While it’s often characterized as the ‘less trendy, more affordable’ sister neighborhood to Austin’s South Congress vicinity, South Lamar offers some of the best, and most authentic, bars in Austin. Every bit of the funky, eclectic vibe that visitors get from the neighborhood is a product of the people and the businesses that make up this quirky little area, and the best way to meet them is to frequent the best bars.
Located at South Lamar and Oltorf, Black Sheep Lodge provides a hole-in-the-wall feel while still managing to maintain itself as a fixture in the South Lamar neighborhood. With 26 beers on tap, and over 125 different types of bottled brews, an evening spent here is a night well spent. They also offer Tuesday night $2 MexiCANS (Modelo Especial, Tecate, and Tecate Light) and Wednesday night $1 ‘White Trash Cans’ (Lone Star and PBR Tallboys, Schlitz, and Pearl).
Gibson Street Bar offers 16 craft beers and many more bottled beers as well as cocktails, wine and bubbly. Be sure to check out Wine Wednesdays for a free Henri’s Cheese Shop cheese plate with every bottle of wine purchased. Looking for more than just drinks? No problem! Gibson Street Bar also plays host to Luke’s Inside Out food truck. Luke’s has burgers, sandwiches and just about anything to go with a solid pint.
Starting out of the original Gourdough’s food truck, Gourdough’s Public House opened a permanent location on South Lamar Boulevard in 2013. Initially known for their decadent and eclectic donut creations, Gourdough’s Public House merged the brilliance of the donut burger with an assortment of local beers and creative cocktails. Stop by on Mondays at 8:00pm CST for the Geeks who Drink pub quiz.
For a more international vibe, check out Opa! Coffee and Wine Bar. Located right along South Lamar Boulevard, it’s hard to miss its glowing string lights and constantly full outdoor courtyard. While the bar does offer some Greek comfort food favorites, like moussaka, they also make a mean sangria and carry local beers like Austin Eastciders and Austin Beerworks.
Have friends in town visiting and want to show them a good time in South Lamar? Then check out Barton Springs Saloon. Situated in a converted gas station, Barton Springs Saloon offers a local hangout that welcomes both patrons and first-time visitors alike. The bar’s website says it best: ‘Barton Springs Saloon is an OLD bar, a throwback to a time when professionals, college students, legislators and locals met and mingled at a watering hole…’
Originally opened in downtown Austin in 2004, One-2-One Bar moved to South Lamar in early 2013 to better accompany the growing number of patrons and local musicians that frequent the space. Since moving to the South Lamar neighborhood, One-2-One has added a rooftop bar to the downtown location as well as a much larger space for live shows. One-2-One Bar is strictly a live music venue and a full bar, so no food here.
Like a lot of successful bars in the South Lamar neighborhood, live music is key. The Saxon Pub is no different. Billed as a concert space, The Saxon offers patrons free weekday happy hour shows as well as a wide array of brews both on tap and in the bottle. The Saxon Pub does not technically offer food; however, they do have ‘order-in’ menus from surrounding restaurants for those patrons who want a bite to eat.
Corner Bar, South Lamar Boulevard | Photo courtesy of Golden Goose
Corner Bar boasts the moniker of being the bar ‘where everybody knows your name,’ and it’s easy to see why. Corner Bar has NFL Ticket, NBA Package, NHL Package, MLB Package and the Longhorn Network and multiple TV screens. Want to grab a beer somewhere after work, but just not sure where? Corner Bar has a mix of local beers, as well as their ‘a shot & a beer’ menu — try the Mexican Standoff if it’s been a particularly rough day at work.
Though The Golden Goose is now a refurbished version of the iconic South Lamar dive bar The Horseshoe Lounge, it still provides a dive bar-esque vibe. If looking for a place that embodies the current state of transition that the South Lamar neighborhood is seeing, then look no further. Aside from a list of local beers, The Golden Goose offers craft cocktails to sip while playing shuffleboard or hanging out around the vintage jukebox. If looking to support local liquor makers, then try the Deep Eddy Frozen Moscow Mule or the Deep Fuego, a frozen White Russian cocktail using Deep Eddy Vodka and Cafe Del Fuego Coffee Liqueur.
Lastly, if planning to visit South Lamar and drink, then it is imperative to stop by Broken Spoke for a beer. Though technically a dance hall, Broken Spoke also boasts a restaurant and a sizable beer selection. If ever there was a place that stood as the poster child for the South Lamar neighborhood, Broken Spoke would be it.