Looking for an authentic, music-filled nightlife scene? Explore Historic East Sixth Street, where live music can be heard nightly from the bars and venues lining the street. The neighborhood is filled with great bars and restaurants, vibrant storefronts, local breweries and plenty of murals. From grabbing a drink at a local dive bar to witnessing Austin's weirdest at the Museum of the Weird, this area is home to some of the city's most unique places to visit.
"Old East Austin" is a historic district that includes East Sixth Street (east of IH 35). Rooted in a vibrant history of blues and jazz music, East Austin represents the cultural richness and history of the city’s thriving African American community. Combining influences such as Austin’s steady growth between 1910 and 1930, and the enforcement of Jim Crow laws which continued to enforce segregation throughout the period, many African American families were drawn to neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city. Although East Austin has gone through many changes over the decades, the region still symbolizes an important and meaningful aspect of Austin’s history. Here, visitors can find many historical sites to explore. Learn more about Historic East Austin here.
Via 313. Credit Hunter Townsend.
East Sixth Street Restaurants
East Sixth Street is home to an abundance of trendy restaurants and delicious, late-night food trucks that represent the eclectic mix of cultures found in East Austin. Ramen Tatsu-ya, an authentic Japanese noodle house, is one of Austin's most highly regarded ramen shops. Enjoy a bowl of Ol' Skool or Mi-So-Hot; both dishes are named in honor of the restaurant's hip-hop concept. For a mid-day pick-me-up, grab a coffee at Cuvée Coffee, which is famous for their nitro cold brew. Don't forget to take a bag of their house-roasted coffee home. End the night with a sweet treat from Gelateria Gemelli, an authentic gelateria serving up gelato and espresso.
This family-run restaurant has been an Austin area staple since 1948, serving up Tex-mex breakfast and dinner favorites. Cisco's is the perfect place to get your East Sixth breakfast taco fix.
Buenos Aires Cafe
Enjoy Argentine dishes at Buenos Aires Café and get the scoop on the secret Milonga Room downstairs. Most ingredients are locally sourced.
Rollin' Smoke BBQ
It wouldn't be a trip to Austin without some classic barbecue. Rollin' Smoke's late night food truck offerings won't disappoint, with their selection of slow-smoked meats and delicious sides.
Tamale House East
This unforgettable Mexican eatery is loved by locals and visitors alike. Enjoy the patio or stop in on a Thursday to experience the restaurant turned into a salsa dance party.
Get a taste of genuine Detroit-style pizza from brothers Zane and Brandon Hunt. Opt for The Cadillac, the house favorite, and take it to-go or enjoy it on the large patio.
Zilker Brewing Co. Credit Eva Vaughn.
Bars & Live Music
East Sixth is home to multiple dive bars and places to enjoy a beer with friends. Zilker Brewing Co., whose namesake stems from the iconic city park, offer a spacious patio at the East Sixth Street taproom and serve up classic American style brews. In the mood for some tunes? Hotel Vegas is a must; order a drink and catch a concert by a local band.
Grab a draft beer, play some darts, and spread out on the spacious patio to watch a game at this local dive.
Self-described as adult daycare, this bar is a perfect place for a beer and a game of ping pong.
Don't let the small interior at this colorful dive bar fool you. The backyard beer garden offers plenty of room to spread out. Did we mention that the patio is dog friendly?
Violet Crown Social Club
This classic, lounge-style bar is a perfect spot to mingle among the locals. Make sure to get their famous frozen Orange Whip.
Whether your go-to cocktail is a 14-ingredient work of art or a Tito’s-and-Topo, Whisler’s is a top pick for cocktails and people-watching on the patio.
The White Horse
Just off the main street, head to the White Horse for live music and boot scootin' seven days a week. This venue brings the Honky-Tonk to East Austin.
Courtesy of BLK Vinyl.
Attractions & Shopping
When walking down East Sixth Street, be sure to keep an eye out for the multiple colorful murals and street art on most buildings. Don't miss the iconic "Let's Band Together" mural by Federico Archuleta at Whisler's - and be sure to try our Instagram Filters to see it come to life! Stop at BLK Vinyl to take a picture in front of their monochromatic mural, then head inside to view the curated record collection. Check out the progressive, artist-influenced Link & Pin Gallery, which displays a rotation of creative works while developing and nurturing up-and-coming artists.
Museum of Weird
One of the city's oddest attractions, this museum features wax figures, shrunken heads and other abnormal items. A great place to "keep Austin weird!"
Cute Nail Studio
Normally, a manicure is something you would do before vacation, but you won't want to miss this LGBTQ+ friendly studio, specializing in magic rainbow nail art. If you don't book an appointment, you can still shop their selection of salon merchandise or take a photo in front of the pastel rainbow storefront.
Contributed by Alyssa Jarae.
Alyssa Jarae is a native Austinite, and wedding and lifestyle photographer in the area. She enjoys exploring the multiple coffee shops around town and anything to do with Willie Nelson.