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16 Austin-Area Bars and Restaurants to Frequent This Summer

Cheers to the season (and cool off from the heat) with a refreshing Milagro Tequila cocktail.

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Summer in Austin is a time for soaking up the sun and relaxing with friends. Spend the day on Lake Travis, head to happy hour, or cross off restaurants from your long must-try list. And as the temperatures rise and the summer celebrations pick up, it’s only natural to seek out the best places to enjoy a refreshing cocktail or beer.

Milagro Tequila is an easy choice for tequila enthusiasts looking to order a cocktail at the bar, fill a pitcher with a batch of spicy margaritas, or sip on a sweet paloma at brunch. Known for their bright and fresh flavor, Milagro’s 100 percent blue agave tequilas are stocked at bars across the city. To make things easier for you, we’ve rounded up 16 bars and restaurants in Austin (plus a couple of ideas for a Lockhart or San Marcos day trip) to toast to summer — with a glass of Milagro in hand.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Some restaurants may also experience temporary closures. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for information regarding hours and closures, as well as any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Industry

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Just a short drive from Austin is San Marcos. If you make the trip and visit the city’s downtown square, you’ll find Industry. The restaurant’s menu includes homemade favorites like savory roasted vegetable bowls, pit chili with smoked meats, and a smoked salmon burger. Order yourself a famous Millie’s Margarita (prepared with Milagro Reposado Tequila, orange liqueur, and fresh lime) and then go ahead and treat yourself to dessert, like a Texas pecan milkshake. If you’re looking for a happy hour, Industry won’t disappoint. Swing by from 3 to 6 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday-Friday for happy hour deals you’ll want to raise a glass to.

A salt-rimmed margarita sits on a napkin next to a tray of tortilla chips and queso. Courtesy of Industry

Oasis Texas Brewing Company

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Perched atop Lake Travis, this rustic bar with garage-door-style windows, is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a sunset view. While the menu’s focus is on the brewery’s beers, they also offer wines and select spirits, including Milagro’s 100% blue agave tequila. Settle in for drinks while you take in the scene, along with a round of apps or meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients (such as a burger or a harvest bowl filled with quinoa, chickpeas, roasted vegetables, kale, and lightly tossed in a sesame dressing). Happy hour doesn’t get any happier than in this gorgeous setting.

Armadillo Den

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Known as a “neighborhood hangout for everything and nothing,” this icehouse in South Austin sits on three acres of land, with plenty of room for you and your dog to roam. Armadillo Den hosts four food trucks, seasonal crawfish boils, live music axe throwing, and more. They have mocktails on draft that can be easily customized with a shot of Milagro Tequila. If you have trouble choosing, we suggest adding one to their Fords Ranch Water (Thai basil seltzer, cucumber, and fresh lemon juice).

A margarita with a salted rim is in the center of a picnic table, surrounded by baskets of fries, burgers, an other fried foods. Courtesy of Armadillo Den

Casa Garcia's

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An Austin area Tex-Mex institution, Casa Garcia has several locations throughout the suburbs: Round Rock, Pflguerville, and Manor. Serving everything from migas and breakfast tacos to queso flameado, enchiladas, and chimichangas with a generous helping of homespun hospitality (don’t be surprised if your server calls you “mija” or “mijo”). They also have some of the best margaritas — both frozen and on the rocks — and have Milagro stocked behind the bar. Swing by during happy hour, Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., for some deals you won’t want to refuse.

Two on-the-rocks margaritas are on a bartop. Courtesy of Casa Garcia’s

Waterloo Ice House

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This family-friendly Austin restaurant and bar has been a part of the city since 1976, and now has four locations: on Burnet Road, 360 and 2222,  Escarpment Boulevard, and Southpark Meadows. Most of these locations even have outdoor playscapes for kids to enjoy while the adults relax over an icy beverage. Enjoy happy hour on weeknights from 3 to 7 p.m. (although it does run all day on Wednesdays) or during their reverse happy hour from 9 p.m. to close. Try a flavored frozen margarita (blackberry, cucumber, coconut, sangria, mango, jalapeño, passion fruit, or strawberry) and add a Milagro Silver float for just a couple bucks.

