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View Full Version : Heading to Austin - Where should I drink?



Tony
05-29-2013, 16:19
Good Day All-

I hope you are doing great.

I just found out that I am heading to Austin in a couple of weeks. Would appreciate thoughts on where I should drink, I found below and would like opinions on these and others-

http://tenoakaustin.com/

http://bourbongirlaustin.com/site/

http://www.trifectaaustin.com/

And I know it is off topic a bit but any thoughts on where to enjoy a cigar would be welcomed as well.

Best regards, Tony

Balcones Winston
05-29-2013, 16:29
Eastside Showroom - It's a hipster cocktail bar with a good whiskey selection. Had Ritt 21 and VWFRR last time I was there
Blackheart Bar - Haven't actually been here, but heard good things and have met the bar manager before. Slightly more cocktail oriented but decent whiskey selection
Easy Tiger - Beer bar! Not a whiskey bar. But if you like craft beer this place is awesome

DBM
05-29-2013, 17:21
Definitely go to Peche in downtown. Crazy good food and super creative cocktails. And a lot of whisky.

Don_Draper
05-29-2013, 17:48
East Side Showroom is one of my fav bars. Yes, it is a hipster bar, but the bartenders have been nothing but overly nice to me. Kelly O'Haire is the head barkeep, and the guy is just a fount of knowledge on all things alcohol. He is a great guy that if you go in early, you can talk whiskey, cocktails, history of libations, etc.

tigerlam92
05-29-2013, 18:30
Shouldn't it be which BBQ to go? Each time I have gone, I did my circuit of BBQ but didn't happen to see any place with a great selection of bourbon at bars or nice restaurants.

Would be good to learn of some.

Tony
05-30-2013, 06:28
Thanks for the great suggestions, really appreciate it. I know I should be able to get to 1 or 2.

Not sure if I will get BBQ but want to try Hudson's on the Bend.

Best regards, Tony

redbear
05-30-2013, 07:13
You can't enjoy a cigar anywhere, AFAIK. Austin doesn't allow smoking in establishments.

The Vince Young steakhouse has a decent bourbon menu also. http://www.vinceyoungsteakhouse.com/images/menuPDF/bourbonWhiskeyMenu.pdf
You may also check out Opal Divines. They have a number of locations with a decent whisk(e)y list, and decently affordable. http://www.opaldivines.com/

Hudson's on the Bend is pretty far outside of Austin. I'm sure it would be a fine experience, but there are a TON of places in town to get a meal equal to what they provide. I can recommend some places if you say what you're looking for, and your budget.

Austin is all about BBQ and Tacos.

For BBQ, there are 5 places in Austin that just made the Texas Monthly top 50 list. Franklin, Lamberts, Stiles Switch, LA BBQ and John Mueller Meat company. You're guaranteed a wait at all of these except Stiles Switch.

For Tacos, the list is long, but Torchy's is pretty great.

Don't miss the craft beer scene. Lots of great places to drink beers in Austin. I can provide a list if you're a beer person.

gburger
05-30-2013, 16:30
I have not tried them yet, but I hear great things about Freedman's. BBQ and drink.
http://www.freedmensbar.com/

timd
05-31-2013, 14:54
It's shunned by TX Monthly this time (and last), but for my money you can't be the BBQ and atmosphere of The Salt Lick (20 minutes from downtown Austin). Remains one of my Top 5 favorite places to eat on Earth. There is "better" Que to be found, but the combination of quality and atmosphere puts Salt Lick over the top for me.

Vince Youngs is good, but expensive. Opal Divine's has never been much fun, for me.

If you don't eat anyplace else - be sure to eat at Bacon. Yep, it's just called Bacon - and they don't serve anything without bacon. It's a mistake to miss it.

If you are a beer drinker be on the lookout for places that carry 512 (tap only - they do a limited bottling annually, but it's essentially all taps). One of the best craft/local beers being made in the US. Just very small/limited in production.

You also can't go wrong by hitting up the food trucks on South Congress. No booze there, but there are dozens of bars along SoCo that are an easy walk... and of course a jaunt down 6th street at night is worth an hour or two of your time.

Winston's suggestions above for the bars are spot-on as well. Austin just doesn't have a "whiskey scene" like some other cities do - it's more cocktails, hipsters and "au naturale" type stuff (unless it's BBQ or Mexican).

Mozilla, who is a member here, lives in Austin - and you may want to PM him for some other thoughts.

Oh - and don't even think about Dusty hunting. Between Me, Winston, Barrel Char (RIP), Mozilla, Wadewood, Randy, The Don and about 20 others, the state is picked clean. About the best you can find anymore is OWA in a handle with an old label/age statement from the mid-2000's - and even those are pretty scarce.

timd
05-31-2013, 14:57
You can't enjoy a cigar anywhere, AFAIK. Austin doesn't allow smoking in establishments.

I don't think Austin allows smoking OUTSIDE anymore, either, LOL.

Seriously, there's no place public that I know of where you can smoke cigarettes, much less cigars. I'm not a smoker, so I could be wrong, but it's like Portland/Madison/Ann Arbor/etc. - it's very hippy and green, and smoking in general is quite frowned upon.

****DOH - just saw in another post that YOU are from Austin. No location in your avatar/name, and I made an assumption... sorry. Of course you know the above info... and would be able to provide aea6574 (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/member.php?4976-aea6574) all kinds of info... SORRY!

redbear
05-31-2013, 15:04
I think you can maybe smoke outside on patios? Like at Opal Divines? I don't smoke, so I'm not sure. Definitely call and check.

For the record, Salt Lick has never been in the top 50, IIRC. I'll agree the atmosphere is nice. The BBQ? Probably better than many places in the country, but it doesn't do it for me here in TX.

