Try spending a weekend in Austin without spotting a bachelor party romping around South Congress, Rainey, or West 6th. Boys are dusting off their boots and taking the town by storm, and rather than hate on it like some cynical Austinites, I’m here to give my take on the best bachelor weekend (food and drink-wise) by type of guy, plus answering some most requested recs. Why am I, a gal that’s been a bridesmaid 17 times and attended countless bachelorette parties, someone that can speak to a BACHELOR party? Well, because y’all all ask me, and I know what kind of party you are looking for.
A cold plunge is the best medicine to relieve your hangover, and there’s no better spot than Barton Springs—swimming here is like a baptism into Austin. Throw yourself in the 70 degree water to breathe some life back into you before refueling with carbs. For a healthier hangover brunch pre or post dip, head to Better Half where you can double fist really good coffee and a cocktail. Not into fancy? Tacodeli will set things right with a no-fail, generic tacos and their Doña salsa if you can handle it (Choose it over Torchy’s).
If you’re new to Texas, or just a BBQ fan-boy, don’t let your crew finish the weekend without a taste of Texas BBQ.
LORO, the smash-up between renowned Franklin’s BBQ chef, Aaron Franklin, and Uchi chef, Tyson Cole, is enjoyable day or night, and best for folks who prefer to enjoy their BBQ with fork and knife and no baked beans or white bread. You can roll right up, have nice cocktails like a frozen mango sake, and order more composed dishes and sandwiches with an Asian flare, or opt for meat plates like: Smoked Turkey Breast, Smoked Beef Brisket (after 4 PM), and Full Baby Back Duroc Pork Ribs (Sunday & Monday after 4 PM)
Leroy & Lewis is an award-winning and humble food-truck set-up, great if you’re in a hurry or down South because you rarely have to wait in a long line like at Terry Black’s or Franklin’s.
On the east side? Another food-truck, Rollin’ Smoke brings the heat with its crispy quesataco (Sundays only!)
On A Boat
Rent a boat from Float On or Austin Boat Rentals, who will even pack a Yeti and Ice for you. Ask your driver to take you by the 360 bridge for a photo opp and party cove, where people dance and swim with fellow bachelors and bachelorettes. Make sure to book early and it’s still fun even if you’re not in the dead of summer. (When most people say lake, they mean Lake Austin. Lake Travis is beautiful, but unless you’re wanting a 45 min Uber ride each way, stay close to home). I also love a good sunset boat ride, so if you book later in the afternoon, it’s all good because the sun stays out later here in the summer.
Before and/or after, a Texas Tea at Abel’s on the Lake is a crowd-pleaser that might bring back memories of your college days. Let’s talk about what a Texas Tea is: it’s a Texas rendition of a Long Island Iced Tea made with vodka, gin, rum, triple sec, soda water, sour, and tequila—there’s a limit to 2 for a reason.
Definitely advise you don’t go on an empty stomach, and tacos make for sturdy sustenance. Depending on where you’re staying, here are some options from my top taco spot list:
If you have a DD, or are wanting a day-trip, there are some stellar breweries/distilleries a stone’s throw away from Austin.
I love this distillery, their Sotol cocktails, and outdoor patio with a couple of food trucks. If you don’t know what sotol is, it’s ok. I guess I’ll tell you—it’s a distilled spirit from wild-harvested sotol plants native to Mexico—like a distant cousin of tequila and mezcal with a more botanical flavor profile.
This brewery set on 165 acres of farmland is a dreamland if any of the guys are obsessed with beer. Head out earlier in the day because it gets crowded.
If your crew is more into spirits, Treaty Oak in Dripping Springs serves their own whiskey and sister-brand Waterloo Gin.
For a beer in town:
“What can I get catered / find a private chef?”
An Omakase experience that’s really good and easy to set-up. As long as you have an Airbnb, you can have an at-home sushi experience. Chef John Gocong used to work at Uchi and creates a menu catered to you including salad, nigiri, and torched salmon, plus he’ll set up a bar with great cocktails. Bookable online!
Private Chef via Tivity
My friend Zach started this company for booking a private chef. It’s a must if you have some chefs in the crew or are looking for an activity. You tell Tivity what you want, what style of dining, and they pair you with a chef and set it up at your house!
Place an order in advance and pick-up at their east side location, they have amazing, juicy turkey, mac and cheese, and a ‘wet’ brisket.
If you’re staying more central, Terry Black’s is the OG BBQ from Lockhart. Terry’s twin sons opened up the Austin shop and they make the best, gigantic beef ribs, smoky brisket, and corn muffins. The line is usually long, so it’s good to pick up to-go.
The most popular spot in Austin (nominated for a James Beard) where people wait in line for hours, but with a minimum order of 5 lbs of meat, you can order ahead. It’s the juiciest and richest option.
If you want a lot of sides. I’d pick Terry Black’s.
For the Laid Back Bachelor
If your buddy is a no-nonsense guy who called his pals together for the hangs and good clean fun, try these:
Matt’s El Rancho for down and dirty Tex-Mex. There’s nothing bougie about it and even though the building seems to go on forever, you might have to wait. They just celebrated 70 years in Austin, and it’s a site to see. Make sure to get a frozen marg, fajita nachos, and enchilada plates.
Fresa’s is modern Mexican, but still casual, with a spacious outdoor patio with misters and fans. I love the queso here, their brussels sprouts and sides, plus their signature rotisserie chicken meals are a filling and economic meal to share.
If you’re out on Mexican food, or want to get pizza at the house, Home Slice is a classic with NY-style slices and locations north and south.
