The first piece I ever wrote on cocktails in Austin featured Haddingtons, which is sadly no longer. That Serious Eats article was published back in January, 2012. Since then, I’ve watched the city’s cocktail scene blossom, no: explode. I’ve had the opportunity to photograph and write about many many more of Austin’s best cocktail destinations. (See samples of my work)
Below is a compilation of my personal favorites for Austin Food Blogger Alliance’s Austin City Guide 2015. I’ll continue to update the list as I try out new joints.
My two criteria are simple:
- Solid drinks
- Good vibes
Bonus points if they also serve tasty food and have happy hour specials.
Each spot is distinct and has its own merits and specializations. Many of them are eateries because restaurants are consistently shaking up some of the best cocktails in town. Regardless of your style, you’re bound to find a few choices on this list that suit you. Santé !
Best Cocktail Spots in Austin
All photos: Melody Fury
Cozy institution serving diligently handcrafted classics.
Cozy hideaway serving classic drinks & Southern plates.
Ageless beverages with a twist & restyled European dishes.
Time-honored concoctions in a luxurious space.
Polished pool-side lounge for sipping on Southwestern flavors.
Classy haunt for infused liquors & inventive mixes.
Obscure location crafting creative concoctions.
Dangerous tikis & draft cocktails paired with fresh seafood.
Innovative Mexican-inspired cocktails & adventurous bites.
Living Room at the W Hotel
Sultry lounge for music & seasonal drinks.
Speakeasy with vintage vibe for expertly prepared beverages.
Lively libations, raw oysters & elevated cooking.
Parlor Bar at Hotel Ella
Relaxed hangout offering classic cocktails & bar snacks.
Absinthe, timeless drinks & a stylish bibliotheque of booze.
Second Bar + Kitchen
Light bites, refreshing drinks & a breezy patio.
Eclectic venue for locally inspired drinks & ambitious eats.
Barrel aged cocktails, spirited crowd & live music nightly.
Balanced margaritas, original drinks & fine Oaxacan fare.
Precisely prepared libations with hand-cut ice.
Bright Southern flavors in a revamped historic house.
Sleek, airy bar shaking up imaginative combinations.
Outdoor seating, seasonal eats & straightforward cocktails.
East Side Show Room
Storied lounge with complex drinks & live music.
Café serving unpretentious drinks alongside eclectic dishes.
Luxe location for sophisticated libations & French cuisine.
Vibrant cocktails & playful dishes in a chic space.
Expressive concoctions to pair with highly inventive fare.
Sawyer & Co.
Retro diner serving up NOLA classics & a delicious Ramos Gin Fizz.
Vintage libations & light fare on an easygoing patio.
Energetic hangout with classic drinks & new renditions.
Laid-back nightspot turning out complex draft drinks.
Relaxed mainstay for reimagined cocktails & comfort food.
The Tigress Pub
No-frills fixture shaking up proper concoctions.
Blackbird & Henry
Light-filled eatery offering cocktails on tap & refined eats.
Clark’s Oyster Bar
Posh seafood bar offering intricate cocktails.
Elegant libations served up in an upscale atmosphere.
Olive & June
Bold Italian-driven drinks to pair with antipasti & more.
Boozy fixes with an Italian spin, pastas & wood-fired pizzas.
Playful combinations, barrel aged classics & farm-fresh plates.
Porter Ale House & Gastropub
Easygoing drinks amidst an impressive craft beer lineup.
Have more must-trys? Please comment below.