Since Austin is a college town, you don’t have to travel far to find your nearest watering hole. Wine bars, dive bars, sports bars – the city is practically overflowing with them, and there’s certainly no shortage of snazzy cocktail bars in Austin either. If your taste buds start tingling or your mouth starts watering at the mere thought of getting your lips on a heavenly cocktail, then we already have a lot in common. There’s something so enjoyable and sophisticated about sipping on a fancy cocktail that trumps guzzling down a glass of wine or cold beer every single time. Whether the sun is shining or the heavens have opened, there’s never a bad time to enjoy a cocktail.
When it comes to indulging in a cocktail, watching it being put together in front of your very eyes is half of the fun. Will it be shaken, stirred or blended? Will it be sweet, sour or bitter? Will a shot be flung into it or will it be lit on fire? Should a fire extinguisher be on hand? The possibilities (and questions) are truly endless. So, elevate your beverage experience to new creative heights and enjoy an alcoholic delight or mouth-watering mocktail in one of these fabulous cocktail bars in Austin.
1. Kinfolk Lounge & Library, Downtown
Located in downtown Austin, Kinfolk Lounge & Library is hidden away in a historic cellar built in the 1850s. Their refined list of cocktails and unique collection of whiskey, mezcal and scotch will have you feeling like a kid in a candy shop. To help speed up the very important decision process, we recommend going for their signature Kinfolk Collins. This thirst-quenching drink combines gin, simple syrup, club soda and a few drops of lemon juice to create what is essentially a spiked sparkling lemonade. Simple, yes, but more than effective at stimulating the taste buds, refreshing the palate and helping you cool down on a hot day.
🍸303 B Red River St, Austin, TX 78701
2. P6, Market District
Once a rooftop parking garage, P6 has been transformed into an intimate lounge bar that offers stunning views of the South Austin skyline. From Monday to Friday, happy hour starts at 4pm and runs until 6pm, so you can enjoy a snazzy cocktail while still sticking to your budget. For the ultimate viewing experience, pair a luscious Sundown Cobbler with the warm glow of a Texan sunset. For $14, this fruity mixture of vodka, fruit rouges, prosecco, fresh berries and citrus promises to pack a punch and get you in the summer vibe no matter the time of year.
🍸111 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701
3. Codependent Cocktails and Coffee, Market District
Fuse the warmth of Austin hospitality with the sophistication of Italian luxury and you’re left with this welcoming high-end bar that goes by the name of Codependent Cocktails and Coffee. Their fancy interior and $17 cocktails certainly create a sense of glamour and expense, but you can still enjoy a classy cocktail without paying the big bucks here.
Every Thursday, they put their own spin on the happy hour deal by serving up classic cocktails at a reduced price from midnight until close, so you can enjoy an after-hours night cap without having to do the frantic dash to the bar in the early evening. Spritzes, cobblers and martinis are all on the menu, but given their name, it wouldn’t be right to visit this spot without trying their signature creamy Espresso Martini that’s packed with Kahlua, vodka, Bailey’s Irish cream and a shot of espresso.
🍸301 West Ave STE 110, Austin, TX 78701
4. Small Victory, Downtown
Don’t be fooled by the name, Small Victory is actually a pretty big triumph and one of Austin’s best kept secrets. Hidden behind a heavy wooden door with no sign on the front, this place is considered by regulars as a clandestine speakeasy – a title that the bar’s owners didn’t first set out to achieve but have since embraced. Aside from its mysterious nature, this drinking den is known for its selection of personalized martinis. Choose between gin and vodka, let the bartender know if you like it dirty or dry and then decide what type of garnish you’d like to add. If you manage to track down this hidden gem to indulge in a mouth-watering martini or two, then that’s a small victory in itself.
🍸108 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701
5. Ellis, Market District
Before we get into everything else that’s great about Ellis, you first need to know about their $3 happy hour deal. Yeah, you read that right. Everyday between 4pm and 6pm, you can guzzle down a craft cocktail for the same price as a standard bus fare and the best part is they don’t scrimp on the good stuff. Their name and extensive menu takes inspiration from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. If you’re in the mood for something tropical, then the Staten Island Ferry cocktail is your best bet. Imagine a classic piña colada with an extra splash of coconut rum and a few added slices of pineapple for good measure. Looking for something a little more classic? The Ellis Old Fashioned topped with a dash of bitters and sprinkle of sugar has you covered.
🍸111 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701
6. Simona’s Coffee and Cocktails, St. Edwards
Simona’s Coffee and Cocktails offers everything you could ever need for a morning catch up with friends or a romantic evening date for two. Delicious coffee? Check. Heavenly craft cocktails? You betcha. Music aficionados may notice that their cocktails have actually been named according to a song title or lyrics that best embody them. Take the Wake Me Up! cocktail for instance – an energizing drink that packs a punch thanks to its espresso shot and creamy coffee liqueur. We also have to give a well-deserved shout out to Purple Rain. This delectable cocktail is a mixture of Austin Reserve gin, Italicus Bergamot, Licor 43, lemon, chamomile and orange oil and the added butterfly-pea thyme gives it a violet tint to help it stay true to its name.
🍸2510 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704