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The Little Darlin'

4.7 465 votes

6507 Circle S Rd, Austin, TX

(512) 814-0999

The Little Darlin' # 8 Austin Bar
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Loretta Adams Last updated on Apr 04, 2023 by

You're truly an Austinite if you remember La Fuentes, the Tex-Mex restaurant that was once located off South Congress and William Cannon. I grew up spending time there with my family, eating delicious steaming fajitas in the beautiful backyard. Locals were sad to say the least when the La Fuentes family left us after 45 years. Many worried for what would replace this iconic Austin establishment. No one wanted to see this nostalgic property leveled and cemented over for some chain. The Little Darlin’ to the rescue!

Take a trip back to classic South Austin and head to The Little Darlin’. This bar, restaurant, and music venue has everything you want for meeting up with family and friends, going on a date, or just grabbing dinner ‘n’ drinks after a long shift. This is my #1 go-to spot when I get off work late.

Alongside what you normally find at a bar, you’ll find this place has A LOT more to offer. They have an incredible seasonal food menu AND the kitchen is open till 1am!! Your kids are allowed until 9pm which makes this an awesome family friendly spot. Dog lovers rejoice to know your pups are allowed to wag-along with you. Look no further for bar games as they have 2 billiard tables, 2 dart boards, 2 ring-a-bull, and even a mini golf putting green. You will often see people bring along cards and board games. This is the perfect place to challenge your group to some friendly competition while you sip. Before you leave, don’t miss the chance to take a photo booth picture set with your besties!

We can’t go without mentioning Little Darlin’s collection of liquor infusions. If you love pickles like I do, this is the place to go. My favorite of their infusions is the Dill Pickle vodka but they have several unique and delicious options. Have them make your next marg with their Grilled Pineapple Jalapeno or Strawberry Lime tequilas. Stop by to see what else they have soaking and get a taste while it lasts!
Collection of Liquor Infusions

Owner Brian Buscemi spoke with me and gave insight on Little Darlin’s diverse and unique atmosphere. No coincidence that the Little Darlin has a strong metalhead culture. Buscemi and the other owners “grew up listening to classic rock and country music” from their parents' collections and then developed into their own tastes, leaning into metal and punk. Combining these music influences into a broad but intentionally curated playlist is a task they ask of their staff. You’ll notice over time that the music somehow seamlessly transitions from heavy metal, into soft jazz, to classic hits and current pop. Check out their website to see what bands will be playing in the backyard; they have FREE music and events throughout the year. Some of the many ways they generate an inclusive and welcoming environment for anyone and everyone. The array of people you see gathered in the backyard will remind you of why we all love Austin. Buscemi said that they wanted to open a bar that they’d all actually want to spend time at, and they do! Shout out to these folks for their work keeping Austin weird and well fed.

The Little Darlin’ kitchen is small but mighty, open late, and they have really fantastic food. Order at the bar, take a number, and then take your drinks to relax out back until your food is brought right to you. My favorite bite is the Carnitas Slider on the dinner menu, only $4 a piece and packed with flavor. My post-work late dinner is one slider, a cup of soup, and one of their frozen drinks. Their frozen drinks are made with aqua fresca from a local company called Lula’s Aguas. The flavor of the day changes regularly so you'll have to stop by to see which delicious fruity option they currently have. I recently tried the Cucumber Lime w/ Tequila and it was a perfect way to enjoy the Spring weather and cool down under the warm backyard sun. For lunch, Buscemi recommended I try the Reuben - made with their inhouse corned beef. This sandwich was so satisfying I had half for lunch and saved half for dinner later that night. He also suggested the gorgeous and locally made “Better Days'' Harvest Salad. This salad “lives in my head rent free” as they say. Check out their Lunch, Dinner, and weekend Brunch menus for more phenomenal local food.

Cucumber Lime w/ Tequila, Rueben, and Harvest Salad

I can’t begin to count the hours I’ve spent here celebrating accomplishments, birthdays, or just catching up with good friends. There will always be a table open for you, maybe even a spot by one of their fire pits when it gets chilly. 

See all y’all there. 

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