• Annie Leggett

Local Business Spotlight: Irene's

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Inspired by one of Irene's partners' Southern-charmer grandmother, who was known as a “drinking, smoking, gambling woman with an immense heart and a keen understanding of true hospitality,” this classic American bar and restaurant straddles multiple identities making them the perfect stop for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a quick coffee stop, full course lunch, or patio hangout to sip drinks, Irene’s is a fantastic choice. And after dining, don’t miss snapping a photo in front of the iconic pink neon sign that’s on the ivy wall...after all, it’s one of Austin’s most Instagrammed places!

Irene's serves everything from grab-and-go breakfasts and pastries, to lunch and dinner entrees. My personal favorite meal is their one-of-kind Irish Nachos. Think classic nachos with an Irish spin, substituting tortilla chips with crispy potatoes. On top of those delicious potatoes? Cheddar, bacon, sour cream, scallions, jalapenos, and guacamole! The big question is whether to share or not to share this delicious snack with the table...

Irene's head chef, Andrew Curren, has studied culinary arts all over the world and has been nominated for several impressive awards. When asked what he enjoys most about the Austin food scene, he says that "it’s a fresh crew of thoughtful chefs who put an emphasis on quality ingredients and hospitality, giving the guests better experiences than Austin previously had 10 years ago." Curren met his wife and Irene's executive pastry chef, Mary Catherine, while in culinary school where she studied baking and pastry arts. Catherine is also the executive pastry chef for 24 Diner and Italic and she creates all of the decadent sweets Irene's has to offer. Don’t miss out on Chef Mary Catherine’s famous strawberry cake made with cream cheese frosting and layers of strawberry jam.

Lastly, you can't forget their signature drink menu. Stiff drinks are the house specialty and come in the form of cocktails, whiskeys, punches, margaritas, and they also have a great beer and wine selection. Chef Andrew's personal favorites: Painkillers and Frosé. The Painkiller features rum, coconut, orange, and pineapple juice. You can get their famous Frosé for just $5 during their weekend brunch special! Irene's also offers another special in honor of Tequila Tuesday where you can grab a $4 margarita (on the rocks or frozen) or $6 tequila punch. Now you know where to find me after 5 o'clock on Tuesdays! Their full bar menu is also available for to-go if you feel more comfortable enjoying these tasty eats and drinks at home.

Irene's is open for dine-in service where you can sit outside on their beautiful and spacious patio, but they will also continue their carry-out and delivery services. You can go check out their page @irenesaustin on Instagram for more info on specials and updates. We are beyond excited to have this iconic Austin spot featured in Jettset Local's 2021 Foodie Flight!