Don’t mess with Texas, or their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Like the rest of the country, Austin is no stranger to Irish revelry on St. Patrick’s Day. Sure, that Jameson whiskey might be served alongside a taco or two, but that’s what makes St. Paddy’s Day in Austin great — a melding of cultures celebrating the day of the Irish.
What to expect on St. Patrick’s Day in Austin? You can certainly find shades of green in dyed beer and shamrock-centric parties throughout the city. But the celebrations are just as diverse and rich in culture as its city. Prefer cocktails to green beer? Or Austin’s celebrated live music scene to Irish bagpipes? Fortunately for you, Austin’s neighborhood bars have every possible option of celebrations covered. No matter who you are or how you like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we can bet that you’ll find Jameson whiskey and a good time. Here’s where to go for St. Paddy’s Day.
If You’re a Cocktail Connoisseur: Seven Grand
At Seven Grand, you’ll find an enormous whiskey selection — with six different varieties of Jameson, including the 18-year limited reserve, among the more than 400 total options — along with craft cocktails and a selection of local beers. You can even join their Whiskey Society, which gives you access to events and talks with producers and distributors, as well as plenty of samples. All for educational purposes, obviously.
Seven Grand; 405 East 7th Street, Downtown Austin; sevengrandaustin.com
If You’re a Nostalgia King: C. Boy’s Heart and Soul
When you think “St. Patrick’s Day,” a bar modeled on American GI watering holes in mid-century Japan might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But hear us out. C. Boy’s has live music seven nights a week. And known fact: Austinites, and the Irish, love music. It’s from the same owner as the old music joint the Continental Club, which gives it some super local credibility for a St. Patrick’s Day that can only be had in ATX. Although the club is known for its R&B and blues, which is maybe less Irish, if there’s one thing that everyone can get behind, it’s a stiff drink — and C. Boy’s has those in spades. Trade your jigs for jive, and don’t forget to check out the swanky upstairs lounge.
C. Boy’s Heart and Soul; 2008 South Congress Avenue, Austin; cboys.com
If You’re a Sports Nut: Little Woodrow’s
Did you know sports still happen on St. Patrick’s Day? At Little Woodrow’s, the hugely popular neighborhood bar shows a ton of sports, with locations throughout Texas, and five in different Austin neighborhoods. They’ll show the start of March Madness on their many flat-screens. Nothing fancy here, so get ready for strong drinks, cold beer, and solid tacos from the One Taco trailer on the patio that’ll fortify you for a long night of fun. If that’s combined with some sports, all the better.
Little Woodrow’s; 520 West 6th Street, Civic District, Austin, littlewoodrows.com
If You’re a Social Butterfly: Easy Tiger
This German-style beer garden has a little something for everyone, so it’s the ideal place to take a big group for St. Paddy’s Day. Non-meat-eaters can chow down on a veggie sausage with beets and lentils, while the carnivores have a plethora of options available. Just for St. Paddy’s, they are serving their corned beef with cabbage and housemade mustard along with an Irish brown bread the onsite artisan bakery upstairs is making just for the occasion (there will be some loaves available to take home as well). Snag one of the ping pong tables, or pull up a seat next to the canal and just watch the madness go by. Before you make your Irish exit for the night, be sure to drink up and order the off-the-menu Irish Goodbye: Jameson whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Maine Root Ginger Beer.
Easy Tiger; 709 East 6th Street, Red River Cultural District, Austin; easytigeraustin.com
If You’re a Traditionalist: Mean Eyed Cat
Can you really call yourself a Texan if you don’t seek out just a tiny bit of country flair during your St. Paddy’s Day traditions? At Mean Eyed Cat, Johnny Cash is king, a 300-year-old Texas oak shades the patio and picnic tables out back, Stubb’s BBQ is served, and the drinks are strong. The bar was built into an old chainsaw repair shop, and the building was later deemed as historic to Austin. Now Mean Eyed Cat is decked out in Cash memorabilia and holds down fort as one of the last true local bars left on Sixth Street.
Mean Eyed Cat; 1621 West 5th Street, Clarksville, Austin; themeaneyedcat.com
If You’re a Homebody: Rhino Room
If your kind of cocktail bar is one where you can wear jeans and still feel at home, then look no further than the Rhino Room. This self-described “classic lounge bar” excels at the laidback-but-trendy aesthetic that Austin has perfected, with exquisitely executed cocktails combined with a beer selection that would make any dive proud. There’s no food, so you’ll want to lay down a good base before heading here for your St. Paddy’s Day drinking. (And isn’t that what breakfast tacos are for?) You’re unlikely to find any green beer here, so if that’s your jam, maybe head a little closer to campus.
Rhino Room, 1012 Eeast 6th Street, Central East Austin, rhinoroomaustin.com