It seems like just yesterday I wandered into Lustre Pearl for the first time. It was the only bar in the neighborhood at that point, and offered an escape from downtown that was as equally refreshing as their cheap beer served in complimentary coozies.
The street has evolved tremendously since then, and while I loved it as a secret hideout from the rest of Austin, the growth has introduced a diverse offering of both food and drink.
We started the concept of this post as a ‘complete guide to Rainey Street,’ but then thought it might be more rewarding to create a scavenger hunt-style checklist of unique things to do at each of our favorite bars/restaurants on the block.
While we advise against trying to conquer all of these in one day; if you complete the checklist, post pictures (or it didn’t happen) to Instagram with the hashtag #365RaineyStreetChallenge and tag us @365ThingsAustin — we’ll send you a free copy of 100 Things To Do In Austin Before You Die, and give you a shoutout for your accomplishments.
– Go for brunch on a Sunday and order the Manmosa- a full bottle of champagne in a giant mug with a splash of OJ or Cranberry Juice.
2. Craft Pride
– Ask one of the incredibly knowledgeable bartenders what current craft beer offering would pair best with a pepperoni pizza, then walk out back and order The Detroiter from local pizza heroes VIA 313.
Photo courtesy of www.Austin.CityVoter.com
- Bar 96 – Make a sports bet with a friend then watch the game here. Simply watching any UT Football game also qualifies.
- Half Step – The other drinks on the menu will look amazing, but ask for the Bartender’s Choice. He or she will take a moment to discuss your likes and dislikes, then create something from scratch, right before your very eyes. Bonus points if you come up with a witty new name for your concoction.
- Bungalow – Take a photo in front of the (slightly less famous than its Congress relative) “I hate you so much” wall.
6. Clive – One of the Rainey originals, Clive still has one of the most beautiful bar interiors on the street. Order an Old Fashioned or a glass of wine; take it out to the patio- rinse and repeat.
7. Icenhauer’s – The titles on their drink menu are all girl’s names. If your name is listed, order that. If it isn’t, cover up the side of the menu that lists ingredients, and order the name that speaks to you the most.
Bonus: There’s also a delicious off-menu cocktail named The Ashley. It consists of Hatch Chile Infused Espolon Silver Tequila, Mango, Red Pepper Simple Syrup and Fresh Lime Juice. When in doubt, order this.
8. The Blackheart – Blackheart was recently named one of the top 20 bourbon/whiskey bars in the country. Ask the bartender for a recommendation and enjoy the free live music that starts at 9pm every night of the week.
9. Lucille – Come here thirsty, then ‘like’ Lucille on Facebook for 20% off your total tab (weekdays only).
10. Geraldine The Rainey Street Guinea Fowl
– Snap a photo of Geraldine, one of Rainey Street
‘s most famous residents. She’s usually roaming around near the south end of Rainey
. Please be respectful though, her once quaint neighborhood has been turned into 6th street
‘s aggressive little brother.
Update: Geraldine was unfortunately hit by a car shortly after this was written 🙁
You can replace this one by visiting the restaurant at Hotel Van Zandt, Geraldine’s
, that was named in her honor. The views from the outdoor patio provide great views of Town Lake and Downtown Austin.
Photo courtesy of Geraldine’s Facebook Page
It’s weekend in Austin and that means time to brunch! While the list of places to brunch in Austin is quite endless Javelina is one of my favorites. It’s located on Rainey Street, dogs are welcome and on Saturday and Sundays they serve FREE pancakes from noon to 1:00 p.m.
If pancakes are not your thing they also have a brunch menu with favorites like green chili pork fries and the javelin sliders. It is a pretty chill location and unless you have a ton of will power brunch will probably be the start to an afternoon of roaming Rainey Street.
69 Rainey Street
Austin, Texas 78701
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March Madness officially ends tonight at Michigan and Louisville take part in the championship game. When it comes to watching big sporting events it is always fun to be with a crowd as the excitement makes it more fun to watch.
Bar 96 is one of my favorite stops along Rainey Street. They have great indoor and outdoor seating, plenty of TV’s and great all around atmosphere. They also have fun games like giant Jenga, ring toss, corn hole and others to add to your entertainment and good times. For those looking for good game time fun tonight, it is sure to meet your expectations.
