Food & Drink

22 Austin Bars Open on Christmas Day

Brent Underwood Published On 12/17/2015 Published On 12/17/2015

Christmas Day when you’re a kid is a magical fantasy in which a plastic toy that costs $9.99 can fulfill your every wish and desire. Christmas as an adult is different, and you may find yourself needing a reprieve when your sister-in-law pops in Frozen for the 900th time. Tell your family you're going to see a movie, and hit one of these Austin hideaways instead.

Black Sheep Lodge

Bender Bar & Grill

South Austin
Honestly, all we want for Christmas is a cold beer in a strip mall dive bar. Kitchen's closed, but the bar opens at 8am, as it's open every day of the year.
 

Casino South Side Lounge

South Austin
The Southside sister to Casino Downtown is spacious and oozes Rockabilly-cool. Get there starting at 7pm.
 

Black Sheep Lodge

South Austin
How appropriate. How very appropriate indeed. Closed on Christmas Eve, but it's open 1pm-midnight on Christmas Day.
 

Red Shed Tavern

South Austin
This hidden gem keeps regular hours regardless of the day, so it'll be open 3pm-2am. Come see why this is a local favorite with its friendly service, a huge patio, and cheap drinks.
 

Boomerz

South Austin
Boomerz regulars DJ TREY & DJ RYNELL kick off the party starting at 5pm.
 

Moontower Saloon

South Austin
Come enjoy the lights the staff of Moontower have put up on the most appropriate day. Anytime after 4pm, that is.

Flickr/danceswithmarmots

The Common Interest

North Austin
Nothing says Christmas quite like a Jell-O shot served in a syringe. Also: FREE POPCORN. It's open at 6pm.

Barfly’s

North Austin
This super-dark joint with a badass jukebox opens at 8pm.

Workhorse Bar

North Austin
You can hit this North Loop neighborhood bar with a solid craft beer selection starting nice and early at 3pm.

Haymaker

East Austin
They have televisions showing every game imaginable, as well as great food and drinks to satisfy any taste, starting at 3pm. 

Hole In The Wall

East Campus
Your favorite local’s favorite dive bar opens up at 7pm and kicks off its Annual Christmas Karaoke Spectacular! at 9pm. 

The Continental Club

The Continental Club

South Congress
Austin legend Dale Watson & His Lone Stars sing their hearts out at The Continental Club’s Annual Christmas Show & Dance! Doors open at 9pm and Dale hits the stage at 10pm.
 

Drinks Lounge

East Austin
Drinks Lounge rounds out the “East Cesar Chavez” strip, all of which will be open Christmas Day. It's known for a spacious interior, comfy chairs, and strong drinks, all available starting at 8pm. 
 

The Brixton

East Austin
Owned by the same great duo as Drinks, The Brixton will also open at 8pm to fill your Christmas Day East 6th St alcohol needs, complete with jukebox tunes.
 

The Liberty

East Austin
The Liberty has free live music featuring Chicken George & Chorizo Funk starting at 9pm. Get there at 7pm to drink. 
 

Maggie Mae’s

Downtown
What better place to drown your sorrows and get embarrassing than Dirty 6th? What better place on Dirty 6th than Maggie Mae’s? Happy hour starts at 7pm.
 

Hotel Vegas

East Austin
Hotel Vegas provides a convenient Christmas Day karaoke option for those on the east side, kicking off at 9pm with its “Karaoke Underground.”

Snack Bar

Casino El Camino

Downtown
Enjoy this decidedly unaltered temple to "old Austin", starting at 3pm or later.

The Side Bar

Downtown
Your love-it-or-hate-it Downtown hangout opens at 9pm.

Snack Bar

Downtown
It's open from 10am (!) to 10pm, and you'll find great bar food, as well as a fireplace and blankets on the patio.

Craftsman

East Austin
Part of Austin’s hottest new bar destination, East Cesar Chavez, Craftsman opens its always-welcoming doors at 7pm to serve up all your favorite holiday drinks -- Prosecco on draft, “Holiday 75’s” (holiday tea-infused gin, lemon juice, Prosecco), hot toddies, and Whipped Irishmen (Jameson, Whipped Baileys Irish Cream, dark roast coffee, and cinnamon simple syrup).

Stay Gold

East Austin
Stay Gold joins neighbor Craftsman’s cheer, opening its doors at 8pm and adding live music at 10pm, creating the perfect one-two punch to round out your Christmas Day activities. Its winter-themed cocktails (try the Headless Horseman with pumpkin syrup) are also among the best in town.
 
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Brent Underwood is the founder of HK Austin, a co-living and co-working space in the heart of Austin.

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1. Bender Bar & Grill 321 W Ben White Blvd, Ste 300, Austin, TX 78704-7035 (South Austin)

Being cheap isn't always a bad thing. This South Austin hang has fifty cent wings (score!), $2 slides (double win!), and over 20 beers on tap.

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2. Casino South Side Lounge 1502 W Ben White Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

This neighborhood spot's all about a friendly staff taking care of locals with cheap drinks, a rockin' jukebox, and sweet games (pool, shuffleboard, and more).

