The 78701 ZIP code—which encompasses the bulk of Austin's downtown bar scene, including Rainey Street, but excluding East 6th—contains the most "alcohol drinking places" compared to other ZIP codes in the US, according to data from 2005.1


In order to purchase alcohol in Texas, a person must be 21 years of age or older.  It is a class C misdemeanor to even attempt to purchase alcohol as a minor.

Open containers of alcohol (including bottles with a broken seal that have been reclosed) in a vehicle can get you a ticket in Texas, even if the vehicle is parked or not running.  It's not an offense if the container is in the trunk.2

Bars and other restaurants cannot serve alcohol past 02:00 (2:00 AM).  You must be finished with your drink by 02:15 (but you'll find that most places won't let you stay past 02:00, anyway).

Grocery and convenience stores can only sell beer and wine between 07:00 (7:00 AM) and midnight, except for Saturdays, in which case they may sell alcohol until 01:00 (1:00 AM), and on Sundays may not sell alcohol before noon.  They may not sell liquor.

Liquor stores may only sale alcohol between 10:00 (AM) and 21:00 (9:00 PM).  They may not sell alcohol on Sunday or Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years Day.  If the holiday falls on a Sunday, they are also prohibited from selling alcohol the next day.


  1. Top 101 zip codes with the most alcohol drinking places in 2005. City Data.
  2. Possession of Alcoholic Beverage in Motor Vehicle. Texas Penal Code, §49.031.