Everybody loves Happy Hour - it even has “happy” in the name. And Austin loves patios - after all, we’re a city that’s at its best outdoors. So we called up some of our smartest scientist friends, who created a venn diagram of sorts in order to come up with the ultimate crossover - patios where you can enjoy Happy Hour specials. Because by now, most of us have become pretty decent home bartenders, but sometimes you want to enjoy a nice house margarita that’s not, well, at your house.
Better Half is probably the only spot in Austin we know that you can get a great burger and a beer for $6 during Happy Hour. It runs daily from 1-4pm, and even applies to takeout orders. The Happy Hour menu is small but great, with $5 sangria, $1 Pearl beers, and $5 chicken, beef, or veggie burgers. So whether you want to enjoy your meal on their by-reservation patio, or your own no-reservations backyard, you’ll be able to do so at a great price.
Olive & June
Dining on Olive & June’s patio almost feels like you’re eating in a tree house, with a three-story patio built around a giant 200-year-old oak tree near 35th and MoPac. And from 5-6pm on Tuesday-Saturday, all of their beer and cocktails are half-price. And that just means you have more money left over to spend on their excellent pastas (try the tagliatelle).
Lou’s almost feels like it’s a patio first, and a restaurant second. All of the orders are placed at a small takeout window surrounded by ample seating on their spread-out patio. The food is mostly rotisserie-based, but they also sell tacos, sandwiches, and a really tasty burger. Every day from 4-6pm (and 9-10pm for you late eaters) you can get the burger for $5, as well as half-price pitchers and $5 cocktails. They’re located on the East Side near Cesar Chavez and Chicon.
The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company - better known as ABGB - puts out consistently high-quality beers out of South Austin, even earning “Brewpub Of The Year” for three consecutive years at the Great American Beer Festival. And every day from 3-7pm you can get $1 off all pints. Their patio tables are well-spaced, tree-shaded, and available by reservation on their website.
While Lenoir is perhaps best-known for their very affordable tasting menu, under current circumstances they’re offering a pared-down “hot weather food menu” made up largely of more acidic, citrusy, and brothy dishes that work with the season and climate. And this extends to their Happy Hour menu as well, where you’ll find marked-down dishes like smoked fish tartine with mustard aioli and summer pickles. You’ll also find a selection of cocktails for $6-8, $4-5 beers, and half off all bottles of wine. The inside is currently closed, but they’ve converted their large, outdoor wine garden into a charming dining area, complete with hanging lanterns and colorful tablecloths. Happy Hour runs from 5-6pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you applied Uchi-levels of technique and flavor to the master-craft of Franklin Barbecue, look no further. Loro is an Asian/Texas smokehouse from the two teams that results in some really unique fusion flavors in a beautiful space. The patio is large and there’s a great Happy Hour on weekdays, with $4 frozen gin & tonics and mango sake slushees. They don’t take reservations, but you can request a spot on their patio when you arrive.
We usually find ourselves at Guero’s when entertaining out-of-town guests, but they’ve been planted on South Congress for long enough to become an Austin postcard-establishment by now. It’s the perfect spot to sit on a patio and listen to live music with a margarita in hand (and queso in the other). And on weekdays from 3-6pm you can get $2 off those margaritas, $1 off their chili con queso, and $2 beers.
Licha’s Cantina on East 6th is all about “Mexico City soul food,” with a menu filled with all kinds of quesadillas, huaraches, and tacos to enjoy on the patio while you watch passers by on the nearby busy street. And every Tuesday-Friday from 4-6pm you can order a selection of them at Happy Hour prices. Food specials are $5-6, cocktails are $6, and if you’re really thirsty you can even get a 32 oz Corona for $10.
The South First location of Fresas has a great patio with beautiful trees providing shade, and a spread of brightly-colored picnic tables that will help you forget the boring beige walls of your living room. Their Happy Hour runs from 3-6pm on Monday-Friday, with a selection of discounted foods, and $2 off all aguas frescas, botanas, beer, wine, and margaritas. Their Happy Hour prices apply to takeout as well.
