Let’s face it: Thanksgiving dinners with the family can be stressful. You feasted on way too much turkey and pecan pie, avoided an argument or two with the uncle with polarizing political opinions, and now need a place to recharge and get ready for the biggest family holiday of them all in December.
Fortunately, there are some Austin bars open on Thanksgiving that will give you boozy respite and laid-back vibes — with or without your relatives. Here are some options to turn to on Thursday.
Nickel City, 1133 E. Eleventh St.
A very different kind of turkey will be on special starting at 2 p.m., when the neighborhood bar in East Austin opens for the third year running on Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy Wild Turkey bourbon neat or in cocktails, and, if you stay long enough, karaoke will kick off at 9 p.m. Nickel City has managed to balance a dive bar spirit with craft-level drinks, so if family members are escaping the house with you, there’s likely something for everyone.
The Jackalope South Shore, 1523 Tinnin Ford. Rd.
Need a place to entertain the relatives? Look no further than the Riverside Drive location of a longtime Sixth Street hangout. The Jackalope South Shore has a massive, dog-friendly patio and backyard space with games including bean bag toss, giant Jenga, corn hole and table tennis. The OG location is also hosting Thanksgiving fun, if you’d prefer that part of town.
Lala’s Little Nugget, 2207 Justin Ln.
You can bounce seamlessly from Thanksgiving into Christmas with this North Austin dive bar that celebrates the holiday all year long, through festive decorations and themed drinks. Lala’s opens at 7 p.m. on Thursday. At that time, start to feel merry and bright (and maybe a little buzzed) with cocktails such as the tequila-based Reindeer Water while surrounded by decorations such as a replica of the leg lamp from "A Christmas Story."
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Haymaker, 2310 Manor Rd.
A big Thanksgiving tradition is to watch football — both NFL and college games. Haymaker, a sports bar with plenty of TV screens, opens at 11 a.m. on Thursday, so you can root for just about any team playing that day. And with items on the menu like open-faced turkey sandwiches, served on Texas toast and slathered in gruyére sauce, you can still have a Thanksgiving feast of sorts.
Orf Brewing, 4700 Burleson Rd., Unit F
Give thanks over a round of small-batch beers. On Thanksgiving Day, this tiny brewery in Southeast Austin hosts a screening of "Home for the Holidays," a 1995 film, starring Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr., that takes place over Thanksgiving, not Christmas. Orf also has cans of beer like the Rhum Porter you can take to go (in case, you know, your relatives stay all weekend).