Specializing in steak and crab, Truluck's downtown Austin location is one of the most visually striking buildings in the 4th Street area. The second floor features dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows. It's a beautiful setting with excellent food. In a sign that Austin is changing, "proper attire" is required. It's such a beautiful space, though, you'd feel weird in shorts and flip-flops anyway. Don't miss the Chocolate Bag for dessert.
Rain on 4th
If a bar with just one disco ball isn't enough for you, how about one with a giant cluster of them hanging from the ceiling? The clientele is mostly clean-cut gay men, but Rain has a fun atmosphere for all if you're just looking to dance.
The oldest gay bar in Austin, Oilcan Harry's is known for more than all-night dancing and mingling. The bar also hosts many AIDS benefits and health screenings for the gay community. It's a welcoming environment for all, but the crowd is mostly men.
Though Fado may not be as authentically Irish as some would want, what does that even mean? The always-hopping bar does attract a fairly large number of Irish folk, in addition to young men and women looking to get to know each other better over a Guinness. If you're really ready to get crazy, order the Irish Car Bomb drink. The U2 tribute band Mysterious Ways plays here frequently, and they're amazing.
The aeronautical theme is played out in exhaustive detail at the Hangar Lounge, but it's also a little kitschy. If you don't overthink it, though, it's a beautiful space with a wonderful rooftop bar. The music is DJ-driven, and there's a spacious dance floor.
Located at the site of the old Spaghetti Warehouse, The Market has high ceilings and a nice view from the rooftop bar. The music is provided by DJs. They've preserved much of the rustic vibe of the old warehouse, even using wooden pallets as part of a handrail on the second floor.
Halcyon Coffee Bar
Featuring comfy couches and a patio overlooking 4th Street, Halcyon is a nice place to brood and meet other brooding types. Need a pick-me-up other than coffee? Order the s'mores. They also have wonderful small dishes, from artichoke dip to the yummy apple walnut salad.
Lavaca Street Bar
A raucous sports bar, Lavaca Street has plenty of TVs plus pool tables and skeeball. In good weather, one entire side of the bar is open to the street, creating an even more festive vibe. Come for the sports, stay for the surf 'n turf po'boy, which has legions of loyal fans. A very long bar occupies one side of the space, and the skeeball and pool tables are scattered around the other side.