Whether you’re interested in catching a soccer game or just throwing back a few pints, you’ll find an abundance of merriment at Austin’s Irish pubs.
The atmosphere at Fado is warm and friendly, and the layout invites mingling. The bar in the center of the space is roughly oval-shaped, so you can sit on all sides. In the standing-room area, there are handy little shelves for your drinks. Outside, the long narrow patio is a great place to people watch when the weather is nice. The chicken boxty quesadilla may be the perfect pub food: Jack cheese between potato boxties with sour cream. Yum. Even though the bar is popular among singles, it doesn’t feel like a singles bar. 214 West 4th Street; (512) 457-0172
A low-key pub in the midst of the 6th Street madness, B.D. Riley’s is a nice spot for watching football games or listening to live blues or classic rock. The menu is much more varied than you might expect at an Irish pub. In addition to above-average fish and chips, the kitchen also serves an excellent Reuben, Irish nachos (thick-cut French fries with cheese) and a delectable chicken tortilla soup. 204 East 6th Street; (512) 494-1335
Sean Patrick’s Irish Pub & Texas Grub
The only Irish pub in San Marcos, Sean Patrick’s caters to college kids, tourists and outlet mall shoppers. The crowd might be an odd mix of folks, but the food is consistently top-notch, and there’s a wide selection of beers. You’ll find plenty of cheap chicken wings and beer at happy hour. The restaurant has achieved full mastery of the potato -- baked, fried, mashed, smothered in chili -- you name it. It’s not the kind of place to have a quiet conversation on a Friday night, but if you’re looking for a fun bar that’s not too crazy, Sean Patrick’s has you covered. 202 East San Antonio Street, San Marcos; (512) 392-7310.