The Best Cocktail Bars in Austin, Texas

Courtesy of Kitty Cohen's
Courtesy of Kitty Cohen's
Photo of Sarah Karney
20 February 2017

There’s more to Austin‘s nightlife than Sixth Street. Cool off on a hot summer day or meet friends for happy hour at one of these innovative cocktail bars, many of which come with expansive patios and delicious bar snacks.

Kitty Cohen's

Cocktail Bar, North American, $$$
Courtesy of Kitty Cohen's
Kitty Cohen’s is a perfect spot for a girl’s night out, with flamingo-adorned bathroom walls, a glittery bar, and a pool to dip your feet into on the patio out back. This 70s-themed feminist bar offers sweet and sexy libations that are the perfect compliment to a warm day, including a $45 punch bowl to share with friends – or not.


Bar, North American
Courtesy of Handlebar

For a great night out on Sixth Street, be sure to visit HandleBar. It’s laid-back and fun, complete with mustache décor, a photo booth, games, and rooftop views of downtown Austin. The drinks continue the mustache theme, named after famous men with facial hair like the Alex Trebek and Daniel Day-Lewis shots, Salvador Dali mezcal drink, and Charlie Chaplin vodka cocktail.


Cocktail Bar, North American, $$$
Courtesy of Sellers
Sellers is a newly opened 5,800-square-foot (538.8-square-meter) cocktail lounge in the Warehouse District of downtown Austin. Modeled as a 1970s “basement lounge” with velvet, wood, and brass accents, it also has a large event space attached. This place is still quite under the radar and a pleasant, comfortable place to have a pre-dinner cocktail.

The Wheel

Bar, Cocktail Bar, North American, $$$
Courtesy of The Wheel

This bicycle-themed casual spot on the east side puts emphasis on their whiskey cocktails but also has craft beers on tap. The porch features a fountain made of old beer tap handles and has plenty of covered outdoor seating. You can have food delivered to your table by ordering from the Austin Daily Press sandwich trailer next door.

Weather Up

Cocktail Bar, Bar, North American, $$$
Weather Up has two locations in NYC, as well as one in Austin, and brings upscale cocktails, bar snacks, and brunch to the east side. Highlights from the cocktail menu include the Bigger & Better, made with vodka, herbal liquor, blood orange, lime juice, and soda, and the $7 house-made Fireball shot and Lone Star pairing. You also shouldn’t skimp on snacks, especially the saffron butter mussels.

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