For visitors, the music scene is legendary; more than 250 live music venues offer rock, blues, jazz, hip hop, punk or Latino shows nightly. The Broken Spoke, known as “the last true Texas dance hall,” features great country acts – and guests can also take a Texas Two-Step lesson. The Continental Club has showcased blues, rock and folk music since 1957, earning it the title, “Granddaddy of Austin music venues.” Antone’s, Austin’s “home of the blues,” is where Stevie Ray Vaughan cut his proverbial teeth. Newer stages like those at the Mohawk and 3TEN showcase local acts alongside big-name touring artists.
Looking for more information on Austin TX nightclubs? Check out our club guides below.
Don’t forget – we also have a free mobile app that you can download here. Use the app to see who’s spinning, sign up for guestlists, buy tickets, and book bottle service!
Austin Nightlife FAQ
What are the hottest clubs in Austin?
Austin doesn’t have the “bottle service” style club – the clubs here are more like bars with dance floors. The best clubs in Austin are:
- Summit Rooftop Lounge
- Highland Lounge
- The Continental Club
What are the best EDM clubs in Austin?
The best venues that feature EDM DJs in Austin are: Vulcan Gas Company, Kingdom Austin, Barcelona Austin, and Mohawk.
What are the best hip hop clubs in Austin?
The best clubs that play hip hop and top 40 in Austin include: Concrete Cowboy, The Parish.
What are the best day drinking spots / dayparties in Austin?
The best day drinking spots in Austin include:
- Lamberts Downtown Barbecue
- Russian House
- Odd Duck
- Sour Duck Market
- Holy Roller
- Pool Burger
- Better Half
- Easy Tiger
- Nickel City
- Bouldin Creek Cafe
What part of Austin has the best nightlife?
Want to get down and dirty with the college crowd? Sixth Street is the place to be. Complete with cheap drinks, dancing, music and Greek life galore, this entertainment district is so wild it shuts down street traffic Thursday-Saturday nights.
The East Austin Entertainment District truly embraces the meaning of “keep Austin weird.” This young, hip crowd experiences the sounds, foods and drinks of many cultures in a single night as they strut the streets past graffiti-style murals from food cart to bar to coffee house.
This unique entertainment district is lined with historic houses converted into bars with as much personality as the city itself. You’ll find local brews, great food trucks and rousing games of backyard corn hole. Rainey Street is perfect for a laid-back night of socializing with friends over live music.
As the name suggests, many of these bars and restaurants have been renovated from former warehouses. More mature crowds hang here and live entertainment and good food make for dynamic scenes.
Second Street Entertainment
Second Street boasts large selections of locally owned shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in the heart of downtown. The nightlife is trendy and chic, luxurious and sophisticated; perfect for the cocktail-sipping, up-scale crowd.
Often referred to as “West Sixth,” this district is Sixth Street fun without the college scene. A slightly older crowd sips pricier drinks at trendy bars complete with live music and stunning rooftop views.
South Congress (SoCo)
Revered by locals as “So Co,” this entertainment district gets its funky, hipster flair from its only-in-Austin shopping, live music and cuisine; not to mention some of the most photographed and famous street art in the city.
ATTENTION MUSIC FANATICS: This is your scene. From big-name acts to local newbies, these streets blare with the sounds of live bands. This is where the Live Music Capital of the World® successfully showcases its refreshing appreciation for diversity through sound.
What are the best gay clubs/bars in Austin?
The best LGBTQ friendly nightclubs in Austin:
- Cheer Up Charlie’s: This bright, jovial (as the name suggests), and inclusive space walks the line between bar and nightclub, but let’s call it the latter for the sake of it being the first mentioned. If you only go to one gay bar in Austin, make it this one. Its regular drag acts and live music sets provide endless entertainment for revelers of all sexual orientations. To put it simply: It’s the iconic venue you don’t want to skip.
- Oilcan Harry’s: Additionally, no serious clubber should visit Austin without making an appearance at this always-crowded bar. Inside, you’ll find a small dance floor, a stage that seems to always be occupied by a drag queen, and a genial patio for summer evenings. Oilcan Harry’s is right in the heart of the hip downtown Warehouse District.
Rain on 4th: Out-of-towners might do better with making friends at Rain on 4th, neighbor to Oilcan Harry’s, because while it boasts a similar club vibe, it does so without all the attitude and scene.
- ‘Bout Time II: A bit north of downtown, you’ll find an updated version of the original, now-defunct Bout Time. It isn’t abnormal to find the latest sporting event being broadcasted in this gay club. It’s a popular hangout for Austin’s north side crowd and is also more frequented by the over-40 set than some of the youthful downtown clubs. Expect a lengthy beer list, a happy hour crowd, and themed evenings.
The best LGBTQ friendly bars in Austin:
- Halcyon: Just across the street from Rain is a gay-popular (and hipster-infested) coffeehouse, bar, and lounge that draws a wide mix of folks from all walks of life (gay and straight, that is). It’s a nice place to sip wine or cocktails, nurse a vanilla latte while you type on your laptop, make conversation with erudite locals, or relax at a sidewalk table overlooking the colorful street action.
- Highland Lounge: Although it can get quite clubby at night, downtown Austin’s Highland Lounge errs more on the side of a cocktail bar. It has more space than any other gay bar in the vicinity and that includes a sprawling dance floor and outdoor patio, too.
- The Iron Bear: If you’re a sucker for divey vibes, skip the flashy clubs and head instead to what the locals call the “bears’ lair,” where you can play pool, shoot darts, and drink cheap beers with the beefy types.
- Sellers Underground: Sandwiched between the two most popular gay clubs in town, Sellers Underground is the perfect place to start the evening with a snazzy cocktail before heading to Oilcan Harry’s or Rain.
What time is last call in Austin?
Bars in Austin are also required, per Texas state law, to close at 2am. There are some dance clubs that stay open after that, but they can’t serve alcohol. This means that after last call on 6th Street, thousands of people flood from the bars at once, crowding sidewalks and causing traffic jams.
What time do bars and clubs close in Austin?
Bars usually close around 2 AM. Most clubs close at 2 as well but there are some dance clubs that stay open after 2.
What are the best music festivals in Austin?
The best music festivals in Austin include:
- Austin City Limits
- Old Settler’s
- South by Southwest (SXSW)
Is weed legal in Austin?
Marijuana is effectively decriminalized, but it’s not legal. Cannabis is illegal for both medicinal and recreational use.
Can you drink in public in Austin?
Contrary to popular belief, there is no general statewide prohibition on public consumption of alcohol in the Texas Penal Code. In other words, Texas law allows a person to drink a beer while walking down the street (or while standing in an alleyway) unless an exception applies.
According to the city code, people in Austin can’t carry open alcohol containers through some portions of the city. Oddly enough, these portions consist mostly of the nightlife districts, meaning patrons can’t leave bars with unfinished drinks.