Let’s be honest…there are too many people on Rainey Street and Downtown Austin on any Saturday night. Those two popular spots for nightlife in Austin are typically packed, so we’re always searching for more venues for drinks and live music. Austinites love to go out and have a good time, and we need more venues with that casual Austin style, good cocktails, food trucks, and outdoor patios. Lucky for us, there’s a string of fun bars on Menchaca Road, way down in super far south Austin.
This section of Austin nightlife is a bit of a hidden gem. These are Austin bars that only locals know about….you really won’t catch many tourists down there, even though it’s a pretty epic road. In fact, with the growing row of bars on Menchaca Rd, lots of Austinites have begun referring to Manchaca Road as “Rainey Street south.” It doesn’t hurt that Lustre Pearl, one of the original bars on Rainey Street, has opened their Lustre Pearl South location on this row of bars.
If you want to skip the crowds at those popular tourist spots, go to one of these south Austin bars! We'll provide a guide to all of the fantastic bars on Menchaca, between Slaughter Ln on the north and 1626 on the south.
A List Of All The Bars In South Menchaca
1. Armadillo Den
Armadillo Den is a giant space! It features a 2-story bar with 18 beers on tap + 4 draft cocktails, four food trucks, and an outdoor stage. It has nightly live music and a sizable outdoor space with a fun atmosphere for beer and mixed drinks and big crowds. There are also a lot of yard games, axe throwing, and events every weekend. It’s 21+ in the evenings and weekends, but every Monday through Friday, you’re free to bring children up until 6 pm.
The food trucks here really set Armadillo Den a step above the rest of the bars in Menchaca! Mama Fried, from the award-winning LeRoy and Lewis team, is a french fry-centered food truck that serves huge bowls of loaded fries, covered in delicious toppings like pulled pork, queso, and guac. And Ranch Hand is a food truck that serves absolutely scrumptious locally-sourced protein bowls and burgers. There’s also Pueblo Viejo for your taco fix and Biggie’s Yardbird with fried chicken sandwiches and waffle fries.
And if you don't have time for nightlife, Armadillo Den opens fairly early in the afternoon and it’s a great place to hang out and relax. Folks have even been known to bring their laptops and do work under the lovely live oak trees (Armadillo Den has free WiFi.) All-in-all, it’s a great place to watch the game, hang out with friends, eat at a local Austin food truck, listen to live music, and bask in the Austin ambiance that we all know and love.
2. Lustre Pearl South
As we mentioned, Lustre Pearl South is a cousin to the original Rainey Street bar, so it’s pretty iconic. After all, Lustre Pearl on Rainey Street (RIP) was the bar that started the Rainey Street craze! And even though you can’t visit that original bar anymore, this south Austin location feels way more “Austin,” anyway. It’s one of the most popular venues in the rapidly expanding South Austin nightlife scene right now.
Lustre Pearl South has two full bars where you can order a craft beer or a creative cocktail and enjoy it on the big outdoor patio. There’s live music, tons of people, dogs, good times…Lustre Pearl is a whole vibe.
Of course, one of the best parts about Lustre Pearl South is the selection of food trucks. Check out Praxis (coffee), Matador (tacos), Wunder Pig (bbq), The Perfect Bite (small bites), and The Brunch Club ATX. Lustre Pearl South also has corn holes, ping pong, and lots of open indoor/outdoor space.
Bright, airy, and beautiful, Lulu’s is a chic bar with gorgeous textiles, live plants, and a colorful interior with a Mexican-inspired design. The cocktails are strong (lots of tequila!) and the ambiance is incredibly welcoming. Lulu’s calls themselves “the perfect mix of Mexico City and South Austin,” and that sums up this place perfectly. If you get hungry while you're there, they have a great little food truck in the back that serves killer tacos served on blue corn tortillas.
They’re open daily from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. It’s a 21+ place, and dogs are welcome (but should be on leashes). Check Lulu's calendar for upcoming event schedules as they occasionally host events as well.
