Top 3 Bars in Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is the live music capital of Texas so it is really hard to pick the Top 3 Bars in Austin Texas out of 150 bars in Austin. Austin residents spend a lot of time going around to different bar scenes depending on the mood and the event. I cannot pick the Top 3 bars in Austin Texas without an honorable mention to some of the best drinking holes in Austin.

Nothing beats the Austin Texas summer concert events at outdoor patio bars like Threadgill’s World Headquarters Beergarden, or live music events at Stubb’s BBQ and Bar, or concerts and beer at Tim’s Porch in The Backyard. After all, Threadgill’s got the first beer license in Travis County in 1933. Of course, Austin locals like their Blues at Antone’s and La Zona Rosa. Some other favorites are Continental Club, Creekside Lounge, Casino El Camino, Back Door, and Scholz Garten. The Oasis on Lake Travis is the best Austin bar for watching the sunset behind the sail boats while sipping frozen margaritas.

If you are looking for the best Honky Tonk Bar in Austin Texas, check out The Broken Spoke on South Lamar. Then there is the best Austin Jazz bar, Elephant Room on South Congress in Downtown Austin where Clint Eastwood and Kevin Costner jammed with local Jazz musicians while they were in town filming A Perfect World. Austin will miss local Jazz favorite Tony Campise who died in March 2010.

Top 3 Bars in Austin Texas

If I have to pick the Top 3 Bars in Austin, it would be Iron Cactus Margarita Bar on 6th Street with 80 kinds of tequila, the Saxon Pub on South Lamar which is the best dive bar with music from everyone including Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt, and The Ginger Man with sister bar The Ghost Room for the very best imported and domestic beers.

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Iron Cactus Mexican Grill and Margarita Bar
Best Downtown Austin Patio Bar Overlooking 6th Street
606 Trinity Street
Austin, TX
(512) 472-9240

Happy Hour:
Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm and Mon-Sat 11pm-close
$3 beer, wine, well drinks; $3 small Margaritas; $5 Texas Tea and Mexican Martinis
½ Price Appetizers

Regular Iron Cactus Bar Hours:
Sunday-Wednesday, 11am-12am
Thursday-Friday, 11am-2am
Saturday, 12pm-2am

This is one of my favorite lazy day hangouts on 6th Street in Downtown Austin on a very nice afternoon. It is also a rocking fun hangout at night. Every night of the week, The Iron Cactus has a special event like open mike nights, movie nights, trivia night, live music night, ladies night and Karaoke night.

The Iron Cactus is a 3-story Mexican food restaurant and Margarita Bar on the corner of 6th and Trinity. The top level is an outdoor covered patio overlooking 6th Street. The Iron Cactus has over 80 kinds of Tequila and was voted as one of the Top 10 Margarita Bars in the entire country! They have two other locations in Austin, but the downtown location is my favorite. They also have locations in Dallas and San Antonio. Check the web site for restaurant, bar, and brunch hours at each location. If you really want a great dinner while drinking, try the queso and lobster tacos – the best!

My favorite dinner Margarita at The Iron Cactus is the Frozen Peach Margarita with Anejo tequila that is aged from one to three years in an oak barrel. Anejo is smooth tequila that does not overpower the flavor of the Peach. The subtle oak flavor blends perfectly with the Peach flavor. The El Agave Margarita at the Iron Cactus is great, too. El Agave tequila is aged for three years in a new French oak barrel. Try the El Agave Margarita on the rocks!

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I always drink the Mexican Martini for $5.00 during Happy Hour. A Mexican Martini is like a Margarita without the sweet Triple Sec. It is made with good silver tequila, Grand Marnier or Cointreau, fresh squeezed limes, fresh squeezed oranges, Sprite, and jalapeno olives.

It really depends on what kind of tequila you like, but with 80 to choose from, you are sure to be happy. The servers and bartenders at The Iron Cactus can help you choose the best tequila for your taste. You also get chips and three kinds of salsa, replenished constantly!

Saxon Pub
Voted Best Bar in Austin with Great Live Music
1320 South Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704-2387
(512) 448-2552

Mon-Fri: 2pm-2am and Sat & Sun: Noon -2am

If you were not born and raised in Austin Texas like my husband was, you might think Saxon Pub is the quintessential dive bar of Austin when you first walk in. Don’t be fooled though because Saxon Pub is one of Austin’s oldest bar scenes with the ultimate in live music and a favorite of many famous musicians like Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt. Saxon Pub was voted number one bar by avid Austin music lovers in an Austin American-Statesman newspaper poll.

The Ginger Man
Best Beer Joint in Austin’s Downtown Warehouse District
301 Lavaca
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 473-8801

Weds-Sat 4pm – 2am
Sun 4pm – close

The Ginger Man has a great outdoor beer garden and is one of Austin’s favorite brew pubs with draught beer, imported beer, domestic beer, wine and cider, and beer blends. For $35, you can attend special beer tasting events like the best Belgian beers, or for $3 a bottle on Thursday nights, you can taste featured beers like the Great Divide Old Ruffian or the Real Ale Sisyphus Barleywine Ale. Women beer lovers might like the Dogfish Head Aprihop finished with whole-leaf hops and the sweet taste of apricots. They also have darts!

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My husband likes to go on Tuesday nights when they feature Texas brewed beers for $3 after 5 pm. My husband’s favorite Texas brewed beer is Shiner Bock, but he likes all the other Texas brewed beers like Saint Arnold and Ziegenbock.

Check out the German beer days at The Ginger Man where you can get the best Spaten specials like Spaten Franziskaner Weissbier. They have dark, amber and pale beers from all over the world and it will take you a few years to sample them all at The Ginger Man.

The Ghost Room (sister to The Ginger Man)
Beer Lover’s Bar in Downtown Austin
304 W. 4th Street
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 879-4472

Weds-Sat 4pm – 2am
Sun 4pm – close

The Ghost Room in the Downtown Austin Warehouse District with great live music events, music trivia contests, movie nights, and good beer drinking. The every day special at The Ghost Room is their Shot of Jack and A Pearl for $6. They have Happy Hour specials from 4pm – 7pm Monday through Friday with $3 wells and $2 Lone Star, another Texas brewed beer. Thursday Happy Hour at The Ghost Room offers $2 Tecate. The Ghost Room has a great selection of imported beer like its sister bar, The Ginger Man. Tecate is a Mexican beer, so be sure to squeeze your lime into the beer.