Matt's El Rancho

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Only a few restaurants truly have the power to stand the test of time, and Matt’s El Rancho is one of the best examples in Austin. Celebrating seven decades this year, the restaurant began with the dream of a man who used to push a tamale cart near the Texas Capitol. In 70 years it has grown into a 500-seat restaurant, still family-owned. With a spacious outdoor patio and a menu filled with from-scratch favorites like enchiladas and grilled old-fashioned tacos, you can raise a glass to this ATX institution this summer with a Matt’s Knockout Martini, made with Milagro Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice.

Black Sheep Lodge

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Black Sheep Lodge is an outdoor beer garden in South Lamar. Spend a summer afternoon or evening sipping and catching up with friends in the spacious garden and take advantage of the daily happy hour drink specials. Go on Tuesdays for $2 off tequila shots and cocktails so you can pair your favorite Milagro-filled drink with some fried pickles, jalapeños, or cheese curds, or a bar-favorite burger or hot dog.

The front of the building, taken from across the street. Courtesy of Black Sheep Lodge

Parlor & Yard

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This throw-back sports lounge on West Sixth Street includes a spacious backyard with lawn games and hula hoops. On any given night, you might find live music or an official hometown soccer watch party (with the crowd repping the verde and black—the Austin FC, of course—and chanting “Dale, Dale, Dale ATX!”). Brooklyn Pie Co. Pizza & Wings (including a famous Giant Cheese Slice as large as a 12-inch pizza) complement house cocktails and game day specials, making this location an ideal choice for a chill summer day.

A garnished tequila drink sits in the middle of a shuffleboard table. Courtesy of Parlor & Yard

W Austin

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The W Hotel’s Austin location is home to several chic bars made for enjoying a night out with friends. Whether you’re people-watching at Trace, listening to some selections from the 8,000-record collection at the Living Room Bar, or enjoying skyline views poolside at the WET pool bar, you’re bound to have a good time. In summer, you can even book a little day-cation for yourself and a few friends. Purchase a day pass for the WET Deck (you can also reserve a bungalow or cabana) and order a round of Milagro Tequila margaritas poolside to experience a relaxing day under the Texan sun. If you’re there Sunday- to Thursday, head to happy hour at the Living Room Bars or Trace with your crew (running from 4 to 6 p.m.) for drink specials and sets from local DJs.

A salt-rimmed tequila drink is lit on fire by a bartender. Courtesy of W Austin

One of the OG tenants of Rainey Street is Clive Bar. Around since the early aughts, it has experienced the neighborhood’s transformation into a haven of bungalow bar hopping first-hand. Despite the area now being home to highrises and hotels, Clive Bar still offers that unmistakable Austin vibe (laid-back, unpretentious, and always fun) in the tree-lined historic neighborhood. This year, after outgrowing its tiny bungalow, the bar expanded to three stories, complete with a rooftop deck bar. So head down to the Rainey Street staple and order a refreshing paloma (prepared with Milagro Tequila, grapefruit soda, lime and a pinch of salt) on a hot summer day.

Idle Hands

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If you’re looking to transport yourself to the tropics, head down to Idle Hands. This Rainey Street spot was inspired by travels in Latin America and the Caribbean and aims to provide a curated space for relaxation and escape. Patrons can bask in their plant-filled, sun-drenched indoor bar space, or outdoors on a lush tree-covered patio filled with hanging chairs. Signature cocktails and frozen drinks make for the perfect refreshing escape from the heat, plus a menu filled with flavorful bites: Cubano sandwiches; pulled pork birria tacos; Caribbean-style jerk chicken wings; and plantain chips with guacamole.

A bartender pours a pink cocktail into a highball glass. Courtesy of @idlehandsaustin

Lustre Pearl Rainey

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Another longtime Rainey Street staple is Lustre Pearl. Initially opened in a bungalow, it was later trucked across I-35 to East Austin and called Lustre Pearl East (the franchise was later joined by Lustre Pearl South). Owner Bridget Dunlap then opened Lustre Pearl Rainey just one block away, where it still stands today. With its never-too-serious hometown vibe (complete with a disco ball, hula hoops, and ping-pong) and excellent cocktail menu, it’s a guaranteed great time. Toast to new Austin beginnings with a signature cocktail, like the Asher Skye, made with Serrano pepper-infused Milagro Tequila, Cointreau, simple syrup, and lime juice.

