Once a sleepy residential area, the Rainey Street district has become an entertainment hot spot of bungalows-turned-bars, high-end hotels and live music venues in a tucked-away corner of Downtown Austin. Find out where to go and what to do on this street that never sleeps.
Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden. Credit Michelle Williams
The dining options on Rainey Street range from casual street food to haute cuisine. Food truck Monk’s Momo specializes in Nepalese and Himalayan dumplings, while Via 313’s food truck at The Alibi makes thick, chewy Detroit-style pizza.
Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden: This massive outdoor spot serves sausages and whole hog barbecue from their smokehouse. Wash it all down with a beer from one of their 200+ taps. Swing by on Sundays for the Big Band Brunch and be sure to ask about their featured sip, the Manmosa.
Rainey Street Burgers: Grab a juicy burger from this casual neighborhood restaurant with beef, bison and turkey options.
Anthem: "Texasian" fusion combines Texan, Latin and Asian flavors in a luxe tropical setting. Munch on apps like chips and guac with Polynesian pico and pickled jalapeños and sip on tiki-cocktails at this Rainey Street joint.
Augustine: Sample sips like the Backyard Bellini from the inventive cocktail menu at Augustine, inside a historic 1889 bungalow.
Stagger Lee: Sit on the patio and dig into pit-smoked brisket from Metcalf BBQ, sided with a craft beer, at this two-story bar and lounge.
Emmer & Rye: This farm-to-table restaurant is one of the city's favorites, focusing on heritage grains and local ingredients. Sit at the kitchen bar to watch the chefs work.
Augustine. Courtesy of Visit Austin
LIVE MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE
Rows of historic bungalows have been transformed a lively scene of bars on Rainey Street. Lustre Pearl is a great place to play bar games with a group of friends. Lucille Patio Lounge invites relaxation with a shaded patio and hammocks to swing in. Half Step is serious about cocktails, right down to the filtered water they use in their ice cubes. Then after a night of drinks, get a bag of Little Lucy's Mini Donuts from the food truck outside, open until 2 am.
Little Brother Bar: This may be the smallest bar you will ever visit, with just four bar stools. Stick around to watch vintage VHS tapes and soak up the nostalgia.
Clive Bar: The neighborhood's cozy whiskey spot has recently expanded, adding a second level to serve the growing crowds. Tucked behind Clive is a tiny stone house Bar Illegal, serving upscale mezcal cocktails.
Icenhauer's: If dancing is on your agenda, visit Icenhauer's for live soul music on Sundays or the popular "boy band" cover band on Thursdays.
Courtesy of Chingona Fest Texas
MUSEUMS & ACTIVITIES
Austin's diverse culture is not just contained in a museum but sprinkled throughout the entire city. Learn about the cultural arts of Mexican-Americans and other Latino cultures via the gallery, exhibits and special events at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC). While you're there, catch a play by the bilingual theater company Teatro Vivo.
Tejano Walking Trail: This historic walking trail guides visitors through the heart of the historically Hispanic East Cesar Chavez and Holly neighborhoods. The Tejano Walking Trail covers an expansive part of American history in a loop of just under 5 miles.
Chingona Fest Texas: In true Austin fashion, see live music at Chingona Fest Texas, typically held in April. When you need a break from all the dancing, visit the vendor markets and admire art crafted by women of color.
Frida Friday: Shop for handmade goods by women of color at Frida Friday's monthly market, supporting and amplifying local creatives.