The Best Live Music Venues in Austin, Texas

Legendary honky-tonks? Check. Twenty-first century bars that have become mainstays? Those too.

A band performing at Radio Coffee & Beer, one of the best live music venues in Austin along with its sister venue, Radio East
Indoor or outdoor, new or historic, here are the concert venues to know in Austin.
Renee Dominguez

If people outside Texas know two things about Austin, it’s probably SXSW and low-and-slow barbecue, but it would be an oversight not to acknowledge the city’s year-round live music scene. Their reputation as the live music capital of the world has been built over decades by a diverse set of musicians and the community that supports them.

Over the years, the city has become home to destination music festivals like Austin City Limits, but it’s the thousands of concerts that take place throughout the year that make the city truly great, hosting local bands like White Denim to household names like Willie Nelson and Alejandro Escovedo. The city’s musical landscape spans indie rock, country, jazz and more, never falling short to audiences of different musical tastes. 

Of course, live music wouldn’t be possible without the actual spaces that make it all happen. From intimate, underground bars to legendary honky-tonks, here are seven live music venues in Austin to visit for an unforgettable show. 

Broken Spoke 

There’s no venue more legendary than James White’s dance hall. Since opening its doors in 1964, Broken Spoke has welcomed country music legends such as Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Tex Ritter and Kitty Wells. Even icons like Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton have graced the stage, etching this honky-tonk-style space into the history books. Today, it’s considered a Texas historical marker. If you plan to visit, a word of advice: bring your cowboy boots and be prepared to dance your socks off. 

3201 S Lamar Blvd

Donn’s Depot

The story begins with civil engineer and real estate investor Bob Ogden, who wanted a place where he could listen to live music, dance with his wife and hang out with friends. His purchase of Donn’s Deport, a piano bar that’s set in a former depot and old rail cars, fulfilled that vision. Donn, a former salesman, was hired to play piano. Fast forward 50 years, Donn still plays. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot him behind the keys and get a chance to two-step to his music. 

1600 W 5th St

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Elephant Room

Both local and visiting jazz enthusiasts flock to this underground jazz bar. Beyond the musical talent that performs — think Diego Rivera Quartet, The Brew, John Fremgen Trio — the dim lighting, attentive staff and good drinks are what keep people coming back every night. Seating is limited, so arrive early to get a spot. 

Swift Building, 315 Congress Ave

Hole in the Wall

Hole in the Wall has maintained its status as a beloved music venue amid decades of change and the city’s rapid growth. This no-frills bar has been the launching pad for artists like Spoon, The Gourds, Black Joe Lewis and many others. Situated across the street from the University of Texas campus, Hole in the Wall is one of Austin’s oldest music venues. It is where incredible talent, Austin regulars and friendly staff come together. 

2538 Guadalupe St

Woman with a guitar singing into a microphone on a stage
Lady Dan at Radio East
Magen Buse

Radio East

At Radio East, you can enjoy performances ranging from folk and hip-hop to jazz and punk. This laid-back, outdoor venue provides ample seating, and you have the option to choose from a selection of beer, wine or cocktails. Located on Montopolis Drive (their original space, Radio Coffee & Beer, is on Menchaca Road), this informal space regularly books local, regional, and national acts, including Broncho, Magna Carda, Latasha Lee, Lady Dan, Nuclear Daisies and more. 

3504 Montopolis Dr.

Sahara Lounge

After opening in 2011, Sahara Lounge has become a live music mainstay, and for good reason: this chill venue always has an eclectic lineup, with indie, African, blues, rock, country, Brazilian, swing and funk artists playing beats that you can shake your hips to. You can chill on the outdoor patio, play billiards and sip on a refreshing Sahara Sunrise or another signature cocktail when you’re not jamming out. 

1413 Webberville Rd

The Continental Club 

Established in 1955, the Continental Club began as a private supper and burlesque club before earning its legendary status as one of Austin’s premier music venues. Since then, the South Congress venue has become a mecca for rock, country and blues music, hosting iconic artists such as Junior Brown, Link Wray and Robert Plant. It offers an intimate experience, feeling more like a live concert from the comfort of your living room.  

1315 S Congress Ave


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