Food & Drink

The Best Bloody Marys in Austin

Published On 06/25/2014 Published On 06/25/2014
Jacoby's bloody mary
Courtesy of Jacoby's

There is no "scientific evidence" to support the idea that Bloody Marys are good for a hangover. But like the hopeful brunch-goers we are, we continue to believe in the healing powers of tomato purée, horseradish, and Slim Jims. Since we know you love revitalizing brunch cocktails just as much as we do, we’ve curated a list of Austin’s finest Bloodys for all palates; salty, meaty, topped with crab legs & corndogs... we’ve got you covered.

Jacoby's Restaurant & Mercantile

East Cesar Chavez

Jacoby’s brunch Bloody Mary is one of the newest and best ones we’ve tried. Vodka is added to its Bloody mix (garlic powder, fresh horseradish, Jacoby's homemade hot sauce, Worcestershire, pickling liquid, lemon, lime, black pepper), served in a Mason jar -- Jacoby’s signature drinkware -- and topped with the house-made summer sausage, a skewer of pickled veggies, and a spicy Trechas rim. Head over for brunch on weekends from 10:30am to 2pm. 

Alcomar

Alcomar

South First

Beachy and bright, Alcomar has a Bloody that will have you squealing with either delight or terror. The Bloody Cesar is a tangy blend of serrano citrus-infused vodka and house Bloody mix, rimmed with its secret el chile powder and a single raw oyster. Of course, we are of the disposition to say “Cheers!” and down the hatch it goes. During weekend brunch from 11am - 3pm, the Bloody Cesar is only $5. 

C. K. Chin

Swift's Attic

Downtown

The make-your-own Bloody Mary bar thing is nothing new, but Swift's Attic makes the cut on the strength of its spread. For around $7, you get a glass of vodka and full access to: two types of Bloody mix, 17-ish types of hot sauce, regular and/or stuffed olives, pickled okra, carrots, banana peppers, celery, lemon & lime wedges, spices, horseradish, green beans, pearl onions, jalapeños, cheese cubes, and, most importantly, bacon, plus some type of cylindrical meat stick. Mmm... meat sticks.

Star Bar

Star Bar

West Sixth

This behemoth is called the Hail Mary. A classic Bloody base is topped with skewer after skewer of (deep breath)... an all-beef hot dog, lil' smokies, hickory-smoked bacon, black cracked pepper & garlic shrimp, onion rings, a whole wheat cheeseburger slider, two chicken nuggets, a deviled egg, crab meat, pickled okra, cherry tomatoes, pepperoni, pepper jack cheese, AND A CINNAMON ROLL! Get it Sundays from noon-3pm and you won't even need dinner.

South Congress Cafe

South Congress

One of Austin’s most-loved Marys is right in the bustling vortex of South Congress. A tall glass filled to the rim with spicy mix, Tito’s vodka (infused with bell peppers, onions, celery, lemons, limes, garlic, and jalapeños), and served with celery, olives, and a pickled banana pepper, this version is better suited for those who like a "little hair on their chest."

Courtesy of Liberty Kitchen

Liberty Kitchen

West Sixth

Houston-based Liberty Kitchen has a comfort-food-meets-seafood brunch menu, with a Bloody Mary that belongs with Austin’s best. The 20oz drink features house-made Bloody Mary mix, Dripping Springs vodka, a fried oyster, fried okra, and pickled veggies. Want to get crazy? Add a crab leg! They don’t call it the Ultimate Bloody Mary for nothing. 

Anastacia Uriegas/Thrillist

Rio Rita

East Sixth

The Bloody offered by super-chill, couch-filled Rio Rita is one of the city's most popular, and for good reason. You can choose from regular, jalapeño, or habanero-infused vodka -- but be careful, the latter is only for the very brave. The Bloody mix is the perfect balance of tomato-y, salty, and citrus-y. You won't get bacon or cheese on this one, but the crunchy celery, pickled okra, olives, and pile of banana peppers round out the flavors perfectly.