The infamous Ramen Tatsu-ya graced us with Kemuri Tatsu-ya chill izakaya (a casual Japanese bar) serving meat-centric shareable dishes influenced by Japanese and Texan cuisines. The flavor pairings are so creative, and it’s always fun to share a bunch of plates.
For the LA Bachelor
Comedor is an upscale Mexican restaurant right in the heart of downtown with Chef Phillip Spear at the helm. The space has beautifully tall ceilings designed by a famous Seattle architect and the outdoor patio reminds me of a mix of Mexico City and LA. They serve a variety of moles; Smoked Tuna, Octopus, Shrimp Tostada, Salsa Matcha; and the Mushroom Quesadilla is one of the best in town. The most popular dish is the build-your-own bone marrow tacos, and the Gremolata is another hands-on dish—you can pour tequila in the bones and take a shot! For the heavy hitters, try the Whole Ribeye and NY Strip. And it goes without saying, but they have inventive cocktails and an extensive mezcal and tequila list.
Walk along E 6th, bar hop, and get all different types of music in a few blocks:
- Hotel Vegas
- Latchkey – has really good DJs Friday or Sat
- Nickel City – if you don’t want to listen to music. It feels like a dive bar but with really good cocktails. Order the Del Ray with tater tots and sliders if you need to keep snacking.
- Outer Heaven – Get wild and sweaty on the dance floor
For the New York City Bachelor
Eberly is also home to the Cedar Tavern, which has some NYC history the big city visitors would appreciate—it was a well-known bar in NYC moved locations around the city until the the owners of Stubb’s brought it to Austin. Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix used to play here, so a lot of famous people will come to town like Bill Murray just to see its reincarnation (it’s pure mahogany wood and was shipped in pieces and put back together here!) It’s a hard act to follow, but Eberly is another showstopper. People get dressed up to go here and good news for you, there are a lot of women sitting in the sexy, navy booths and co-ed bathrooms.The chef used to work at Barbuto in NYC and makes rich, flavorful dishes like Japanese milk rolls, grilled octopus, rigatoni, pomodoro, short ribs.
If you want a more secluded dinner experience, the Private Room at Jeffrey’s (in a cool apartment above the restaurant) fits a big group and you can dine on a family style meal with a personal record player and bartender, and servers dressed to the nines in coattails.
A smaller group can sit in the partially secluded wine room in the restaurant called Napoleon Room. I recommend the King crab and avocado toast to start, the Hamachi Carpaccio and light popovers, plus they make all types of meats from Duck to seafood risotto to any kind of steak. See if they’ll let you order the Bar Burger with the Steak Cut Fries to cheers with your martini.
A live-fire restaurant where the smoky smell greets you at the front door. You can see the chefs in the kitchen, and they’ll bring you the food and tell you what and how they made it.
I’d order the homemade bread and beef tartare to start and the scallops with beef tallow is one of my fave dishes in all of Austin
West 6th St.
The new rendition of Dirty 6th that can be defined by blocks of DJs, loud music, wannabe clubs, and sports bars. I don’t come here often, but I like Dirty Bill’s because they have music videos playing in the background, and it’s a fun place to dance (on the table).
If you find yourself here and are not a party animal, Little Woodrow’s is a safe stop to grab a beer and watch a game.
TenTen, the sushi restaurant on West 6th and one of the owners used to work in Vegas, so it feels club-like. The menu has nigiri, sashimi, and larger plates too like a Wagyu Tenderloin, plus a unique Lychee Martini.
Also on West 6th St., Mayfair is one of the only clubs that does bottle service, so if that’s your vibe, check the DJ schedule and snag your table.
For the Texas Man
If you love tacos and want a nicer restaurant, Suerte is a solid east side spot .The Suadero Tacos made with ‘black magic oil’ are a fave, the goat barbacoa is melt-in-your-mouth amazing, and they have a long list of tequila and mezcal to try. The best way to succeed here is sharing a bunch of plates.
A modern and non-stuffy Italian steakhouse downtown with the best garlic bread I’ve ever had in my life. It’s so good, I ordered it for dessert, too. The menu is pretty big, so you can try all kinds of dishes and share—homemade pasta, premium cuts of beef, octopus a la plancha are a few highlights.This can be a hard reservation to snag so call and plan ahead.
You might look at the menu and have no idea what any of the ingredients are, but the chef, Bryce Gilmore, has been nominated for the James Beard Award, and can be trusted. He serves thoughtful and creative food pairings you might have thought you never liked. The menu changes regularly and is fairly select, so you can pretty much order everything! I’ve had fried kale beignets, ceviche, whole fish, and memorable cocktails here. It’s a pretty casual atmosphere and you can easily fit in here.
Head to Bangers if you’re not into crazy vibes or are feeling more chill.
And if you’re looking to leave Rainey, Sahara Lounge’s Africa Night on Saturday is one of the most diverse crowds, and the dance floor feels like a house party.
My Stomping Grounds — South Congress
The Gallery at the Continental Club – The upstairs feels like a living room, a little more intimate than the main area downstairs.
Ego’s Karaoke Bar – Get there on the earlier side, then continue on up S. Congress
C-Boy’s is my absolute favorite music club to hear everything from up-and-coming performers to jazz and rock—Black Pumas and Sir Woman are some local faves I’ve seen here.
Sagebrush is not on the main drag of S. Congress, but it’s close by, and it’s a refreshing change of pace—a down home honky tonk with live music and pool tables.