I love my drinks, but I also love having a bank account not in the negatives. Thankfully, these dive bars are all authentically Austin and reasonably priced.
G&S Lounge - I may be biased, because this is my Kickball Team's post-game hangout. No frills, but tons of old arcade games and a ton of taps and bottles to choose from. Inside are a bunch of vintage video games (even a Zoltar booth!) and outside is a small patio. The owner is a touch ornery, but warms up after a while and has even been known to pull out the grill and feed patrons from time to time. His two ancient dogs roam the bar and are adorable and friendly.
2420 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704
Lala's - It's a Christmas-themed bar. It has cheap drinks. Do you really need any other reason to check it out? With temps in Austin often reaching 100+, it's great to sneak in and have some sips at a place that reminds you of Christmas all year round.
2207 Justin Ln
Austin, TX 78757
Deep Eddy Cabaret - Close to, but far enough away from 6th street is this family-owned bar that's been around since 1951. Simple, cash-only, a pool table, and full of regulars. This is the place to sit and chat with friends when you don't feel like dealing with the crush of downtown.
Deep Eddy Cabaret
2315 Lake Austin Blvd
Austin, TX 78703
Barfly's - "Our drinks are cheap, so you don't have to be" is their slogan, which means this is definitely my kind of place. Laid back, cheap drinks, heavy pours, and what is supposedly the best jukebox in town. Pool, a patio, you really couldn't ask for much more.
5420 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78751
MugShots - As more and more people realize how amazing our city is, the prices of drinks downtowns inches ever higher. That's why it's so great to have a dive bar right on 7th Street that won't break the bank! 50 beers to choose from, as well as heavily poured wells make this a great spot to get the ambiance of downtown without the cost of a night on Dirty 6. Plus, it's housed in one of Austin's oldest buildings, so you know it's got class.
407 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78701
The Grand - Come here on any night of the week and you're likely to find a handful of ColdTowne Theater performers unwinding after a show (myself included!). The neon sign perpetually has at least one letter burnt out, and the pool tables that take up 75% of the large, open space are well-worn. Specials range from the happy-hour pricing of $2 for cocktails, and the post-happy-hour pricing of $4 for mini pitchers. Various music acts play here as well, and you can order a pizza that really only tastes delicious after a few of those $4 pitchers.
The Grand-Social Club and Billiards Room
4631 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78751
Ego's - The karaoke stage alone is enough for me to keep coming back to this little corner of South Congress. Sign up early though, as the lineup gets packed rather quickly. Drinks are reasonable and there's a big enough selection for anyone to enjoy--from dirt-cheap well drinks and beers to the fancier top shelf option or two. And it even has its own parking!
510 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
Nasty's - It's close enough to the UT campus that you'll have to shoulder through students but hey, students need cheap beer more than anyone, right? Tons of craft beers on tap, pool tables, darts, a patio--everything you need to watch the game and hang out with your frat bros.
606 Maiden Lane
Austin, TX 78705
Carousel Lounge - When you were little, you dragged your parents to Chuck E Cheese's for the fun atmosphere and overpriced pizza. As an adult, you have it even better--because going to this circus-themed bar is like reliving your childhood but WITHOUT the over-priced libations. And the music is worlds better than an animatronic rat, but a large pink elephant does loom over the performers. Like a true dive bar, it's cash-only, so come prepared.
1110 E 52nd St
Austin, TX 78723
Where is your favorite dive bar in town? Did I miss a good one? Let me know in the comments!