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3. Black Sheep Lodge 2108 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (South Austin)

South Lamar's mistiest patio is a venerable HQ for sports fans, with all the games shown on their armada of flatscreens and accompanied by Sunday specials like a $3 sangria or Bloody.

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4. Red Shed Tavern 8504 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78745 (South Austin)

This outdoor dive, complete with a patio, is a South Austin go-to for low key hangouts with friends and neighborhoods, and their fifty cent draft happy hour is a thing of legend.

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5. Boomerz 6148 W Highway 290, Austin, TX 78735

Boomerz is a banging Oak Hill bar and lounge with all the hotspot pre-requisites: pool tables and darts, live music every Saturday, DJ nights, and crazy happy hour deals.

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6. Moontower Saloon 10212 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78748 (South Austin)

The family-friendly hangout in Southwest Austin is perfect for those of us who travel with kiddos and fur-babies. The tree-filled grounds, cheap beer, and live music make Moontower Saloon a weekend must for South Austin residents, or any visitor interested in savory food truck eats that include Texas chili dogs and “Deez” Lugnuts -- pepper jack cheese stuffed dough, wrapped in bacon and served with ranch dip.

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7. Common Intrest Karoke Bar 8440 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757

A common interest in karaoke and a good time will bring friends together at this Austin sports bar. Belt out your favorite tunes and enjoy happy hour specials that are too good to resist ($3 drinks seven days a week)

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8. Barfly's 5420 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751 (Hyde Park)

Founded in 2001, Barfly's is a dive bar with some of the cheapest drinks in all of Austin.

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9. Workhorse Bar 100 E North Loop, Austin, TX 78751 (North Loop)

An impressive line-up of local craft brews and seasonal taps lore in a work force (to the Workhorse), who enliven the outdoor patio with beer, burgers, and good company.

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10. Haymaker 2310 E Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722 (Cherrywood)

This sports bar serves up gourmet bar bites -- pimento cheese sandos, poutine w/ Wisconsin cheese curds -- and their cocktail menu includes a SLIM JIM-TOPPED BLOODY.

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11. Hole In The Wall 2538 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705 (Utwest Campus)

This veritable hole in the wall near UT is one of Austin's premier live music venues and the one of the best spots to catch local and internationally renowned acts when they pass through town. The drink specials ain't bad, either.

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12. The Continental Club 1315 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 (South Austin)

"The granddaddy of all music venues," this South Congress club hosts everything from country, rock 'n roll, to R&B and jazz. The 50s' style decor enhances this spot's cool, historic ambience.

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13. Drinks Lounge 2001 E Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702 (East Austin)

The bar teams behind the Brixton and Shangri-La joined forces again to open up Drinks Lounge on Cesar Chavez. It's dark and spacious, with tall booth seating and sweeping ceilings. Monday nights are for Geeks Who Drink, while Tuesdays bring free pool. Their short cocktail menu is small but solid, with offerings like the Gin Henry (Revolution Spirits Austin Reserve, cucumber, lime, and black pepper).

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14. The Brixton 1412 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 (East Austin)

Take it easy in East Austin at the Brixton with punk rock themed cocktails, rock 'n roll bingo, and cool dive bar ambiance.

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15. Liberty Tavern 500 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Living in Downtown can be expensive, and Liberty Tavern understands that. Your 787101-78706 zip code ID can get you half price drinks at the Downtown watering hole on Tuesday nights.

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16. Maggie Mae's 323 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Dirty 6th)

Since 1978, Maggie Mae's has been a Dirty Sixth institution for the fratty and those just looking to have a good time.

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17. Volstead Lounge and Hotel Vegas 1500 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Central East)

This vintage cocktail lounge and its sister bar the Hotel Vegas, known for its live underground music scene, brings a little bit of '60s swank to Austin.

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18. Casino El Camino 517 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701-3741 (Dirty 6th)

The bar known for its punk rock attitude is also known for its Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives-approved burger. Try the famous Amarillo Burger, three-quarters of a pound of Angus Beef, with Serrano chiles, jalapeño jack cheese, and cilantro mayo. Also stop by for one of its monster Bloody Marys. Choose a spice level (1-10) and watch as they pile on the taquitos, meatballs, sausages, bacon, celery, olives, cucumber, lemon, various pickled items, and cilantro garnishes.

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19. The Side Bar 602 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

The Side Bar is a wonderful product of a classic dive bar formula: cheap, strong drinks + friendly bar staff + great jukebox + pool (+ sometimes Roombas are the ones playing pool).

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20. Snack Bar 1224 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 (South Austin)

This retro-chic Austin locale is our favorite snack bar around. The extensive menu has something for everyone. Nom on tasty, housemade veggie treats, or go full carnivore with the akaushi wagyū beef burger.

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21. Craftsman 2000 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702

This East Cesar Chavez bar, housed in the former Cap’s Gameroom, set up shop amongst fellow bars Stay Gold and Drinks Lounge. The concept is simple: maintain a casual "house-party vibe" with live DJs, draft cocktails, and cheap tallboys & wells. Come to expect events like yoga brunch and tetherball games.

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22. Stay Gold 1910 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702

Owners Nathan Hill and Will Tanner (of The White Horse and Hole in the Wall, respectively) created the perfect blend of East Side dive bar charm with a legit and accessible cocktail program at the former El Leon space.

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