Reunion 19 makes some excellent California-style Mexican food that only gets better when the prices drop from 3-5pm on weekdays. Try the vampiro animal made with three different cuts of meat, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and salsa, or go with a few street tacos - we really like the pollo asado and al pastor. They have a trompo so the al pastor ends up nice and crispy on the outside, with a soft and tender center. There’s also discounts on beer and cocktails, so you can (and should) pair your meal with one of their house margaritas.
The patio at Odd Duck is not particularly large, so you’ll want to make a reservation early if you want to snag a spot on it. Happy Hour runs 5-6pm daily, with a rotating selection of half-price items from their dinner menu. They’re located near South Lamar and Barton Springs.
The patio at Salty Sow makes up a majority of the restaurant, and their menu of excellent upscale Southern staples only gets better when the prices drop for Happy Hour every day from 4-6pm. Right now they’re doing $2 off beer and cocktails, with discounted menu items as well. Try the chicken liver mousse and the honey-rosemary-dipped fried chicken, and pair it with the Blanche, their blood orange frozen margarita.
At Hank’s, near Berkman and 290, you can get all of their frozen and tap cocktails for just $5 during Happy Hour. There’s also $5 tap wine, $3 off appetizers, and $1 off beer. Happy Hour runs from 3-6:30pm daily and is available on their covered patio, their dining room, and for takeout.
Bar Peached is the bar-focused sister-restaurant of The Peached Tortilla, serving cocktails, tacos, and Asian-inspired comfort food. Their Happy Hour runs from 5-6:30pm daily, with $6 cocktails and wine, $5 beers, $4 tacos, and some heartier foods for $8, like burger or spicy pork fries. They have a nice, shaded patio as well, over in a fairly quiet part of Clarksville, near 5th and Lamar.
District Kitchen + Cocktails
District Kitchen has a pretty extensive Happy Hour menu, with everything from street tacos and naan to Morrocan lamb kabobs and chicken karaage, all for $6-8. And, of course, drink specials. During Happy Hour, they have a selection of cocktails for $6-7, as well as their house margarita for just $5. There’s also $5 wine, $1 off draft beers, and a daily half-price bottle of wine. It runs from 3:30-7pm on Monday-Saturday, and 3pm-close on Sundays. They have two locations in town - one on Anderson Lane and another in South Austin off Slaughter Lane.
Waterloo Ice House
Waterloo Ice House has become a bit of an Austin name over the years, with a footprint extending back almost 45 years. They also happen to have a pretty great Happy Hour, with $3 beers, $5 wines, and $3 frozen or rocks house margaritas. There’s also $2 off the rest of their cocktails and all appetizers. Happy Hour runs from 3-7pm on weekdays and 10am-3pm on weekends, with additional discounts on brunch drinks like $3 mimosas and $5 bloody marys. There are daily specials as well with additional discounts that you can find on their website. They currently have four locations across Austin, all with large patios, so chances are you’re probably not too far from one now.
TLC brings the Gulf coast just a little bit closer to Austin, with fried seafood, a raw bar, and plenty of Southern comfort dishes. During Happy Hour - all day Monday and 3-6pm the remaining weekdays - they have a $5 menu with a selection of bites and sips. Bites include things like deviled eggs, fried pickles, and even a six-piece Gulf oyster plate (we did the math - that’s just $0.83/oyster). Sips include their house margarita, wine, and local beers. They’re located in the Lamar Union Plaza near Barton Springs and South Lamar.
Josephine House is the slightly more casual sister-restaurant of Jeffrey’s, right in the heart of Clarksville, with a focus on seasonal, New American fare. They also happen to have a nice Happy Hour - from 4-6pm daily - with 25% off a bunch of their menu items, and $2 off all drinks. You can reserve a spot on their patio or their front lawn on their website.
