If you're attending the Austin Pride Parade on September 30 from 8 to 10pm, you've probably already planned your outfit, made your signs and scheduled a couple after-parties. But you're going to need some sustenance—and maybe a little liquid fuel—to keep your energy up for the entire parade route, which starts at the Capitol, proceeds down Congress and turns onto 4th street before ending at Republic Square Park. We've mapped out the best restaurants (including some of Austin's best Italian restaurants and best seafood eateries) and bars (cocktail bars, dive bars, you name it) to enjoy before the parade. Some of them come with a view, so you can even watch the festivities from your table. Happy pride, y'all!
Best places to eat and drink on the Austin Pride Parade route
Near the start of the parade, The Townsend is an ideal bar to find yourself in. It has a dark and elegant interior but isn’t stuffy, a refined cocktail menu but also a killer burger and fries, and it’s quiet but not boring. In purist fashion, the flavors found in their cocktails often come from amaros, aperitifs and herbal liqueurs instead of over-the-top tinctures and complicated syrups. Try the Lamplight: a savory cocktail featuring Old Grand-Dad Bonded bourbon, Drambuie, lemon and Chinese five spice bitters.
With views of both 7th Street and Congress Ave, the Intercontinental's Stephen F.'s Bar and Terrace is a solid place for people watching during the parade while having great drinks and comfort food. Post up either inside or outside on the terrace and order classic cocktails like a Manhattan or Paloma, or specialty drinks like the Ladybird. For food, you'll find hearty options like the Black Angus Texas Burger or seared salmon.
This cozy trattoria, located just blocks from the Capitol, maintains a warm neighborhood vibe—and also happens to craft some of the most authentic Neapolitan pizza in town, thanks to owner Gianfranco Mastrangelo. After growing up in a restaurant family in New York, he studied with pizza masters from Sicily, Rome and Naples, perfected a sourdough crust, and built his own pizza oven before opening his doors in 2010.
La Traviata, a longtime Congress Avenue favorite, serves regional Italian dishes like pasta Norma and spaghetti a la Bolognese, plus elegant, protein-rich main courses such as veal piccata and chicken Parmesan. Fuel up by the corner of 4th and Congress before cheering on the parade.
Located in Austin’s Warehouse District on 4th Street, Péché serves classic French fare (and a bomb mac and cheese) with a nod to 19th-century New Orleans via dim chandelier-lit space and a pre-Prohibition-inspired cocktail menu with a considerable absinthe selection. Forget tiny plates: Péché’s generous portions mean everything is shareable.
You won't be able to see the parade from inside the dark, sexy bar that is the Roosevelt Room, but you'll be able to have some incredible cocktails before stepping outside to revel in the celebrations. The giant chalkboard above the bar reads as the history of cocktails with drinks categorized by era from Early Years (pre-1880) to Modern Classics (2000s-present). There's also a signature cocktail menu with a selection of noteworthy concoctions such as the aromatic Cigar Box (mezcal, smoked black tea syrup, lavender bitters, tobacco bitters, flamed cinnamon stick).
Houston-based award-winning Truluck’s has been a staple of the surf-and-turf set in Austin since the ’90s. They have a glorious Dynamite Filet, a 7-ounce all-natural filet topped with blue crab, rock shrimp and Maine lobster in a sriracha cream sauce, plus stand-alone steaks: prime bone-in filets, rib eyes and a 16-ounce New York Strip.
You'd be hard pressed to find decent Indian restaurants in Austin, but Papadom is a refreshing option. The downtown eatery offers a menu that includes plenty of tandoori picks like paneer tika and tandoori jhinga, plus curries, dosas and an impressive selection of naans (like jalapeno cheese naan).