As Austin residents, we receive quite a few privileges you can’t get in most cities. From year-round live music, great weather (for majority of the year), a celebration/festival for almost everything and, most importantly, the right to call yourself an Austinite. If you pay close enough attention, you start to see the common thread embedded in the culture of Austin…the pursuit of happiness. Some people’s pursuit of happiness is found in the greenbelt. Some will find it on the waters of Lake Austin. Others find it waiting in the line at Franklin Barbecue. I find in the form of half price drinks and an extensive bar menu.
Happy Hour is an Event in Austin
Happy Hour is an event here in Austin. From outdoor patios to rooftop decks, you can find a happy hour every single day of the week. With an endless supply of exceptional happy hours to choose from, starting in Downtown made the most sense. Here are my choices for the top 5 Happy Hours you need to check out in Downtown Austin.
The W Austin
Location: 200 Lavaca Street
The W’s brand new happy hour, called Primetime, takes place in the Living Room Bar of the W. Located on the first floor, The Living Room offers happy hour every night from 7-10p. The “Primetime” hours are set up perfectly as a precap to any night out. While you’re there, try something a little different. The Brisket Mary (Dickel Rye Bourbon infused with smoked brisket, zing zang with a pearl snap pilsner) is a great way to start off an evening.
Location: 301 East 6th Street
Parkside offers happy hour from 5-6:30pm Monday through Friday. Come immediately after work as that hour and a half flies by quick. Parkside probably has the most extensive happy hour menu when it comes to ½ priced food and drinks. Great food options, such as a raw oyster platter, lump crab fritters and the bar steak and fries. Parkside also knows how to start the week off right, ss they have ½ priced Martini’s on Monday.
Goodall’s Kitchen and Bar
Location: 1900 Rio Grande
Goodalls’s is an American Bistro connected to the Hotel Ella. Served every day from 4-7 pm, this upscale happy hour is always fun with half priced wines by the glass, craft beers and a discounted bar menu. Not as centrally located as the other happy hours on the list, but worth the visit for the lobster roll alone.
Location: 400A West 2nd Street
La Condesa is not just one of my favorite happy hour spots, but restaurants in general. La Condesa has a very cool bar area overlooking the rest of the restaurant. Great place to relax after work, as happy hour is every weekday from 5-7pm. Their signature cocktails are a thing of wonder, as they do amazing things with tequila. Want something different? Try the El Cubico 12 (whole leaf tobacco-infused tequila, vanilla-infused brandy, grilled pineapple juice finished with a volcanic-saffron infused salt rim). Surprisingly refreshing and perfected paired with the guacamole sampler.
Finn & Porter
Location: 500 East 4th Street
You can’t have a list of best happy hours without including some sushi on the list. Finn & Porter have award-winning steak and seafood, but sushi is it for me. The Sushi Happy Hour is offered weekdays from 5-7pm. Friday is the only night they have ½ price on wines, but the happy hour is worth it just for the sushi alone. All their signature sushi is up for grabs during the ½ priced happy hour. My suggestions would be to try the Snapper Carpaccio, the Spicy Unagi Roll and the Sea Dragon Roll. You really can’t miss with whatever you select.
What Downtown Austin Happy Hours are Your Favorite?
Selecting only 5 great happy hour locales was definitely a challenging task. I’m sure the top 5 could be a revolving door of happy hour selections, as there are so many I haven’t had the pleasure (yet!) of enjoying. If you know of any great happy hours in or around Austin, please feel free to share. I’m always looking for new and interesting places to add to the list. Together, we can continue to keep Austin the Happiest (of Hours) Place on Earth.