The food trucks on South Congress are gone, sadly. Hotel is going to be built there. Check websites for new locations, or visit another food trailer park.

Timd speaks the truth about dusty hunting in TX.

timd
05-31-2013, 15:15
The food trucks on South Congress are gone, sadly. Hotel is going to be built there. Check websites for new locations, or visit another food trailer park.

I knew they were going to do that - but I was just there a month or so ago, and they were all still there. Wow. That sucks.

Where's the "big spot" now? Is it mostly over on 1st street, or is there really no centralized location for the "good ones"...?


I know a fair number BBQ fans who don't put Salt Lick in their Top 10, and I'll admit we've got Dallas shops that put out better burnt ends, ribs and sausage (Meshaks, Pecan Lodge), but I do love the Salt Lick Brisket - and their sauce is pretty original. For me it's just really good food with an unbeatable atmosphere that puts it over the top. It's not Ludingtons, Snows or Franklin's... but as you said, compared to most other places in the country, it's pretty solid.

ChainWhip
05-31-2013, 15:24
BBQ is without a doubt the thing I miss most about Austin. Living in the Que-Wasteland known as the PacNW has me even craving Rudy's (used to live behind one just north of the Arboretum).

squire
05-31-2013, 15:37
Another vote for Salt Lick Tony.

tigerlam92
05-31-2013, 15:58
Every time, I have gone to Austin, I drive straight to Salt Lick in Driftwood from the airport. It's BYOBourbon. And do the all you can eat.

If you never been there you may want a picture of the crazy pit.

Last time I was there a young Thai couple was taking pictures. Then she took off her long coat jacket (Austin is hot in the summer, so interesting?) to prepare for the photo and I have to admit she was OMG beautiful and so dressed up with a nice dress and revealing (with a lot to reveal so not all natural ;) ) but standing next to this gigantic meat pit, what a scene.

Cheers
Hugh

squire
05-31-2013, 17:39
Texas, it's like a whole 'nother country.

ChainWhip
05-31-2013, 17:40
Hugh... I'm starving now

ATXWhiskey
06-03-2013, 20:10
I'll follow up with some other comments on bars and food (what has been said so far is pretty accurate). That said, I wanted to mention possibly the only great place to have a cigar. While most places are not smoke friendly, the Stephen F Austin Intercontinental Hotel on 7th and Congress has an excellent terrace bar on the 2nd floor. They sell cigars but the selection isn't great. But if you come prepared there's excellent seating and a decent bar menu on the terrace with a nice view of Congress Ave.

michang5
06-03-2013, 20:55
For something not downtown, check out Contigo (excellent food, better than average bourbon selection) and Drink.Well (I have not been, but their bourbon menu is pretty good, and I saw that one of their bartenders did well in a recent state bourbon cocktail competition).

ATXWhiskey
06-03-2013, 21:56
For something not downtown, check out Contigo (excellent food, better than average bourbon selection) and Drink.Well (I have not been, but their bourbon menu is pretty good, and I saw that one of their bartenders did well in a recent state bourbon cocktail competition).

Ive been meaning to hit up drink.well. Your post is some encouragement.

Tony
03-18-2014, 07:29
Back in Austin this week.

Had a great Whiskey Sour at Whistler's on East 6th- http://www.yelp.com/biz/whislers-austin-2

Then just had an Awesome meal at Qui- http://quiaustin.com/

Going to try Midnight Cowboy tonight- http://www.midnightcowboymodeling.com/

Also found a couple of family size Weller 12.

Great town.

Best regards, Tony

weller_tex
03-18-2014, 07:54
It's shunned by TX Monthly this time (and last), but for my money you can't be the BBQ and atmosphere of The Salt Lick (20 minutes from downtown Austin). Remains one of my Top 5 favorite places to eat on Earth. There is "better" Que to be found, but the combination of quality and atmosphere puts Salt Lick over the top for me.

Vince Youngs is good, but expensive. Opal Divine's has never been much fun, for me.

If you don't eat anyplace else - be sure to eat at Bacon. Yep, it's just called Bacon - and they don't serve anything without bacon. It's a mistake to miss it.

If you are a beer drinker be on the lookout for places that carry 512 (tap only - they do a limited bottling annually, but it's essentially all taps). One of the best craft/local beers being made in the US. Just very small/limited in production.

You also can't go wrong by hitting up the food trucks on South Congress. No booze there, but there are dozens of bars along SoCo that are an easy walk... and of course a jaunt down 6th street at night is worth an hour or two of your time.

Winston's suggestions above for the bars are spot-on as well. Austin just doesn't have a "whiskey scene" like some other cities do - it's more cocktails, hipsters and "au naturale" type stuff (unless it's BBQ or Mexican).

Mozilla, who is a member here, lives in Austin - and you may want to PM him for some other thoughts.

Oh - and don't even think about Dusty hunting. Between Me, Winston, Barrel Char (RIP), Mozilla, Wadewood, Randy, The Don and about 20 others, the state is picked clean. About the best you can find anymore is OWA in a handle with an old label/age statement from the mid-2000's - and even those are pretty scarce.

Texas Monthly shouldn't even be allowed to have Texas in it's name. As long as I can remember it has always been a hipster/east-west coast vibbed magazine that has a bias against rural Texas and Texans...it's as worthless as the Houston Chonicle (which continually sets new standards for worthless).

tanstaafl2
03-18-2014, 09:11
Texas, it's like a whole 'nother country.

Austin, it's like a whole 'nother Texas.

And a bit of an odd one at that...

Although I admit it has been a while since I was last there. Lived in San Antonio for awhile. Another interesting town that had a truly "split" personality when I lived there.