The Semi-Local’s Guide to Austin, Texas


ustin, Texas boasts one of the best mottos for any city in the States, though Portland, Oregon might have something to say about that. “Keep Austin Weird” is the unofficial motto of course, but it’s quite fitting for the famed Texas city with its quirky locals and strong passion for the arts. Austin is our very first stop along the National Dive Bar Tour, presented by SEAGRAM’S 7, so we asked some local Austinites about their city to get a solid list of restaurants and bars, as well as other things to do for people visiting.

Locals like Jason Neff (who writes for 365 Things Austin) were nice enough to act as our experts on Austin and provided us with some excellent places to see while visiting. Check out some of their recommendations below.

Where to Eat


Contemporary spot serving interior Mexican specialties & snacks, beer, wine & craft cocktails. It was also just named one of Eater’s Best New Restaurants for 2018.


Las Trancas Taco Stand

One of Austin’s best (and most affordable) spots for authentic Mexican food. Don’t let the rough exterior of the trailer deter you. Grab some $2 tacos here and set yourself up for success.


Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

Of course you can’t go to Texas without getting some good ole bar-b-que. This permanent trailer is your stop for mesquite-smoked BBQ with a Tex-Mex twist.


Via 313 Pizza

So there isn’t such a thing as Texas-style pizza, but this local pizzeria chain is known for its square, Detroit-style pies and inventive toppings. Locations are all around Austin.


Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

A casual izakaya and bar serving up delicious meat-based plates to share with Japanese and Texan influences.


Where to Drink

G & S Lounge

“Unassuming” (in that this place is most definitely a dive) hangout that features an extensive beer selection, arcade games, pinball and live bands. Great stop to pregame for our dive bar party.


Nickel City

One of the city’s best dive bars, the retro watering hole has craft cocktails and a laid-back attitude. Did we mention there’s also a coney dog food truck? Well there is if you need some NY in your Texas.


Deep Eddy Cabaret

Austin’s got some legendary watering holes, but Deep Eddy might be its most legendary. Featuring an old-fashioned jukebox, draft beer, pool and an upbeat vibe, you can’t go wrong here.


Bonus Points

Looking for something other than stuffing yourself with food and drink? Try popping into the White Horse Saloon/Continental Club/C-Boys for nightly live music, per Jason’s recommendation. Other great places to visit are Barton Springs, Hamilton Pool and South Congress for strolling, and the bats are worth seeing once (so Jason tells us). If you want to burn off a little of the booze and grub, hike up Mount Bonnell for a breathtaking view of the lake and West Austin.

If you’re around town on September 18, stop by Donn’s Depot and let us buy you a drink. RSVP here and we’ll see you at the bar.

Special thanks to our friends from SEAGRAM’S 7, Deep Eddy Vodka, Montauk Brewing Co., Archer Roose Wines and Hotel Palms.