Banger’s Sausage House
and Beer Garden
79 Rainey Street
This historic red house is one of the most popular spots in the neighborhood for a cold beer and juicy bratwurst. Diners pack in at picnic tables spread out under strings of twinkling lights. There are over 100 brews on tap, as well as regular music performances and the occasional crawfish boil or pig roast.
609 Davis Street
Housed in a 1920s bungalow, Clive was one st bars to hit Rainey Street. Tables dot the wood-paneled interior and sprawling patio, where patrons sip cocktails and local beers such as Fireman’s 4 and 512 IPA. Also on the grounds: a small stone dwelling, Bar Ilegal, devoted entirely to small-batch mescals (open Friday and Saturday nights).
Alta’s Cafe and
Congress Avenue Kayak
74 Trinity Street
A walk along Lady Bird Lake to this waterfront cafe will soon be a part of your morning routine. The coffee shop and wine bar is a purveyor of local brands — you’ll find pastries by Cake and Spoon Bakery and breakfast tacos from Tacodeli — as well as expertly crafted lattes and smoothies. Next door, head out on the lake with a kayak or standup paddle board from Congress Avenue Kayak.
The Mexican American
600 River Street
Architect Teodoro Gonzalez de is behind the contemporary design of this Austin institution, dedicated to Mexican American and Latino arts and culture. Here, there are two galleries with rotating exhibits from all over the U.S. and Latin America (admission is free). The calendar is also packed with events, ranging from book readings and dance performances to monthly Mexican film screenings, many of which take place in the center’s lakefront courtyard. Best of all, the center and its adjoining lots are city-protected parkland, so the view is here to stay.
Hotel Van Zandt
605 Davis Street
Slate brick archways give this hotel’s interiors —designed by New York-based firm MARKZEFF, also behind 70 Rainey — a slick urban look, and downstairs living rooms have plenty of conversational corners thanks to fireplaces and furnishings by Austin-based Four Hands. The fourth floor has also become a local watering hole: Geraldine’s restaurant (named for a guinea hen that used to roam the Rainey Street neighborhood) serves cocktails and seasonal plates; up-and-coming musicians play nightly.
Lady Bird Hike
and Bike Trail
Natural beauty is at your front door – go for a jog around Lady Bird Lake, or down to Waller Creek and Congress Avenue Kayak for a paddle.
43 Rainey Street
Walking into Roar feels like stepping into your fabulous friend’s house: It’s stylish and friendly, sophisticated and comfortable. Owner Rory McNeill has attracted some of the best independent stylists in the city, all of whom are experts in men and women’s hair, from classic cuts to balayage and creative color.
Royal Blue Grocery
51 Rainey Street
Not only is this boutique grocery a convenient, urban-minded stop for a fresh salad or made-to-order sandwich, it also has plenty of cocktail party essentials. Shelves of cheeses, chocolates, and cut flowers, as well as local chips and salsas (this is Texas, after all). There’s also a generous beer and wine collection.