Once a quiet residential neighborhood, Rainey Street Historic District has become Austin’s most popular nightlife destination and giving way to high-rise buildings. Situated near downtown Austin Rainy Street is lined with bars, restaurants, and clubs, making it the perfect place to grab a drink over happy hour or bite to eat. Events are common here, including the popular SXSW.
SEE ALSO: Ultimate Guide to the Best Downtown Austin Restaurants
Whether you’re looking for a laid-back bar to enjoy a few beers or a trendy spot to sip on some cocktails or a great place to eat, Rainey Street has something for everyone we’ve listed the best restaurants and bars below.
Stay Put is the newest bar on Rainey Street and it’s also a brewery! Stay Put brews it’s own beers on-site (boomhaur ale, krause kolsch, sculpture falls west coast IPA, pease park hazy pale ale) and also has guest taps from St Elmo, Fairweather, and more. There’s both indoor and outdoor seating and the bar is dog-friendly.
73 Rainey St, stayputbrewery.com
SEE ALSO: 23 Best Bars In Austin For A Craft Cocktail
Electric Shuffle is an energetic bar offering global dishes, brunch & cocktails, plus shuffleboard & prosecco socials. Not only do they have great games, but their craft cocktails and delicious food make them a perfect place to enjoy some time with friends. And their shuffleboard game is like nothing you’ve ever seen before! Their bestsellers include their famous electric burger, truffle fries, and chicken sandwich. They also have a wide variety of drinks, such as wine, beer, and cocktails. If you’re looking for some fun activity pop in.
91 Red River St STE 102, Austin, TX 78701 electricshuffleusa.com/austin
Clive Bar in Rainey Street is a casual yet stylish watering hole pouring local beer and cocktails inside and out on its sizable patio. They are best known for their food, which ranges from burgers and sandwiches to salads and pizza. Their most popular items include the BBQ Brisket sandwich, the Margarita pizza, and the Nutella milkshake. The restaurant is also unique because it offers a wide variety of local beers and cocktails. What makes Clive Bar unique is its laid-back atmosphere, large patio, and wide selection of drinks.
609 Davis St, dunlapatx.com/clive-bar
Half Step is a low-key lounge that specializes in craft cocktails. Their menu is short but includes some of the bestsellers like the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan. The space is cozy with dark wooden booths, making it the ideal place to relax and unwind after a busy day. Half Step unique is clearly focused on quality over quantity, making each drink with care and attention, ensuring that every customer has a top-notch experience. Whether you’re looking for a quick drink or a leisurely evening out, Half Step is an ideal spot.
75 1/2 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 austintexas.org
Geraldine’s at Hotel Van Zandt
Geraldine’s is a new American restaurant and bar that offers well-curated cocktails, shareable plates, and live music acts. The restaurant gets its name from the famed guinea fowl that once roamed Rainey Street and pays homage to Austin’s history and culture that seeps into every part of the restaurant. The bar takes shelter from the Texas sun at their adjacent rooftop lounge. Geraldine’s menu features contemporary dishes made with local ingredients, and the nightly concert lineup showcases some of the best live music Austin has to offer. The rooftop lounge at Geraldine’s is the perfect place to escape the Texas heat, with private cabanas and outdoor seating that offer views of Lady Bird Lake and the downtown skyline. Whether you’re looking for a sumptuous meal or a fun night out, Geraldine’s is sure to please.
605 Davis St, geraldinesaustin.com
SEE ALSO: East Austin Neighborhood Guide (Updated For 2022)
Lucille is a charming, relaxed cocktail bar set in a renovated house. The patio space, hammocks, and outdoor games make it the perfect place to enjoy a summer evening with friends. The menu features American classics with a twist, and the bestsellers include the Lucille Burger and the Fried Chicken Sandwich. The uniqueness of this restaurant lies in its focus on hospitality and its ability to provide a fun and relaxing atmosphere for all its guests. The staff here are incredibly welcoming and ensure that everyone has a great time.
77 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 lucilleaustin.com
Lustre Pearl Rainey
Lustre Pearl Rainey is known for its beer and cocktails. The bar has a spacious roof with downtown views. Some of their signature cocktails are the Lustre Lemonade, Rainey Street Mule, and Asher Skye. The Lustre Lemonade is made of lemonade and strawberry Moonshine. The Strawberry Moonshine with moonshine, lemonade, and strawberries. The Rainey Street Mule consists of Deep Eddy Vodka, ginger brew, lime, and angostura. All are very refreshing, perfect for a hot day. If you are looking for a terrific bar experience, then you should definitely check out Lustre Pearl Rainey.
