Food & Drink

Down and Dirty: Navigating the 17 Best Dive Bars in Austin

Welcome to the dive bar capital of Texas! Austin is home to some of the best dive bars in the state, and we're here to guide you through the best of the best.

Dive bars are a staple of Austin's nightlife scene, offering cheap drinks, laid-back atmospheres, and a sense of community that can't be found at fancier establishments.

These bars may not be the most glamorous or upscale, but they make up for it with their unique charm and character.

From the dimly lit interiors to the jukeboxes blasting classic rock, these bars are a throwback to a simpler time.

But don't let their rough-around-the-edges appearance fool you – these bars are home to some of the most friendly and welcoming people in town.

Whether you're a regular or a first-time visitor, you'll be greeted with open arms and a cold beer.

So grab a friend (or a few), and get ready to explore the best dive bars Austin has to offer.

Whether you're in the mood for a game of pool, some live music, or just a cold beer and good conversation, we've got you covered. Let's dive in!

1. Lala's Little Nugget

Lala's Little Nugget
2207 Justin Ln, Austin, TX 78757 (Google Maps)

Lala's Little Nugget is a classic dive bar with a unique Christmas-themed decor that's up all year round.

The friendly staff serves up a deep cocktail selection and eight beers on draft.

The outdoor patio seating is a great spot to enjoy a drink and take in the festive atmosphere.

Don't miss the big green Santa chair for a fun photo op. This iconic bar is a must-visit spot in the area.

2. Nickel City

Nickel City
1133 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Google Maps)

Nickel City is the perfect dive bar for those looking for a low-key atmosphere and unique drinks.

The bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable, serving up an impressive selection of whiskies and craft cocktails.

The outdoor patio is a nice spot to relax with a drink, and the food truck offers tasty bites to pair with your beverage.

While the bar may have a dive-y appearance, the drinks and vibe are anything but. It's a great spot for a casual night out with friends or a quick after-work drink.

3. The Lost Well

The Lost Well
2421 Webberville Rd, Austin, TX 78702 (Google Maps)

The Lost Well is a dive bar that delivers on the promise of a good time. With cheap drinks and great live music, it's the perfect spot for those who like it up close and personal.

The staff is on point, making everyone feel welcome and the vintage cigarette vending machine adds to the old-school vibe.

The venue has fantastic sound and the booking is right up the alley for music lovers. The patrons are good people, and the atmosphere is everything you'd expect from a cool neighborhood bar.

If you're looking for a place to hang out without the usual 6th street nonsense, then The Lost Well is definitely worth checking out.

4. Workhorse Bar

Workhorse Bar
100 N Loop Blvd E Suite B, Austin, TX 78751 (Google Maps)

Workhorse Bar is a low-key dive bar that's perfect for locals looking for a good time. With 50 taps of great beer options, you won't ever have to worry about running out of choices.

The food is fantastic and reasonably priced, making it a great spot to grab a bite with friends.

The atmosphere is rustic and chic, with tree-stump chairs adding to the overall ambiance. There's a nice patio out back, but seating can be limited inside during peak hours.

Despite the crowds, the staff is friendly and welcoming. If you're looking for a neighborhood bar with a great selection of drinks and food, Workhorse Bar is definitely worth checking out.

5. Back Lot

Back Lot
606 Maiden Ln, Austin, TX 78705 (Google Maps)

Back Lot is the quintessential dive bar that every city needs. With an unassuming exterior and a cozy interior, it's the perfect spot for a laid-back night out with friends.

The bartenders are friendly and attentive, and the drinks are cheap and generously poured.

The bar also features a great selection of local beers on tap and a deli food truck out back. Whether you want to shoot pool, play darts, or just hang out and chat, Back Lot has got you covered.

It's the kind of bar where you can relax and be yourself, and that's why it's a favorite among locals.

6. Mean Eyed Cat

Mean Eyed Cat
1621 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78703 (Google Maps)

Mean Eyed Cat is a dive bar with a Johnny Cash theme that offers indoor and outdoor seating. The decor is eclectic and the staff is friendly and attentive.

They serve a nice selection of beer and wine, and their food menu includes delicious BBQ options.

The atmosphere is laid back and perfect for chilling out and enjoying some good drinks and conversation.

The bar also offers some cool merch that patrons can purchase. Mean Eyed Cat is a great spot to hang out with friends or to unwind after a long day.

7. King Bee

King Bee
1906 E 12th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Google Maps)

King Bee is a dive bar with a laid-back vibe and a cool atmosphere. The bar menu is great, and the staff is fun and helpful.

The back wall has an awesome Satchmo art that adds to the ambiance. The patio is a nice addition to the bar and perfect for those who love to enjoy their drinks outside.

They have a good mix of drink choices, including a huge selection of mezcal. The pizza here is delicious, and the service is quick. The bar also features live music on Sundays and Mondays.

Although the bar is located in a not-so-great neighborhood, the staff is friendly and welcoming. King Bee is a must-visit for those looking for a great dive bar experience.

8. Deep Eddy Cabaret

Deep Eddy Cabaret
2315 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703 (Google Maps)

Deep Eddy Cabaret is a legendary dive bar that transports visitors back to the 1980s.

