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Everything You Need to Know about Austin’s Entertainment Districts

Everything You Need to Know about Austin’s Entertainment Districts

Austin offers a diverse variety of entertainment. From nightclubs to high-end shopping to family-friendly events, there is something for everyone in Austin.

We explore some of Austin’s most celebrated entertainment districts, highlighting local attractions. Whether you have a passion for the opera or artisan beer, Austin presents a myriad of venues and annual events to keep visitors entertained.

Northwest Austin

Northwest Austin presents a variety of shopping venues, nightlife and dining experiences.

The Domain is a walkable outdoor shopping district. It features designer retail outlets as well as bespoke boutiques, with restaurants offering an assortment of the world’s finest cuisines. The Arboretum draws families from across Austin and beyond, with its family-friendly events, high-end shopping, and multicultural restaurants.

Austin Arboretum
Austin Arboretum | BrandonLord | Flickr

Warehouse District

The Warehouse District once stored the provisions and building materials needed to settle a growing frontier town. Today, it boasts some of Austin’s most popular clubs and restaurants. With its imposing brick buildings, the Warehouse District is one of Austin’s most popular eating and entertainment districts.

Lambert’s Barbecue is housed within one of Austin’s oldest brick buildings: a warehouse that dates back to the 1800s. The Four Seasons Hotel perches on the riverbank at the Warehouse District’s southern edge. It is conveniently located near the Convention Center, which receives thousands of visitors each week.

Sixth Street

This vibrant area, with its thriving array of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, is popular with the locals. Highlights include the Flamingo Cantina entertainment venue, which hosts world music acts and reggae performances, its red, yellow and green décor imparting a lively Jamaican theme.

The Driskill Hotel, established in 1996, is an iconic Austin venue. B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub and Restaurant is the perfect place to experience a pint of velvety Guinness. For those seeking a more refined experience, the candlelight and intimate ambiance of Chez Nous is the ideal setting to enjoy classic French cuisine.

Rainey Street

With bars residing in converted craftsman houses, their patios festooned with fairy lights, Rainey Street’s homey ambiance draws both locals and visitors in equal numbers.

Half Step’s sweeping patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a specialty cocktail. The venue also stages live music. Craft Pride are purveyors of some of the finest Texas-brewed craft beer. Its selection includes offerings from favorite local breweries like Real Ale and Austin Beerworks.

The G’Raj Mahal started life as a food truck. Today the establishment is one of Austin’s most popular restaurants, specializing in authentic Indian Cuisine.

Red River Cultural District

Red River is famous for its live music. It also offers a variety of cuisines, from the Asian-inspired Koriente, to Hoboken Pie and its Jersey-style pizzas. Diners can enjoy homemade chile hatch queso and agave nectar tequila margaritas beneath the shade of the towering oak tree at Pelons Tex-Mex Restaurant.

The Red River District buzzes with concert seekers every January. This is when it hosts “Free Week.” This week-long event features local acts staged in restaurants and parking lots throughout the district. Visitors enjoy free entrance to performances.

South District

This is the place to come for those who want to enjoy an authentic taste of historic Austin. This family-friendly district features a number of long-running vintage restaurants as well as some up-and-coming contemporaries. Nestled amongst old-school boutiques and quaint houses, South Austin has a quieter, more laid-back feel. This makes it the perfect place to escape the crowds and unwind.

The South District features Austin’s largest city park. The Long Center for the Performing Arts hosts a variety of stage shows, from opera to contemporary dance. Moontower Saloon is an expansive outdoor bar featuring neon signs and firepits. Popular places to eat in South Austin include the Odd Duck, Bouldin Creek Café, and LeRoy and Lewis.

south austin
South Austin | J.Byerly | Flickr

West Sixth District

Austin’s West Sixth Entertainment District offers a diverse array of pubs, clubs, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. From Italian-American-inspired cuisine to whiskey lounges and sports bars to fine dining, West Sixth has options for all tastes and budgets.

The West Sixth District hosts numerous events. These include OctoberWest, a tribute to the renowned German Oktoberfest beer festival; watch parties at Star Bar throughout the football season; and the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest.

2nd Street District

The 2nd Street Entertainment District is a vibrant, walkable downtown shopping area featuring world-renowned music venues and high-end shops and restaurants.

The Bonneville, located on West Cesar Chavez Street, is an upscale casual restaurant offering a seasonal menu of French-inspired dishes. Menu highlights include the Peach Creek Farm pork chop with five spice crust, spicy Asian slaw, coconut rice, and crumbled peanuts; Wagyu beef stroganoff served with mustard spaetzle, pearl onions, and horseradish cream; and braised lamb shank served with Parmesan polenta, seasonal vegetables, and lavender brodo.

The district is home to an assortment of designer boutiques. It features jewelry from Eliza Page and fashion from Bonobos, Esperos Inc, Francesca’s, Modcloth, Hemline, and Luxe Apothetique.