. Bask in the history of The Driskill Bar. Grab a steak after drinks at Vince Young Steakhouse. Watch hipsters in their natural habitat at Rainey Street bars including Lucille Patio Lounge and Icenhauer’s.
Central Austin Happy Hours
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If you want to relive your wild partying college days, surely you can find a Central Austin happy hour that’ll spark your memories. But don’t drink like a college kid.
A large contingent of UT-Austin students live in this part of town, so it makes sense many of the establishments cater to kids living on student loans and their parents’ credit cards. Hang out with the youngsters for mountainous burgers at Crown & Anchor Pub, all-night partying at The Drag Bar, or pizza at Pinthouse Pizza.
Outdoor Austin Happy Hours
When the weather is perfect in Austin, there’s nothing quite like enjoying an outdoor Austin happy hour. Austin is full of great patios where you can take advantage of food and drink specials as you let the cares of the workday fade into your memory.
Pick your ambiance at one of Austin’s many restaurants and bars with fabulous outdoor spaces. Relax in the heart of the South Congress entertainment district at Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. Sample unique flavors of sausage at Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden. Play yard games at Red’s Porch. Imagine yourself on a South Texas ranch at Contigo.
Day Trip Happy Hours
There’s no way you can run out of Austin happy hours to try, but maybe you want to take a road trip for your next happy hour excursion. Well, hop in your car to make your way to an Austin day trip happy hour.
Select your destination, and hit the road! Meet some Texas State Bobcats at Grins Restaurant or Cody’s Bistro & Lounge in San Marcos. Fill your belly with pie at Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls. Sample a flight of craft beer at Pecan Street Brewing in Johnson City.
Featured photo courtesy Contigo.