At Oakwood BBQ, Happy Hour runs from 4-7pm on Tuesday-Friday. Specials include $1 off drafts, $2.50 domestics, $4 wine, and $2 off all of their specialty drinks. They also have a really large, tree-filled patio, making it a great spot if you want to sit outdoors. They’re located near Braker and I-35.
Sour Duck is the more casual, sister-restaurant of Odd Duck, so you can expect the same level of quality and expertise, with a bit more of a focus on baked good. Where they differ from Odd Duck is in the size of their patio - most of the restaurant is open-air, on a well-spaced patio. Happy Hour runs daily from 2-4pm - available for dine-in or takeout - with 25% off all drinks and their burger for just $6. They’re located at MLK and Chicon.
The Grove has a few locations across Austin - Westlake, Lakeway, Downtown, and Cedar Park - and they all have patios that are currently open for dining. Even better, they all have Happy Hour from 4-6pm on weekdays and from 10:30-6pm on weekends, with $2 off all cocktails, frozens, and draft beer.
The menu at Cover 3 about what you’d expect to find at a sports bar - wings, fried pickles, burgers - but it’s done well. Their Happy Hour runs on weekdays from 4-7pm, with $1 off wine and beer, $2 off cocktails, and $3 off shareable plates. They have a location in Austin as well as in Round Rock and San Antonio.
Trudy's North Star
Trudy’s is perhaps best known for their Mexican Martini - it’s strong enough to have a two-drink limit - and for their house margaritas. During Happy Hour, from 2-7pm on weekdays, these get discounted by a few dollars, as well as $3 bottled beers and $5 draft beers. They don’t have any Happy Hour food specials, but when you inevitably need something to accompany your strong drinks, try the stuffed avocado.
Easy Tiger has a large beer garden/patio at their Linc location, near I-35 and 290. They also have a great Happy Hour that they’ve recently started back up again on weekdays from 4:30-6:30pm. Specials include $5 sausages, $3 pretzels with beer cheese, $10 pitchers, $5 cocktails and wine, and $4 select draft beers. And on Mondays, Happy Hour runs all day (kicking off at 7am for you early risers).
Aviator Pizza & Drafthouse
Aviator has two locations in Austin - Parmer Lane and South Congress - as well as locations in Kyle and Elgin. In addition to daily specials with discounted food and drink, they have a Happy Hour on weekdays from 3-6pm with $1 off select beer and wine.
Maudie's North Lamar
Maudie’s has become a bit of an Austin institution, starting as a cafe back in the 1950s before pivoting to Tex-Mex in the early ’90s. They also have a nice Happy Hour that runs from 3-6:30pm on Tuesday-Friday and 3pm-close on Mondays. You can get their signature margaritas for $6 or “fancy margs” for $8. There’s also a menu of small bites - like queso, mini tacos, and guac - for $5 each. They currently have six locations open across Austin, so you’re never too far from some margs.
The Peacock is a Mediterranean restaurant located inside of the Austin Proper Hotel, near 2nd and Nueces. And on weekdays from 2-4pm you can get $2 off all alcoholic drinks, and 25% off their small plates/mezzes and dips (try the spicy lamb & eggplant lebna). They have a very picturesque, street-facing patio on a relatively quiet part of downtown, making it a great spot for a Happy Hour snack and drink without leaving the city.
Scholz Garten isn’t just the oldest bar in Austin, it’s the oldest operating business in Texas. Which also makes it the oldest operating patio in Texas (probably, don’t fact check us on that). And that just means that they’ve had more time to perfect their menu of classic German offerings. And now they’ve started up a series of Happy Hours twice a week. On Wednesdays from 6-8pm, you can get a discounted sausage-and-cheese platter, as well as $1 off select beers and $5 wines. And on Thursdays from 4-8pm they have a $5 menu, with a bunch of appetizer and cocktails included. They’re located near UT, at San Jacinto and 17th.