Native Bar & Cafe

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Formerly an 1890s railroader hotel and warehouse, Native Hostel welcomes guests to East Austin in its boutique dorm-style accommodations and private suites. Nestled on the same property is its eclectically furnished, and spacious, bar and cafe. Open daily (the cafe from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the bar from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.), it’s a frequent space for music and art pop-up events and casual hangs with friends. The space — which has a six-seat, speakeasy-style omakase sushi restaurant, a backyard with food trucks, and a tattoo shop — is the perfect place for anyone looking for a unique and charming place to enjoy a cocktail (perhaps a spicy Milagro jalapeño margarita or classic paloma) in the city.

Moody Center

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This brand new $338 million arena aims to be one of the best in the country for huge concerts, basketball games, and live events. It’s easy to see why: from intriguing art installations, to tons of hometown brands represented throughout the space, Moody Center is a great place to rediscover your favorite acts this summer on their Austin tour stops. Make sure to stop by the arena’s Milagro Tequila Bar for a sip of a signature margarita to fuel your concert-going fun.

Haymaker

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This casual Manor Road restaurant has staked its reputation on regionally inspired craft sandwiches, beer, and poutine, and has earned many fans for its hometown sports bar-feel and spacious, dog-friendly patio. Order up some Midwest festival-style faire with a Wisconsin Wurst, or an open-faced Texas toast sandwich, smothered with gruyére sauce. With rotating drink specials (try the Lunch Box for a beer and shot of choice), there’s something for everyone. Milagro Tequila fans should go on Mondays, Thursdays, or Fridays for spirit-friendly specials you’ll enjoy.

A salt-rimmed margarita sits on the wooden railing of Haymaker’s patio. Courtesy of Haymaker

Old Pal Texas Tavern

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If you’re looking to step outside of Austin’s city limits, head to Old Pal, just a few miles south in Lockhart. This tavern is one of many bars and restaurants breathing life into this picturesque small town. Right on the square, Old Pal is a quintessential hometown spot that feels like it has been around forever and is famous for its fried chicken (served with a buttermilk biscuit, lemon poppy coleslaw, and dill pickles). For a fun pairing, try ordering a ranch water from the bar, made with Milagro Tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and Topo Chico.

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Industry

A salt-rimmed margarita sits on a napkin next to a tray of tortilla chips and queso. Courtesy of Industry

Just a short drive from Austin is San Marcos. If you make the trip and visit the city’s downtown square, you’ll find Industry. The restaurant’s menu includes homemade favorites like savory roasted vegetable bowls, pit chili with smoked meats, and a smoked salmon burger. Order yourself a famous Millie’s Margarita (prepared with Milagro Reposado Tequila, orange liqueur, and fresh lime) and then go ahead and treat yourself to dessert, like a Texas pecan milkshake. If you’re looking for a happy hour, Industry won’t disappoint. Swing by from 3 to 6 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday-Friday for happy hour deals you’ll want to raise a glass to.

A salt-rimmed margarita sits on a napkin next to a tray of tortilla chips and queso. Courtesy of Industry

Oasis Texas Brewing Company

Perched atop Lake Travis, this rustic bar with garage-door-style windows, is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a sunset view. While the menu’s focus is on the brewery’s beers, they also offer wines and select spirits, including Milagro’s 100% blue agave tequila. Settle in for drinks while you take in the scene, along with a round of apps or meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients (such as a burger or a harvest bowl filled with quinoa, chickpeas, roasted vegetables, kale, and lightly tossed in a sesame dressing). Happy hour doesn’t get any happier than in this gorgeous setting.

Armadillo Den

A margarita with a salted rim is in the center of a picnic table, surrounded by baskets of fries, burgers, an other fried foods. Courtesy of Armadillo Den

Known as a “neighborhood hangout for everything and nothing,” this icehouse in South Austin sits on three acres of land, with plenty of room for you and your dog to roam. Armadillo Den hosts four food trucks, seasonal crawfish boils, live music axe throwing, and more. They have mocktails on draft that can be easily customized with a shot of Milagro Tequila. If you have trouble choosing, we suggest adding one to their Fords Ranch Water (Thai basil seltzer, cucumber, and fresh lemon juice).

