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Best drinks overall: Half Step, 75 1/2 Rainey Street

Half Step’s old-fashioned cocktail is celebrated among visitors. (Half step / Instagram)

This tiny bar has a huge terrace to spread out on and serves quality cocktails made with love. Choose from upscale classics such as the Paloma design and old-fashioned or a tempting interpretation of yacht club punch with absinthe. When you get there there is likely to be live music and you can get a snack at Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts, which are parked right nearby.

The most elaborate drinks: The Tipsy Alchemist, 70 Rainey Street

The Strawberry Tea Fizz consists of lemon, strawberry reduction, gin and a rose. (Tipsy Alchemist / Instagram)

This upscale cocktail bar makes drinks with science as you watch Rainey Street from above. With an upscale but wacky atmosphere, The Tipsy Alchemist serves various drinks that push the boundaries of physics, travel through a tube around the entire bar, made with liquid nitrogen and come in a coconut.

“Austin” atmosphere: Javelina, 69 Rainey Street

Javelina was founded by four Austinites who wanted to create an ice house, dance hall and beer shop. (Umbilical pig)

The unique cuisine of this bar is called “Hill Country Soul” by the four local founders. So suffice it to say that the menu is hearty and savory. Almost everyone would feel more like a local after a dinner of green chilli fries or a cornflake-crusted chicken sandwich and a Hill Country lemonade. You can also have a meal here until 1:30 a.m., later than in any other kitchen on the street. Be on the lookout for the live music, drag queen brunches, and burger specials that drive this bar crazy.

Best overall atmosphere: G’Raj Mahal, 73 Rainey Street

G’Raj Mahal imports much of their furniture directly from India. (G’Raj Mahal / Instagram)

This warm, colorful atmosphere will make you want to stay all night. Although the restaurant serves upscale, Austin-inspired, authentic Indian and especially Goan cuisine, the typical southern Texas hospitality is not lost. Either outdoors or on the spacious patio, enjoy a traditional saag paneer or a nutty korma made from free-range and grass proteins while people-watching or enjoying the full bar menu. As the restaurant says, they welcome you to “Sit and Namaste a While”.

Best Food Truck: Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts, 75 1/2 Rainey St.

Try the “Poodle”, “Schnauzer” or “Maltese” flavors. (Little Lucy / Instagram)

You’ve had donuts before, maybe even ones with creative names and fancy ingredients, but they don’t compare to the donuts you get when you go to Little Lucy’s. These mini donuts – only slightly larger than a golf ball – are fried and then poured hot and fresh in a luxuriously flavored sugar. We recommend the “Schnauzer” with pistachio, lavender and vanilla flavor or the “Maltese” Italian cream cake. I can already smell the boiling donuts 🤤

Best Lunch and Dinner: Emmer & Rye, 51 Rainey Street in SkyHouse

The blackened grapefruit panna cotta is topped with beet bubbles and Bennesseed Shoyu crumble. (Emmer & Rye / Instagram)

While this restaurant is one of the best on Rainey Street, this is not the place to end your night. This menu changes with the season of the year and the player’s harvest, which means you’ll likely try something new each time you visit. You have two options if you dine at Emmer & Rye, stick to the menu or forget about it and turn off the menu option which contains a variety of dishes to be shared. You can also order specials from carts that drive through the dining room while you eat. Be ready to shell out, but enjoy yourself when you do!

Best draft beer selection: Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden, 79 Rainey Street

Banger’s has a constantly changing selection of beers on tap. (Banger’s Wursthaus and beer garden)

You will have a hard time finding anything other than beer at Banger’s Sausage House, but you will find more than 80 types on tap. In addition to the wide range of beers from across the country and some local produce, dozens of types of beer come straight from the Texas capital. If that’s not enough, the bar also has a fairly extensive menu.

