Looking for an intimate wine bar, a lively brewery, or a craft cocktail lounge in Austin? The city that likes to keep things weird has just what you’re looking for. From honky-tonk dance halls to elegant wood-carved bars, this thriving metropolis offers an atmosphere for all kinds of drinkers. Put on your party pants or get classy with some friends and live it up at the best bars in Austin.
The Best Bars in Austin
1. Apartment 115
2025 E 7th St Apt 115
Enjoy an evening with friends at this intimate wine bar featuring a cozy indoor space and quaint patio seating. The bar focuses on small producer wines and is a great spot to try fine wines from oranges and whites to reds and rosés. Stop in during happy hour for great discounts on each glass or per bottle.
2. The White Horse
500 Comal St
The White Horse is an East Austin honky-tonk bar featuring live music every night and a fantastic happy hour. Four-dollar Fireball and Jameson shots are sure to have you on your feet grooving to the beat on the dance floor. With whiskey on tap, two pool tables, the best tacos, and a killer back patio, The White Horse is one of the best spots in town to grab a drink.
3. Midnight Cowboy
313 E 6th St
Midnight Cowboy is an Austin speakeasy located right in the heart of dirty sixth street. To gain entry to this legendary establishment, ring the buzzer outside marked “Harry Craddock”. The space is small and you’ll know there is room by the lighted vacancy sign hanging above the door. To guarantee yourself a spot to enjoy craft cocktails with St. Germain and whiskey, make a reservation on their website.
4. Firehouse Lounge
605 Brazos St
Firehouse Lounge serves up craft cocktails with a focus on the presentation without the frilly pretentiousness of fancy cocktail bars. The cozy, sleek interior will transport you back in time and you’ll enjoy the company of friends nestled amongst old-world charm. They also feature live music with acts ranging from rock and roll greats to local jazz and blues bands.
121 E 5th St
Calling themselves the “adult wonderland” this bar is the perfect place to get in the spirit of keeping Austin weird. Head up to the rooftop bar where you’ll find oversized Jenga games and playground ponies. Try the Salvador Dali featuring Wahaka Blanco Mezcal, Peychauds and Fee Bros. bitters, Habanero Shrub, and agave nectar.
6. LaLa’s Little Nugget
2207 Justin Ln
At LaLa’s it’s Christmas all year long. After taking the holiday decorations down back in 1972 and feeling like the place felt too empty, the lights went back up and have stayed there ever since. At this cozy dive bar, you’ll find a lighted Christmas tree and a Jolly Hour where you can get Lone Star tallboys for three bucks each.
1816 East 6th St
Whisler’s is a legendary Austin bar featuring a unique blend of Spanish, rustic, and industrial décor. The space has an altar dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the Mezcaleria Tobala is located right upstairs. Try the Whisler’s Old Fashioned featuring bourbon, turbinado, and angostura bitters or opt for the Bidi Bidi Bom Bom featuring mezcal, Aperol, tamarind, strawberry, citrus, pepper, and worm salt. You can also enjoy a wider range of margaritas and other classic Spanish-inspired cocktails. If you get hungry, grab some grub from the Thai-Kun food truck located on-site.
8. Nickel City
1133 East 11th St
Located on the east side of Austin, this award-winning bar serves up amazing cocktails, beers, and wine. The spot was listed in Esquire’s list of the Best Bars in America and won the Best New Bar award from Timeout. Try the Negroni or Aperol on tap and don’t miss out on the Detroit-style coneys, sliders, and wings.
9. The Roosevelt Room
307 W 5th St
The Roosevelt Room is a swanky Austin bar that consistently ranks as one of the best places to grab a drink in Austin. Take your pick of 53 different craft cocktails and enjoy the stunning décor and upscale atmosphere. While fancier than some other options on this list, prices are still reasonable and customers are treated like family so you can check stuck-up vibes at the door.
10. The Townsend
718 Congress Ave
Located in a building built in 1875, this bar offers an elegant drinking experience that is accented by warm lighting and rich, satin black walls. Enjoy specialty cocktails like the Dragoncello featuring mezcal, amaro Montenegro, Cocchi Americano, lemon, and tarragon honey.
207 E 53rd St
Drink.Well is a neighborhood bar and gastropub featuring more than 75 whiskeys from around the globe. The bar features craft beer, cocktails, and wine along with farm-to-table foods that turn any evening into a magical night. Order the Half Moon Bay or Joanie Loves Tchotchkes off the cocktail menu or indulge in a cold brew at the beer bar.
12. Small Victory
108 E 7th St
This hole in the wall establishment is located in the parking garage of the Intercontinental Austin Hotel and is one of the best bars in Austin. It features a warm, welcoming atmosphere with plush banquette-style seats and artisan craft cocktails. Try the Artists’ Special or the Liberal Cocktail and don’t miss the excellent charcuterie featuring mortadella, saucisson rouge, soppressata, and terrine of rabbit.
13. Bar Peached
1315 W 6th St
Bar Peached features a 13-seat bar serving up draft cocktails, made-to-order cocktails along with beer and wine. You won’t go hungry here either with a wide range of Asian and Mexican inspired treats to choose from. It’s also one of Austin’s hottest brunch spots.
14. Kitty Cohen
2211 Webberville Rd
This cocktail lounge and patio bar is the perfect place to enjoy drinks with friends. The watering hole features a 1970’s vibe and theme with a small swimming pool you can refresh in during the hot summer months. Inspired by rebellious women, it’s the perfect place to let your hair down and grab a drink at the full bar. The drink menu includes a range of beverages made using tequila, whiskey, and other classics.
15. Craft Pride
61 Rainey Street
Craft Pride is located in the heart of downtown Austin and is one of the best breweries in the city. The bar offers Texas-made beers from famous brands like Austin Beerworks, St. Elmo Brewing Co, and Live Oak Brewing. You’ll find everything from wheat beers and malty ale to pilsners, stouts, and hoppy brews at this beer garden.
16. The Driskill Bar
604 Brazos St
The Driskill is one of Austin’s legendary hotels, offering an elegant yet rustic atmosphere for enjoying a few drinks. Enjoy an old fashioned or another classic cocktail while sitting on the cowhide barstools or getting cozy in one of the large leather sofas. The room is adorned with classic Texas-style including a Longhorn and each night, you’ll enjoy live music from local musicians.
17. Seven Grand
405 E 7th St
Seven Grand is a whiskey bar featuring over 400 premium whiskeys in a rustic and welcoming atmosphere. Focusing on the five main whiskey cocktails Old Fashioned, Sazerac, Rye Manhattan, Whiskey Sour, and Mint Julep, this bar is the place to take your favorite whiskey lover or to head if you want to learn more about the American-made booze.
Cheers to A Night At the Best Bars in Austin
Whether you’re looking for an upscale wine bar, a dive bar, or a local honky-tonk Austin has what you’re looking for. The drinking establishments in this lively city offer everything from Longhorn pride to hipster vibes and tiki décor. From music venues to karaoke bars and cocktail lounges, you’re just a half step away from the best watering holes in Austin. Cheers to an evening of delicious drinks and great friends whether you’re in the North Loop or over in South Austin.