16 TOP INDOOR/OUTDOOR VENUES IN AUSTIN
Whether you’re looking to hold a huge indoor event or are planning an intimate courtyard cocktail party, Austin has just the right venue. Throw in some Texas barbecue and live music, and you’ll have created a real Austin experience for your attendees. Here are a few of our favorite venues, find a more comprehensive list in our digital venue guide.
Courtesy of Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden.
At fun-loving Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden, the picnic tables are communal, 100+ craft beers are served and the menu consists of 30 different house-made sausages (ranging from wild game to veggie) cooked on a sizzling grill. Live country music and pig roasts are part of the raucous Banger’s experience. Book a small dinner party (for groups of 12+) or rent the whole place out for a private event (1,000 people maximum), Mondays through Thursdays.
Go rural with your next event at Star Hill Ranch near Bee Cave. Star Hill is a re-creation of an early-1900s Texas Hill Country community, made up of actual historic buildings that have been relocated from throughout the state and centered around the quaint Pontotoc Chapel. All of the venue buildings are situated on the Main Street Plaza, which is illuminated overhead with carnival lighting and is the perfect spot for outdoor receptions and dinner parties, as well as tented events. Depending on the event, Star Hill can accommodate 20 to 2,000 guests, and vintage props are available for rental. The Reception/Banquet Hall is a converted 1920s school that features large, open indoor space, along with a covered veranda and lawn seating. The larger Fitzhugh Building can accommodate events for 300+ guests.
Fair Market. Credit Nick Simonite.
Located close to downtown, Fair Market is a unique community space housed in a funky, quonset hut-style building. Set in the vibrant East Austin neighborhood, Fair Market offers versatile indoor and outdoor spaces. The expansive interior features 16,000 square feet of space, while the exterior measures 15,500 square feet. Plan a seated indoor event (750 capacity) or host a standing cocktail party for 1,500. Or take the party outdoors, where 1,200 guests can be accommodated.
Just steps from the Austin Convention Center, Maggie Mae’s is a local Sixth Street legend. Consisting of several renovated historic buildings dating back to the 1850s, this vast venue offers numerous spaces. Standout features include a huge rooftop deck with great skyline views, a rollicking live music venue with three stages, and seven bars spread over its multiple floors. Plan a party for 1,000 guests (maximum).
Enjoy the wide-open ranch views at Vista Brewing, located in Driftwood at the gateway to the Texas Hill Country Wineries trail. Plan an event at this beautiful, 21-acre combination brewery, restaurant and farm that offers multiple indoor and outdoor spaces for groups of any size. The on-site catering team crafts dishes made with ingredients direct from the farm, which can be paired with Vista beers like the elegant Le Saison Farmhouse Ale or the citrusy Destination American IPA. You can also arrange for beer tours and tastings or group culinary classes.
Mattie's. Credit Nick Simonite.
Mattie’s at Green Pastures is an elegant American restaurant housed in a lovingly restored turn-of-the-century farmhouse. Choose from an array of private event and dining spaces, as well as an outdoor patio shaded by towering live oaks. The 2,300-sq.-ft. Marion Hall, drenched with natural light streaming through its windowed walls, accommodates 160 for dinner (and can be fitted with a dance floor). Intimate seated dinners (for 32 people) or cocktail parties can be held in the cozy Lounge Room, while The Table Royale is perfect for small meetings of up to 16 people, and comes equipped with A/V hardware. Or take the party outdoors on the sheltered Pavilion, accommodating 100 guests for a reception or 80 for dinner.
Mercury Hall is a beautiful venue located on a hilltop in the heart of South Austin. A former old country chapel, Mercury Hall has been restored and converted into a unique event venue. Original wood floors and white shiplap walls, along with cathedral-style stained glass windows, add to the charm of the place. Mercury Hall offers Corporate Meeting Packages tailored to everything from executive meetings to corporate retreats. Your guests will have exclusive use of the venue and lush grounds, including a grassy lawn for team-building activities. Hold a seated dinner for 150 guests in the Banquet Hall or cocktails for 200 in the Rock Garden Courtyard.
Palmer Event Center. Credit Thomas McConnell.
The 131,000-sq.-ft. Palmer Events Center can accommodate anything from conventions to corporate meetings. Two lobbies offer pre-function space and concessions, while the 70,000-sq.-ft. exhibit floor can be divided into two column-free halls. Five upper-level meeting rooms feature sweeping balcony views of downtown Austin and Town Lake. The 5,000-sq.-ft. meeting space can be used for receptions and dinners, as well. A personal event coordinator is available to help you plan.