A margarita with a salted rim is in the center of a picnic table, surrounded by baskets of fries, burgers, an other fried foods. Courtesy of Armadillo Den

Casa Garcia's

Two on-the-rocks margaritas are on a bartop. Courtesy of Casa Garcia’s

An Austin area Tex-Mex institution, Casa Garcia has several locations throughout the suburbs: Round Rock, Pflguerville, and Manor. Serving everything from migas and breakfast tacos to queso flameado, enchiladas, and chimichangas with a generous helping of homespun hospitality (don’t be surprised if your server calls you “mija” or “mijo”). They also have some of the best margaritas — both frozen and on the rocks — and have Milagro stocked behind the bar. Swing by during happy hour, Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., for some deals you won’t want to refuse.

Two on-the-rocks margaritas are on a bartop. Courtesy of Casa Garcia’s

Waterloo Ice House

This family-friendly Austin restaurant and bar has been a part of the city since 1976, and now has four locations: on Burnet Road, 360 and 2222,  Escarpment Boulevard, and Southpark Meadows. Most of these locations even have outdoor playscapes for kids to enjoy while the adults relax over an icy beverage. Enjoy happy hour on weeknights from 3 to 7 p.m. (although it does run all day on Wednesdays) or during their reverse happy hour from 9 p.m. to close. Try a flavored frozen margarita (blackberry, cucumber, coconut, sangria, mango, jalapeño, passion fruit, or strawberry) and add a Milagro Silver float for just a couple bucks.

Matt's El Rancho

Only a few restaurants truly have the power to stand the test of time, and Matt’s El Rancho is one of the best examples in Austin. Celebrating seven decades this year, the restaurant began with the dream of a man who used to push a tamale cart near the Texas Capitol. In 70 years it has grown into a 500-seat restaurant, still family-owned. With a spacious outdoor patio and a menu filled with from-scratch favorites like enchiladas and grilled old-fashioned tacos, you can raise a glass to this ATX institution this summer with a Matt’s Knockout Martini, made with Milagro Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice.

Black Sheep Lodge

The front of the building, taken from across the street. Courtesy of Black Sheep Lodge

Black Sheep Lodge is an outdoor beer garden in South Lamar. Spend a summer afternoon or evening sipping and catching up with friends in the spacious garden and take advantage of the daily happy hour drink specials. Go on Tuesdays for $2 off tequila shots and cocktails so you can pair your favorite Milagro-filled drink with some fried pickles, jalapeños, or cheese curds, or a bar-favorite burger or hot dog.

The front of the building, taken from across the street. Courtesy of Black Sheep Lodge

Parlor & Yard

A garnished tequila drink sits in the middle of a shuffleboard table. Courtesy of Parlor & Yard

This throw-back sports lounge on West Sixth Street includes a spacious backyard with lawn games and hula hoops. On any given night, you might find live music or an official hometown soccer watch party (with the crowd repping the verde and black—the Austin FC, of course—and chanting “Dale, Dale, Dale ATX!”). Brooklyn Pie Co. Pizza & Wings (including a famous Giant Cheese Slice as large as a 12-inch pizza) complement house cocktails and game day specials, making this location an ideal choice for a chill summer day.

A garnished tequila drink sits in the middle of a shuffleboard table. Courtesy of Parlor & Yard

W Austin

A salt-rimmed tequila drink is lit on fire by a bartender. Courtesy of W Austin

The W Hotel’s Austin location is home to several chic bars made for enjoying a night out with friends. Whether you’re people-watching at Trace, listening to some selections from the 8,000-record collection at the Living Room Bar, or enjoying skyline views poolside at the WET pool bar, you’re bound to have a good time. In summer, you can even book a little day-cation for yourself and a few friends. Purchase a day pass for the WET Deck (you can also reserve a bungalow or cabana) and order a round of Milagro Tequila margaritas poolside to experience a relaxing day under the Texan sun. If you’re there Sunday- to Thursday, head to happy hour at the Living Room Bars or Trace with your crew (running from 4 to 6 p.m.) for drink specials and sets from local DJs.

