With restaurants and bars opening – what seems like daily – planning a night out and deciding where to go can almost be stress inducing. Fear not! We, at Access ATX, have an obsession with all things Austin and have organized what we feel (in our unbiased opinion) is a stellar way to spend a night out in downtown.
First things first – pre dinner cocktails! After all, a complete night out must start off the right way. What better place to begin the night than a speakeasy. Worry not, passwords are not necessary to gain entry to Austin’s newest cocktail hideaway. Opened by the owners of the Austin staple, Buenos Aires Café Este on E 6th Street, the Milonga Room (located below the restaurant) will transport you to a 1920’s Argentina. Order the house ‘hesperidina’, a classic Argentinean aperitif with a unique herbal orange flavor. While you enjoy your cocktail take in the eclectic décor, spirited music and sneak a peek at Argentinean films of the past showcased on a rustic wall. Although it is tempting to spend you entire night within the walls of this paragon, some of Austin’s most enticing eats await!
Let’s head east for one of the best illustrations of how Austin’s food scene has grown to include distinctly delectable and diverse cuisine. Located just a few short minutes from downtown’s beaten path, Justine’s Brasserie offers French dining – rich with character and authenticity. As you pass the neon signs and gated entrance you will, once again, feel transported to another place with rich décor and impeccable lighting courtesy of vintage chandeliers. Upon entry, blues music and divine smells will greet you. Le menu features palatable offerings that are sure to please. Order the classic Steak Frites, the Mussels (Moules Frites) or select a dish from their daily ‘blackboard’ specials. As your dining experience wraps up, let’s head back to the heart of downtown Austin where there is a tune for every song.
A night or day out in Austin must include music! In this city our thriving music scene is everywhere – dive bars, honky tonks saloons and numerous venues that showcase everything from big-name acts to country singers and jazz crooners. Our pick is a spot that has been a bucket-list stage for music lovers for generations since 1957. The self-proclaimed “Granddaddy of All Local Music Venues”, The Continental Club, is located in the heart of the famed South Congress Avenue. This no-frills venue is known to be frequented by visiting celebs so keep an eye out for a recognizable face. If you want to escape the crowds in the main room head upstairs to the Continental Gallery for more relaxed, conversational listening. This may be where the night ends for you, but if you are like us – a great night out must end on a sweet note.
If the night’s experiences have left you craving the sweeter things in life head to Nightcap, a dessert restaurant tucked in to West 6th Street. Open until midnight six days a week, this joint caters to those of us with an incurable sweet tooth. Order the ginger snap cookies with a coconut key lime cream, sample the olive oil cake with charred apricot or savor the Elvis Brownie served with sour ice cream – you will be tempted to order seconds!
On any given night in downtown Austin, you can encounter the spectacular, the eclectic and the weird. Whether you follow our ‘night out’ guide or the city takes you in another direction you are sure have an experience uniquely Austin.