Austin

Get Lucky at These Irish Bars in Austin

Drink a green pint on St Patrick's Day at these Irish bars in Austin.

Photo by Melissa Vinsik, courtesy of Cork + Barrel
Photo by Melissa Vinsik, courtesy of Cork + Barrel
Photo by Melissa Vinsik, courtesy of Cork + Barrel

In the midst of all the SXSW chaos, it helps to remember that there’s a rainbow at the festival’s end-that is, the hangover-blessing we’ve been granted of having St. Patrick’s Day 2023 fall on a Friday. Whether you attribute this small win to the Gregorian calendar or the luck of the Irish, it’s sure to amp up the already liver-damaging activities associated with this cultural celebration. However, √Čire is more than just leprechauns and Colin Farrell-it’s a breathtaking land full of warm, welcoming, and good-hearted people. Fortunately, there’s a way you can get a taste of the Republic’s spirit, and a dark stout, at the same time by hitting up one of Austin’s various Irish pubs. From cozy, intimate spaces decked out like small taverns in Cobh, to modern dives with all the party energy of Temple Bar, our list has the best spots in the city to “erin go bragh” all out on March 17.

Photo by Jane Yun, courtesy of BD Rileys
Photo by Jane Yun, courtesy of BD Rileys
Photo by Jane Yun, courtesy of BD Rileys

B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub at Mueller

Mueller
With a giant model of a beer tap literally decorating their front door, you can’t miss B.D Riley’s, nor doubt that this East Austin hang is a spot to down some serious brewskis. And its name, and perfect pours of Guinness, aren’t the only aspects they draw from the Emerald Isle-the entire pub itself was actually designed and built in Dundalk, Ireland, and shipped over for assembly in Bat City. Such authentic decor calls for equally authentic sounds, therefore, on St. Patrick’s Day, B.D. Riley’s will feature an all-day, four-artist bill of live, trad-inspired music. So, while you may not start the day knowing all the words to “The Galway Girl,” you are bound to sing along by last call.

Kelly’s Irish Pub

Bouldin Creek
Having only opened this past December, Kelly’s is the new kid with a brogue on the block. Occupying the space which formerly housed tapas restaurant Winebelly, this pub had big shoes to fill for South Austin barflies, but quickly won them over with an impressive whiskey selection and friendly atmosphere. A big reason behind the real deal √Čire vibes can, most likely, be chalked up to the fact that one of Kelly’s owners was actually born and bred in Ireland-and the dedication to delivering a true-to-life experience is evident in everything from the shepherd’s pie to the witty bartenders. For St. Patrick’s Day, they are getting the party started early with live music and an opening time of 8 am.

Photo courtesy of Jack & Ginger's
Photo courtesy of Jack & Ginger’s
Photo courtesy of Jack & Ginger’s

Jack & Ginger’s

The Domain
While The Domain may boast more bars than you can shake a shamrock at, there’s only one spot in the North Austin entertainment behemoth that can be properly called an Irish pub: Jack & Ginger’s. Start off the night with selecting a tasting flight from their over 82 beers on tap, then, move onto shots poured straight from their Irish Whiskey Tours-after loosening up with a round or two, you might just find yourself with the gift of gab. And, before snapping a selfie over Jack & Ginger’s see-through glass floor, balance out that buzz with food offerings like a giant soft pretzel or a round of fried pickles.

Photo courtesy of Foxy's Proper Pub
Photo courtesy of Foxy’s Proper Pub
Photo courtesy of Foxy’s Proper Pub

Foxy’s Proper Pub

Downtown
Here’s a spot that visibly radiates with Irish pride-at Foxy’s, the glow of green beams out from the bar’s lighted panels, and across their chandelier made of Jameson bottles. When it comes to cups and chow, their commitment to the theme continues-the use of the word,”proper,” in the pub’s name alone indicates you’re in for a heavy pour of the standards. Consequently, the taps are abundant with essential Irish sips, including Guinness, Magners, and Smithwick’s. With Lone Star on draft, there’s also a nod to Texas tradition as well. But don’t fear if you’re bored of beer-Foxy’s variety of whiskey-based cocktails will let you switch it up (and still keep it Celtic). March 17 will find them celebrating with live music, whiskey tastings, and swag giveaways.

Photo by LEVY Architects, courtesy of Cork + Barrel
Photo by LEVY Architects, courtesy of Cork + Barrel
Photo by LEVY Architects, courtesy of Cork + Barrel

Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery

Round Rock
Compared to a flight to Dublin, the 30-minute drive to Round Rock’s Cork & Barrel is much more convenient-not to mention, won’t require waiting in a TSA line. A mix between a modern Austin beer garden and a historical Irish pub, this spot’s spacious interior and expansive outdoor patio guarantees there will be enough room for the whole crew to cheer “sl√°inte.” And, their microbrewery’s signature beers are the ideal drinks to do such a toast with. The menu of specially crafted drafts includes a blueberry wheat, an Irish red ale, and a vanilla stout. This St. Patrick’s Day also marks Cork & Barrel’s two-year anniversary, and they are throwing down for the double-celebration with live music, yard games, Irish food specials, and plentiful amounts of green beer and Irish Car Bombs.

