Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden is one of the best places in Austin for house-made sausages, comfort food, and local craft beers. The restaurant is popular for its selection of traditional, exotic, and vegetarian sausages. They also offer one of the best selections of craft beers in Texas with over 100 beers on draft.
The restaurant and beer garden opened in 2012 in Austin’s Rainey Street Historic District. The district is home to many historic bungalows and homes. Over the past few years, many of these homes have been converted into restaurants and bars. This includes Banger’s.
Since I love beer gardens, craft beer, and smoked foods, I made my way over to Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden to try it out for myself.
For me, the highlight of my visit to Banger’s was the expansive, open-air beer garden. There is just something special about drinking beer in a beer garden, whether in Munich or Austin. The beer garden featured long communal tables, perfect for socializing or for large groups. The beer garden was also dog friendly for those who want to bring their pooch along.
If you are looking for a quiet meal, then the beer garden or beer hall might not be for you. Some days, there is live music so the atmosphere can be lively and boisterous. Be sure to check the Banger’s event schedule for upcoming live music or other events.
If you have the time, be sure to take a peak at the smokehouse located in the back of the beer garden. Inside the building are large smokers. In these smokers, sausages and other meats are slow cooked for hours until smoky and tender. If you are lucky, you might be able to catch the chefs as they are working in the smokehouse.
Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden Menu
The menu at Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden had everything you would want to eat while drinking beer. You had an assortment of appetizers and sides, perfect for sharing. There was everything from pickles, to pretzels, to poutine. The main focus of the menu was the house-made sausages, ranging from the traditional brat to the exotic duck sausage. There was also a vegetarian friendly option made with a tomato based sausage. Those looking for something without a bun might want to try the currywurst or Chinese BBQ Sausage. If you want something different, maybe order the Schweinebraten. This German dish featured smoked pork shoulder cooked for 10 hours over post oak.
Other than food, there was a huge selection of craft beers to choose from. There were over 100 beers on draft ranging from local Austin beers to harder to find brews. If you are looking for craft beer, this is your spot.
Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden happy hour ran from 3:00PM to 6:00PM, Monday through Friday. The happy hour menu included $5 brats and $5 pints.
Jalapeño Cheddar Brat
I love spicy foods. And, I love cheese. So, the Jalapeño Cheddar Brat ($10.00) stuffed with jalapeños and cheddar cheese wasn’t a difficult choice. More jalapeños and a grain mustard topped this brat off.
When I took my first bite, I found the skin of the brat to be snappy but a little hard to bite through. I would have preferred the brat to be crispier. The inside of the brat was moist and almost creamy in texture. It was so juicy that when I bit into the brat, oils of the meat and cheese flowed out. I could taste smoke, but it wasn’t so strong that it overpowered the rich, salty, and spicy flavors of the meat.
Topping this brat were jalapeños and a grain mustard. The roasted jalapeños were both spicy and smoky. The peppers added more heat, more so than the sausage. They also added a tender texture to each bite. You can’t have a sausage without some type of mustard. In this case, a whole grain horseradish mustard. The horseradish, with its classic strong and spicy flavor, added even more heat to this brat. You might want to keep your beer nearby if you can’t handle the heat.
The final component of this dish, the bun, was simple but did the job. The bun, toasted on the outside while light and fluffy on the inside, held together to the last bite.
Next up was the Boudin Balls ($9.00), a deep fried goodie stuffed with boudin sausage. Each order came with three boudin balls along with pickles and grain mustard on the side. To be honest, when I ordered, I had no idea what boudin balls were. But, I’m glad I ordered them.
Boudin is a type of pork sausage made with rice and seasonings, such as Cajun seasoning. To make boudin balls, you take the sausage, roll it into a ball, toss it in breadcrumbs, and deep fry it. This might be the ultimate comfort food.
Each ball was golden brown on the outside after being deep fried to perfection. When I took a bite of each ball, I could hear the crunch of the crispy breading.
What surprised me the most had to be the boudin sausage hidden under the breading. The texture was not what I was expecting. Its shredded texture reminded me of pulled pork but with a spicy, smoky Cajun twist. Mixed in with the sausage was rice which added both flavor and texture to each bite. I enjoyed the textural contrast between the crunchy breading and moist, savory filling.
Served on the side were crunchy, salty pickles and a thick stone ground mustard. Both the pickles and a dip in the mustard helped cut through the richness of the deep fried boudin balls.
My only complaint? I didn’t think three boudin balls was enough. Four would have been more appropriate for the price.
Last up was the Poutine ($7.50 for small, $12.50 for large). For those who don’t know, poutine is a Canadian dish made of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. At Banger’s, they made their poutine with salt & pepper fries, hand stretched cheese curds, and house-made veal gravy.
The french fries are the most important component of any poutine. They must be crispy on the outside while soft on the inside. And, they must hold up to the gravy and cheese piled on top without becoming soggy.
The fresh-cut salt & pepper fries did not disappoint. The potatoes were golden brown and crispy on the outside while tender and moist on the inside. The smaller bits, which were crispy and crunchy, were my favorite. The combination of textures between the crispy and tender pieces elevated this simple dish. And, they were seasoned well with salt and pepper.
Drizzled over the top was a rich veal gravy. There was enough gravy to cover the fries without making them soggy. But, the gravy was quite salty, so be sure to give everything on the plate a good mix to balance the flavors.
The final component, the hand stretched cheese curds, brought the entire dish together. You can’t have poutine without cheese curds. The lightly melted cheese, which reminded me of fresh mozzarella, had a dense, chewy texture and mild flavor. While simple, the combination of cheese curds, gravy, and french fries came together to make a delicious dish.
For busy afternoon, I thought the service at Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden was great. With that said, be patient if it is busy. I watched my server as he jumped from table to table as fast as he could. He was doing a great job but could only move so fast. But, I had no complaints since I was enjoying a cold beer on a beautiful day in Austin.
I also appreciated how my friendly server gave me his honest opinions on what to order. What he suggested turned out to be great choices. And, food and drinks arrived quickly, so I had no complaints with the service.
There were many things to love about Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden. First the location in Austin’s Rainey Street Historic District. Second, the food which included handcrafted sausages and Southern comfort favorites. Finally, the beer. If you love beer, then this is your spot with over 100 craft beers on tap. And, I can’t forget about the beer garden which was the perfect spot in town to enjoy a cold one. If you are looking for good beer, good food, and good times, then Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden, might be the spot for you.
- Beer garden
- Large selection of craft beers
- Good choice of sausages from the traditional to the exotic
- Friendly service
- Great location in the Rainey Street Historic District
- When busy, you might have to wait for a table
79 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701
GPS Coordinates: 30.25895,-97.73851