Trying to stick to a budget isn’t always easy, especially when we want to enjoy all the new places we are visiting. Austin, TX is one of our favorite American cities and we have spent a good deal of time there throughout our road journeys. With so many places to see and try, we find ourselves going out a lot more when we are in Austin, which makes finding a good deal essential. Here are some of our favorite happy hour spots in Austin, and since you shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach, these happy hour spotlights feature great food deals.
Vince Young Steakhouse
The best overall deal we found on our “Happy Hour Austin” quest was Vince Young Steakhouse. Those sitting at the bar from 5-7pm get to enjoy some of their signature dishes for a fixed price of $10, which is more than half-off the regular price for many of these items! And, these aren’t the meager, hunger-inducing, bite-sized portions that normally have us steering clear of fancier haunts, these are well-portioned plates for your 10 bucks. We enjoyed a brisket burger with a side of fries, the steak & frites, fried quail with a fennel funnel cake, and roasted bone marrow. All were absolutely amazing and washed down with quality wine at a discount. The bone marrow plate alone was the largest serving we have ever seen at a restaurant. The plate came with two very large portions of bone marrow along with toasted baguette wedges. Definitely the best combined value and quality we have seen in a happy hour offering in Austin.
Close to the Capitol building is an Indian restaurant called Clay Pit, featuring a Monday-to-Friday happy hour from 4-6pm at the bar. With dollar off drinks and ½ off select appetizer, we ordered an assorted spread. Combining their mussels in a tomato curry sauce, tandoori lamb, tandoori broccoli, a soup with a coconut and curry base called Madras soup, and an order of garlic naan, we enjoyed a delicious tapas-style meal. We loved the sauces used in the mussel, broccoli, and lamb dishes, and devoured it as if it were soup. Polishing the plates clean with pieces of naan, we left very happy and full with the total dinner for two, including wine, costing just about $30 bucks, which is pretty darn good for this day & age.
This one isn’t just a “Happy Hour”, but more so, our “Happy Day” spot. On “Sunday Funday”, the Corner Bar on South Lamar features $5 garnish-your-own Bloody Marys, and with every $10+ bar tab, you get a free plate of BBQ from the Brown’s Bar-B-Que food truck, which is parked in front of Corner Bar. The free BBQ starts at 3:00pm and goes until Brown’s runs out. Plus, the Corner Bar has complimentary self-serve popcorn to munch on. They also feature daily happy hour specials in addition to this “Sunday Funday”, but the BBQ and self-garnish Bloody Mary bar were great, and the deal is too good not to be featured. A couple of rounds of Bloody Marys earned us each our “meal ticket”. We divided and conquered to sample Brown’s offerings, building two plates that included brisket, cabbage, corn on the cob, pork ribs and potato salad. For a free meal, the serving portions were generous, and the food was excellent. The meat was very tender and flavorful and the cabbage topped with a sweet maple sauce was fantastic. The Corner Bar is a very laid-back, dog friendly neighborhood joint, and has become one of our favorite ways to relax on Sunday in Austin.
For drink specials with a substantial snack, Chuy’s Tex- Mex on Barton Springs Road is a good option. From 4-7pm on Monday through Friday, Chuy’s features a full list of drink specials with the added bonus of a complimentary nacho station. Guests can help themselves to endless bowls of chips and choose from melted nacho cheese, ground beef, salsa, and jalapeño toppings until the clock strikes 7:00pm. Decidedly a fast-food level nacho spread, but still bottomless, free, comfort food.