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Bright, happening, young, lively, loud—these words come to mind when I think of Malaga Tapas & Bar, smartly situated along the popular new Second Street Entertainment District just west of Congress Avenue. One of the best happy hour locations downtown, Malaga offers drink discounts seven days a week, with wine by the carafe specials on Sundays. The bar has some of the best margarita and cocktail concoctions in town, great tequila,  a nice selection of champagne, and an extensive wine list. In keeping with its Spanish theme, Malaga is also home to delectable gourmet tapas, small bites of delight like authentic Spanish Serrano ham and Spanish chorizo, or Idiazabal, Mahon, and Manchego cheeses served with a house marmalade. Queso de cabra, fried goat cheese balls served with lavender honey and marmalade, is another standout. On Thursday nights after 7pm patrons are treated to live Spanish guitar and discounts on bottled wine for those who order a tower of tapas. There is both indoor and sidewalk seating, so this is a good place for people-watching downtown. Malaga is near the popular Austin City Limits Moody Theatre, making it the perfect place for pre- and post-concert eats. Exposed brick, good lighting, happy people—Malaga has all the right elements in a recipe for success. This is the place I like to bring friends on their first night in Austin because it's a strategic starting point downtown; we can walk anywhere from here—to other great dining locations (though staying at Malaga for lunch or dinner is always a good idea, too) to popular music venues, coffee houses, theater, and more. Second Street and the whole Warehouse District nearby are busy every night, especially on weekends when great throngs fill the sidewalks and streets downtown. For visitors to Austin, Malaga is within walking distance of most downtown hotels, like  the nearby W Hotel. Keep Malaga in mind, too, for Sunday brunch—$3 mimosas, sangrias, and Bloody Marys are hard to beat.