Austin is a city drenched with history and culture and is home to great events such as SXSW, an internationally-acclaimed music and film festival. The city also boasts an incredibly diverse nightlife scene that is always changing and adapting to new trends. Whether you’re looking for a quiet lounge for relaxing after a day of sightseeing, or a lively neighborhood hotspot, there is sure to be something out there for everyone. Check out some of these hotspots to experience the best bars and lounges in Austin during your next trip.
The Driskill Bar
On the corner of 6th and Brazos Street is where you’ll find the historic and distinguished Driskill Bar. Housed beside two other top-tier eateries and lounges inside the Driskill Hotel, the Driskill Bar swells inspiration and whimsy with their elegant aesthetic that has plenty of nooks and crannies to explore along with history-inspired drinks.
The Roosevelt Room
The Roosevelt Room’s wide-ranging menu of cocktails will have you feeling excited by the opportunity to try their variety of options. With drinks inspired by different periods of history and a comfortable industrial chic interior, The Roosevelt Room is the perfect place to unwind after a day of enjoying all that Austin has to offer.
Built in 1875, the Thompson-Townsend building where this darkly elegant bar is housed has been a cornerstone of Austin’s historic foundation. The Townsend takes advantage of this rich history and applies aspects of it all over their interior, creating a unique aesthetic that is sure to enthrall anyone interested in the city’s culture.
Formerly the Longbranch Inn, this iconic and vivacious cocktail lounge offers everything you could ever want during a night out in Austin. Refreshing drinks, friendly service, and even a Detroit-inspired food truck out back are all things you’ll find yourself loving at Nickel City.
This hidden gem of Austin is tucked away in an out-of-commission parking garage on Colorado Street. A raw concrete interior lit only by candles and the light coming from a central, circular bar creates an alluring mix of fantasy and realism. The signature drinks at the Garage are modern takes on classic cocktails that are sure to have you refreshed and satisfied.
Found in a renovated house on Rainey Street, Half Step is truly set apart from its competition with a creative and unique interior and an upper-echelon bar staff. Founder Chris Bostick used his years of experience in the beverage industry to create a tremendous nightlife experience for all who enter.
The name of this cozy drinking den is actually quite the opposite of what it actually is, which is a massive win. Small Victory is a home run with a sprawling social area, quirky and eccentric cocktails, and a speakeasy-inspired interior. Despite the bar’s acclaim, you will still feel as if you’re drinking in an underground, secret pub.
Grab a seat on the patio at Whisler’s, a Mexican-inspired bar in East Austin perfect for sipping a mezcal drink during happy hour. The expansive space joins with a casually impressive cocktail menu to keep your palate satisfied in the laid back atmosphere. Head upstairs to Mezcalería Tobalá, their mezcal bar with a curated selection of quality, Oaxacan-style spirits.
The perfect example of a modern day neighborhood bar, drink.well. does everything right by concocting delicious cocktails to go along with a substantial food menu. Drinks are rotated seasonally, with each new menu offering a taste of an expertly-crafted cocktail in a cozy space.
Formerly a part of Austin’s red-light district, this speakeasy now boasts a reputation for a great cocktail. After booking a reservation ahead of time, ring the bell to get buzzed in and imbibe in the sophisticated space. The themed menu changes each year inside, and the outdoor patio menu has its own list of drinks where walk-ins can get a taste of the Midnight Cowboy style.
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