Between the UT Austin campus and the neighborhood known as West Campus lies "The Drag" — a stretch of Guadalupe Street running from Martin Luther King Blvd to 29th St. It has long been a popular retail destination boasting funky clothes shops, hip furniture stores, and plenty of places to eat and drink.

Although most patrons of the area are college students and faculty, the area is worth visiting! The street changes often, just like the rest of Austin. But these are some of our current picks for the best haunts on The Drag.

The Local Pub & Patio

Out back at The Local Pub & Patio.  Photo: Will Taylor - LostinAustin.org
Out back at The Local Pub & Patio. Photo: Will Taylor - LostinAustin.org

The Local is dedicated to two things — beer and games. Come for the large tap wall and huge patio, but stay for darts, skeeball, pool, foosball, ring toss, and more. Take part in the summer cornhole league or hang out with the Broncoholics — the largest Denver Broncos fan club in Austin.

Where: 2610 Guadalupe St
Phone: (512) 478-2337
Web: The Local


Cactus Cafe

Musician / Actor Ben Dickey onstage at  Austin's iconic Cactus Cafe on The Drag.
Musician / Actor Ben Dickey onstage at Austin's iconic Cactus Cafe on The Drag. Photo courtesy of and permission by KUTX Austin - Amy Chambliss

Serving the UT and Austin communities since the late ‘70s, the Cactus Cafe is a mainstay. In fact, when a shutdown was announced in 2010, tens of thousands of people protested. Saved by grassroots efforts and the intervention of KUT, the Cactus is now better than ever.

Live music and open mic nights are the main entertainment at this all-ages venue. Plus, KUT hosts Views & Brews twice a month. Have a drink and listen to talks on topics from jazz to artificial intelligence to cowboy poetry. It's all part of the vibe here on The Drag in Austin.

Where: 2247 Guadalupe St
Phone: (512) 475-6515
Web: Cactus Cafe


Dirty Martin’s Place

 An Austin mainstay since 1926 with burgers, beer & American chow served in an old-school space.  Photo: Will Taylor- LostinAustin.org
An Austin mainstay since 1926 with burgers, beer & American chow served in an old-school space. Photo: Will Taylor- LostinAustin.org

Since 1926, Dirty Martin’s (aka Martin’s Kum-Bak) has been serving excellent burgers, sandwiches, and milkshakes in the same location on the Drag. It’s still family-owned, and it’s one of the oldest restaurants in Austin (and definitely the oldest on The Drag!).

So what’s changed in the past ~100 years? To start with, the eponymous dirt floor has been replaced with concrete. And they brought in liquor, so you can get a beer or add a shot to that milkshake.

Plus, they now host plenty of events. From NBA, NFL, and college football watch parties to live music to Classic Car Nights, there’s enough to do here that you’ll want to kum-bak.

Where: 2808 Guadalupe
Phone: (512) 477-3173​
Web: Dirty Martin's Place


Halal Bros.

The best Beef Shawarma & Kebabs at Halal Bros on The Drag in Austin, TX.  Photo: WIll Taylor - LostinAustin.org
The best Beef Shawarma & Kebabs at Halal Bros on The Drag in Austin, TX. Photo: WIll Taylor - LostinAustin.org

Opened by a pair of Brooklyn-born brothers back in 2012, Halal Bros.’ mission is to bring halal food to the Austin culinary world. (“Halal” refers to food that is permissible under Islam, which prohibits certain animals and cuts of meat.)

You’ll find tender marinated beef, lamb, and chicken served as kebabs, shawarma, and gyros. Plus, plenty of falafel and hummus for your vegetarian friends!

Where: 2712 Guadalupe Street
Phone: (512) 284-8105


Hole in The Wall

The Hole in the Wall is an Austin tradition, on West Campus since 1974. Photo: Will Taylor - LostinAustin.org
The Hole in the Wall is an Austin tradition, on West Campus since 1974. Photo: Will Taylor - LostinAustin.org

The Hole in the Wall has been home both pro and amateur musicians on The Drag since 1974. (This author’s high school pop-punk band even graced their stage in 2002.) They’ve had to fight to survive in the rapidly changing Austin climate. But this Austin icon is still kicking and playing live music most nights.

Where: 2538 Guadalupe St
Phone:


Kerbey Lane Cafe

Arrived via two wheels at  Kerbey Lane Cafe on The Drag. Photo: Will Taylor - LostinAustin.org
Arrived via two wheels at Kerbey Lane Cafe on The Drag. Photo: Will Taylor - LostinAustin.org

Since opening in 1980, Kerbey Lane has expanded to 8 locations and become an Austin icon. Their location on The Drag is the domain of all-day study sessions and late night unwinding. While they serve sandwiches, burgers, and tacos, the highlight is 24-hour breakfast.

How about the Eggs Francisco? It's an English muffin topped with scrambled eggs, bacon, and avocado, then smothered in delicious queso.

Where: 2606 Guadalupe St
Phone: (512) 477-5717

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