Hard to believe it’s August already, and we all know that the worst of the summer heat is yet to come. But fear not: We have the scoop on some new happy hour alternatives to stay cool with good food and drinks all over Austin. Here's where to eat right now:
This chic SoCo hot spot began serving a weekday happy hour at the bar and on the patio a couple of months ago, but now there's an an extra perk. The Central Standard Cheeseburger —recently named one of Texas Monthly’s 50 Greatest Burgers in Texas — is available for $10 during happy hour from 5 to 7 pm. You can enjoy the juicy burger, which is topped with cremini mushroom butter, peppered bacon, and aged Tillamook cheddar. Other specials include $1 off oysters and select appetizers and half-off cocktails, beers, and wines by the glass to wash it all down.
This stylish downtown restaurant recently started a happy hour at the bar, which offers a different experience from the dinner counter area. From 4 to 6:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday, enjoy $5 glasses of bubbles and $2 oysters, in addition to a snack menu exclusive to the bar. It includes a cheese plate, Korean chili popcorn, and other seasonal dishes. In addition to happy hour, there's also a three-course menu at the counter for $30 per person, Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 6:30 pm.
East Side King
This Asian fusion fave recently launched "Happy Happy Time" at the South Lamar and Liberty Bar locations, available Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 pm. Specials include half portions of tried-and-true favorites, like Karaage ($3.50), crispy fried beets ($2) and Brussels sprouts ($3), and roasted pork belly buns ($3 each), and full portions of Liberty Rice for $2. In addition, the South Lamar location features $3 Kirin, $2 small sake carafes, and $4 large sake carafes.
This high-end East Austin Italian restaurant has a great happy hour with exclusive dishes like the Italian “taco” — Prosciutto San Daniele, pickled onions and salsa verde wrapped in a crispy Parmesan shell — and the toasted farro ice cream sandwich made with chocolate cookies and dulce de leche. Happy hour runs Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 6:30 pm at the bar and on the cozy covered patio. It’s quite affordable, so you can enjoy outstanding fare by executive chef Nicholas Yanes without breaking the bank. To boot, wines by the glass and draft beer are half-off.
Juniper is also featuring a late-night special, with bottles of Lambrusco for $20 on the patio only. “We picked Lambrusco because it’s iconic Italian,” says Yanes. “It’s a unique way to enjoy red wine because of its evanescent nature, and it’s served chilled — which is great for summer. It also has a lower alcohol by volume than most wines, making it a great gathering beverage. We all suffer from the Austin heat so we have it available late-night, after the sun sets, on the patio. It’s the perfect beverage to enjoy after-dark, outside."
Visconti Ristorante and Bar
The luxurious Italian restaurant at Hotel Granduca in West Austin launched a pizza and Peroni summer happy hour at the bar and patio last month. And thanks to overwhelming success, it will be extended through the rest of the year.
Every Sunday through Wednesday from 4 to 7 pm, pizzas are just $9. Choose from classic Margherita; Eggs & Bacon (house-made guanciale, farm egg, arugula, ricotta); Funghi (mushroom ragú, fried sage, crescenza and pecorino cheeses); or Parma (arugula, Prosciutto di Parma, mozzarella, Grana Padano) and pair it with a $4 ice-cold Peroni. If beer is not your thing, you can go for $7 glasses of house white and red wines and prosecco.