94 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 dunlapatx.com
Placeholder TIKI BAR
If you’re looking for a taste of the tropics in Austin, TX, look no further than Placeholder Tiki Bar. This vibrant bar offers delicious tiki cocktails and a fun, tropical atmosphere. Whether you’re enjoying a drink on the patio or inside at the bar, Placeholder Tiki Bar is the perfect place to relax and escape the everyday. Soak up the sun and enjoy some island vibes at Placeholder Tiki Bar! I also heard that they give a 15% discount if you’re wearing a Hawaiian shirt, but I’m sure you’d have to mention it.
96 Rainey St, placeholderatx.com
Icenhauer’s is a bar in the heart of Austin’s Rainey Street district that takes pride in serving up delicious infused-liquor cocktails, local beers and an outdoor fire pit. Whether you’re looking for a spot to relax after work or catch up with friends, Icenhauer’s has something for everyone. Some of their bestsellers include the Jalapeno Margarita, Berry Basil Lemonade and Paloma. Their food menu includes items such as burgers, flatbreads and salads. What makes Icenhauer’s unique is their focus on fresh ingredients and mixology – making each drink a special experience.
83 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 icenhauers.com
Idle Hands is a Rainey Street bar that specializes in Caribbean- and Latin-inspired cocktails and cuisine. The menu features small plates such as empanadas and ceviche, as well as larger entrees like jerk chicken and skirt steak. The bar also has an extensive selection of rum, tequila, and mezcal, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a tropical vacation-inspired meal or drink. Signaure drinks are French 85, Idle Paloma, and Oaxacan Cooler. Whether you’re looking for a light bite or a full-fledged dining experience, Idle Hands has something to offer everyone.
85 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 idlehandsaustin.com
Little Brother Bar
Little Brother Bar is a small, retro-styled outpost in Rainey Street, Austin that serves coffee drinks & craft cocktails, sandwiches & baked goods. Their coffee drinks are made with locally roasted beans, and their cocktails with fresh, seasonal ingredients. They also have a selection of sandwiches and baked goods made from scratch daily. The uniqueness of this restaurant is its combination of food and drink offerings, combining coffee and alcoholic drinks to create a unique and signature drink to fit their different, retro atmosphere.
89 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 littlebrotherbar.com/
Parlor Room is a trendy bar located in an old Craftsman house that features a variety of craft cocktails and beer on tap, as well as a selection of board games and a dance floor. The front and back patios are perfect for enjoying the beautiful Texas weather. Parlor Room’s menu features a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrees. Some of their bestsellers include the Chicken Fried Chicken Sandwich, the Grilled Cheese with roasted tomatoes, and the Roasted beet salad. Parlor Room is also unique because it is one of the only bars in the Rainey Street area that has a dance floor. This makes it the perfect place to go for a night out on the town.
88 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 parlorroomatx.com
Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden
Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden is a rustic-chic Austin eatery specializing in sausages and craft beer. The sausage menu features many traditional and unique flavors, such as jalapeno cheddar and smoked duck apple, while the beer garden offers over two dozen beers on tap. They are also known for its Sunday brunch, which features a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and its live music nights, which showcase Americana and country artists. Pig roasts, beef jerky, and pickled vegetables are also popular items on the Banger’s menu. Also, you can never go wrong with their mimosas.
If you’re looking for a truly unique dining experience, look no further than Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden. This restaurant has something on the menu to please everyone. Best of all, you can enjoy your meal outdoors in their charming beer garden.
79 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 bangersaustin.com/
Emmer & Rye
Emmer & Rye is a warehouse-chic restaurant in the heart of Rainey Street, Austin, that takes farm-to-table fare to a whole new level. The restaurant is best known for its innovative and ever-changing menu, which features seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms. Some of the most popular dishes include crispy pig ears, smoked trout dip, and duck breast with blackberry gastrique. In addition to an impressive food menu, Emmer & Rye also offers an extensive cocktail and wine list. What makes Emmer & Rye unique is their commitment to using sustainable and locally sourced ingredients. This dedication to quality and sustainability makes Emmer & Rye a great establishment.
SkyHouse, 51 Rainey St UNIT 110, emmerandrye.com
Anthem is a design-savvy bar that specializes in Latin & Asian pub fare, tiki drinks, and sake bombs. Their menu features a variety of delicious dishes that are sure to please any palate. They have awesome bestsellers, including Thai Chicken Wings, Ceviche, and Peking Duck. Anthem is more than just a great place to eat – they’re also a unique destination for nightlife and entertainment. So whether you’re looking for a delicious meal or a fun night out on the town, Anthem is the perfect spot for you!
