Open the front door of Burnet Road's "working man's bar" and enter a dark dive of canned beer and snapshots of Marilyn Monroe, where Merle Haggard and David Alan Coe are in queue on the jukebox. Poodle Dog's patrons are down-to-earth, and the friendly bartenders and regulars will join you in a beer and likely offer an opinion on the jukebox's next song.
A south Austin icon for cash-only beer, neon signs and pool, The HSL is pure song-writer material. Just ask Slaid Cleaves, or listen to his song about a night down at the lounge. Beer is cheap, music is solid and a tightknit group of regulars abound.
Barfly's is home to pool tables, foosball, arcade games and super loud punk rock playing on the jukebox. It's also home to the Happy Meal (Jagermeister backed by a can of Lone Star) and regular drink specials so cheap they make happy hour irrelevant. A note for the novice: if heading to the patio, take an extra drink, those stairs get treacherous as the night progresses.
Carousel Lounge is at the helm of Austin's themed dive bar collective. Circus-themed murals frame the bar and a very large pink elephant takes center stage. Go for the novelty, stay for the low-key company and local acts. Maybe you'll even get over your fear of clowns.
Rain or shine, G&S Lounge has you covered. The inside is filled with vintage games and free popcorn, and the new(ish) covered patio offers quiet refuge from the pinball patrons. Post up and have a drink. But bring plenty of cash: you shouldn't expect special treatment here.
Situated in a nondescript strip mall at Justin Ln. and Burnet Rd., this Little Nugget will take you back to Christmas Day circa 1970... that is if your traditions included cheap drinks, Ziegenbock on tap and a famed jukebox of yesteryear. Lala's is a prime example that some Austin landmarks never change: the decor and music have been around for decades. And they aren't going anywhere.