I’m here to share my go-to cocktail bars in Austin with you! I love finding craft cocktail bars in every city I visit, but exploring them in my home town of Austin Texas is extra fun because I get to re-visit them again and again!
There are some lovely cocktail bars to visit in Austin, from the award-winning places with skilled mixologists, to low-key casual bars for an easy weeknight drink, to gorgeous bars with outdoor patios for afternoon happy hours. These are the places I find myself visiting again and again.
8 Best Cocktail Bars in Austin Texas
1. Midnight Cowboy
What it is: A small reservations-only lounge on Sixth Street with a speakeasy vibe and an elevated cocktail menu.
Why I love it: Here’s the thing: “Dirty Sixth” is not my scene… I’d rather be pretty much anywhere else in Austin. But Midnight Cowboy draws me in because they have knowledgable mixologists and an insane menu (last time I was there my drink was actually lit on fire as it was presented to me…mad stuff.) I’m always wowed by the service and the drinks. Plus it’s kind of cool that it’s hidden from the street and you have to ring the secret doorbell to get in. 😉
WEBSITE | 313 E 6th St, Austin
Half Step Bar
What it is: a Rainey Street lounge with a small menu of craft cocktails in a cozy space with dark interior and a large outdoor yard.
Why I love it: I’ve yet to find another Rainey Street bar that offers the same quality of cocktails. They actually “grow” their ice from scratch, starting with massive blocks of crystal clear, ultra-purified ice that is sawed into several custom shapes for their cocktails. The ice even has their own signature on it!
WEBSITE | 75 1/2 Rainey St, Austin
Also see: where to eat and drink on Rainey Street
What it is: a cozy, stylish North Loop gastropub with inventive cocktails and a variety of dinner plates.
Why I love it: Well, the homemade Twinkies, for starters! I love that the food is just as good as the cocktails instead of being an afterthought. The cocktails are made with creative ingredients. Many of the spirits are local. The dark, low ceilings make this a great place for a date night, and it has a neighborhood-y feel to it, which is always my favorite place to hang out on the weekends.
WEBSITE | 207 E 53rd St, Austin
What it is: A retro east-side bar with craft cocktails in a casual setting, plus a coney dog food truck in the back.
Why I love it: it’s a super rad bar that feels dive-y, but the cocktails are anything but that! These are definitely craft cocktails. But you can hang out here with a group in a casual setting, so you’re getting pretentious-tasting drinks in a pretentious-less setting. Plus the food truck out back, Delray Cafe, serves some of the best cheap dive food around. Coney dogs have never tasted so good.
WEBSITE | 1133 E 11th St, Austin
Also see: 24 Coffee Shops in Austin You Should Try
What it is: Downtown bar with a speakeasy feel offering classic cocktails, wine, beer & small plates.
Why I love it: The first time I went, I walked past it twice before realized where it was. It’s a second-floor bar that’s inconspicuously marked. Similar to Half Step Bar, Small Victory is one of the few places in Texas that has their own ice program. The ice has no air bubbles in it, so the cocktails are made extra cold without being diluted. Plus, I’m pretty sure this is the best martini program in Austin.
WEBSITE | 108 E 7th St, Austin
Rules and Regs
What it is: A cocktail bar inside the Fairmont hotel where you can also enjoy bites, beer, and wine.
Why I love it: It overlooks the city of Austin from the 7th floor of the Fairmont hotel. This is a great place to go for a view of the city!
WEBSITE | 101 Red River Street, Austin
Sour Duck Market
What it is: A casual restaurant using locally-source ingredients, a market, a bar, and a big outdoor dining space.
Why I love it: Sour Duck Market is fun at all times of day, and they offer so much more than cocktails! This is a bakery, a restaurant, and a full bar with an excellent beer and wine list. If you want craft cocktails but you’re with a big group with mixed tastes, Sour Duck Market is a great option!
WEBSITE | 1814 E MLK Jr Blvd, Austin
Ah Sing Den
What it is: A bar on East Sixth Street Bar serving Asian-inspired hot & cold dishes, plus cocktails and sake.
Why I love it: I’ve been a fan of Ah Sing Den since its past life (remember when it was called East Side Showroom?) because of their buzzy atmosphere and quality drinks. The interior is gorgeous, and the back patio feels like a secret garden with hanging lamps and a water feature. It’s the best place to hang out on a warm spring evening.
WEBSITE | 1100 E 6th St, Austin
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