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A tray of food with drinks.
Food and drinks at Banger’s.
Banger’s/Facebook

Where to Eat and Drink on Rainey Street

Cut straight to quality cocktails, good tacos, and fun beer

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Food and drinks at Banger’s.
| Banger’s/Facebook

Directly adjacent to downtown and, critically, the Austin Convention Center, Rainey Street is home to some of Austin’s best bars and restaurants. A unique mix of old and new, refurbished bungalows and sky-high condos, 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 dishes from James Beard Award-recognized chef farm-and-grain-focused Emmer & Rye. 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.

As with all businesses, be sure to call ahead to make sure each restaurant/bar/truck is still open or if there are updates on current offerings and service models, as things are changing constantly. Wear a mask, tip well, and if you’re ordering delivery, try to order directly from the restaurants/bars/trucks themselves.

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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Lustre Pearl Rainey & Tommy Want Wingy

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One of the original bars on Rainey Street, Lustre Pearl is a casual place to grab a beer or a cocktail and play a game or two. It shares owners with Clive Bar and Container Bar down the street. For food, grab chicken wings from on-site truck Tommy Want Wingy. There are indoor and outdoor areas; the truck offers online ordering too.

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 Geraldine’s, named after a guinea hen that once roamed the district. The restaurant has excellent cocktails and a constantly rotating menu. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

The lit up dining room at Geraldine’s
Geraldine’s
JR Photo/EATX

Asador on Rainey

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Perfect tacos and weekend brunch can be found at the Rainey Street post of Asador. The former includes fillings like brisket, cauliflower, and carnitas, and the former with brisket and grits, chilaquiles, and wild boar hash. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are outdoor dine-in areas courtesy of host site the Drafting Room.

Tacos from Asador
Tacos from Asador
Asador/Facebook

Little Brother & Bummer Burrito

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The tiny 367-square-feet space has a lot of personality. Designed like a teenage boy’s ideal bedroom (including VHS tapes and co-owner Matthew Bolick’s actual childhood television), it serves coffee, beer, and excellent and fun cocktails (frozen to batched to mixed). For food, order up from sibling truck Bummer Burrito. There’s a few tables outside make up a patio to observe the revelry alfresco. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are outdoor seats.

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

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With over 200 taps of beer, cider, and mead and a massive outdoor patio, Banger’s is popular with locals and tourists alike. It also serves a variety of sausages, including ones made with duck and venison, whole-hog barbecue, and has a popular brunch that includes one-liter mimosas. To-go 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

Half Step

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One of Austin’s best cocktail bars, Half Step 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 drink from Half Step
A drink from Half Step
Claire McCormack Photography

Emmer & Rye

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Powerhouse team chef Kevin Fink (a James Beard Award finalist) and pastry chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph run this 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 a persimmon rum cake. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

A bowl of pale yellow spaghetti pasta with a fork in it.
Emmer & Rye’s cacio e pepe
Emmer & Rye/Facebook

Lustre Pearl Rainey & Tommy Want Wingy

One of the original bars on Rainey Street, Lustre Pearl is a casual place to grab a beer or a cocktail and play a game or two. It shares owners with Clive Bar and Container Bar down the street. For food, grab chicken wings from on-site truck Tommy Want Wingy. There are indoor and outdoor areas; the truck offers online ordering too.

Geraldine's

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

The lit up dining room at Geraldine’s
Geraldine’s
JR Photo/EATX

Asador on Rainey

Perfect tacos and weekend brunch can be found at the Rainey Street post of Asador. The former includes fillings like brisket, cauliflower, and carnitas, and the former with brisket and grits, chilaquiles, and wild boar hash. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are outdoor dine-in areas courtesy of host site the Drafting Room.

Tacos from Asador
Tacos from Asador
Asador/Facebook

Little Brother & Bummer Burrito

The tiny 367-square-feet space has a lot of personality. Designed like a teenage boy’s ideal bedroom (including VHS tapes and co-owner Matthew Bolick’s actual childhood television), it serves coffee, beer, and excellent and fun cocktails (frozen to batched to mixed). For food, order up from sibling truck Bummer Burrito. There’s a few tables outside make up a patio to observe the revelry alfresco. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are outdoor seats.

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

With over 200 taps of beer, cider, and mead and a massive outdoor patio, Banger’s is popular with locals and tourists alike. It also serves a variety of sausages, including ones made with duck and venison, whole-hog barbecue, and has a popular brunch that includes one-liter mimosas. To-go 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

Half Step

One of Austin’s best cocktail bars, Half Step 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 drink from Half Step
A drink from Half Step
Claire McCormack Photography

Emmer & Rye

Powerhouse team chef Kevin Fink (a James Beard Award finalist) and pastry chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph run this 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 a persimmon rum cake. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

A bowl of pale yellow spaghetti pasta with a fork in it.
Emmer & Rye’s cacio e pepe
Emmer & Rye/Facebook

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