Austin Nothing says, "Hey, we’re in Texas" quite like honky tonk culture -- it’s just a way of life in Austin, along with its cousins bluegrass, browngrass, rockabilly, and good-old classic country. Here’s a roundup of where to catch these types of tunes (with an ice-cold beer) in their natural habitats.
Where to get your honky tonk on this weekend
The White Horse
Notorious Bad Decision Bar The White Horse is a go-to for all things that involve boot scooting and mingling in a dark room. You’re guaranteed a good time any night of the week. Want to work on your two-steppin’ skills? They have lessons on Saturdays at 6pm and a Lone Star beer/whiskey deal (appropriately named the "Two-Step") for only $5! Continue Reading
Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon
While the dance floor is small, as is the beer selection, this is as authentically old-school Austin as it gets. Tuesday through Saturday from 5-8pm, they have $1 Lone Star drafts, and on Sundays make sure you don’t miss Chicken Sh*t Bingo, it’s as bizarre and fun as it sounds!
The Broken Spoke
Legendary country dancehall Broken Spoke has been home to several generations of musicians and patrons alike. This Friday, check out the Pearl Snaps and Texas Jam Band with dance lessons from 8-9pm. They also have a legendary chicken fried steak, so do that!
The Continental Club
Open since 1957, The Continental Club is "the grandaddy of all local music venues", hosting local legend Dale Watson every Monday night. While the focus here is often retro country, rockabilly, and blues-tinged rock, they deserve a spot on any list. Grab an ice-cold PBR and live a little bit of Austin’s history.
From two notable Hole in the Wall vets looking to bring country to the East side, The White Horse (formerly Club La Trampa) is an old-school, Tejano-jukebox'd ballroom that will host live bluegrass/R&B/folk & country artists every night of the week and emphasize cheap drinking, from koozied canned domestics to the T.W. Samuels-fueled "S**tty Lemonade", after which you won't be able to stand no matter how many nickels people give you.
This West 6th honky-tonk supplies live music, dancing, and fun, Lone Star-inspired signature cocktails like the "Ranch Water" (Hornitos Reposado Tequila, Patron Citronge, and fresh lime juice) and "Rattle Rita" (Effen cucumber, habanero lime syrup, fresh lime juice, and a splash of soda). Equally important to the drinks is the roof, which provides much-appreciated shade in this oven of a city. Check out the happy hour, when cheap drinks pair perfectly with free Skee-Ball!
The Little Longhorn Saloon is an must-go-at-least-once Austin institution, where you can drink cold, cold beer with people who are older than your parents. On Sundays come for Dale Watson and Chicken Sh*t Bingo -- stay for the free chili dogs. Oh yeah, bring cash.
Hit the legendary honky tonk to take in the dulcet tones of "real country musicians" (who've entertained everyone from Queen Elizabeth's entourage to a solo Troy Aikman), enjoy the "best chicken fried steak in Texas", and revel in pure honky tonk-style excitement.