Every major city has cocktail bars and lounges. However, the bars in Austin are unique, just like the city and the people that reside there. Many of the bars are renovated from old properties and houses, feature a garden or patio, and sources of entertainment, whether it’s music, television, or games – not to mention the drinks are pretty great too! Read our list to discover the 10 best bars in Austin.
The Ginger Man Hill Country, Bee Cave | pinprick/Flickr
If you like beer, The Ginger Man has an amazing selection to choose from. They offer domestic and international craft beer, both on tap and in bottles. Enjoy a pint of beer out on the beautiful garden patio, which is cozy and intimate. Alternatively, sip down a cool, refreshing glass of cider indoors. The atmosphere is comfortable and friendly; play a round of darts with the regulars or team up with friends for a thrilling game of trivia. Look out for Pint Nights on Mondays, Ginger Man’s version of Happy Hour where special beers are discounted – not to mention, the pub hosts a number of traditions and events, including Oktoberfest.
Draught House Pub & Brewery, Austin | Kimberley Carmona/Flickr
Visiting Draught House Pub & Brewery is like going over to your best friend’s backyard for a casual hangout. Though there is a traditional indoor bar, the action is outside. Grab a drink out on their spacious garden patio, surrounded by a quaint picket fence. There are tons of tables and benches, ideal for groups or pairs looking to make friends. The bartenders and staff are very helpful, attentive and experts on all things beer. Rather than preparing the same menu in house, the pub gives patrons the option of eclectic dining. Each day, Draught House hosts a different food truck to serve customers a variety of cuisine, including seafood and lobster, Mexican dishes, and traditional American favorites. If you’re looking for a place to go that’s casual and inviting, look no further than Draught House.
This hidden basement bar is old-school cool. Elephant Room features live performances seven nights a week – see only the best of local jazz and blues talent. Performances are soulful and rich, creating an unparalleled ambiance. Cozy up in a booth and enjoy the music, while sipping on a glass of wine or draft beer. They also have fairly inexpensive hand crafted cocktails. Elephant Room is perfect if you’re searching for something fun but not too crazy for a weeknight. Although the atmosphere is low key, you’re guaranteed great conversation with other patrons, and you may even make a few good friends.
Converted from an old, classic house, Bar 96 is a great time for sports fans. Cheer on your favorite team, while watching them play on the big screens situated on the outdoor patio. Outside, you’ll find picnic tables for group seating, and fun games to play, such as ring toss, corn hole, and other activities. Whether you like hockey, football, basketball, or soccer doesn’t matter; Bar 96 shows a variety of sports on their TVs. They specialize in creative, artisan cocktails, but you can also order a pitcher of beer for something simpler. Bomb Tacos, the food truck out back, serves burritos, quesadillas, sandwiches & burgers, and of course, delicious tacos to feast on while you watch the game.
This music lounge is one of the coolest venues in Austin. Deceivingly, the bar isn’t named after the punk hairstyle but rather the Northeast Native American culture. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t rock out. With three bars and two separate stages, Mohawkis a great place to see a live performance from a punk, rock, folk, or indie band. There’s an indoor, patio, and roof deck bar where you can enjoy a refreshing beverage. Be sure to check online for ticket information for certain performances, and arrive early so you get a good spot.
East End Wines is a quaint and classy find in bustling Austin. Established from an idyllic house, East End is a wine store that provides patrons with personal one-on-one attention reminiscent of southern hospitality. Staff will help you decide between a red and a white, a Rosé or a Riesling, a chardonnay or pinot noir. They are friendly experts who want to help you satisfy your taste buds, and even open them up to discover new delicious flavors. Because East End knows sampling is an important part of the decision making process, they host free weekly wine tastings. Grab a friend or two and sample their newest wines and nosh on a few tasty appetizers out on the lovely patio.
Restored from a century-old home built in 1895, Icenhauer’s is one of the hottest bars in town. Though it has been significantly updated, it still retains much of the charm of an old house. Guests may enjoy cocktails in the backyard patio while relaxing in lounge chairs and the house dog may even come up to you and beg for a belly rub. If it’s too warm to sit around the fire pit, head inside to sit at the bar and chat with one of the friendly attendants. They’ll whip you up a delicious drink, all of which are named after women. A few times a month Icenhauer’s will host live performances, which add to the warm and welcoming atmosphere.
It doesn’t take long for the people that visit the Flying Saucer Draught to feel like a family. For starters, the Emporium offers a membership for regulars called the UFO Club. For a small membership fee, you’ll receive a shirt and personal Flying Saucer card. Every time you drink one of their 200 brews, swipe your card, and you’ll eventually be inducted into their famed Ring of Honor. The bar is known for being family friendly; accompanied minors are permitted before 9 pm and you can bring your dog out on the patio. If beer isn’t your favorite, the Flying Saucer is equipped with a full bar, and serves wine and craft cocktails. They also have a delicious food menu with items such as Shepherd’s Pie, Green Chili Pork Stew, and IPA Mac & Cheese.
The thing that makes the Yellow Jacket stand out from other bars in the area is that it’s a popular hangout during all hours of the day. The social club is especially bustling during weekend brunch, where visitors are known to enjoy frittata, French toast, mimosas, and Bloody Marys. The patio is very inviting, with twinkle lights strewn in between the branches of the hovering trees. Though this has a classic vibe to it, other parts of Yellow Jacket are a little edgier; the bathrooms are known for their funky graffiti. If you’re searching for good food, good prices, and good drinks, the Yellow Jacket Social Club is definitely a must visit.
Aside from water, coffee and alcohol are probably the two most popular kinds of beverages in the United States, so why not blend the two together? Austin’s Halcyon does this perfectly. Enjoy the two beverages separately by grabbing a latte on your way to work in the morning, then returning for a fun cocktail happy hour with coworkers – or have alcohol and coffee together in one drink! Halcyon has eight delicious espresso cocktails on the menu, including the Thin Min, Insomniac, Irish Coffee, and Iced Voodoo Lady. All of them pack a punch and give you something unique and sweet to enjoy after dinner. The lounge also features live music weekly, so be sure to stop by for a jam session.