Austin gained a reputation as the quirkiest city in Texas because of its unique treasures around every corner. People from around the world come to get a taste of all the things that make Austin just a little bit “weird.” And, while each neighborhood in Austin is unique in and of itself, one of the best-known and most frequented spots in the city is its downtown 6th Street.
Vibrant bars, eclectic shops, live music, and more line the street, making it a go-to spot for visitors and residents alike. 6th Street embodies a long history of being a melting pot of cultures. Many buildings, like the Driskill Hotel, welcomed visitors as far back as the 1800s and still stand today. While the structures may have been repurposed, the street expanded, and the residents changed, the character Austin possessed over 100 years ago is as prevalent today as it ever was.
Simply walking down 6th Street and taking in the sites can be enjoyable enough, but there are a few spots in particular we recommend you don’t miss out on. Check out these 6th Street spots for endless culture and entertainment.
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What to Do on 6th Street
6th Street Austin Restaurants
Wherever you are in Austin, you’re never too far from amazing food. The city is filled with unique culinary experiences, top-rated chefs, and dining opportunities you won’t find anywhere else. From old traditions crafted to perfection, to highly modern offerings never seen before, everyone enjoys eating here — especially on 6th Street.
Breakfast: 1886 Café
When walking down 6th Street, you (quite literally) can’t miss the Driskill Hotel. Opened in 1886 by cattleman Jesse Driskill, the building has housed guests in its elegant structure ever since. Now, not only will you find a hotel at the property, but also a lovely eatery known as 1886 Café. Here, you’ll find all your favorite brunch options, including Texas-sized (and shaped) pancakes. Be sure to try their Bloody Mary — trust us, it’s one of the best in the city.
Spending the day walking the city builds up an appetite. Stop for a quick bite of delicious pizza at Via313 located within the exciting Star Bar. With new specials monthly, you’ll want to come back again and again to try something new or grab your favorite.
Dinner: Clark’s Oyster Bar
Austin is known for its amazing restaurants, with every option of fare imaginable. You don’t need to venture down to Galveston for amazing seafood (although that’s never a bad idea, either) when there are places throughout the city serving it up fresh. One of our favorites is Clark’s. Here you’ll find delicacies like fresh oysters, lobster, steak, and more.
6th Street Austin Bars
Downtown 6th Street is broken up into two equally unique sections. On East 6th, you’ll encounter bars with longer histories. This well-known area serves as a popular tourist destination. On West 6th, you’ll often see more locals and newer hangout spots. Here is one of our favorite spots on each part.
East 6th: San Jac Saloon
Located in a historic downtown building, San Jac Saloon hosts live music daily. Stop by for a drink and listen to the sounds of Austin with friends. There are two levels to this place, so check out both for the vibe they each offer.
West 6th: Rustic Tap
We had to include another live music venue because, well, it’s Austin! Not only do we love Rustic Tap for the music, but we also love the outdoor atmosphere and the endless number of beer taps. This spot serves as the perfect Friday night hangout, or as a great place to catch the big game.
6th Street Austin Shops
Shopping in Austin is just as robust as the food scene. Throughout the city, you’ll discover pockets for great shopping. There’s the Domain on the Northside for luxury shopping, the one-of-a-kind shops on South Congress, and stylish boutiques downtown. Here are a few of our favorites on 6th Street.
Walton’s Fancy & Staple
Owned by beloved actress and longtime resident of Austin, Sandra Bullock, this adorable store and restaurant combo won’t disappoint. Build up an appetite by perusing the floral and gift shop before grabbing a bite from Walton’s Fancy & Staple bakery and deli.
The Antique Swan
On the Baylor Street block of 6th Street, a bundle of antique shops sit right next to popular favorites like Lululemon and Anthropologie. Stop by The Antique Swan for gorgeous European furniture, accessories, and one-of-a-kind pieces.
6th Street Austin Events & Activities
There’s never a dull moment spent in Austin. From holiday parties, to unique festivals, to comedy nights, everyone will find something they enjoy.
At any given time of year, bar crawl events will be hosted throughout the city, but especially on 6th Street. Keep a lookout on social media by following local accounts that highlight events, such as @365thingsaustin, @stufftodoinaustin, @do512, and @whenwherewhataustin. Frequent events include Halloween bar crawls, Mardi Gras celebrations, St. Patrick’s Day crawls, ugly sweater parties, and more.
Pecan Street Festival
Held twice annually on 6th Street is the beloved Austin essential, the Pecan Street Festival. The tradition began back in 1978 and is named after the street’s original designation, Pecan Street. For the last 40+ years, crowds as diverse as the city itself have come to enjoy the craft vendors, unique food offerings, and, in true Austin fashion, live music.
Find a Luxury Apartment Near 6th Street
The possibilities are truly endless when you make Texas’ most vibrant city your home. There are so many things to do on 6th Street and beyond. We know you’re going to need plenty of time to experience all that the area has to offer, so after you decide to make the move to Austin, reach out to AptAmigo. We’ll make apartment hunting effortless with a dedicated agent at your service. Give us your non-negotiables and preferences, and we’ll get to work finding you the perfect Austin apartment for your needs.
Brett Hayden is a native Wisconsinite turned Texan who loves exploring Austin and beyond. She has a passion for writing and traveling, which she showcases on her blog, “by, Brett Nicole.”