Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World. One of the best parts about having that distinction is that even if you aren’t necessarily into the club scene, you can still hear live music at restaurants throughout the city. Whether you feel like hearing Cajun, blues, country, Latin or rock, you can almost always find a great meal enhanced by a great band playing.
Threadgill’s is legendary not only for their chicken fried steak and cheese grits, but for also being the place that gave Janis Joplin her start. With a newly refurbished north location, and their World Headquarters just south of the river, Threadgill’s features the best in bluegrass, country, and soul music, as well as hosting a delicious and rejuvenating Gospel Brunch. Steaks, seafood po-boys, and the best vegetable side-dish selection in town, this is the quintessential Austin food and music spot. 301 West Riverside Drive, Austin, Texas 78704 // 6416 North Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas 78752
Artz Rib House is another gem of a music/food venue in Austin. As their name suggests, their specialty is smoked ribs, with country style pork, baby backs, or big beef ribs to choose from. They also make one of the better burgers in town, offer the Texas BBQ staples of brisket and sausage, and even have an inventive vegetable kabob on the menu. Their musical offerings are just as tasty, with an emphasis on western swing and a monthly Old Time Fiddlers Jam. Artz is located in the barton hills neighborhood at 2330 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78704
Quality Seafood is both a seafood market and a restaurant, serving some of the finest and freshest fish in town. Three days a week they feature music along with food and drink specials. Mondays they usually feature a hot jazz combo, and offer a great deal on succulent king crab legs, and on Wednesdays a folky blues duo entertains while the crowd feasts on peel and eat shrimp. A DJ holds forth on Thursdays, sometimes with live instrumental accompaniment, and the special rotates recent Thursday food specials include spicy Texas crawfish and soft shell crab po-boys. 5621 Airport Blvd., Austin, TX 78751.
Las Palomas serves some of the finest Mexican food in the city, and features one of Austin’s best kept musical secrets. When they aren’t on tour with a major Texas country star, you can find the cream of Austin’s crop of pickers joining a gypsy jazz violinist for some jaw-dropping jazz every Wednesday night. Famed for their enchiladas Tres Marias, Las Palomas also offers ceviche, chicken mole, and other specialties. 3201 Bee Caves Road, Austin, TX 78746.
Having survived the ups and downs of Austin’s East Side, the Victory Grill is truly a piece of Austin history, but is just as vibrant today. Built in 1945, the club has hosted acts including B.B King, Ike and Tina Turner, and Billie Holiday, and today features Austin’s finest blues acts. With a rotating menu of down home cooking, the Victory Grill is a slice of Old Austin.
Find More Janis Joplin Articles