Austin Dive Bar Guide

Keeping Austin Weird...With Dive Bars

Few cities have seen the kind of relentless growth that Austin has experienced over the past decade or two, the influx of new residents rapidly shifting the landscape of eating, drinking and living in the city. Underneath that growth is the “real” Austin if it can be called that, a network of city originals that very much includes the city’s dive bars.

The Little Longhorn Saloon is one such dive, a location that has operated as a bar of some description since World War II and home to a Sunday ritual involving a chicken, a sequence of numbers and wagering on the location of a particular bodily function. Huge crowds are drawn but there’s more to the Austin dive bar than livestock wagering, including a potent live music scene in a building that may as well be the dive bar chapel of the city.

North of the city, Lala’s Little Nugget follows in the grand tradition of Christmas-themed dive bars, complete with Santa sleigh on the bar’s roof and a few miles worth of tinsel. In the same part of the city, Buddy’s Place hits the opposite end of the spectrum, a no-nonsense interior with a profound devotion to John Wayne.

These types of gems can be found throughout Austin, an important counterpoint to some of the redevelopment that can be seen throughout the city.

Dive Bar Map

Austin Dive Bar Reviews

Ranked Order

Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Deep Eddy Cabaret

Review Rating: 10 out of 10
Changed little since 1951, Deep Eddy Cabaret packs a dense dive bar punch into a small space (and frosted mugs).
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Donn's Depot

Review Rating: 10 out of 10
Jeopardy viewings, a 90-plus year-old dancer nicknamed the “Chick Magnet” and a steady diet of live music make Donn's an icon.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Ego's

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
Few dive bar experiences match the pure thrill of finding Ego’s in the back of a parking garage behind a gas station.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

The Hole in the Wall

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
Musicians, celebrities and college students have congregated around two stages at Hole in the Wall since 1974.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Buddy's Place

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
Buddy’s Place bucks the stereotypical Austin hipster vibe in favor of a deep devotion to John Wayne.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Sam's Town Point

Review Rating: 9 out of 10
It takes more than a few decades of population growth to kill an Austin honkytonk and Sam’s Town Point may be the perfect example.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Lala's Little Nugget

Review Rating: 8 out of 10
Lala’s Little Nugget is an explosion of Christmas decorations mixed with divey drinking to create something unique.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Giddy Ups

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
What used to be a live music hub on the fringes of South Austin is now an Old West-themed holdout amid fresh development.
Johnnie's Glenn Avenue Grill - Columbus Dive Bar Exterior

Casino South Side

Review Rating: 7 out of 10
Sibling bar to Casino El Camino, Casino South Side transports a slice of 6th Street energy to the edge of the city.

Austin Dive Bars Not Yet Reviewed

Must Visit Recommendations

Unfortunately, we have not yet been to every single dive bar in the city, but there probably a few more punch cards on our livers, so we’ll make it there soon. In the meantime, the curated list of dives below comes highly recommended by a variety of friends, online sources and drunks.

Brentwood

Little Longhorn Saloon

5434 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78756
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East Austin

Sahara Lounge

1413 Webberville Rd
Austin, TX 78721
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North Burnet

C Hunt's Ice House

9611 McNeil Rd
Austin, TX 78758
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North Loop

Barfly's

5420-B Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78751
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Other Dive Bar Options

Carousel Lounge

1110 E 52nd St
Austin, TX 78723
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Casino El Camino

517 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701
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Dirty Bill's

511 Rio Grande St
Austin, TX 78701
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G&S Lounge

2420 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704
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Hideout Pub

12164 TX-1 Loop
Austin, TX 78758
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La Perla

1512 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702
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Mean Eyed Cat

1621 W 5th St
Austin, TX 78703
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Nickel City

1133 E 11th St
Austin, TX 78702
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Shangri-La

1016 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702
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Skylark Lounge

2039 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78722
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Texas Chili Parlor

1409 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701
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The 04 Lounge

3808 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
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The Grand

4631 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78751
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The Lost Well

2421 Webberville Rd
Austin, TX 78702
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The Side Bar

602 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78701
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What Did We Miss?

15 + 15 =

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