A Weekend Guide to East Sixth Street

By Megan Giller  |  November 11, 2013

The somewhat-recent renaissance on East Sixth Street makes it seem as if Austin has been transformed into a hipster playground. And sometimes you just want to swing on the monkey bars, no matter whether you wear skinny jeans or stick to Wrangler’s. Here’s your guide to a weekend getaway without ever having to leave the street (well, except maybe to sleep).

  • First Stop, Friday: Cocktails and Small Plates at East Side Show Room

    Start the weekend off right with a craft cocktail (or four). The Prohibition-meets-steampunk atmosphere here is only intensified by the live music and silent movies playing overhead. Plus, the new small-plates menu (snapper crudo with green apple and Thai chile, mussels with salsa brava and sourdough) makes it easy to dine with friends, whether you want just a bite or a full meal.

  • Late Night, Friday: Dumplings and Outdoor Drinking at Whisler's

    Continue the craft-cocktail party and move down the street to Whisler’s, in the old Rabbit’s locale. We like their laid-back attitude, which even extends to the mirrors in the women’s bathroom - they're covered with cardboard and inscriptions that tell you how beautiful you are. Celebrate the cooler weather at the indoor/outdoor bar while you dish about the night over a few dumplings from the Dumpling Happiness food truck.

  • Saturday Brunch: Barbecue at John Mueller Meat Co.

    Pitmaster John Mueller doesn’t let hungry meat lovers wait in line, so get to his trailer around 10:15 for the 10:30 opening. Fatty brisket, ribs, squash casserole, picnic tables and a side of saucy attitude from Mueller make this a destination for the hippest of the hip.

  • Saturday Afternoon: Patio Bloody Marys at Rio Rita's

    After all of that meat, what you need is a place to lounge around and sip on a cocktail, coffee or Topo Chico while conversing with friends. Rio Rita’s back patio provides the perfect scenery, or sit inside in one of the private spaces constructed with curtains. Pro tip: the Bloody Mary with pickled okra and infused vodka is truly a work of art.

  • Saturday Evening: Highbrow or Lowbrow Dinner 

    Chef Paul Qui has helped make East Sixth Street the cool spot it is today. Go lowbrow and cozy up to your favorite dive bar (Liberty, Shangri-La, the Grackle) with a PBR and some chicken karaage from his East Side King mini trailer chain. Or make it a night to remember at his pricey brick-and-mortar locale, Qui, which serves creative Asian fusion dishes and cheddar cheese ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

  • Late Night, Saturday: Dancing at Cheer Up Charlie's

    Dance the night away at this tiny bar and notorious LGBT hangout that is the place to be on Saturdays. Whether it’s a DJ or a live band, you’ll be in good company. When you’ve worked up enough of a sweat, cross the street for a nightcap at Violet Crown and a thick slice of Detroit-style pizza at Via 313.

  • Sunday Morning: Brunch at Cisco's Restaurant

    Recover from your very full Saturday with old-school migas and biscuits. This place has been around forever, and the clientele is half Social Security-check collectors and half scenesters.

  • Sunday Afternoon: Beers at Hops & Grain Brewing

    By 1 or 2 o’clock, we’re betting you’ll be ready for some craft beer. Head to Hops & Grain Brewing’s taproom at the dead end of East Sixth Street to try their sustainably brewed beers. Be sure to grab a package of Brew Biscuit dog treats, made from spent grain, for your pup.

  • Sunday Evening: Trailer Dinner at Way South Philly

    Enjoy the fall weather and sit outside at one of the many trailer parks on the street. We particularly recommend the massive cheesesteak at Way South Philly, which will keep you full on your drive back to the real world, aka the rest of Austin.