Best Downtown Austin Happy Hours

Best Happy Hours In Austin Downtown

When you work a busy job in downtown Austin, sometimes you feel driven to drink after a long day’s work. Most of our favorite bars these days are on the Eastside, but usually, my friends and I want a drink immediately post-work and don’t want to get in our cars, drive, park, et cetera. By that point, you’ve basically missed the happy hour window.

While downtown Austin is generally less funky and more swanky than boozy pockets of east and south Austin, if you know where to look you can sniff out a great deal on both food and booze every day of the week. There are some prime people-watching opportunities too if you’re into politicians and businessmen boozin’ and schmoozin’.

Are you a fellow downtown Austin happy hour aficionado? Notice any that I’ve missed? Or is something outdated? This list is valid now, but businesses change their specials… if you have anything to add/change drop a comment at the bottom of the post.

SO! First of all, my very favorites… then we’ll move into a list of all the other downtown happy hours, chronologically by start time.


301 E 6th St / Every day 5-6:30pm

Parkside The food here is super solid. You can get a bar steak & frites for like $10 during HH, and it’s GOOD. They also have really, really good ceviche and crab fritters. The cocktail program is good, too. I’m a fan of their champagne cocktails.

  • Food specials: Half off the entire bar food menu, including awesome oysters, various seafood, bar steak
  • Drink Specials: Half off beer and liquor. Mondays are Martini Mondays, discounted martinis all night


301 E 6th St / Every day 5-6:30pm

Backspace Only Red 4%22.pngBackspace is right around the corner from Parkside and also owned by Shawn Cirkiel, which is why its HH is so similar. If Parkside is good for cocktails and seafood, Backspace is equally as good for wine and Italian food. I love their wide variety of dainty, tasty antipasti, and it’s so inexpensive. Good selection of Italian wines and cheap Peronis, too. The space is intimate, cozy, and candlelit. A+ if you can get there in time.

  • Food Specials: Half off all antipasti
  • Drink Specials: Half off beer & wine


415 Colorado / Monday-Friday 4:30-6:30, Sunday all night

What can I say, I just love me some Searsucker. Cheap, heavy pours of wine and really good house infusions, too. Their HH food selection is expansive; there’s something for everyone on this playful menu, from shrimp and grits to sweet & sour calamari to fried chicken lollipops.

  • Food Specials: $4-7 small plates – duck fat fries, beef tartar, sweet & spicy calamari, pork belly
  • Drink Specials: $5 wine, $5 house-infused cocktails, $3 beers


400 Colorado / Every day 4:30-6:30pm

This is the HH of choice when we’re in the mood for some champs… and we’re always in the mood for some champs, let’s be real. As I mentioned above, best $6 Cava in town. The seafood is gorgeous and while the HH prices aren’t extremely low, it’s a good value for the quality and portion you’re getting. And speaking of people-watching, this place is the best… it’s pretty classy so there’s some good cougar flirtin’ to be witnessed.

  • Food Specials: Half off bar appetizers – shrimp cocktail, mussels, calamari, smoked salmon flatbread
  • Drink Specials: Half off cocktails and wines, including my favorite HH sparkling/cava downtown 😉

Benji’s Cantina

716 W. 6th St / Every day 4-7pm

Benji's CantinaBenji’s is on West 6th but for our purposes today we can call it a downtown Austin happy hour – after all, it’s walkable from my work. Benji’s is kind of known for being pricey for Mexican food, but their HH is AWESOME. $4 drinks of all kinds plus $4 snacks of all kinds. I love their guacamole, queso, and salsa duo… especially that creamy green salsa. We call it crack salsa. It’s kind of like TacoDeli’s doña without the incredible spice. Get to Benji’s before 7 pm and you can have yourself a boozy Mexican dinner for under $20. Also, the space is airy and colorful, a beautiful ambiance to enjoy while you’re knocking back your tequila.

  • Food Specials: $4 tacos, queso, guacamole, oysters
  • Drink Specials: $4 margs, sangria, Palomas & red/white house wine

Maiko Sushi

311 W. 6th St / Monday-Friday 3pm-close, Saturday-Sunday 5pm-close

Maiko isn’t the top sushi in Austin or anything, but it’s tasty and somehow it manages to be HAPPY HOUR ALL THE TIME. Like, I don’t get it. But whatever, I’ll take a cheap sushi fix. And a lot of people must feel the same way because lately, this place is PACKED, especially on weekend nights. Go to Maiko hungry because the sushi is more of a draw than their variety of house beers/wines and random drinks, but this isn’t really a dining destination, more of a stopover for a roll or two before your night out. And like I said, if you don’t like to wait in a crowd of bros and girls in tight dresses on a Friday night, this might not be the HH for you. But… SO CHEAP ALL THE TIME.

  • Food Specials: Discounted rolls ($4-9) and all sorts of Japanese bar snacks
  • Drink Specials: A plethora of cheap drinks ranging from $2.75 beers to $7 cocktails, check out the menu link for everything

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