91 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 eatdrinkanthem.com
Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts
If you’re looking for a fun and delicious night out in Austin, head to Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts on Rainey Street. Little Lucy’s is a colorful food truck that specializes in making mini donuts with creative flavors and toppings. Some of their most popular flavors include Blueberry Lemonade, S’mores, and Margarita. And be sure to save room for their Nutella-Banana dipping sauce!
75 1/2 Rainey St, littlelucys.com
SEE ALSO: 37 Best Austin Food Trucks In 2021 (Sorted By Cuisine)
Fresh Gyro Halal
After a few drinks a common choice is to hit the nearest gyro spot. This tiny spot also serves other Mediterranean grub like falafels and salads. Beyond the food truck in Rainey they’ve also got a spot in Nueces. Some of their most popular items include their falafel wrap, lamb burger, and Greek salad. What sets Fresh Gyro Halal apart from other Mediterranean restaurants is their commitment to using only halal-certified ingredients. This means that all of their meat is sourced from farms that follow Islamic law, ensuring that it is humanely slaughtered and prepared according to Islamic dietary guidelines. This makes Fresh Gyro Halal a great option for Muslim diners who want to enjoy delicious Mediterranean cuisine without compromising their beliefs. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, Fresh Gyro Halal is sure to have something to satisfy your appetite.
548 Nueces St, freshgyroshalal.com
Spicy Boys Fried Chicken
If you’re looking for some delicious, authentic Pan-Asian cuisine and fusion fare, look no further than Spicy Boys Fried Chicken. This food trailer is serving up tons of flavor, from roti tacos to Thai basil chicken bowls and everything in between. The restaurant prides itself on its fresh and unique approach to cuisine, using only the best ingredients to create dishes that are sure to tickle and satisfy your taste buds. Some of their most popular items include the roti tacos, which are made with fresh roti bread and delicious spices, and the chicken bao buns, which are steamed buns filled with tender chicken and served with a sweet and tangy sauce. Plus, they’ve got a killer beer garden that makes it the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a meal with friends. So if you’re looking for something different and exciting to try, be sure to check out Spicy Boys Fried Chicken!
75 1/2 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 spicyboyschicken.com
Burro Cheese Kitchen
Burro Cheese Kitchen is the place to go if you’re ever looking for a delicious and unique grilled cheese sandwich. They serve up a variety of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches from a shipping container with outdoor seating. Some of their bestsellers include The Dirty Sanchez (grilled cheese with chorizo, avocado, jalapeños, and queso fresco), The Elvis (grilled cheese with peanut butter, bananas and honey), and The Caprese (grilled cheese with mozzarella, basil and tomatoes).
75 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 burrocheesekitchen.com
Bummer Burrito is a restaurant that serves Mexican-inspired food. Their bestsellers include the Bummer Bowl, which is a burrito filled with rice, beans, cheese, and your choice of meat, and the Bummer Wrap, which is a burrito wrapped in a tortilla and then deep-fried. Other popular menu items include the Bummer Nachos, Bummer Tacos, and Bummer Quesadillas. What makes Bummer Burrito stand out from other restaurants is their use of fresh ingredients and their attention to detail. Their food is made to order and uses only the highest quality ingredients. They are known for their unique flavors and for being a casual spot for dinner or lunch. If you’re looking for a wonderful and unique burrito in Austin, be sure to check out Bummer Burrito.
89 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 bummerburrito.com
Tommy Want Wingy
Tommy Want Wingy is another great food truck that serves up delicious chicken wings with unique sauces. The chicken wings at Tommy Want Wingy are some of the best in town – they’re crispy, juicy and full of flavor. Some of their bestsellers include the Ranch on Fire and Holy Schnikes sauces. Their signature sauces include “Ranch on Fire” and “Holy Schnikes.” The Many say this is wing perfection.
94 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 tommywantwingyatx.com
(permanently closed bars)
I often get asked about different bars that are closed. For one reason or another such as the pandemic, the following bars have closed their doors permanently:
- Container Bar
Craft Pride is a hip stop on Rainey Street in Austin with many Texas craft beers on tap. The food menu includes limited, but elevated pub fare such as burgers, wings, and tacos will go well with whatever you’re drinking. Bestsellers include the buffalo chicken sandwich and the Frito pie. The restaurant’s uniqueness lies in its focus on supporting local breweries – all of the beers on tap are from Texas-based companies.
61 Rainey St B, Austin, TX 78701 craftprideaustin.com