As an expert with plenty of experience in the delightful realm of cocktail bars, I am excited to bring you the ultimate guide to the best cocktail bars in Austin! With a lighthearted tone and a palate eager to explore, I've personally reviewed eight bars that have left a lasting impression on me and fellow cocktail enthusiasts.

So get ready to indulge in the finest concoctions this vibrant city has to offer. Whether you're a seasoned mixologist or just looking for a good time, join me as we raise our glasses and dive into the thriving cocktail scene of Austin.


Small Victory

Small Victory
🗺️ 108 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701
☎️ 512-903-9450
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 5 PM–1 AM
Wednesday: 5 PM–1 AM
Thursday: 5 PM–1 AM
Friday: 5 PM–1 AM
Saturday: 5 PM–1 AM
Highlights
Reservation-only
Intimate atmosphere
Knowledgeable bartenders
Incredible cocktails

From the moment I stepped into Small Victory, I knew I was in for something special. This reservation-only bar tucked away in the heart of Austin offers an intimate atmosphere that immediately captivates you.

The first thing that struck me was the extensive knowledge of the bartenders. Each drink I ordered was crafted with precision and flair, as the bartenders showcased their expertise with every pour. They were able to recommend the perfect cocktail based on my preferences, taking into account both the classic and the innovative options on the menu.

But let's talk about the cocktails themselves. Oh, my tastebuds were dancing! The concoctions here were like works of art blending flavors in unexpected ways. The attention to detail and the quality of ingredients used were truly remarkable. Whether I was sipping on a classic old fashioned or daring to try a unique mix with ingredients I had never heard of before, each sip was a revelation.

What sets Small Victory apart from other cocktail bars in Austin is its commitment to creating an experience. The dimly lit space, the stylish decor, and the attentive service all contribute to this truly special haven for cocktail enthusiasts. The bartenders are not only skilled mixologists, but they are also adept at reading the room and tailoring their service to each individual guest.

In conclusion, Small Victory is a must-visit for anyone seeking an unforgettable cocktail experience. With its reservation-only policy, intimate atmosphere, knowledgeable bartenders, and incredible cocktails, this bar truly lives up to its name. Cheers to Small Victory for bringing joy to our taste buds and keeping Austin's cocktail scene thriving.

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Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy
🗺️ 313 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
🌐 Website
Sunday: 5–11 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 5–11:45 PM
Wednesday: 5–11:45 PM
Thursday: 5–11:45 PM
Friday: 5–11:45 PM
Saturday: 5–11:45 PM
Highlights
Semi-private atmosphere
Knowledgeable and friendly staff
Custom-made drinks to your taste
Small private rooms available for groups
Hidden gem among the chaos

Looking for a hidden gem among the chaos? Look no further than Midnight Cowboy, a cocktail bar that truly lives up to its mystery. Tucked away behind an unassuming door on 6th Street, this place is a semi-private oasis in the heart of downtown Austin.

Upon entering, I was immediately struck by the intimate and exclusive atmosphere. The dim lighting and plush furnishings create a sense of elegance and sophistication. You can wave goodbye to loud music and crowded bars here; Midnight Cowboy offers a respite from the chaos outside.

What sets this bar apart from the rest is its staff. The knowledgeable and friendly bartenders are true masters of their craft. They take the time to get to know your preferences and tailor each drink to your taste. Whether it's a classic cocktail or a custom creation, you can trust that each sip will be a delight.

For those looking for a more private experience, Midnight Cowboy offers small private rooms that can accommodate groups. It's the perfect spot to celebrate a special occasion or simply enjoy a night out with friends.

In a city known for its vibrant cocktail scene, Midnight Cowboy stands out as a true gem. With its semi-private atmosphere, knowledgeable staff, and custom-made drinks, it's no wonder why this bar has earned its place among the best in Austin. Don't miss the chance to experience the magic of Midnight Cowboy for yourself.

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Firehouse Lounge

Firehouse Lounge
🗺️ 605 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701
☎️ 512-201-2522
🌐 Website
Sunday: 12 PM–2 AM
Monday: 5 PM–2 AM
Tuesday: 5 PM–2 AM
Wednesday: 5 PM–2 AM
Thursday: 12 PM–2 AM
Friday: 12 PM–2 AM
Saturday: 12 PM–2 AM
Highlights
Unique and fun atmosphere
Well-made classic cocktails
Hidden entrance adds excitement
Affordable prices for downtown area

Walking into Firehouse Lounge feels like stepping into a secret world. The hidden entrance through a bookshelf adds a sense of excitement and adventure to the whole experience.