Best Specials: Idle Hands, 85 Rainey Street

Idle Hands offers tropical drinks on deck as well as a healthy selection of beer and wine. (Idle hands)

In addition to the fruity cocktails, the complete menu and the tropical atmosphere, Idle Hands offers a new special from Monday to Thursday. Plan your visit right and get $ 10 cocktails on tap, 50% off a Cubano sandwich, or a slice of cheesecake for $ 4 while you relax on one of the bar’s swinging wicker chairs. If these specials don’t appeal to you, keep an eye on the bar’s Instagram, where specials like Paella Night or free oysters for early guests are announced.

Best brunch: Anthem, 91 Rainey Street

With Asian barbecue brisket and curry potatoes are the stars of the brisket breakfast tacos. (Anthem / Instagram)

If you’re looking for a break from the classic eggs benedict and pancakes, Anthem is there for you with its umami-filled brunch menu. Branch out with Thai donuts with yuzu frosting, basil, and black sesame seeds, or a more traditional JFC cookie and sauce made with hot sriracha honey and shoyu sauce. The main menu is filled with lots of Asian-inspired bites, so there is always a reason to visit. You can still get your mimosa or michelada, but brunch is only served on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm

Best place to dance: Augustine, 86 Rainey Street


With a spacious front terrace, an indoor area and plenty of space in the back yard, Augustine is “a little classy, ​​very groovy” and offers plenty of space to relax. With a colorful cocktail menu, great photo ops, and a bright green sign, this bar is hard to miss.

Where to park:

(Laura Figi / Austria)

If you visit Rainey Street between Monday and Wednesday you may be able to find on-street parking, but don’t rely on it. While there is a gravel parking lot on Rainey Street, the cost is usually expensive, e.g. B. $ 10 to $ 20 per hour. So it’s best to walk, take the Uber, or go to one of the many cheaper options to park.


You can try your luck with the many parking options in the Austin area or …

  • 742 Interstate 35 Frontage Road
  • Triangle Park and Ride, 4600 Guadalupe Street
  • Mexican-American Cultural Center, 600 River Street (free on Sundays only)

You may just have to walk a little!

$ 5 or less

Finding parking for a nominal fee is very doable if you’re willing to scout something.

  • Hyatt Regency Austin, 208 Barton Springs Road ($ 4)
  • N Interstate 35 Frontage Road / E. 6th St ($ 5)
  • 801 Trinity Street ($ 5)
  • 1501 E. 6th St ($ 5)

$ 10 or less

This category gives you the most options while saving some money for Rainey.

  • 604 Driskill St. ($ 10)
  • 314 East Cesar Chavez St. ($ 8)
  • One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Road ($ 8)
  • 707 East 7th St. ($ 10)
  • AMLI Downtown Garage, 201 Lavaca St. ($ 6)
  • 419 East 7th Street ($ 10)
  • 313 East 7th St. ($ 10)
  • 717 Red River St. ($ 6)
  • 108 West Gibson St. ($ 6)

Where to sleep:

(Hotel Van Zandt)

If you’re trying to walk to Rainey Street, your options are across the board.

In the two-star area, Rainey is home to a number of versatile hostels. The Heirloom Lounge and Rusty Railway Hostel is a colorful homage to old Austin, not just another “hipster hostel”, offers a $ 3 breakfast buffet and regular movie nights. With a cafe and bar on-site, the Native Hostel is an upscale hostel tucked away in a railroad hotel from the 1890s. Although you share a room with four to six people, you will feel comfortable thanks to the luxurious furnishings and you can even make new friends.

For a guaranteed private room, you have to switch to the three-star range. The Homewood Suites has rooms between $ 140 and $ 200 and is located off I-35 just off Rainey Street so you don’t even have to go to Uber. A little further away is the Holiday Inn, which is further south on IH-35 but is still a very convenient walk to Rainey Street. You can also stay cheaper there: between 90 and 175 US dollars.

If you can swing it, Austin has some luxury hotels to lay your head on for the night. The four-star Locale Austin hotel offers fully furnished apartments that will make you feel at home, with expansive views of the city. Hotel Van Zandt was named “# 1 Hotel in Texas” by Condé Nast. You can enjoy Geraldine’s restaurant on the ground floor for a fancy meal or have it brought to you with 24-hour room service. Both hotels are just a stone’s throw away and are right next to Rainey.

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