The next best thing to being in Rio de Janeiro this season is to be at a local hot spot cheering on the good ol’ red, white, and blue as they compete in the Summer Olympics.
Words By Ben Haguewood
2310 Manor Road
Haymaker is east Austin’s undisputed heavy-weight champion of sports watching, this title owing to its expansive beer list, weighty sandwiches, and sheer square inches of television screens. They have dozens of beers on tap and a list of cans and bottles that stretches into the hundreds. Add to that a line-up of hefty plates of poutine, “comfort” sandwiches, and other elevated bar food. With some sort of daily special, you’re bound to find a day (or two) to make it in to cheer on your hero or your country.
2. Casa Colombia
2409 E 7th Street
The South American restaurant’s new building has a separate front bar with four large screen televisions reserved where you’ll find a soccer game playing most days of the year. Case Colombia’s Central and South American beers and cocktails, appetizers, and beverages pair perfectly with Rio’s football tournament. A plate of empanadas, arepas, or plantain patacones with a Cusquena beer or a Acai Berry Licuado will make you feel like you’re there in Rio with the crowds. Just don’t call it soccer.
3. Dog & Duck Pub
2400 Webberville Road
Dog and Duck Pub is Austin’s standard for English Pub food and atmosphere has relocated to the east side. In its reincarnation, the same great food persists–bangers, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie–but the digs get an upgrade. With TV screens inside and out, the bartenders are as responsive to your viewing needs as your appetites. During half time, you can play pinball, pool, throw darts, feed the juke box, or get a refill from one of the 33 taps that line the walls with a beer from around the corner or a pint of bitter from across the pond.
4. Draft Pick American Grill
1620 E. Riverside Drive #1618
Olympic contests go all week and so do Draft Pick’s specials. Monday through Sunday you’ll find some sort of food and drink special to munch on while you watch the events on one of the many screens, including the biggest HD screen in the state of Texas. The happy hour runs from 4 to 7pm and then picks back up from 9 to 11pm, with half price starters and their signature Burnt Orange Wings are perfect for a group of sports fans.
5. Silo on Seventh
1300 East 7th Street
Silo’s porch and dining room overlooking East Seventh Street is a great meeting spot to huddle with your sports fanatic friends in front of one of their many screens and sample one of their gourmet takes on your favorite burger or try one of their zesty appetizers like deep fried deviled eggs, chorizo and cheese stuffed jalapeños, or fried green tomatillos. Their liberal happy hour extends until seven, so it’s an ideal place to linger for dinner or launch onto Sixth to celebrate a victory or drown your sorrows.