Nasty’s Bar

The bar serves liquor but I would stick to beer, as Nasty’s is practically a Lone Star tallboy personified

By Elizabeth Moore, University of Texas at Austin

If you’re a trash person like me, you’ll love Nasty’s.

Tucked into a sleepy little street off 38th and Guadalupe, Nasty’s is your classic dive. Though within walking distance of campus, cross through its dingy threshold and be immediately transported to “old” Austin, a concept so romanticized that it’s almost no longer cool to pine for. The bar’s dark wood paneling, dim lighting and lurid 70’s carpeting could have come straight from your grandmother’s basement.

In my experience, there are two kinds of bars in the world: Bars you take Tinder dates to (like Crown and Anchor—always cheap and half a block away from my house), and bars you don’t take Tinder dates to.

Nasty’s is one of the bars that you don’t take Tinder dates to, as under no circumstances should you share the whereabouts of your private oases with horny strangers. Instead, take your best friends or your ex boyfriend and beat them at pool on one of Nasty’s two (charmingly) lumpy pool tables.

The bar serves liquor but I would stick to beer, as Nasty’s is practically a Lone Star tallboy personified. It’s never that crowded which makes the patio a great place to relax with a couple beers, the frequency of cigs bummed from friends increasing with every tallboy.

On Mondays, DJ Mel spins four hours of rap for hip-hop night, and on Thursdays an appropriately drunk and charming old alcoholic runs the open-mic blues jams, where anyone with the necessary chops or ego is invited to play.

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The sad, sweet twang of blues is the perfect soundtrack for the bar. There are no pretensions here, and there’s a comfort in the seediness. The unknown stains and dim lighting are almost as powerful of opiates as eating nachos in your underwear.


Address: 606 Maiden Lane, Austin, Texas


Hours: Mon-Sat: 6pm-2am, closed Sunday