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A bar’s beer taps.
Hole in the Wall.
Robert J. Lerma/Eater Austin

14 Excellent Austin Dive Bars

Unfussy drinking

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Hole in the Wall.
| Robert J. Lerma/Eater Austin

Avoid fussy cocktail bars and opt for a watering hole with no pretenses or airs: a dive bar, where the only goal is to embrace a less polished atmosphere with drinks and beer neon.

Austin is full of such bars, which excel at keeping it truly weird: dark watering holes with cheap beer and shots, wild characters, and weird atmospheres. With that, here is Eater's guide to the city's iconic dive bars, like Donn Depot’s train station setting, chicken shit bingo at Little Longhorn Saloon, the Christmas-forever vibe at Lala’s Little Nugget, and others.

As with all businesses right now, be sure to call ahead to make sure each bar is still open or if there are updates on current offerings and service models, as things are changing constantly. Follow the business’s rules, be sure to wear a mask, and tip well.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Lala's Little Nugget

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It's always Christmas at Lala's, which was saved from an uncertain fate after an abrupt closure in 2015. That's worth celebrating.

Lala’s Little Nugget
Lala’s Little Nugget
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Little Longhorn Saloon

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There’s nothing little about Little Longhorn's reputation. Sunday afternoons feature the storied Austin tradition of Lone Stars, live music, and chicken shit bingo.

Barfly's

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Criminally cheap beers and unabashedly pleasant bartenders make a trip to Barfly's nourishing both for the wallet and soul. Don't trip on all those stairs, though. Party foul.

Carousel Lounge

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This East Side circus-themed dive offers set-ups, beer, and wine as well as live music and even the occasional theatrical performance. It's cash-only, of course, like any good dive should be.

Hole In The Wall

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This Guadalupe live music venue and bar on the Drag has been keeping the University of Texas at Austin students sauced for decades.

Hole in the Wall
Hole in the Wall
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Skylark Lounge

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Former lesbian bar Bernadette’s-turned-dive and blues spot features a full bar.

Deep Eddy Cabaret

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The Deep Eddy area isn't known for its divey tendencies, but the Deep Eddy Cabaret harkens back to a time before gentrification was the name of the west side game.

Deep Eddy Cabaret
Deep Eddy Cabaret
Deep Eddy Cabaret/Facebook

Donn's Depot

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A dive bar in an old train station seems just about right.

Dirty Bill's

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The tiny downtown bar is an industry favorite for good reason.

Dirty Bill’s
Dirty Bill’s
Dirty Bill’s/Facebook

Casino El Camino

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Burgers, eardrum-shattering metal from the jukebox, and cheap drinks served across a sticky bar. Pretty much a textbook dive.

La Perla

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This East Side cantina is holding its own amid the continuing swell of gentrification. Come with cash and an appetite for beer or an Armodelo (Modelo + lime + tabasco + beer salt).

The Lost Well

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The former Frontier Bar was taken over by two ex-Lovejoys bartenders, the ultimate dive-bar pedigree for this east side joint. Find live music and cheap drinks.

The White Horse

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This Lynchian honky tonk brings together the best of East Austin: cheap beer, live music, and two-steppin'..

White Horse
White Horse
White Horse/Yelp

Sam's Town Point

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The low-key far south Austin honky tonk is the place to go for easy drinks, live music, and two-steppin’.

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Lala's Little Nugget

Lala’s Little Nugget
Lala’s Little Nugget
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

It's always Christmas at Lala's, which was saved from an uncertain fate after an abrupt closure in 2015. That's worth celebrating.

Lala’s Little Nugget
Lala’s Little Nugget
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Little Longhorn Saloon

There’s nothing little about Little Longhorn's reputation. Sunday afternoons feature the storied Austin tradition of Lone Stars, live music, and chicken shit bingo.

Barfly's

Criminally cheap beers and unabashedly pleasant bartenders make a trip to Barfly's nourishing both for the wallet and soul. Don't trip on all those stairs, though. Party foul.

Carousel Lounge

This East Side circus-themed dive offers set-ups, beer, and wine as well as live music and even the occasional theatrical performance. It's cash-only, of course, like any good dive should be.

Hole In The Wall

Hole in the Wall
Hole in the Wall
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

This Guadalupe live music venue and bar on the Drag has been keeping the University of Texas at Austin students sauced for decades.

Hole in the Wall
Hole in the Wall
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Skylark Lounge

Former lesbian bar Bernadette’s-turned-dive and blues spot features a full bar.

Deep Eddy Cabaret

Deep Eddy Cabaret
Deep Eddy Cabaret
Deep Eddy Cabaret/Facebook

The Deep Eddy area isn't known for its divey tendencies, but the Deep Eddy Cabaret harkens back to a time before gentrification was the name of the west side game.

Deep Eddy Cabaret
Deep Eddy Cabaret
Deep Eddy Cabaret/Facebook

Donn's Depot

A dive bar in an old train station seems just about right.

Dirty Bill's

Dirty Bill’s
Dirty Bill’s
Dirty Bill’s/Facebook

The tiny downtown bar is an industry favorite for good reason.

Dirty Bill’s
Dirty Bill’s
Dirty Bill’s/Facebook

Casino El Camino

Burgers, eardrum-shattering metal from the jukebox, and cheap drinks served across a sticky bar. Pretty much a textbook dive.

La Perla

This East Side cantina is holding its own amid the continuing swell of gentrification. Come with cash and an appetite for beer or an Armodelo (Modelo + lime + tabasco + beer salt).

The Lost Well

The former Frontier Bar was taken over by two ex-Lovejoys bartenders, the ultimate dive-bar pedigree for this east side joint. Find live music and cheap drinks.

The White Horse

White Horse
White Horse
White Horse/Yelp

This Lynchian honky tonk brings together the best of East Austin: cheap beer, live music, and two-steppin'..

White Horse
White Horse
White Horse/Yelp

Sam's Town Point

The low-key far south Austin honky tonk is the place to go for easy drinks, live music, and two-steppin’.

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