A salt-rimmed tequila drink is lit on fire by a bartender. Courtesy of W Austin

Clive

One of the OG tenants of Rainey Street is Clive Bar. Around since the early aughts, it has experienced the neighborhood’s transformation into a haven of bungalow bar hopping first-hand. Despite the area now being home to highrises and hotels, Clive Bar still offers that unmistakable Austin vibe (laid-back, unpretentious, and always fun) in the tree-lined historic neighborhood. This year, after outgrowing its tiny bungalow, the bar expanded to three stories, complete with a rooftop deck bar. So head down to the Rainey Street staple and order a refreshing paloma (prepared with Milagro Tequila, grapefruit soda, lime and a pinch of salt) on a hot summer day.

Idle Hands

A bartender pours a pink cocktail into a highball glass. Courtesy of @idlehandsaustin

If you’re looking to transport yourself to the tropics, head down to Idle Hands. This Rainey Street spot was inspired by travels in Latin America and the Caribbean and aims to provide a curated space for relaxation and escape. Patrons can bask in their plant-filled, sun-drenched indoor bar space, or outdoors on a lush tree-covered patio filled with hanging chairs. Signature cocktails and frozen drinks make for the perfect refreshing escape from the heat, plus a menu filled with flavorful bites: Cubano sandwiches; pulled pork birria tacos; Caribbean-style jerk chicken wings; and plantain chips with guacamole.

A bartender pours a pink cocktail into a highball glass. Courtesy of @idlehandsaustin

Lustre Pearl Rainey

Another longtime Rainey Street staple is Lustre Pearl. Initially opened in a bungalow, it was later trucked across I-35 to East Austin and called Lustre Pearl East (the franchise was later joined by Lustre Pearl South). Owner Bridget Dunlap then opened Lustre Pearl Rainey just one block away, where it still stands today. With its never-too-serious hometown vibe (complete with a disco ball, hula hoops, and ping-pong) and excellent cocktail menu, it’s a guaranteed great time. Toast to new Austin beginnings with a signature cocktail, like the Asher Skye, made with Serrano pepper-infused Milagro Tequila, Cointreau, simple syrup, and lime juice.

Native Bar & Cafe

Formerly an 1890s railroader hotel and warehouse, Native Hostel welcomes guests to East Austin in its boutique dorm-style accommodations and private suites. Nestled on the same property is its eclectically furnished, and spacious, bar and cafe. Open daily (the cafe from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the bar from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.), it’s a frequent space for music and art pop-up events and casual hangs with friends. The space — which has a six-seat, speakeasy-style omakase sushi restaurant, a backyard with food trucks, and a tattoo shop — is the perfect place for anyone looking for a unique and charming place to enjoy a cocktail (perhaps a spicy Milagro jalapeño margarita or classic paloma) in the city.

Moody Center

This brand new $338 million arena aims to be one of the best in the country for huge concerts, basketball games, and live events. It’s easy to see why: from intriguing art installations, to tons of hometown brands represented throughout the space, Moody Center is a great place to rediscover your favorite acts this summer on their Austin tour stops. Make sure to stop by the arena’s Milagro Tequila Bar for a sip of a signature margarita to fuel your concert-going fun.

Haymaker

A salt-rimmed margarita sits on the wooden railing of Haymaker’s patio. Courtesy of Haymaker

This casual Manor Road restaurant has staked its reputation on regionally inspired craft sandwiches, beer, and poutine, and has earned many fans for its hometown sports bar-feel and spacious, dog-friendly patio. Order up some Midwest festival-style faire with a Wisconsin Wurst, or an open-faced Texas toast sandwich, smothered with gruyére sauce. With rotating drink specials (try the Lunch Box for a beer and shot of choice), there’s something for everyone. Milagro Tequila fans should go on Mondays, Thursdays, or Fridays for spirit-friendly specials you’ll enjoy.

A salt-rimmed margarita sits on the wooden railing of Haymaker’s patio. Courtesy of Haymaker

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Old Pal Texas Tavern

If you’re looking to step outside of Austin’s city limits, head to Old Pal, just a few miles south in Lockhart. This tavern is one of many bars and restaurants breathing life into this picturesque small town. Right on the square, Old Pal is a quintessential hometown spot that feels like it has been around forever and is famous for its fried chicken (served with a buttermilk biscuit, lemon poppy coleslaw, and dill pickles). For a fun pairing, try ordering a ranch water from the bar, made with Milagro Tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and Topo Chico.