Courtesy of VOX Table

VOX Table

South Lamar

A blend of the house Bloody mix, your choice of vodka or gin, and a couple of VOX’s signature touches make this Bloody Mary one you will crave every weekend. Each one is topped with celery foam and a small pipette full of hot sauce, so you can customize the fire factor. And, because this is Austin, it comes with a cold glass of Lone Star on the side. 

W Austin

W Austin

Downtown

OK... ready for this? W Austin has taken Dickel Rye Whisky and added brisket fat that is smoked in-house at TRACE. As if that wasn't enough, it's topped with house-made pickles and a Pearl Snap floater. It's available Saturday and Sunday for brunch at TRACE and in the Living Room bars, both located in the W Austin. Go ahead and add the Brisket Bloody Mary to your Bloody Mary bucket list. You're welcome.

Frank

Frank

Warehouse District

Frank's popular Bloody Mary, the Red Headed Stranger, is comprised of bacon-infused Tito's vodka, a house-made Bloody mix (containing 20-something-ish ingredients), a rim of "Frank salt," and then garnished with black pepper bacon, a jalapeño-stuffed olive, a pepperoncini pepper, and a little chunk of cheddar cheese! If only all redheads were this agreeable.

Anastacia Uriegas/Thrillist

Casino el Camino

Sixth Street

Head over to Casino this weekend and pay a visit to the barman known simply as "Frap." Here's how it'll go: a short consultation with Frap will determine what level of spiciness you can handle (be brave, go with an eight!). Then you will watch, and slowly mouth "ohmygod," while he skewers a taquito, rosemary focaccia grilled cheese, a meatball, sausage, a corn dog, a slider, and then sticks in lots of bacon, celery, olives, cucumber, lemon, various pickled items, and garnishes the drink with sprigs of cilantro. Pro tip: it opens at 11am, so get there early to make sure you get maximum toppings. They pile it up until they run out.

Anastacia Uriegas/Thrillist

Freedmen's

Campus

Freedmen's has taken its already amazing Bloody Mary and created the Holy Mary, a full liter of: Forty Creek Barrel Select Whisky, smoked cherry tomato Bloody mix, house-made two-day BBQ sauce, lime juice, and Fire and Damnation bitters, and topped it with, wait for it... a half-pound of brisket, sausage, and spare ribs! The "Texas Trinity" smoked meat topper is affectionately referred to as a "halo." Get it during brunch on Sundays, and consider yourself saved.

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Anastacia Uriegas is a writer at Thrillist and Bloody Mary connoisseur who is convinced the best ones are made with Clamato. Follow her appreciation of all things portmanteau: @anaurie.

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1. Jacoby's Restaurant & Mercantile 3235 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702

Boasting a number of Southern-inspired menu items -- such as shrimp and grits, family-style braised greens, and pork confit fritters -- Jacoby's Mercantile is the perfect spot for al fresco with friends, offering a view of the Colorado River most people have never seen. Must-try items include the Muskoka Smash (Bulleit Rye, blackberry, basil, & lemon), and for "supper" a Bone-In Ribeye with a side of Mac-n-Cheese (made with sour cream and Roggenbier).

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2. Alcomar 1816 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704

From the same restaurant group as El Chile and El Alma, Alcomar specializes in what's been dubbed a "Latin-inspired seafood concept." Set in a beachy and bright open space, it serves up ceviche, Gulf oysters, and fusion concepts like lobster enchiladas and octopus tostadas. Expect a variety of margaritas, served by the glass or pitcher, and a notable Bloody Mary served a single oyster.

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3. Swift's Attic 315 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Located the second floor of the historic (and now defunct grocery store) Swift's Premium Food Co. building on Congress Avenue, the appropriately named Swift's Attic serves up eclectic small plates and creative cocktails for hipstered out Austinites. Among a brunch Bloody Mar bar and generous daily happy hour deals, Swift's offers sophisticated meats, seafood, snacks, and cocktails. Must trys are Korean BBQ flank steak, squid "fries," and the Pop Rocks charred edamame.

