We’re entering the few cold(ish) months of the year here in Austin. So what are we to do when it’s too chilly to kayak on Lady Bird Lake and we’ll only jump into frigid Barton Springs after losing a bet?
Here’s one guy’s solution: Grab a friend or 10 and head to your favorite sports bar. Below is a list of my five central Austin recommendations.
1/ Lavaca Street Bar
Lavaca Street Bar is my favorite sports bar in Austin. What’s not to like? Friendly staff, ample seating, and TV screens everywhere. And even though it’s in the heart of downtown, this local establishment recently opened an additional outside patio with a bar, TVs, and tables to boot. When it’s not too cold (and it rarely is), this is an amazing place to watch the game.
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And then there’s the food. Turf N’ Surf Po Boy serves fresh food from a window inside the bar, and you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. I usually end up ordering the Buffalo chicken tender basket, which is big enough to fill three hungry guys (or one Jonas).
Finally, there’s my favorite pop-a-shot machine in the city. Oh, me? My high score is 91. Ladies, call me.
405 Lavaca St. – Website
2/ Revelry Kitchen + Bar
My local sports bar on the east side happens to have indoor and outdoor seating, plentiful TVs, and a stellar brunch to accompany your weekend watching. Yes, I spend a lot of time at Revelry Kitchen + Bar, and I recommend you do, too. I watched my Red Sox win another World Series here, so it holds a special place in my heart.
Revelry offers seasonal cocktails, an extensive beer list, and happy hour every weeknight. I’ve been known to take my laptop here and do work while watching the game. I like to park myself on an outside picnic table and get the creative juices flowing with some adult beverages. If you’re hungry, I recommend the lollipop chicken wings (new flavors coming soon!), burger, and grilled chicken sandwich.
1410 E. Sixth St. – Website
➡️ Keep reading: Cocktails, Bar Food, and Brunch at Revelry Kitchen + Bar on East Sixth
3/ EastSide Tavern
My other go-to sports bar on the east side is EastSide Tavern. I love the diversity of this place. The food is great, especially the barbecue and the burger. Oh, you want a lot of barbecue? Try the all-you-can-eat deal on Sunday.
The brunch is delicious if you’re in the mood for mimosas. Oh, you want a lot of mimosas? Yes, EastSide Tavern offers bottomless. Speaking of drinks, they have frosé here, which I’m told is an important value-add. Yup! This place has Jonas’ bottomless stamps of approval.
1510 E. Cesar Chavez – Website
➡️ Keep reading: Leap Into Action With Austin Sports & Social Club
4/ The Tavern
The Tavern is an iconic sports bar known for its food and history. It opened in 1912 as a grocery store, but has been a bar since 1933. Somewhere along the way, it made its money as a brothel, but don’t let that take away from the charm. It’s also supposedly haunted, but again, just relax and enjoy the game(s).
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I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on the food. First, the burger is fantastic–one of the best in town. Second, everything else is really good. I recommend the turkey club sandwich and the nachos.
922 W. 12th St. – Website
➡️ Keep reading: Best Bars for Watching Out of Town Sports in Austin
5/ 8 Track
One of the hottest new bars in Austin is 8 Track. The indoor seating surrounds a 360-degree bar, and the outside is full of picnic tables. Needless to say, TVs are everywhere you look–inside and outside. This place is perfect for large parties and big game viewing.
Want to play your own game during halftime? The options are plentiful: Connect 4, giant Jenga, pop-a-shot, pinball, ping-pong, and a form of air hockey that goes by the name of Boom-A-Rang. There’s even tether ball out front. Yes, it’s true what you heard…I was the tether ball king of summer camp for four years straight. Still, I try not to let it get to my head.
With all these games, you might work up in appetite. On my recent visit, I learned it’s good to be hungry at a place like this. I tried the black bean falafel bowl (a combination of health and heat) and the Korean hot chicken sandwich. Both were delicious. And remember, I have high standards for hot chicken sandwiches.
2805 Manor Road – Website
➡️ Keep reading: Guide to Manor Road’s Best Bars and Restaurants
@theAustinot wants to know:
Where’s your favorite place to watch the game?