Few things liberate the soul quite like belting out the lyrics to your favorite song. Add good friends, good drinks, and a fun atmosphere and you get that most kitschy of thematic entertainment, e.g. karaoke bars. Not only is it a great way to stretch your vocal cords, but also a way to embarrass yourself in front of a hopefully receptive crowd. Whether you’re doing the singing or just there for the show, here’s our list of the best places to enjoy an evening of karaoke in Austin.
Ego’s is a karaoke bar that also hosts pool tables in an intimate atmosphere with plenty of seating for spectators. It feels like a neighborhood dive bar with a traditional karaoke set-up and extensive song selection, with a good mix of classic oldies and modern day hits. The best part about this bar is the friendly crowd that sings right along with you as you brave it on stage.
Bring the whole squad to Highball, where you’ll find live music, dancing, events dedicated to playing games like Cards Against Humanity, or even your very own private room for a night of karaoke. Themed rooms come with your own personal server and a songbook to pick out your favorite tunes.
Austin Karaoke has private rooms you can reserve till 4am during the week and 5am on weekends. If you’re familiar with the karaoke you can find in South Korea you’ll find this place delivers a similar set-up. They have rooms with a capacity for as many as 50 people, and everything is digital – you also get your own microphone, and there’s ample seating to fit everyone comfortably. The BYOB policy makes it friendlier on the wallet, too.
Hi Tunes offers private rooms with a great sound system, making it a truly pleasant night out –and they give you covers for your microphones to keep things sanitary. The Korean-style karaoke set-up features videos playing on the screen of famous Korean pop stars, and the program even scores your performance when you’re done. There’s plenty of seating and a BYOB policy allowing for the ultimate experience.
Boomerz is a lively bar with karaoke on Thursday nights. They have hard-to-beat drink specials and pass as a downright great neighborhood bar, with a giant TV screen dedicated to karaoke. You can sing on stage, sing along with your friends, or listen while playing pool.
Top Spin is a great place to take part in or just sit back and watch the karaoke magic happen. You’ll be graced with the voices of every type of person you can imagine from honky tonk country to the heavy metal rocker. They have regular drink specials and karaoke competitions for the chance to win cash prizes. You can enjoy it all inside or on their outdoor patio.
A gem of a dive bar in Plugerville, just 3o minutes north of downtown Austin, Red Rooster’s may be in an old building, but it offers loads of character with good times written all over it. There’s never a long wait to get on the singing list and there’s an extensive variety of song selections; floor lights give it a nice touch, making you feel like a true professional on stage. By Aubrey Cofield