Welcome to The Austin Insider, presented by Austin Pedal Party. This is your one stop shop for all you ever needed to know about taking a trip to Austin, Texas. Whether you’re in the mood for food, drinks or something to do, you can answer most questions by perusing our article selection. The Austin Insider is always on the search for more reasons to tell you about the city we love so much. Music, food, coffee, and drinks are only the tip of this Austin iceberg.

In this particular article we would like to highlight one of our favorite centers of Austin’s nightlife, Rainey street.  It is a creative little road with plenty of charm and a plethora of great and unique bars.  It is located near Lady Bird Lake and conveniently close to downtown but still somewhat hidden away.  When you have had enough of dirty 6th street and are looking for somewhere with a little bit more local flavor, take a short trip southward and at the bottom of Red River street (past Cesar Chavez street) you’ll first ascend a small hill, then cut a left on Driskill, and find yourself once again awash in the lights and sound of people reveling in Austin’s bar scene.    Rainy street is a short strip densely packed with bars and clubs that lies on the hill between Cesar Chavez and the Lake.  Whether you start your way at the top and work down or start at the bottom and work your way up, there’s no wrong way to go when you’re walking through Rainey.   

Half Step Logo Austin Texas

Half Step

4.8 ★
Take more than a half step to the Half Step bar on Rainey st and find out why this one sits at the top of our list. Half step is known for its excellent cocktails, great music and charming atmosphere. From the live music to the occasional Sunday waterslide experience (yes, we’re serious) there’s so much going on at Half Step any time you want to come in. Weekdays from 4 pm – 2 am and weekends 2 pm – 2 am, head down to Half Step and have the time of your life. Keep in mind the all-night happy hour on Mondays! This is one of those locations that is bound to bring out the kid in you, no matter how much you think you can resist the slide.

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Idle Hands Austin Texas

Idle Hands

4.7 ★
Known by all who enter to be nothing less than a perfectly executed oasis without the dramatic frills, Idle Hands is where you go when you want to get away from it all. Featuring a heavy influence of Caribbean, Latin and even American styles of chilling out, this hideaway can’t wait to serve you brunch or specialty cocktails. You might even forget that you’re still in the middle of Texas. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone, Idle Hands has a knack for making everything else melt away. Be sure to check out their website for hours as they change each day. Once you’re in, you might never want to leave.

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Lustre Pearl Logo Austin Texas

Lustre Pearl

4.2 ★
Since 2009, Rainey St has been home to the first Lustre Pearl in Austin. Hula hoops, ping pong tables, and sparkling service all meet at this iconic location. Pick your filters beforehand and get ready to take a ton of aesthetic selfies, this location is known for being a gorgeous one to walk into. Any weekday, come in from 2 pm – 2 am or from 12 pm – 2 am on the weekends for some bar games, food and live music. If you’re feeling brave, order yourself a Lustre Lemonade, made with strawberry moonshine. Lustre takes the whole “everything is bigger in Texas” to a new level with their cocktail selections.

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Lucilles Logo Austin Texas Rainey Street

Lucille’s

4.4 ★
Sticking to the claim that “Time Stands Still” at Lucille’s, this bar is ready to take you back to the 1920’s in true Austin fashion. Texas charm is served as a side to any and every drink, even leashed dogs are welcome to all the water they can drink. Hours vary with Lucille’s so take some time to peruse the website first and get in all the time you can at this spot. What makes this bar particularly special has little to do with the bar itself. Taking the time to focus on YOU, Lucille’s is one of the few bars that won’t scoff at the idea of altering drinks. Fully custom to each person ordering, Lucille’s is truly a unique experience.

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Little Brother Austin Texas Logo

Little Brother Bar & Burrito

4.7 ★
Significantly different from the little brother you might have grown up with, Little Brother is an eatery that you will not want to avoid. While their menu has more than craft cocktails, we felt the presence of alcohol made this location worthy of being part of this list. Come in after 10 am sometime and order from a selection of baked goods, sandwiches, coffee drinks and drinks! Closed on Monday but open from 9 am (at least) until midnight on every other day, Little Brother has the right stuff to hit your cravings from breakfast to your last night cap. There’s something retro about Little Brother that is nothing short of a trip through the classic movies. Though you don’t walk into a full on black and white scene, romanticizing the visit through filters on social media is absolutely welcomed and encouraged. When you end up with an incredible urge to eat after craft cocktails, you’ll be happy to know that their burritos are some of the best that you can find in Austin.

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Parlor Room Austin Texas Logos

Parlor Room

4.2 ★
What was once a Craftsman house has become an artsy and adorable venue and bar (two full-service bars to be exact) that sits perfectly in the middle of historic Rainey street. Along with countless selfie opportunities, the Parlor Room is one of those venues that hosts events spanning open jams to “Wax Wednesday” with Diggy Dutch. Come on in after 4 pm every weekday (12 pm on Saturday and Sunday) until close at 2 am. Photos of the fence mural or beside the pink neon sign are a must. Content creators won’t ever want to leave the Parlor Room. Just be sure to tag #TheAustinInsider or #Austinpedalparty because we love to find out that our guests were sent to their new favorite bar by following our lead. Not to mention that photos always turn out well when romping around the Parlor Room.