Since Texas is not playing, the fact that there are 144 days until Longhorn Football returns to my life is what I am most excited about.
As always, be responsible – don’t drink and drive.
96 Rainey Street
Austin, Texas 78701
Photo credit: Bar 96 Facebook Page
If you are already up and at ’em you should defiantly make your way to the Mighty Texas Dog Walk as this is my favorite dog event in Austin each year. If you prefer to stay in your bed this morning but still want some dog fun later this puppy pub crawl has your name in on!
This Pub Crawl for you and your pup will have three stops! Javelina’s Bar, Banger’s Sausage House and Bungalow Bar. Each stop along the way will have a different activity for you and your dog. The first 100 people will receiver Bourbon Cake Bites. There will be a Party Animal Photo Booth, Caricature Drawing Set Up, I Love You So Much Photo Booth, a raffle and plenty of fun for the perfect afternoon.
If you have made it this far in the post and don’t have a dog, odds are you probably want one. Check out our Pet of the Week who is looking for a forever home and will make your heart melt.
When: today, March 23rd
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Austin, Texas 78701
|Join Walk Your Dog Austin and Yard Bar for FUN, FRIENDS and BEER!!!
It’s our second crawl and we are gonna PARTY!
LIVE MUSIC….GAMES….FUN TIMES!!!!
Join us to WALK YOUR DOG AUSTIN ON RAINEY STREET!!!!
REMEMBER::::Drink responsibly! Your dog deserves a safe ride home!
WYDA Facebook Team
This week locals and visitors alike keep asking me where to go to experience Austin/SXSW. I have been out and about every day and so far Rainey Street has been the best stop for those lacking any credentials.
I know as well as the next person that when you are in a town that you do not know much about it can be hard to figure out where the locals hang out. While 6th Street is fun and often the more famous of the “bar” streets in Austin, Rainey Street offers a little more low key kind of fun.
I will tell you that yes, there are several bars on Rainey Street that are closed for private parties. So far I have found myself at Clive, who was giving away an hour of free beer last night, Bangers, and Craft Pride. None of these places were badges needed. If you are looking for some SXSW fun but want to keep it semi-calm this is where I recommend hanging out.
Here are also a few pointers that I have picked up over the last few days. They are pretty obvious but none the less worth mentioning.
- Keep your cell phone charger with you at all times. Having access to your phone & social media is key to SXSW. There are so many updates via twitter that a phone is necessary. To make it a little simpler on yourself, just keep your charger in your pocket, you won’t regret it. I’ve seen countless people in search of a charger the last few days.
- Follow @SouthByFreeNOMS on twitter. They are the go to source for free eats and parties all over town.
- Do not even think about driving/parking downtown. Unless you don’t mind paying upwards of $25 dollars to park your car, don’t even try. Get dropped off, bike, take a smart car, rent a bike, pedicab, walk, take the bus, metro rail, cab – anything besides drive. The streets become pure gridlock so save yourself the frustration.
- Drink water. If you plan on taking advantage of all the free goodness that comes with SX, take every opportunity to drink water that you can. The days are long and you want to be ready for the next.
Have fun folks! Be safe.
Austin, Texas 78701
I finally made it out to try the raved about new place on Rainey Street, Bangers, and it is in fact banging! I absolutely loved it.
Beer lovers will rejoice in trying the 101 handcrafted beers that they have on tap, so there are more than enough for you to try. They definitely have some unique options including a raspberry beer that was pretty interesting.
Wine lovers rejoice! They have my favorite rose on tap, Charles & Charles, which is awesome. It actually tastes better on tap since it’s so crisp! While beer lovers will thoroughly enjoy trying all the options, there are non beer choices and non-alcoholic options on the drink menu as well.
The food menu consists primarily of sausage and they have everything under the sun when it comes to the options. The American fries were spot on and they have countless dipping sauces. The pepper ketchup and the curried ketchup were both delicious. We had over six sauces to eat with our fries which was fun.
The outdoor seating in the back is fabulous and they also have live music on the stage in the back at certain times.
They are dog friendly and had tons of bike parking in the back. Seriously, there is nothing not to like about this place. Well done.
79 & 81 Rainey Street
Austin, Texas 78701