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A shallow bowl of filled pastas.
A dish from Emmer & Rye.
Emmer & Rye

Where to Eat and Drink on Rainey Street in Austin

Where to find quality cocktails, good tacos, and fun beer in the downtown entertainment district

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A dish from Emmer & Rye.
| Emmer & Rye

Directly adjacent to downtown and, critically, the Austin Convention Center, Rainey Street is home to some of Austin’s best bars and restaurants. A mix of old and new, refurbished bungalows and sky-high condos (leaning way more towards the latter these days), the district was primarily single-family homes until 2005, when a zoning change allowed bars and restaurants to pour in.

Today, Rainey is a popular night-out destination for locals, tourists, and so many bachelor and bachelorette parties (as well as the source of some controversy). For a relaxed evening, visit Lustre Pearl, a Rainey Street original. In terms of food, try upscale dishes from farm-and-grain-focused Emmer & Rye or sausages at Banger’s. Finally, have fancy cocktails and apps with a view at Geraldine’s, the restaurant and bar of the hip Hotel Van Zandt.

Below is the map of can’t-miss food and drink spots on Rainey. Be sure to also check out the downtown guide, and where to eat near the convention center.

For the purposes of this guide, the map covers Rainey Street between Driskill Street all the way down to Cummings Street. Check out Eater Austin’s other neighborhood dining guides too.

With updates by Nadia Chaudhury.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Shawarma Point

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Find oh-so-flavorful halal food from this location of the Mediterranean food truck at the downtown food truck court. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are outdoor dine-in areas.

Lustre Pearl Rainey

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One of the original bars on Rainey Street, this relocated spot (it’s a long story) is a casual place to grab a beer or a cocktail and play a game or two. There are indoor and outdoor areas.

Geraldine's

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For a more elegant night on Rainey, head up to the fourth floor of the Hotel Van Zandt to the gorgeous New American restaurant, named after a guinea hen that once roamed the district. There’s a constantly rotating menu featuring local produce and meats and excellent cocktails. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

A restaurant dining room.
Geraldine’s.
JR Photo/Eater Austin

Asador on Rainey

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Great tacos can be found at the Rainey Street outpost of Asador. There are fillings like brisket, cauliflower, and carnitas; and then breakfast iterations such as migas, pork belly and eggs, and more. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are outdoor dine-in areas courtesy of host site the Drafting Room.

Four Brothers

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Empanadas and arepas make for handy foods while wandering the street, and that’s the focus of this downtown location of the Venezuelan food truck. Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online.

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

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With over 200 taps of beer, cider, and mead and a massive outdoor patio, this downtown beer garden and restaurant is popular with locals and tourists alike. It serves a variety of sausages, including ones made with duck and mushrooms, and has a popular brunch that includes one-liter mimosas. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

A tray of pancakes and eggs.
Brunch at Banger’s.
Banger’s/Facebook

Lucille [Austin]

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The downtown bar has easy beers, cocktails, and lots of space. There are indoor and outdoor areas.

Half Step & Little Lucy’s

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One of Austin’s best cocktail bars, this spot serves quality drinks (try the draft ginger paloma) in a relaxed atmosphere. Its large outdoor patio has lawn games and, often, live music. Sweets truck Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts is also parked adjacent to the bar. There are indoor and outdoor seats.

A tri-colored tall drink with ice.
A drink from Half Step.
Claire McCormack Photography

The Stay Put

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A respite from the frenzy of Rainey, this casual brewery and bar comes from from the same hospitality group as nearby Half Step. Look for easy-drinking beers and draft cocktails. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Emmer & Rye

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Powerhouse team chef Kevin Fink and executive pastry chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph run this New Texan restaurant at the end of Rainey focused on using heritage grains, local products, and in-house fermentation. It’s known for a delicate cacio e pepe pasta and creative desserts from Bristol-Joseph like sorbet with salted cream. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Shawarma Point

Find oh-so-flavorful halal food from this location of the Mediterranean food truck at the downtown food truck court. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are outdoor dine-in areas.

Lustre Pearl Rainey

One of the original bars on Rainey Street, this relocated spot (it’s a long story) is a casual place to grab a beer or a cocktail and play a game or two. There are indoor and outdoor areas.

Geraldine's

For a more elegant night on Rainey, head up to the fourth floor of the Hotel Van Zandt to the gorgeous New American restaurant, named after a guinea hen that once roamed the district. There’s a constantly rotating menu featuring local produce and meats and excellent cocktails. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

A restaurant dining room.
Geraldine’s.
JR Photo/Eater Austin

Asador on Rainey

Great tacos can be found at the Rainey Street outpost of Asador. There are fillings like brisket, cauliflower, and carnitas; and then breakfast iterations such as migas, pork belly and eggs, and more. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are outdoor dine-in areas courtesy of host site the Drafting Room.

Four Brothers

Empanadas and arepas make for handy foods while wandering the street, and that’s the focus of this downtown location of the Venezuelan food truck. Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online.

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

With over 200 taps of beer, cider, and mead and a massive outdoor patio, this downtown beer garden and restaurant is popular with locals and tourists alike. It serves a variety of sausages, including ones made with duck and mushrooms, and has a popular brunch that includes one-liter mimosas. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

A tray of pancakes and eggs.
Brunch at Banger’s.
Banger’s/Facebook

Lucille [Austin]

The downtown bar has easy beers, cocktails, and lots of space. There are indoor and outdoor areas.

Half Step & Little Lucy’s

One of Austin’s best cocktail bars, this spot serves quality drinks (try the draft ginger paloma) in a relaxed atmosphere. Its large outdoor patio has lawn games and, often, live music. Sweets truck Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts is also parked adjacent to the bar. There are indoor and outdoor seats.

A tri-colored tall drink with ice.
A drink from Half Step.
Claire McCormack Photography

The Stay Put

A respite from the frenzy of Rainey, this casual brewery and bar comes from from the same hospitality group as nearby Half Step. Look for easy-drinking beers and draft cocktails. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Emmer & Rye

Powerhouse team chef Kevin Fink and executive pastry chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph run this New Texan restaurant at the end of Rainey focused on using heritage grains, local products, and in-house fermentation. It’s known for a delicate cacio e pepe pasta and creative desserts from Bristol-Joseph like sorbet with salted cream. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

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