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4. Star Bar 600 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Warehouse District)

Boasting an on-site food truck, Star Bar will keep you plied with BBQ and tacos while you sip away on beer from one of the 11 rotating taps. In addition, guests can also enjoy popular cocktails like Star's refreshing Emma Dalton (made with Hendrick's Gin, St. Germain, lemon, and Topo Chico). Two patios, eight televisions, and a famous, behemoth Bloody Mary -- topped with skewer after skewer of meats, eggs, chicken, and cheese -- make Stars a one stop shop for all of your needs.

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5. South Congress Cafe 1600 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 (Congress District)

The South Congress Cafe has you covered, offering everything from venison meatloaf to duck sopes to crab cake Benedict. Show up whenever you want for its daily brunch and enjoy a drink while you wait. We recommend the Bloody Mary, which happens to be one of Austin's most beloved: tall glass filled to the rim with spicy mix, Tito’s vodka (infused with bell peppers, onions, celery, lemons, limes, garlic, and jalapeños), and served with celery, olives, and a pickled banana pepper.

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6. Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar 507 Pressler St, Austin, TX 78703 (Clarksville)

Houston-based Liberty Kitchen has a comfort-food-meets-seafood brunch menu, with a Bloody Mary that belongs with Austin’s best. The 20oz drink features house-made Bloody Mary mix, Dripping Springs vodka, a fried oyster, fried okra, and pickled veggies. Food offerings include a menu chock-full of treats such as oysters (fresh roasted or fried), Shanghai fried lobster, as well as an extensive selection of burgers, sandwiches, tacos, and pasta. Be sure to try the Thrashed at Maverick's burger, mad with mustard-sizzled onion-jalapeño-pickle, bacon jam, Stubb’s-RO hickory sauce, and pimento cheese.

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7. Rio Rita 1308 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Dirty 6th)

Coffee joint by day and cocktail lounge/dive by night, Rio Rita is a cozy couch-filled respite on East Sixth that's great for grabbing a drink and a snack at any time. Try its jalapeño-infused margarita, made with 100% agave tequila, Paula’s Texas Orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar -- its spicy kick will wake you up. Bar bites include pizza (from East Side Pies), and homemade salsa and hummus with chips.

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8. VOX Table 1100 South Lamar Blvd, 2140, Austin , TX 78704

Vox Table is known around Austin for their killer New-American style small plates and lively craft cocktail bar, but this South Lamar restaurant serves up a serious brunch on the weekends. The must try of the menu is Olive Oil Pancakes with fig/walnut butter and maple syrup. If brunch isn't your thing, stop by and try dinner menu, featuring a wide variety of meat and fish entrees, or happy hour specials.

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9. The W Hotel 200 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701 (2nd St District)

Just a few blocks from the mansion where another famous W rested his head as governor, the W's Austin branch has helped define the downtown 2nd St District, serving as a magnet for more youthful out-of-towners. Their WET Bar offers poolside sips and its Living Room Bar and TRACE has a menu that is updated frequently with new cocktails.

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10. Frank 407 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Although Frank is known for its creative hot dogs and sausage sandwiches made with nontraditional meats like antelope, venison, and kangaroo, it also boasts an extensive selection of fries, including chili cheese and Reuben waffle fries. Its cold beer menu includes gluten-free ales, rare craft beers, and ciders.

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11. 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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12. Freedmen's 2402 San Gabriel St, Austin, TX 78705 (Utwest Campus)

This is not your average barbecue joint. Freedman's has a patio and outdoor beer garden that offers a variety of brews on tap as well as a retro soda shop-inspired cocktail list. If you're not a fan of the throwbacks, the $3 tacos, tamales and whiskey of the month happy hour should entice you. Check out this vintage-y, saloon style spot near UT for rollicking night out on the town.

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