What’s south of South Austin? South of Ben White — even south of Stassney? It’s Way South Austin. (or as Moontower Saloon calls it, Way South Awesome.)
Mostly residential, this working-class part of Austin is home to lots of families, retirees, and young folks just starting out. It’s been going through a renaissance over the past few years, getting its own little trove of independent bars and restaurants. And it’s one of the only parts of town where there are still a few affordable homes (although that probably won’t be the case for much longer).
So if you find yourself down south.....here’s where we think you should spend your time - It's our Best of South Austin.
Originally named Nicolaza’s, this South Austin bar is an offshoot of North Austin’s Hopfield’s restaurant. They recently rebranded to The Far Out, bringing a 1970s aesthetic back to the space that has hosted the legendary Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. It's like old Austin brought right into 2019. The menu from the truck out back is bar fare done right -- pork belly poutine, classic Chicago hotdogs, and a pork belly banh mi sandwich if you're feelin' fancy. And their big outdoor space has a stage where they play live music several times per week, from psychedelic rock to bluegrass to string quartets.
If you’re looking for space, this is the place to be. Moontower has room for every group event in South Austin, with several decks and plenty of outdoor space spread out over 11 dog-friendly acres!
For entertainment, they have live music Thursday through Sunday, plus games like pool and cornhole. And if you’re more into sports, you can play in Moontower’s volleyball league on their three professional sand volleyball courts.
Plus, when you get hungry, there are three different food trucks for you to choose from. That is, if they’re not hosting a crawfish boil or pig roast when you happen to be there.
And one more thing you’ll find here that you won’t find downtown? PLENTY of parking.
It's called "The Biggest Little Stage in South Austin". Giddy Up's is passionate about live music with karaoke, open mics, and live bands 7 days a week. It's cozy, small, and one of the last true Honky Tonks still existing in South Austin.
The bar serves liquor, wine, and ice-cold beer. And if you get hungry, visit one of two food trailers out back - the Soul of a Hick for steak fingers, fried chicken, or their famous deep-fried pork chop or All My Ex's with gourmet sandwiches named for all the owner's different exes. Every creation is a tribute to love lost and lessons learned.
There's also an outdoor seating area and absolutely beautiful sunsets that you can see from behind the bar. Stop on by and make some friends for life.
Described as a “boutique roadhouse”, Indian Roller is a bit grandma’s living room and a bit party den.
Sound like a contradiction? Well, the seating area is decked out with floral curtains, kitschy art, and taxidermy deer heads. But their seasonal cocktail menu, moody lighting, and constant events make this a place for festivities.
To drink, try the Blueberry Kiwi Mojito, or the Pink Moon — a blend of gin, basil, lime, and fresh watermelon.
For entertainment, Indian Roller brings live music and DJ’s, but they also like to get their guests involved. Events like Geeks Who Drink trivia, Cosplay Karaoke, and even the occasional pie-eating contest gets everyone in on the fun. And there’s a healthy drag community here as well, with monthly Drag Revues.
When you get hungry, head out back to the big patio for delicious tacos from the Panchita Taco Taco truck!
South Austin Beer Garden went the common Austin route of turning an old house into a bar. Now, it’s a beer lover's paradise with 60 beers on draft and more in bottles!
A 3,000 square foot deck provides plenty of seating, and fire pits keep it cozy when the weather cools off.
When it’s nice, outdoor games and live music keep things festive. And for food, the Cluck-n-Burger food truck serves burgers, chicken, and brunch on Sundays.
Plus, they won Best Michelada in Austin in the Michelada Madness competition. There’s nothing not to like!
The Little Darlin'
With a huge outdoor patio at this no-nonsense neighborhood bar, you can sip on local craft beers and cocktails and chow down on locally sourced, delicious southern-flare food. Relax on a bench swing or park it at a picnic table.
Enjoy some back yard fun! They have two washer and two horseshoe pits, ready for some friendly competition. Plus, regular live music and events like their July 4th Waterslide Party and the annual Dog Beard and Moustache Competition. And the rain won't kill all the fun -- there are dart boards on the covered patio, and pool tables inside.
Where: 6507 Circle S Rd
Phone: (512) 814-0999
Aviator Pizza & Drafthouse
“Wake up. Kick ass. Repeat.”
That’s a pretty solid to-do list, and it’s the mantra of Aviator Pizza. The Way South Austin location is their third in the area, featuring 21 specialty pies like Sriracha Brussels Sprouts & Goat Cheese. Plus, they have grinders, salads, and calzones.
The tap wall is entirely devoted to local brewers, from Argus to Zilker. And in case you forget where you are, there’s an absolutely massive mural of an airplane covering an entire wall of the restaurant.
Where: 6501 South Congress Ave, Suite 1-105
Phone: (512) 326-1150
Crema Bakery & Cafe
It’s not all booze down in Way South Austin. Sometimes, there’s coffee, too.
Crema serves tasty coffee drinks, scratch-made desserts and pastries, and a seriously tasty brunch including five different Eggs Benedict recipes. Try The Fix — their signature blend of espresso, sweetened milk, and spices.
They make special occasion desserts too, from wedding cakes to custom cookies.
This cozy shop has plenty of tables, so it’s a great place for the free-range worker to spend a few productive hours!
Where: 9001 Brodie Lane, Suite B3
Phone: (512) 282-1300
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Articulture is a plant nursery, gift shop, and art gallery all rolled into one. The boutique offers classes in the arts of beekeeping, macrame, and arranging succulents. Plus, they have the occasional dinner in their beautiful garden out back.
They also do large-scale plant designs for corporate clients like Uber and the Four Seasons Residences, as well as residential arrangements.
It’s a great spot to shop for a unique gift for a friend, but even if you’re not buying anything, it’s worth checking out this beautiful space.