Very shortly after we arrived in Austin, someone gave us a great tip. Find the best happy hours, they said. You can eat on the cheap and still have an opportunity to enjoy a flavorful menu of fantastic foods in some of the city’s best restaurants. So, we are making our way around the city doing just that. Here are 3 of the best happy hours in Austin, where the atmosphere is relaxing, the food is amazing, and the budget won’t take too much of a beating.
The W Hotel in Austin is home to this restaurant called TRACE. I don’t know where it got its name, but if you want to trace (find, discover) a happy place, you can do it here. Sleek and sophisticated. Very, very relaxing. We ordered a cheese board that was incredible, and we also enjoyed a decadent small loaf of bread served with soft and spreadable flavored butters.
Plenty of happy hour drink selections, an appetizer menu like you’d find in the swankiest of spots, and a French-door view of Austin’s 2nd Street district make TRACE worth the drive downtown from anywhere in the city.
Photo by Texas Over Fifty
We’ve been to The Four Seasons for happy hour many times. The food is fantastic, but it’s really the combination of that food and the scenic location that earns this place its wow factor.
Two choices – food from the bar menu inside the Trio restaurant – or sliders from the grill outside. Either way, you’re golden. Happy hour at the Trio is from 5:00 to 7:00, with $5 off the bar food items (the Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Snapper Ceviche are our favorites) and $8 wines by the glass.
Sit outside, and you will be treated to some of Austin’s best live music while you lounge in the comfy outdoor furniture, using your best manners. The reason you have to use your manners is because it’s awfully hard to to resist the temptation to s-p-r-a-w-l out. However, there is a hammock in the trees if you just have to get laid out flat.
Don’t send hammock-selfies to your friends, though. They’ll be jealous wrecks.
Photo by Texas Over Fifty
Vince Young Steakhouse was our first happy hour experience after we got the tip from that other wise couple, and it’s still one of our favorites. We’ve tried almost everything on the happy hour menu, and why not? Everything is $10!
The padded round booths are just the right setting for intimate conversation. We’ve taken lots of our out-of-town guests to Vince Young’s.
This was also where our son-in-law asked if he could marry our daughter! Our server knows us well, and when she saw all the tears, she ran over to make sure we were okay. Next thing we knew, she was coming our way with a champagne toast.
And then, when we were all teary and on a love-high, we stepped outside only to the distinct sound of a horse-drawn carriage. (It’s Austin!) We hailed the driver, got in, and celebrated the momentous occasion with a ride up Congress Avenue. I’m telling you, friends. A lot of things happen in Austin that are just plain storybook.
Really, you can’t beat Vince Young’s. The service is amazing, they remember your name, what you like to order and how you prefer your brisket burger cooked.
Photo courtesy Facebook @VinceYoungSteakhouse