The Bachelor Party’s Guide To Austin
Planning a bachelor party is a balancing act. There will undoubtedly be some strange combination of the groom’s college friends who want to show you they can still out-party you, work friends who vowed they won’t share the most embarrassing moments on the company Slack channel, high school friends who are still telling decade-old inside jokes, and the bride’s brother who has asked one too many times about the strip club agenda.
You need options for the weekend that will impress, entertain, and satisfy this group’s complicated demands. So use our guide to plan an Austin bachelor party that everyone will enjoy—the guy in the linen shirt, the guy in the Space Jam jersey, and even the dude who tends to end up shirtless after three beers.
photo credit: David Douglass
This place was built for big groups who want lunch with their day drinks. Sit outside at picnic tables and drink giant mimosas served in beer steins (a man-mosa, as the menu puts it). As for food, they serve lots of sausages, ranging from a classic hot dog to smoked boar. The poutine is great for sharing, as is the jalapeno mac and cheese. If you’re here on a Sunday, they have a special brunch menu with steak, eggs, and fries, as well as other more breakfast-y options.
photo credit: Nicolai McCrary
Micklethwait Craft Meats is housed in a vintage yellow Comet trailer that’s covered in illustrations of leaves and chestnuts in what looks like the home of a well-to-do squirrel. The barbecue here is some of the best in town, with a menu that covers the classics—brisket, pork ribs, and turkey—plus a few items you might not see every day like pulled lamb, pastrami, and barbacoa. The lines tend to be a little calmer here than some of the other popular spots in town, but still plan to show up early if you want to minimize your standing time.
The Best Barbecue Spots In Austin
At some point in your weekend, there will inevitably be a game happening that someone in the group needs to watch. Lavaca Street Bar has wall-to-wall TVs showing every game anyone would ever need or want to watch. Turf’N’Surf is located inside the bar and serves po’boys, tacos, and other great bar food. If someone is getting cranky about eating indoors when it’s sunny out, just order them the blackened chicken nachos and they’ll forget they were ever unhappy. These are the kind of nachos you come all the way back to Austin for.
photo credit: Nicolai McCrary
Ask any bachelor party attendee where they’re planning to get barbecue while in Austin, and there’s a 90% chance that they’ll say “Terry Black’s.” And for good reason. The meats here are reliable, there’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, it’s open until 9:30pm or later daily, and even when the line is at its longest it never really takes more than 30 minutes to get through. This is an Austin barbecue unicorn, and even if it doesn’t take the top spot for smoked meats in the area, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more accommodating spot for large groups with this quality.
photo credit: Holly Dirks
For that moment in the weekend when you just need hangover sustenance, Counter Cafe and its diner food are waiting for you. Get the breakfast tacos or biscuits and gravy, or, if you’re really struggling after last night, the burger with a fried egg on it. This place has two locations, but we’d recommend the East Side one if you have a big group.
Wu Chow is an upscale, farm-to-table Chinese restaurant that’s always packed with people looking for a scene (and a lazy susan full of food). The spicy Gong Bao chicken and the fried rice are great, but if we had to pick a single favorite thing from the menu, it would be the soup dumplings. The drinks come in tiki glasses, and there’s usually loud hip-hop music playing. Just note, you’ll definitely need a reservation here.
photo credit: David Douglass
If your group is looking for a quick and easy dinner spot, Via 313 isn’t just efficient - it’s some of our favorite pizza in Austin. The Detroit-style (a.k.a square and thick) pies will also shut up the New Yorkers and/or Chicagoans in the group who won’t stop talking about what city makes the best pizza. This is a more affordable dinner option, if you’d rather spend your money on drinking later on.
photo credit: Casey Dunn
This is not your authentic Texas barbecue spot where meats are served on wax paper with a side of Wonder Bread. Lambert’s is on the nicer side—though not as stuffy as a steakhouse—but it serves equally awesome cuts of meat. The fried green tomatoes and classic wedge are great starters, and we recommend ordering a variety of brisket, ribs, and steak for everyone to try. Check out the music upstairs after your meal.
photo credit: Richard Casteel
If a steakhouse is what you’re looking for, skip the chains in town and go with a local place serving Texas-sourced cuts of beef. Austin Land & Cattle has great steak, and you can’t go wrong with the shrimp or a side of green chile creamed corn, either. While you don’t have to wear a sport coat here, we’d suggest at least dressing up a little. It’s a white tablecloth kind of place—but still on the casual side, because it’s Austin.
Whether you’re part of a bachelor party of three or 30, Buford’s is the place to get your night started. You can rotate through the indoor, outdoor, and rooftop bar areas to see which bartender is willing to spray the bachelor with the water gun, and there’s pop-a-shot, cornhole, and digital beer pong for the former high school athletes of the group who have something to prove.
Bachelor parties don’t need a theme. Texas tuxedos are played out, the 1998 Dream Team is dated, and Austin just doesn’t have the right weather for 10 guys dressed as Harry Potter. But if you feel strongly about a unifying idea, make it mezcal and start at Las Perlas. They have a huge selection, as well as tequila and plenty of beers for your friend who says that “mezcal tastes like bandaids.” And if you need something else to convince people to come here, Asador Tacos is located in the back with grilled tacos that will have you asking for extra tortillas to shove into your pockets for later.
The Best Bars & Restaurants On Rainey Street
photo credit: Jester King Brewery/Tyler Malone
Yes, you’ll need to schedule a ride ahead of time or plan for a couple of designated drivers, but Jester King out near Dripping Springs is one of the best places we can think of to send someone for a bachelor party. This brewery specializing in wild-fermented farmhouse ales is set on 165 acres—complete with hiking trails and its own herd of goats—so you’ll never really run out of things to do. There’s also live music on the weekends, food trucks, and a kitchen where you can get excellent wood-fired pizzas and cookies to pair with all the beers you’ll end up trying.
The East Side is not for every bachelor party. Rihanna’s greatest hits aren’t playing on a loop, there may not be any bachelorette parties to hang out with, and there is definitely no bottle service. That said, Whisler’s serves great cocktails and has a mezcal bar hidden upstairs. It’s one of the most popular bars on the East Side, and after your first Old Fashioned, you’ll probably see why.
Dirty 6th Street is Austin’s Bourbon Street, but with our own twist of weird. They block off the street to cars on the weekend, so it’s always full of people. And Maggie Mae’s is where we’ll always send you first. It’s an indoor and outdoor spot with five different bars. You can expect a cover band playing in one room and a DJ playing all the hits in another. Post up on the balcony so you can watch the action on 6th Street below.
Rainey Street used to be a quiet street near the lake. Then it became a quiet street where a few houses were flipped into bars with rocking chairs and ping pong tables. Today, every house is a bar, and this street is absolute bachelor party gold. Lustre Pearl has one of the bigger footprints in the area, with multiple levels and bars inside. But you could easily spend a whole night drinking in different bars on Rainey.
photo credit: Raphael Brion
Inside Hotel Vegas, you’ll usually find a DJ or band playing, as well as some people having a sweaty dance party. The backyard connects to the equally awesome Volstead Bar, so you have a built-in backup option for cooling off outside with some cheap beers. If you’ve done all this planning, you deserve it.