For some people, karaoke is a time to sit back and marvel at (or laugh along with) vocally talented friends. For others, it’s a dream scenario come to life to hold a mic and squeeze every note out of a favorite song. Austin has a happenin’ karaoke scene. Even better, the community of karaoke-ers is usually very welcoming, no matter whether you sound like Adele or Tom Waits with a cold.
Karaoke is a perfect outlet to shake off stress built up during the week. Here are a few of Austin’s favorite spots to let loose with a microphone.
Ego’s is sacred to many Austinites. Yes, it is curiously placed in a parking garage underneath an office building. Yes, the drinks are cheap and the flow of performances is constant. Yes, everyone in the joint is usually participating in the karaoke, whether it be dancing, singing, scouring the intensive song-list books for the next crowd pleaser or tapping feet while shooting pool in the back.
I love the energy of this place, and it only builds as the night goes on. Even the bouncer will perform a couple zingers if you stick around long enough.
510 S. Congress Ave. – Facebook
2/ The Highball
The Highball has a LOT going on, in the best way possible. They have events like Cards Against Humanity, Geeks Who Drink quizzes, concerts, private parties–you name it! The Highball also has a more traditional karaoke option, which is to rent one of their seven awesomely-themed rooms by the hour. Each of the rooms comes with its own server, to make sure everyone is fueled up for greatness. Expect an intimate yet uproarious good time.
1120 S. Lamar Blvd. – Website
3/ The Goodnight
Editor’s Note: As of May 2018, The Goodnight on West Anderson Lane has closed. A new location is planned for West Sixth Street.
The Goodnight was designed for your inner-child with adult tastebuds. They have a full menu, including brunch, lunch and dinner (try the lobster skillet mac n’ cheese). This North Austin bar not only offers private karaoke sessions via reservation, but they also have bowling lanes, ping pong, shuffleboard, skeeball, billiards and a fortune-telling Zoltar. What more could you possibly want?
2700 W. Anderson Lane – Website
4/ The Common Interest Karaoke Bar & Grill
The Common Interest is many things in one: sports bar, neighborhood meet-up, place to munch on free popcorn between performances. On Sundays, they offer something called “Karaoke Roulette.” You spin a wheel of music genres and, depending on which space you land on, the karaoke jockey picks a song for you to sing. Obviously, this option is reserved for the very brave! No matter what, you can always just watch or pick your own tune in a reserved private room or the common space.
8440 Burnet Road – Website
5/ Austin Karaoke
Austin Karaoke is for those dedicated individuals who have a list of songs ready to go in the notes app on their phone. It’s an all-ages karaoke lounge that stays open until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Once a BYO establishment, they now request you refrain from doing so. However, they DO serve wine, beer and a variety of seasoned chicken wings.
6800 N. Lamar Blvd. – Website
The good times don’t stop there! The following Austin hangouts have been known to rock with the best of them when it comes to karaoke:
- Hi Tunes Karaoke
- DK Sushi
- The Stardust Club
- The Canary Roost
- Homer’s Bar and Grill
- Nomad Bar
- Top Spin
@TheAustinot wants to know:
What’s your go-to karaoke bar in Austin?