4. Sam’s Town Point
Sam’s Town Point is an incredibly popular yet simple dive bar open every day from 6 pm to 12 am serving up icy cold beer. It definitely doesn’t have a glitzy modern design (don’t expect an elaborate menu of craft cocktails here!) but it does excel in the old-Austin atmosphere. This place is very old!
Sam’s Town Point is known for its fun dance floor, outdoor patio, and regularly scheduled live music performances by local bands. Since 1981, Sam's Town Point in south Austin has been serving up cold drinks and classic Texas music. It’s a dive in the true sense of the word, and local Austinites want it to stay that way. Never change, STP.
5. The Hive
The Hive is a full-service bar, coffee shop, and restaurant with a backyard garden and a playground area. It’s the most “kid-friendly” of all of the Menchaca Rd bars, and you’ll often find parents working on their laptops while kids play nearby on the 2-story playscape.
The Hive has a pretty good selection of specialty cocktails, local craft beer, and wines (be sure to check out their happy hour!). Their food menu is fairly robust, too. In the morning, you can order pastries and breakfast tacos, and on the weekends, they have a full brunch. There are two food trucks on site, and The Hive also has a special Wednesday evening burger menu.
This bar is a great option for more than just food and drinks…they also have a selection of events for both kids and adults like trivia, open mic night, and live music. Be sure to check their website for information on events and activities. For any special occasion, you can rent a private room, the back deck, or even the entire facility.
6. Moontower Saloon
Moontower Saloon is an old-school spot on South Menchaca that’s definitely worth visiting. It’s a big property with both an indoor space (with air conditioning, we might add!! A lot of Menchaca bars don’t have AC) and an outdoor covered bar, as well as plenty of outdoor seats, picnic tables, and big, shady trees. They’re open every day, starting at 1 pm on the weekdays and noon on the weekends. It feels super “south Austin” in all the best ways.
It’s a great spot for rotating local beers, craft cocktails, live music, a game of sand volleyball, and good times. Moontower Saloon has an in-house restaurant with a full menu of apps, burgers, sandwiches, salads, tacos, sliders, a hot dog food truck, and even brunch on the weekends.
7. South Austin Beer Garden
South Austin Beer Garden is a rustic indoor/outdoor bar that specializes in (duh…) BEER! They have 60 draft beers on tap, as well as draft cocktails and cider. They have Texas barbecue, frozen drinks, and a 3,000 sq feet deck.
SABG is an incredibly casual, laid-back bar with plenty of seats, some outdoor firepits, and live music. It’s the type of place where regulars hang out in the afternoon, crowds of beer lovers hang out in the evening, and anyone and everyone is welcome. Check their online schedule for info about events and concerts.
8. Parlay House
If you need a really good sports bar in Austin, head to Parlay House! It’s a cocktail lounge and sports bar all in one. It's somehow the perfect mix of laid-back Austin hospitality paired with really good, modern drinks. It has an incredible patio, lots of TVs, and an awesome staff.
Of all of the bars on Menchaca Rd, Parlay House feels the most “Rainey Street.” It has a club feel, including VIP daybeds that you can rent, and even a party package where you can reserve the entire lounge for yourself.
9. Giddy Ups
Giddy Ups has been around since pretty much forever, and as long as you’re bar-hopping on Menchaca, you should stop in and check it out. It’s a small, friendly, classic country dive bar with live music most nights. It’s truly one of the last remaining authentic honky tonks left in Austin.
Stop by for an ice-cold beer, a whiskey neat, or a glass of wine. They share their events calendar on the website so you can see who’s performing on any night of the week. Or, just stop in and grab a seat and see what’s going on.
10. Brick’s Pub
This is the only bar we’ll mention from the east side of South Menchaca, and it’s the only place that’s in a shopping center…but Brick’s Pub is a solid option if you need American food and drinks before your night of bar-hopping on South Menchaca. They have a wide variety of food on their menu, including soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and desserts. They have craft cocktails and a lot of local beers on tap. If you need some classic burgers, hot dogs, queso, fries, and sandwiches, Brick’s Pub is for you.