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Molly Moltzen is a Thrillist contributor.

Austin

Where to Eat and Drink with Your Dog in Austin This Winter

Because we shouldn't have to leave our best buddies home alone.

The Buzz Mill
The Buzz Mill
The Buzz Mill

If you live in Austin, you have to love dogs. Not just as though they’re your pets, but like your closest friends. Going on a second date with a handsome British expat? He’s going to need Birdie’s approval before things go any further. Getting your holiday cards done? Time to book Lola into the salon. Heading to NYC for the weekend? Well, either bring Barney along or make sure he has a good sitter. He does not do kennels. So, it’s a no-brainer that when it comes to lunch or dinner time, it pains some of us to leave our little buddies at home. The good news is that Austin’s full of dog-friendly institutions, ready to accommodate bodies with two, three, or four legs. Here’s where to find them.

Sunny’s Backyard

East Austin
We previewed Sunny’s Backyard when it first opened last year and haven’t stopped coming back since. Dog lovers who care about other four-legged creatures-ya know, cause farm animals are just as cute as house pets-will adore Sunny’s, named after the owner’s own pup. The vegan pub serves delicious Asian-inspired comforts that’ll turn even the most carnivorous of Texans, like the Korean Fried Chicken made with zero chickens, Backyard Burger made with Impossible patty, and hot dogs that contain absolutely zero, um, dog (phew!) nor anything else with legs. Look out for events that benefit animal rescues, as well as trivia nights and happy hour specials, all enjoyed out on the massive patio area.

Austin Eastersiders
Austin Eastersiders
Austin Eastersiders

Austin Eastciders

Barton Springs
Cider lovers come to Austin Eastciders, but did you know the Barton Springs location is more than just booze? Here you’ll find a restaurant that’s an all-day dining situation, serving salads, pizza, and sandwiches; a range of specialty coffees and teas including matcha lattes; and even kolaches. What’s more, the massive outdoor terrace is perfect for you and your pooch to enjoy, and there are even little swings by the coffee bar if you just want to stop by on your morning walk. Eastciders also often supports organizations to find homes for furry friends.

Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden

Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden

South Austin
It’s almost hard to believe Cosmic Coffee nails it on so many fronts. The caffeine is great, the cocktails are boozy, the outdoor area is misted, and the indoor area is comfy. The food trucks it has onsite-Leroy and Lewis, Tommy Want Wingy, and Pueblo Viejo-serve delicious snacks and mains to pair with your frozen drink in the summer. There’s tons of seating, it’s kid-friendly, and there are blazing fire pits in the winter. Best of all, dogs are welcome inside and out, and every weekend here is a furry cuddle puddle of epic proportions.

The Cavalier ATX
The Cavalier ATX
The Cavalier ATX

Cavalier

East Austin
Having a dog requires a lot of care, maintenance, and money. But what if your dog could go to work for you? Cavalier has flipped the script with their genius puppy payroll program. Write your dog’s name and your Instagram handle on a punch card. At each visit, ask the bartender to clock your dog in. Repeated visits earn you free stuff like a complimentary snack, cocktail, or beer. The “clock” starts over at the beginning of the month. It also offers a little pooch prize pack, plus a photo mounted behind the bar for the dog that shows up the most. Two covered patios, free treats for your pet, and an all-hours dog policy make it easy to show up to “work.”

Batch Craft Beer + Kolaches

Cherrywood
Tucked away in that funny little area around Manor Road, Batch Craft Beer + Kolaches has carved out a nice niche for itself. Its creative kolaches are made fresh every day, some of which incorporate delicious sausage provided by Micklethwait Craft Meats. The drink selection is outstanding as well, with beer and wine on draft, plus a glass-fronted cooler with additional crafty selections that you can pick-and-choose from yourself. For those looking to catch a breeze, the patio area beckons with picnic benches and abundant shade, plus a large natural area for your four-footed friend to bound around.

Sour Duck Market
Sour Duck Market
Sour Duck Market

Sour Duck Market

East Austin
Sour Duck Market’s rambling space exudes casual charm with lots of warm wood and hanging greenery. This full bakery, coffee shop, bar, and restaurant supports local farms and producers and it has a huge shaded patio for pooch to play. If you’re looking for food (and of course you are), the menu ranges from fun snacks like tater tots with deviled egg dip to a fried/smoked half chicken. Sour Duck has frosty beers, cocktails on tap, and wine along with happy hours three days a week when 20% is taken off the whole bill.

