If you’re visiting Austin or just don’t want to show up to your favorite bar only to find it closed having not survived the pandemic (RIP, Hangar Lounge), we have dug up the top dozen 6th Street bars that are still worth hitting up.

First, you should know that 6th Street in Austin is broken up into three areas – Dirty 6th (which is considered the original 6th) is everything east of Congress Ave and west of IH35, then East Sixth is everything east of that, and West Sixth is (you guessed it) everything west.

Each has its own downtown Austin vibe – Dirty Sixth is where you’ll enjoy live music and probably get a little sloppy, East 6th is more hipstery and chill, and West 6th is for popped collars and Tesla drivers.

Pick a vibe and get goin’ y’all!

Dirty 6th Street

1. The Jackalope

Although they’ve been voted as the “Best. Ever. Burger. Ever.” by Food Network’s Alex Guarnaschelli, at its core, it’s a dive bar.

It’s in the historic part of dirty 6th and offers great music, a back patio filled with picnic tables, and enough fun for a chill night OR a bachelorette group.

2. Firehouse Lounge

Their full name is “Firehouse Hostel & Lounge,” because guess what? It’s not just a lounge, it’s also an international hostel.

This speakeasy is a quiet little escape from the chaos of 6th street, and they’re best known for quality cocktails and stellar service (neither of which 6th is exactly famous for).

3. Casino El Camino

Although not an actual casino, come here if you’re into weird punk rock, pool tables, and amazing burgers. Yes, another burger joint slash bar, we like beef in these parts, okay!?

4. Maggie Mae’s

This Austin classic is temporarily closed for renovations, and they’ve expanded into a second location, so count on Maggie Mae’s to be around for another generation.

For decades, it’s been an Austin staple, a huge venue with live music in one area, sports blasting in another, and yet a rooftop DJ, it’s wild. There are rare Gibson guitars on display, and Robert Hurst paintings alongside Eddie Kramer photographs depicting music’s finest.

Music lovers already know about this one, even if they’ve only visited Austin briefly.

5. Midnight Cowboy

Now a famous cocktail bar, Midnight Cowboy is actually one of the oldest speakeasies in Austin, formerly a brothel (we mean “massage parlor” (or “modeling agency”)) until 2012.

Since then they’ve remodeled to be more historically accurate, with prohibition-era decor, a secret entrance, and ghosts. Yes, ghosts. Legit ghosts – this place is haunted af.

(BONUS bar that isn’t really a bar) Esther’s Follies

When you think of the best bars on 6th street in Austin, you may not think of a wacky comedy theater, and you might not even know they’re still around.

They closed in March 2020, and everyone online lamented, but they reopened in the summer of 2022 and are one of the best ways to start a night downtown!

East 6th Street

1. The Grackle

This place is filled to the brim with a sh*tty hipster attitude yet somehow actually has good service. Everything’s a little scuffed up and you’d never mistake The Grackle as a corporate chain.

The basement feel includes darts, pool, games, and so many whiskey options, you might actually drown in ‘em.

2. Violet Crown Social Club

Cheap chill night alert! This place is famous for inexpensive drinks (“our drinks are cheap so you don’t have to be!”) and the amazing food truck catering to your munchies right out front.

You can spread out here, and the booths are actually pretty comfy. We like this one for a cool down after dirty 6th.

3. Whisler’s

Y’all, they have a mezcal bar upstairs and a food truck out back, what more could you want?

They also have tons of really creative cocktails, creative decor, and easily some of the most photogenic drinks on the east side.

West 6th Street

1. Parlor & Yard

Their outdoor area is astroturfed and filled with fun games like corn hole and ping pong – it’s even heated in the winters, but more importantly they have fantastic drinks, your favorite sports on the tv, Brooklyn Pie Co inside serving pizza, and a relaxed vibe.

2. Green Light Social

Hey 90s babies, if you’ve ever wanted to drink an adult Capri-Sun in a pouch, this is your dream spot. Mix in downtown views, good music you can actually dance to, a smaller bar on the back patio for fast drinks, and you’ve got a fun night.

3. Kung Fu Saloon

Skeeball, basketball, foosball, and vintage video games, this place has everything your inner kid needs to have a good time. Play Jenga or giant connect four on the patio, but their alcohol game is strong (try the sake bombs)!

Sixth Street is famous for nightlife, but the vibe is extremely different depending on what end you visit. So bring your best friends, favorite credit card, and head down to the historic area for a memorable night – maybe we’ll see y’all there!