It’s a shame that more people aren’t talking about Manor Road. Located in northeast Austin, across I-35 from The University of Texas, these few blocks are packed with shops, bars, bakeries, and restaurants.
Actually, there are over a dozen spots to grab a cold local beer or unique cocktail. Some are classic Austin dive bars, while others are funky joints where you can bring the whole crew. High-end dining options are also available for extraordinary happy hours.
Starting at the 1800 block and heading east, the bars and restaurants below come one after another on Manor Road. It really is a perfect spot for a bar crawl or night out, and it’s easy to tailor your adventure to what you want to eat, drink, or do!
El Chile Café y Cantina
Just a warning, Manor Road is a paradise for those who love authentic Mexican food and drinks. El Chile Café y Cantina is the first stop in this cluster of great Manor Road restaurants and bars. It’s a relaxed Mexican cafe with a large patio.
El Chile is known for puffy tacos, margaritas & a signature red mole sauce. If it’s one of those sunny and hot Austin days, keep cool with a Micheladas, another highlight from the drink menu. Happy hour is every day from 3-6 p.m. with a variety of specials on drinks and beer.
1809 Manor Road – Website
El Sapo Botanas y Burgers
In operation since March 2014, this member of the El Chile family is a Tex-Mex cantina that adds to the liveliness of the street. Here you’ll find cold craft beer, a burger, and a patio: an Austin trifecta.
This converted gas station definitely has charm. The practical use of the outdoor space lets you enjoy being outside without roasting under the hot, unforgiving Texas sun. The colors (similar to El Chile’s) evoke a sense of comfort and ease.
1900 Manor Road – Website
Salty Sow is a wonderful place to go for a special occasion or just a killer happy hour! The American gastropub has a laid-back vibe and a menu full of fantastic eats. The pork belly is by far one of the best things I’ve eaten in Austin. When it comes to drinks, I’m plenty used to flights of craft beer, so Salty Sow’s cocktail flight makes for a nice break.
If you’re coming for happy hour, which is daily from 4:30-6:30 p.m., you can get all of Salty Sow’s signature cocktails, plus beer and wine, for $2 off. Their specials even include a lengthy list of small bite and appetizer options for $6 or less.
1917 Manor Road – Website
If you’re looking to enjoy wine and desserts at an intimate spot, Eastside Cafe is where you’ll want to head. This cozy restaurant is located in a refurbished, bungalow-style house. Fresh food is served alongside an incredible wine selection (on Mondays, bottles of wine are half-off after 4 p.m.).
Eastside Cafe serves brunch, lunch, and dinner with rotating chef’s specials on the menu. Just about everything is made from scratch–even the herbs and veggies are grown on-site.
Be forewarned that the parking lot is small, so you will need to find street parking at busy times. Speaking of which, there is always a wait for Sunday brunch! It’s worth it.
2113 Manor Road – Website
Techo Mezcaleria & Agave Bar
Techo is Manor Road’s hidden gem. The intimate mezcaleria and agave bar is discretely located right above Mi Madre’s Restaurant. And when I say intimate, I mean it. It’s Manor Road’s only rooftop patio, but the bar feels crowded and seating is limited.
The vibe is perfect, and the bartenders are more than helpful. Coming to Techo Mezcaleria, even just for a single shot of mezcal straight or in a drink, is more than worth dealing with the small space. Additionally, this is another romantic spot that belongs on your date night list!
2201 Manor Road – Website
School House Pub
It only took one visit for me to fall in love with this hip and woodsy Manor Road bar that serves fresh, local brews on-tap and fun, school-themed drinks. School House Pub has taken their theme of education and infused it in everything, from the decor to the cocktail names. The beer and wine list is a knock-out, but the real highlight at this spot is the incredible, welcoming vibe and dog-friendly outdoor area.
2207 Manor Road – Website
If you’re doing a bar crawl through Manor Road and find yourself craving breakfast tacos in the late evening, swing by El Chilito. You must try the puffy tortillas; they go best with sangria or Mexican beer.
I recommend visiting El Chilito for happy hour. Monday through Friday from 3-7 p.m., there are $2 Mexi-cans and sangrias, plus $2 off guac, queso, and ceviche.
2219 Manor Road – Website
Haymaker’s TV-lined walls and patio make it the ideal spot for sports enthusiasts. Both the food (burgers and comfort food, such as poutine!) and drinks are delicious.
Plus, there’s plenty of room at Haymaker, inside and out. So bring your big group of friends here for local craft brews or good, cheap margaritas.
2310 Manor Road | Website
Butterfly Bar at The Vortex
One of the coolest bars you’ll find in northeast Austin is Butterfly Bar, part of The Vortex theatre. The interior is cozy and inviting, but you’ll most likely want to spend time hanging out in the spacious outdoor area.
There’s a great Italian food truck on-site called Patrizi’s, and occasionally there’s live music to enjoy while you sip on a specialty cocktail. The overall vibe of Butterfly Bar makes it one of the top date night spots in Austin.
2307 Manor Road | Website
At the east end of this cluster of Manor Road bars and restaurants, Dai Due is a place where the farmers’ market meets the butcher shop. Grabbing brunch or lunch here, rather than dinner, will be less expensive, but just as full of farm-fresh ingredients.
The drink menu at Dai Due is a slim selection of housemade sodas and aguas frescas. The wine list, on the other hand, is long and Texas-based. Their beers are all local or made nearby.
2406 Manor Road – Website
Other Manor Road Notables
- Hoover’s Cooking – Home-stye menu at one of Austin’s oldest restaurants (2002 Manor Road)
- Thunderbird Coffee – Get your caffeine fix and enjoy the large outdoor patio (2200 Manor Road)
- Mi Madre’s – One of Austin’s classic breakfast taco joints (2201 Manor Road)
- Unit-D Pizzeria – Order a pie, especially good when paired with happy hour pricing (2406 Manor Road)
@bigwrldsmallgrl wants to know:
Where’s your favorite place to grab a drink or bite to eat on Manor Road?
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