The bar has a patio and serves good drinks from friendly bartenders, including Zack and Josh. The atmosphere is low-key and the crowd is eclectic.

They have a pool table, jukebox, and big TVs. The bar is a great spot for a night out with friends or a quick drink after paddling on the lake.

This is a classic Austin watering hole that is a must-visit for anyone looking for an authentic dive bar experience.

9. Giddy Ups

Giddy Ups
12010 Menchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78748 (Google Maps)

Giddy Ups is a classic country dive bar with a lively atmosphere and plenty of live music. The small, intimate structure has a spacious outdoor area, perfect for enjoying a cold beer and some good tunes.

The whiskey and bourbon selection is surprisingly diverse, with a mix of well-known brands and local offerings.

The staff is friendly and welcoming, making it easy to feel at home. Giddy Ups is a great neighborhood joint with reasonable prices and a large dog-friendly backyard.

If you're looking for a fun night out with live music, dancing, and good vibes, Giddy Ups is definitely worth checking out.

10. The Hole in the Wall

The Hole In The Wall
2538 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705 (Google Maps)

The Hole in the Wall is a classic dive bar and live music venue that has been around for ages.

With a no-frills atmosphere, strong drinks, and friendly staff, it's the perfect spot to grab a beer and catch some live music. The bar has a separate concert area from the main bar, which is a nice touch.

The outdoor patio is perfect for warm weather and the kitchen serves food until midnight. While the selection of liquor is not great, it doesn't matter when you're having fun.

The Hole in the Wall is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for an authentic Austin experience.

Carousel Lounge
1110 E 52nd St, Austin, TX 78723 (Google Maps)

Carousel Lounge is a must-visit dive bar. With a circus-themed decor, this lounge offers a unique and offbeat vibe that is hard to find elsewhere.

The live music scene is top-notch, and the friendly staff keeps the drinks flowing.

The BYOL policy adds to the charm, and the mixers provided by the bar are reasonably priced.

Whether you're looking for a casual night out with friends or a fun date spot, Carousel Lounge is the perfect destination.

12. Latchkey

Latchkey
1308 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Google Maps)

If you're looking for a chill spot to hang out with friends, Latchkey is worth checking out.

This dive bar has a laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff. The outdoor patio is dog-friendly and has a food truck serving up tasty bites.

Inside, there's a ping pong table and a DJ spinning tunes. The drinks are reasonably priced, and there's a good selection of beer and liquor.

It's a great spot to start your night out or to unwind after a long day.

13. Dirty Bill's

Dirty Bill's
511 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

Dirty Bill's is a small, cozy dive bar that offers a unique and memorable experience.

The bar's decor and crowd create an atmosphere that is both laid-back and rowdy, making it a great place to let loose and have fun.

The drink selection is decent, with a variety of draft beers and American/Irish whiskeys to choose from.

Although the space is limited, the bar service is quick and friendly. Dirty Bill's is definitely worth a visit if you're looking for a dive bar with personality.

14. Better Days

Better Days
714 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

Better Days is the quintessential dive bar that's a must-visit for anyone looking for a laid-back atmosphere and strong drinks.

The bar has a pool table, arcade games, and outdoor seating, making it perfect for a casual night out. The rock soundtrack is excellent, and the friendly bartender and patrons make for a jovial atmosphere.

The bar is dog-friendly, and the staff is welcoming and helpful. Better Days is a great alternative to other bars in the area, with affordable prices and a real bar feel.

It's the perfect spot for anyone looking for a chill night out with friends.

15. Drinks Lounge & Records

Drinks Lounge & Records
2001 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 (Google Maps)

Drinks Lounge & Records is a dive bar with a great vibe and music to match. The staff are friendly and quick to serve, and the food is delicious.

The drinks are reasonably priced and there is a good selection to choose from.

The outdoor seating is shaded and spacious, and there are pool tables and booths inside. The bar also has a small stage for live music and a record store.

The atmosphere is chill and welcoming, making it a great spot for locals to hang out and enjoy a drink with friends.

16. The 04 Lounge

The 04 Lounge
3808 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 (Google Maps)

The 04 Lounge is a classic dive bar that attracts a diverse crowd. The atmosphere is cozy and the prices are reasonable.

The bar has two 8 ft pool tables and a good selection of beer. The jukebox plays great hard rock music.

They also have an outdoor smoking patio and a food trailer. The staff is friendly and the service is good.

If you're in the mood for a no-frills neighborhood beer joint, The 04 Lounge is worth checking out.

17. Tiniest Bar In Texas

Tiniest Bar In Texas
817 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78703 (Google Maps)

Tiniest Bar In Texas is a cozy dive bar that lives up to its name. With a small indoor area and a sprawling outdoor patio, it's the perfect spot to enjoy a cold beer on a warm day.

The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is laid back, making it a great place to unwind after a long day.

They have a good selection of craft beers and cocktails, and the food truck on-site offers tasty bites to go along with your drinks.

Whether you're a local or just passing through, Tiniest Bar In Texas is definitely worth checking out.