From our Love Handles files on beer bars we love: This unpretentious pub near the University of Texas is light on frills and heavy on local craft.
Crown & Anchor
What it is: For 35 years and counting, the Crown & Anchor Pub has been a neighborhood institution on the north side of the University of Texas campus. It has a casual, familiar, all-comers-welcome college-bar vibe, only slightly too bright and beery to be a proper dive. Its popular range of pub grub focuses mainly on tacos, nachos, dogs, and perfectly sized greasy burgers (highly recommended: jalapeño cheeseburger). There are darts and two pool tables inside, while a wide front porch offers air and space.
Why it’s great: This would be an excellent bar with only a few beers, so the 30-plus taps and dozens of cans and bottles just take it to another level. The selection features a solid sampling of Austin-area and Texas craft beer—look for local lagers from Live Oak, Real Ale, and Altstadt; juicy IPAs from Pinthouse or 512; or a coffee milk stout from Zilker. It’s also inexpensive. There are different beer specials every day of the week—including Tex-Mex Mondays, when Texan and Mexican beers are $4.50 a pint—besides a long everyday happy hour (2–7 p.m.) when all draft beers are discounted. While not a place to hunt rarities, it’s ideal for spending an evening with friends and great beer. —Joe Stange
Hours: 11 a.m.–2 a.m., daily
Address: 2911 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, Texas