Nomadic Beerworks

South Austin
This IPA-centric (but not exclusive) brewery makes it easy to spend your Saturday having beers with your best bud. Founded by two brothers with a love for travel (hence the name), Nomadic produces a variety of inventive beers that rotate through the taps, like the Call Me Sir, a blackberry orange blossom sour, and the Raspberry Milkshake IPA. If you’re part of the digital nomad set, this is a good spot to enjoy a nitro cold brew on tap, a morning pastry, and some solid WiFi with your little four-legged pal right by your side.

Fresa's - South First
Fresa’s – South First
Fresa’s – South First

Fresa’s South First

South First
When Fresa’s was Freddies, it was one of the main go-tos for people hanging with their pups. All dog lovers were relieved that Fresa’s kept the massive, dog-friendly patio when they took over the space. Family-style plates make this a good spot to share queso, guacamole, and plates of wood-grilled chicken, rice, beans, and inventive veggie dishes; and the prickly pear margarita is so good you should have two. Dogs are only allowed on the patio (you know, ‚Äėcause food) but you feel free to pacify them with a treat.

Home Slice Pizza
Home Slice Pizza
Home Slice Pizza

Homeslice

South Congress, North Loop
Austin’s favourite original pizza shop doubled their pup happy patio space with their second location on North Loop. Both patios also have misters for those triple-digit days (of which there seem to be no shortage in recent years), and the north location also has a fenced in, turfed play area for children if you’re out with the fam. Stop in for a beverage and a pie, or stay longer with your hound for a beautiful plate of antipasti, a stacked sub, or their secret menu item, The Vatican-it’s a sub, wrapped up inside a calzone.

Butterfly Bar/Patrizi’s

Cherrywood
Stepping into the Vortex with its Butterfly Bar and Patrizi’s Italian food truck is like taking a step back into old Austin. This theatre/bar was anchoring Manor Road before anything else popped up in the area. Strings of patio lights and a small stage set the scene, while mismatched tables and chairs and a large deck provide plenty of seating options for having a signature infused cocktail (or carafe of sangria) with delightfully truffle-y popcorn, or some homemade pasta from Patrizi’s. Keep an eye on the calendar for trivia nights, movies, and special performances.

Revelry on the Boulevard
Revelry on the Boulevard
Revelry on the Boulevard

Revelry Kitchen + Bar

East 6th, North Lamar
Both iterations of Revelry-the original East Side version and the North Lamar spot-have a deep love for dogs. They participated in the Dog Restaurant Week and once had a Pups of Revelry IG account (which needs to come back!), but apart from some house-made treats Revelry caters mostly to humans with elevated pub grub like smoked salmon carpaccio, honey-sriracha glazed crispy wings, and burgers with an Akaushi beef patty. There are also happy hour deals and wing offers on game nights.

El Mercado South

South First
El Mercado South has an abundance of attractions. The backstage has live music almost daily, the bargain margaritas make for a great boozy happy hour, and the food menu is some serious OG Austin Tex-Mex. It’s a total bonus, then, that El Mercado South also has two dog-friendly patios and a playscape-there’s even a “Yappy Hour” with free treats for dogs, and an extra menu (available by request) from which you can order for your hungry hound. Every El Mercado has a different set of specials and parameters, so make sure to call before you go.

The Buzz Mill
The Buzz Mill
The Buzz Mill

The Buzz Mill

Riverside
With heavy “cabin in the woods” influences, the delightfully quirky 24-hour Buzz Mill is a lumberjack-meets-bar-meets-coffee-shop mashup. Enjoy a coffee, infused cocktail, kombucha, or a craft beer in the rustic surrounds. When the weather is nice the patio gets packed with pooches. The rotating food trucks onsite all serve excellent fare and are often vegan. Come here for a casual hang with friends, some free WiFi, or the Lumber Society Survival Series when you can learn everything from navigation to knife-carving.

The Git Out
The Git Out
The Git Out

The Git Out

South Austin
A dog in the logo is a pretty good indicator that a place is dog-friendly-and sure enough, The Git Out’s sign prominently features a likeness of co-owner Nate Kinney’s dog. Accordingly, the patio is open to canine companions, complete with free treats and water bowls. This zero-waste addition to South Austin feels like it’s always been there, and the crew has done a masterful job of turning a new building into something that feels familiar. The Git Out serves strong crafty cocktails to go along with comfort-food fare like “pork popcorn” (pork nuggets served with chipotle ranch) or trash fries (waffle fries topped with just about everything you could want).

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Kelly Stocker is a contributor for Thrillist. 

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