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The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots

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 2015I’ll continue to update the list as I try out new joints.

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My two criteria are simple: 

  1. Solid drinks
  2. 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

Downtown

Bar Congress
Cozy institution serving diligently handcrafted classics.

Bar Congress | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Bar Congress | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Bess Bistro
Cozy hideaway serving classic drinks & Southern plates.

The Bonneville
Ageless beverages with a twist & restyled European dishes.

Bonneville | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

The Bonneville | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

The Carillon
Time-honored concoctions in a luxurious space.

Chavez
Polished pool-side lounge for sipping on Southwestern flavors.

Chavez | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Chavez | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

CU29
Classy haunt for infused liquors & inventive mixes.

CU29 | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

CU29 | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Garage 
Obscure location crafting creative concoctions.

Isla
Dangerous tikis & draft cocktails paired with fresh seafood.

La Condesa
Innovative Mexican-inspired cocktails & adventurous bites.

La Condesa | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

La Condesa | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Living Room at the W Hotel
Sultry lounge for music & seasonal drinks.

Midnight Cowboy
Speakeasy with vintage vibe for expertly prepared beverages.

Midnight Cowboy | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Midnight Cowboy | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Parkside
Lively libations, raw oysters & elevated cooking.

Parlor Bar at Hotel Ella
Relaxed hangout offering classic cocktails & bar snacks.

Péché
Absinthe, timeless drinks & a stylish bibliotheque of booze.

Péché | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Péché | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Second Bar + Kitchen
Light bites, refreshing drinks & a breezy patio.

Second Bar & Kitchen | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Second Bar & Kitchen | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Swift’s Attic
Eclectic venue for locally inspired drinks & ambitious eats.

Swift's Attic | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Swift’s Attic | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Rainey St.

Clive Bar
Barrel aged cocktails, spirited crowd & live music nightly.

El Naranjo
Balanced margaritas, original drinks & fine Oaxacan fare.

El Naranjo | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

El Naranjo | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Half Step
Precisely prepared libations with hand-cut ice.

Half Step | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Half Step | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Icenhauer’s
Bright Southern flavors in a revamped historic house.

NO VA
Sleek, airy bar shaking up imaginative combinations.

NO VA | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

NO VA | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

East Austin

Contigo
Outdoor seating, seasonal eats & straightforward cocktails.

Contigo | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Contigo | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

East Side Show Room
Storied lounge with complex drinks & live music.

Launderette
Café serving unpretentious drinks alongside eclectic dishes.

Launderette | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Launderette | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

LaV
Luxe location for sophisticated libations & French cuisine.

Mettle
Vibrant cocktails & playful dishes in a chic space.

Mettle | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Mettle | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Qui
Expressive concoctions to pair with highly inventive fare.

qui-best-cocktails-austin-guide-melody-gourmet-fury

Sawyer & Co.
Retro diner serving up NOLA classics & a delicious Ramos Gin Fizz.

Sawyer & Co. | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Sawyer & Co. | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Weatherup
Vintage libations & light fare on an easygoing patio.

Weatherup | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Weatherup | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Whisler’s
Energetic hangout with classic drinks & new renditions.

Whisler's | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Whisler’s | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Wonderland
Laid-back nightspot turning out complex draft drinks.

Wonderland | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Wonderland | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

North Loop

Drink.Well
Relaxed mainstay for reimagined cocktails & comfort food.

Drink.Well | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Drink.Well | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

The Tigress Pub
No-frills fixture shaking up proper concoctions.

The Tigress | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

The Tigress | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

West/ Central

Blackbird & Henry
Light-filled eatery offering cocktails on tap & refined eats.

Blackbird and Henry | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Blackbird and Henry | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Clark’s Oyster Bar
Posh seafood bar offering intricate cocktails.

Jeffrey’s
Elegant libations served up in an upscale atmosphere.

Olive & June
Bold Italian-driven drinks to pair with antipasti & more.

Olive & June | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Olive & June | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

South

aRoma
Boozy fixes with an Italian spin, pastas & wood-fired pizzas.

Odd Duck
Playful combinations, barrel aged classics & farm-fresh plates.

Odd Duck | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Odd Duck | The Ultimate Guide To Austin’s Best Cocktail Spots | Melody Gourmet Fury

Porter Ale House & Gastropub
Easygoing drinks amidst an impressive craft beer lineup.

 

I have a few more in queue so stay tuned via InstagramTwitter or Facebook.  

Have more must-trys?  Please comment below.

 

COMMENTS: 2
  1. March 15, 2015 by Dave @ brisketandbagels.com

    Great recs. Beautiful photos too!

  2. March 17, 2015 by Melody Fury

    Thanks, Dave! Loving your posts too.

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