Austin City Guide Logo

Best Bars on South Congress

Loretta Adams Last updated on Aug 01, 2023 by

South Congress, or “SoCo”, is an iconic area of town. This stretch of Congress, from the south end of the water leading up the hill towards Ben White Blvd, provides tons of shopping, food, drinks, & entertainment. Although we miss many of the shops and venues of the past, there is always a lot going on in the ole ‘04. You might get overheated while walking around here in the Texas sun this summer, so you need to know where you can go to cool off and kick back. Here are the Best Bars on South Congress (listed north to south) to help you beat the heat and experience Austin.   

510 S Congress Ave

Sing loud and cheer on your friends!

Ever hear about that bar beneath the office building… the one hidden under an apartment complex? That would be Ego’s, one of Austin’s most loved karaoke bars. Don’t pass the turn into the parking garage, it’s easy to miss and this bar is not a place you want to skip. Warm up those vocal chords, grab your bravest group, and go hit the mics at this “extraordinary” joint. They have a full bar, a pool table, and karaoke every night of the week! Going for it is the goal on stage here; The Carpenters put it just right; “Sing out loud, sing out strong… don’t worry if it’s not good enough… just sing, sing a song!”.

The Continental Club
1315 S Congress Ave

Opened in 1955!

The Continental Club is the crown jewel of this area and a world renowned hub for live music. This historic club has become a beacon for Austin music that has attracted some of the most talented musicians and bands the town has seen. Surrounded by all of the fresh businesses that have joined this stretch, The Continental Club stands out as an enduring glimpse into the heart of Austin culture. It would be a mistake to pass on a chance to catch a show here; they have music every day of the week and something for everyone's tastes. Jam to rock, blues, and country bands and dance the night away in the Club, or head out, around the corner, and up the stairs to The Continental Gallery for a different scene. This lesser known second floor speakeasy style lounge is where you’ll find their more laid back jazz, soul, and solo performances in an intimate small bar setting. Use some of your time in Austin to experience this local legend and support our town’s music scene.

White Tiger
1321 S Congress Ave

Take a shot and tip the bartender!

Tucked away on the east side of the strip, near Continental, is White Tiger. This shot bar has much more to offer than it might appear at first and is well worth a visit. You will find a sizable shot menu here, a fun photobooth, and head around back to the outdoor patio and local live music stage. They have daily lineups and food to feast on, along with affordable shots of all kinds. Go tame your thirst at White Tiger and imbibe responsibly!

1400 S Congress Ave

Swim over to Perla's!

Perhaps you are looking for a classy setting to enjoy some quality seafood and drinks. Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar offers SoCo goers with an upscale experience for brunch, lunch, and dinner. They have a creative, well crafted cocktail menu and a large wine selection to pair with delicious dishes. Stop by the bar for their Happy Hour to get a deal on drinks. Personally, I always start my meals here with a round of their Classic Oyster Shooters (or maybe two).

Hop Doddy
1400 S Congress Ave Suite A190
Hops and Doddies!

South Congress is home to Hop Doddy’s original location that opened in 2010. Since then, this burger bar has exploded in popularity and expanded all over Texas and beyond. At Hop Doddy, you’ll find irresistibly deluxe burgers and bites that can be washed down with drinks from their bold bar menu. Famous for their $5 schooner drink Happy Hour special, this is a great spot to chill down with an icy cold beverage and fuel up for more SoCo exploration.

Güero’s Taco Bar
1412 S Congress Ave
Dirty Rita (top) & Jalapeño Margarita

One of Austin’s longtime staple Mexican food restaurants, Güero’s is a must visit. They have tons of indoor seating as well as the Oak Garden patio bar and stage. This is a select spot to enjoy tasty Tex Mex meals and drinks in a cool, classic Austin environment. Get yourself to Güero’s for mouthwatering margarita deals and free chips and salsa bar. Stopping in to sit at the bar for Happy Hour here is my guilty pleasure (I always order the Dirty Rita). If you aren’t sold yet, don’t just take my word for it. Quentin Tarantino took a liking to this taco joint and featured Güero’s in his 2007 film Death Proof!!

C-Boy’s Heart & Soul
2008 S Congress Ave

Perfect place to take a date!

Named after an Austin music legend, C-Boy’s is carrying on efforts to provide folks with a rhythmic and romantic escape. This venue is a predominant supporter of Austin’s local musicians and you can catch live music here every night of the week. Don’t miss this charming and soulful music bar and perchance find your way to the secret second floor cocktail lounge…

Freddo ATX
2336 S Congress Ave

Quality drinks in a quaint setting!

Freddo ATX brews inside a late 1800’s built, famous historic Austin house that was moved to this Congress and Oltorf location back in the 70’s. For a while this was a Wells Fargo location but has recently transformed into a quaint Greek influenced coffee and wine bar. Head over to try out a traditional Freddo Cappuccino while you relax upstairs on the comfy couches or on the cozy wrap around porch and patio. When you explore the house you’ll find it doubles as an art gallery as well. Check out their yummy food and hit Happy Hour for wine and beer specials.

Little Drinks Lounge
3801 S Congress Ave Suite 116
Scorpion - a honeysuckle habanero mezcal frozen

Little Drinks Lounge, a hidden gem on the far end of South Congress and the baby sister bar to Drinks Lounge on E Cesar Chavez. Stop by this townie little lounge for some cool cocktails, bubbly beers, and sweet summer specials. Order proper pizza until 2am or head out early for their frosty Happy Hour and get $2 off frozens and more!

Cosmic Coffee & Beer Garden
121 Pickle Rd
Cosmic goes above and beyond!

This well loved café and bar is an outdoor oasis located just off S Congress and Ben White Blvd. Known for their out of this world drinks, unique setting, and terrific food trucks. Don’t miss the chance to visit the chickens or see the greenspace and recognized wildlife habitat. Sip on some boozy coffee while you sit out in the sun and scarf on succulent wings, tacos, & BBQ from the trucks. Gather your friends, human or canine, and take off to Cosmic Café!

See y'all soon on SoCo!

Samuel Grey Horse riding Tex

What other SoCo spots belong here? Let us know!
© Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.