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Augustine Parlor Austin Texas

Augustine

4.7 ★
Bragging about being the “Healthiest Bar on Rainey st” and meaning it, Augustine is known for their selective options, low calorie and all locally sourced. Finding their home in an old house (like, built in 1889) and staying true to the historic aesthetic, the members of the Augustine family are always ready to serve you. A trip to Augustine will take you a step back in time, all while staying health conscious. When you’ve started the journey to being nicer to your body at Augustine, you don’t have to choose between what is good for you and what is fun to drink.

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Icenhauer’s Austin Texas Logo

Icenhauer’s

4.3 ★
When you want to find the best bar and patio on all of Rainey street, look no further than Icenhauer’s. They are open from 4 pm – 2 am (except weekends when they open at 1 pm). They come fully stocked with hand crafted drinks, live shows and service that you can’t compete with combined with the coziest of atmospheres. Relax, unwind, and enjoy some tunes and brews at Icenhauer’s. You will get extra cool points if you can still pronounce the name of the bar after a few of their cocktails. For the not so traditional drinker, ask about “The Jenna” a drink combining fresh pickle juice and pickle infused vodka!

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Placeholder Tiki Bar Austin Texas Logo

Placeholder Tiki Bar

4.4 ★
Placeholder Tiki Bar is different than any other bar on Rainey Street. While the name suggests nothing more than somewhere to stop in, Placeholder so much more than just that. Come in wearing a Hawaiian shirt and get 15% off your drinks, they are that dedicated to their aesthetic. Fiery cocktails, island oasis style décor and a staff that is ready to party anytime are waiting for you at Placeholder from 4 pm – 2 am every day!

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The Tipsy Alchemist Austin Texas Bar Logo

The Tipsy Alchemist

4.1 ★
Could you possibly think of a better way to let people know that you have incredible hand-crafted cocktails than by naming your bar The Tipsy Alchemist? Take a trip into this location from 4 pm – 12 am on weekdays (2 pm – 2 am for weekends) and head up the stairs to find an awesome view to go along with your drinks. Watch the mixologists make you believe in magic while they create the cocktails straight out of your dreams. Even take a look at their second location in Dallas for when you’re in that area. Regardless of what city you’re in, the magic created at The Tipsy Alchemist remains standard throughout.

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Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden Texas Bar Logo

Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden

4.5 ★
Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden is awesome! They have a huge selection of over 60 beers on tap and plenty of bottled options in the cellar and a huge food menu as well. They always keep at least 10 different sausages available and many different appetizers and sides. Banger’s is known for keeping the homey feel that represents Austin so well. They have a great stage set up in the back and their schedule changes often due to being a popular venue for private events. Make sure to take a look at their website or social media to be sure they’re open to the public before getting too attached to the outing. Who knows, maybe you will end up hosting the next family reunion there, Banger’s is always ready to host the shindig that will be talked about for years to come.

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Clive Bar Austin Texas

Clive Bar

4.4 ★
Clive sits on the corner of Rainey and Davis streets and is an enormous three-story institution. Notorious for lines around the block on weekend nights Clive is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike to dance the night away. The bottom floor has a huge semi outdoor dance floor with a big stage and great sound and lights. As if the downstairs wasn’t big enough you can head up to the second and third floors for some great views of Rainey Street and some of the best people watching around.

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Unbarlievable Austin Texas Logo

Unbarlievable

3.7 ★
Unbarlievable has two locations in Austin, one on Rainey Street and one on West 6th street. The one on Rainey street has a colorful circus- like theme and a large outdoor seating area in the front with a large projector that makes it a great venue to watch sporting events. Unbarlievable is popular for having not only eclectic decorations but also a slide inside the bar which connects the bar area to the dance floor. Often one of the busiest bars on Rainey Street, Unbarlievable consistently packs the dance floor with people ready to dance the night away!

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Cantina 512 Austin Texas Bars Logo

Cantina 512

3.7 ★
One of the newest additions to the Rainey Street family is Cantina 512. It sits right at the bottom of Rainey Street, next to Unbarlievable and The Tipsy Alchemist, and has a funky Latin nightclub style and is always putting out some of the best reggaeton and electronic music on the block. They have a full food menu in addition to some top shelf alcoholic beverages but make no mistake this place is first and foremost a location to come dance! When you have tired yourself out on the dance floor, they have a cozy lounge area in the front (complete with swinging chairs!) where you can have a drink and a take it all in. Make sure to come by on Tuesday nights for Taco Tuesday when they have great deals on both food and drinks and turn it up a notch with live DJs playing downstairs.

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CONCLUSION

If you find yourself hungry at the end of the night, or any time of the night, you can find a host of food trucks both at the bottom of Rainey Street next to Half Step or at the very top of Rainey Street next to Placeholder. With almost a dozen different options to choose from, there is never any excuse for going hungry while you’re out on the town.

So, there it is, a handful of reasons to pick the historic Rainey Street for all of your entertainment needs.

There’s no excuse to not add Rainey Street to the list of “must visit” locations while you’re here in Austin. You will find everything you need amongst the historic, bungalow style homes on Rainey. Texas is full of little hideaway gems just like this one and here at The Austin Insider, we can’t wait to tell you about all the best kept secrets. Thanks for taking a moment to read with us, we can’t wait to see you for a ride with Austin Pedal Party.