Stubb’s Bar-B-Q is an Austin institution, known for its lip-smacking barbecue along with some of the best live music around. By day, Stubb’s serves mouthwatering, slow-smoked, authentic Texas barbecue for lunch and dinner in an historic 1850s limestone building. At night, Stubb’s transitions into a rollicking live music venue featuring blues, country, rock and more in its outdoor amphitheater and on an indoor stage. Private Old West-style spaces, including two bars perfect for cocktail parties, an upstairs patio and the outdoor Waller Creek Amphitheater, make your event a true Texas experience for 20-2,200 guests.
Salt Lick. Credit Kenny Braun.
Treat your attendees to legendary barbeque in beautiful Texas Hill Country at The Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood. Your group can dig into family recipe brisket and smoked pork ribs in one of several private dining rooms that accommodate both small and large groups (on weekdays only). In addition, Salt Lick features unique on-site venues that are perfect for special events. Pecan Grove is a wooded, glass-enclosed structure set on the banks of Onion Creek and surrounded by a canopy of pecan trees. Plan a simple Southern luncheon or dinner for up to 350 seated guests. Thurman's Mansion is a rustic limestone building with wood beam ceilings and vintage chandeliers that offers space for corporate affairs of up to 180 guests. Attendees can engage in team-building activities on the lawn, then enjoy the picturesque sunset over the vineyards after dinner. The Salt Lick Cellars wine tasting room rests under a majestic live oak tree next door to The Salt Lick BBQ restaurant, and can accommodate an event for up to 75 guests on its scenic patio (not available on weekends).
If you’ve got a group of whiskey lovers, you’ll want to check out Still Austin Whiskey Co., which holds the distinction of being the first whiskey distillery located within Austin city limits since Prohibition. A true grain-to-glass distillery, everything is done in-house (and made from ingredients sourced from local farmers), from mashing to barreling and bottling. Plan a private tour for your guests to see how Still Austin’s whiskey is made, followed by a cocktail party or dinner in the Whiskey Garden or tasting room.
Fareground. Credit Chase Daniel.
Get a taste of Austin at Fareground, the city’s very first food hall. The flexible space can host anything from a wine tasting to formal meetings and live music. The huge venue features an indoor marketplace and beautiful outdoor park-like space right in the center of downtown. Arrange for cocktails at the Fareground Bar and tastings from local food purveyors that include Dai Due Taqueria (tacos and tortas), Henbit (healthy seasonal items like redtail shrimp poke) and Ni-Kome (sushi and ramen).
Pershing is a private members club, established in Austin in 2014. Housed within a 1940s residence, the three-level house features several meeting rooms on its second floor, along with a living room and intimate lounge. Repurposed from a lumber shed, the Gallery can host large and small conferences, product launches and private dinners. The charming open-air Courtyard strung with lights is the perfect spot to host cocktails. Arrange for a menu of Pershing’s New American cuisine, which incorporates flavors from the Mediterranean to Southeast Asia.
Courtesy of the Austin Public Library.
The Austin Central Library was named one of TIME Magazine’s 2018 World’s Greatest Places (the only library in the U.S. to receive the distinction). You’ll understand why when you see this modern marvel that’s made cozy with touches like reading porches overlooking Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake. The Special Event Center, which includes a stage and lectern, is perfect for presentations, receptions and banquets. The space can accommodate 350 people theater-style or up to 474 guests for a reception. The Roof Garden is a lovely outdoor space with views of downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake. The garden area and deck can seat 83 people for dinner or up to 225 guests for a reception.
The Venue on historic Sixth Street in downtown Austin features a large, open floor plan that makes it ideal for anything from a live concert to conferences and fashion shows. The Venue offers a full-size stage with dedicated sound booths, high-end lighting systems that cover the entire stage and dance floor, eight screens for presentations, VIP areas, and a Green Room equipped with its own kitchenette and full bathroom with shower. The Venue also boasts the biggest balcony overlooking Sixth Street, along with three bars. If you’re considering a food truck for catering, The Venue features a huge rolling back wall that allows easy alley access.
Book a fun event at the new Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden location at The Linc. Reserve the outdoor Patio North (125 standing/60 seated), the Patio Breezeway (160 standing/108 seated) or the Entire Outdoors (200 standing/160 seated), where your guests can challenge each other to games of ping-pong and toast the winners at the outdoor bar. The Private Mezzanine is ideal for networking events of up to 50 people, or a seated dinner for 40 guests. Large party menus include Easy Tiger’s famed sandwiches with house-made meats and artisan breads.