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Happy Hour Recs for Downtown(ish)

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I've heard about Haddingtons, Clive, Barley and Swine, T&T, etc. but no details.

What are good bars in the downtown area, with a full bar, for hanging out and catching up? Nothing too upscale or too sports oriented. I don't mind a few TVs with games on but I'd rather not have it dominate a happy hour with friends.

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  1. Parkside. Half price bar apps (which are delicious) and half brice beer/cocktails.

    I think they have half-price oysters and champagne on Wednesdays, too. Check their twitter to be sure.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tom in austin

      I STILL haven't been to Parkside but I really want to. I have this thing about going that far into 6th Street but I suppose Parkside is worth it.

      Went to Haddinton's last night. It was crowded for a Tuesday but I suspect that's because the session started yesterday. We were there from 5:30 - 6:30 and it was so loud and crowded that we decided to go over to Star Bar. Star Bar was virtually empty but it was nice to end the evening there.

      On a side note, Haddington's has an English Pub feel. I liked it. The Russell Brand look-a-like bartender was nice too! We didn't order food, btw.

      1. re: chispa_c

        Chispa, bite the bullet and valet at Parkside. This place is worth it. You'll have a great time.

    2. I went to Parkside Saturday evening for happy hour (5-7) and to celebrate my birthday. We arrived 5, and the hostess escorted us to the big table in front of the window (great for people watching). For approximately an hour there was hardly anyone else in the restaurant; it' started picking up around 6. The restaurant was pretty full when we left around 7, but it was never loud which is one of my main complaints about Austin restaurants. I liked the casual atmosphere. We ordered from the bar menu which is half off during happy hour.

      Here's what we had:

      The Lump Crab Fritters were very good, crispy and hot but could have used a little more seasoning. Of all the things we ordered they were probably my least favorite. It might be unfair for me to judge though as I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay where there are a lot of excellent crab dishes. They weren't bad though.

      The Fried Oyster BLT was a crispy fried oyster atop a little piece of bread with Green Goddess Aioli and BLT all skewered with a toothpick. It was pretty to look at, a little awkward to eat but delicious.

      The Fried Okra was perfectly fried and pipping hot, excellent! It came with a green colored House Ranch which was great for dipping. It might have been the best fried okra I've ever had.

      My favorite dish was the Quail, it was seasoned perfectly and so so tender, yum!

      We also ordered The Frozen Goat Cheese dessert (not half price). It came with very intensely flavored Basil Ice Cream which I liked but was a little off putting to my husband. He was very into the frozen goat cheese though.

      We shared a Jasperilla Old Ale (22oz) and a Convict Hill Stout from Independence Brewery, also half price for HH. We especially liked the Jasperilla which was something our waiter John recommended. He gave us fine recommendations on food and drink throughout our meal.

      Last but not least we had coffee, decaf for me. It came out nice and hot and fresh!

      When our check arrived I couldn't believe we had eaten so much quality food for so little. What a great value. The happy hour is so worth it! We were very pleased and will go back again!