Annual pilgrimage

Escape to these 9 cool Austin bars open on Thanksgiving night

Escape to these 9 cool Austin bars open on Thanksgiving night

Nickel City shots
Nickel City will be pouring shots — and lending a hand to neighbors in need — on Thanksgiving Day. Courtesy photo

Somewhere between when the tryptophan wears off and your theatrical cousin breaks into an off-key rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman,” you really start needing a drink. You get restless. You get itchy. You rummage through the cabinets, briefly considering cracking open your mom’s prized Barefoot Bubbly before hearing your phone start to buzz. You are reminded that bars all over Austin are open on Thanksgiving, and salvation — and a shot of Wild Turkey — is only a short Lyft ride away. God rest ye, indeed.

We won’t go so far as saying this Airport Boulevard stalwart is the type of place where everyone knows your name, but it is the kind of bar where strangers will insist they’ve seen you around somewhere. Even if all your friends decided to spend the holiday in Marfa, you’ll still find someone here who will keep you entertained well into the evening.

The Common Interest
Post-dinner boredom inspires us to do many unexpected things — like belting out “From a Distance” to the crowded room at Common Interest. With a menu of salty snacks, inexpensive cocktails, and a friendly clientele, singing at this popular karaoke bar beats watching football every time.

Driskill Bar
Try as you might, you can’t stay in your footie pajamas forever. Ease yourself out of your sweats by putting on your roomiest pair of pants and heading over to the Driskill Bar for a dry martini or an expertly crafted old fashioned. See? Adulting has its pleasures, too.

Firehouse Lounge
You're likely to find several industry folks behind the secret bookcase door at this bar’s namesake hostel. Regardless of whether you're stopping in for a quick daiquiri before dealing with the in-laws or making a night of it, you’ll always have a lively time at Firehouse.

Though we tend to leave Sixth Street to the out-of-towners, Thanksgiving is one of the few nights of the year we can relive our college years without feeling like an old guy at a frat party. Order the Helldorado (and a Lyft), and go to town on this monster punch served in an oversized martini glass, swimming with plastic snakes.

Nickel City
The east side neighborhood bar is getting into the holiday spirit by soliciting donations for Caritas on Thanksgiving Day. Bring three items from the nonprofit's wishlist, and you will receive a mysterious “turkey treat.” Enjoy turkey sliders, gravy backs, and karaoke, too.

Oilcan Harry’s
There’s no family argument that a little Gaga won’t help you forget. Dance off all those calories at this LGBTQ mainstay, or avoid your relatives altogether and dine at OCH’s annual Thanksgiving Day buffet. We assure you no one there will ask when you're going to marry a nice girl.

Russian House
Giant taxidermy bears and nesting matryoshka dolls may not be what you think of as Thanksgiving decorations, but it’s time to give those cornucopias a rest. This holiday, gather your chosen family for house-infused vodkas — and maybe a little caviar — in one of the most unique environments in town.

Workhorse Bar
We know Thanksgiving dinner is supposed to be the best meal of the year, but not everyone has the skills to pull off a Pioneer Woman recipe. If the turkey is burnt and the marshmallows wound up in the Brussels sprouts instead of the yams, head over to this North Loop neighborhood bar for a thick grass-fed beef burger and a local draft beer.