The atmosphere at Firehouse Lounge is both unique and fun. The dim lighting and cozy seating create an intimate ambiance that is perfect for a night out with friends or a romantic date. The lounge is decorated with vintage firehouse memorabilia, adding to the charm.

One of the highlights of Firehouse Lounge is their well-made classic cocktails. The skilled bartenders take their craft seriously and it shows in their creations. Whether it's a perfectly balanced negroni or a refreshing mojito, each cocktail is expertly crafted and bursting with flavor.

The best part? Firehouse Lounge offers these high-quality cocktails at affordable prices. In a downtown area where drink prices can sometimes be exorbitant, Firehouse Lounge provides a welcome haven for cocktail lovers on a budget.

Overall, Firehouse Lounge is a delightful addition to Austin's cocktail bar scene. Its unique entrance, well-made classic cocktails, and affordable prices make it a standout option. Whether you're a local or just visiting, I highly recommend stopping by Firehouse Lounge for a memorable night of delicious drinks and good company.

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The Tipsy Alchemist (Austin)

The Tipsy Alchemist (Austin)
🗺️ 70 Rainey St #200, Austin, TX 78701
☎️ 512-777-0120
🌐 Website
Sunday: 12 PM–12 AM
Monday: 4 PM–12 AM
Tuesday: 4 PM–12 AM
Wednesday: 4 PM–12 AM
Thursday: 4 PM–12 AM
Friday: 12 PM–2 AM
Saturday: 12 PM–2 AM
Highlights
Great cocktail menu
Mixed crowd
Unique and expensive drinks
Cool upstairs bar
Live entertainment

Tucked away in the heart of Austin, The Tipsy Alchemist is a true gem among the city's cocktail bars. From the moment you step inside, you're greeted with a lively atmosphere and a menu that will leave your taste buds tingling with anticipation.

Let's talk about the cocktails. Oh, the cocktails! The Tipsy Alchemist boasts a great cocktail menu that will satisfy even the most discerning palates. From classic favorites with a modern twist to unique concoctions you won't find anywhere else, their mixologists have truly perfected their craft. And while the drinks may be a bit on the expensive side, they are well worth every penny.

One of the things that sets The Tipsy Alchemist apart is its mixed crowd. You'll find a blend of locals and tourists, all united by their love for finely crafted drinks and good company. Whether you're looking for a fun night out with friends or an intimate date spot, The Tipsy Alchemist provides a setting that is both lively and inviting.

Make sure to venture upstairs to the cool and stylish bar area. Here, you can escape the hustle and bustle below while enjoying your expertly crafted cocktail. To add to the ambience, The Tipsy Alchemist often features live entertainment, providing a unique and memorable experience.

In conclusion, The Tipsy Alchemist exudes sophistication, creativity, and good vibes. If you're looking for a cocktail bar that goes above and beyond, this is the place to be. So gather your friends, put on your finest dress or suit, and get ready to indulge in an evening of exquisite drinks and unforgettable memories. Cheers!

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The Driskill Bar

The Driskill Bar
🗺️ 604 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701
☎️ 512-391-7107
🌐 Website
Sunday: 2 PM–12 AM
Monday: 2 PM–12 AM
Tuesday: 2 PM–12 AM
Wednesday: 2 PM–12 AM
Thursday: 2 PM–12 AM
Friday: 2 PM–2 AM
Saturday: 2 PM–2 AM
Highlights
Unique flavors
Delicious food
Amazing service
Beautiful hotel
Pleasant server

Walking into The Driskill Bar, I couldn't help but be captivated by its timeless charm and elegant decor. Situated within the historic Driskill Hotel, this bar exudes a sophisticated yet welcoming ambiance, perfect for cocktail enthusiasts looking for a refined experience.

The Driskill Bar offers an extensive cocktail menu that showcases unique flavors and expertly crafted concoctions. From classic favorites like the Old Fashioned to the intriguing creations like the Lavender Martini, the bar delivers a delightful range of options to satisfy any palate. Each sip was a revelation, a symphony of flavors that danced on my tongue.

To complement their exceptional cocktails, The Driskill Bar also offers an enticing selection of small bites and appetizers. I couldn't resist trying the delicious food options, and I was not disappointed. The menu featured delectable treats that perfectly complemented the drinks, from mouthwatering charcuterie boards to flavor-packed sliders.

One aspect that truly stood out was the amazing service provided by the attentive and knowledgeable staff. From the moment I entered the bar, the staff made me feel like a valued guest. They were genuinely passionate about mixology and had an impressive knowledge of the drinks they served. The pleasure of interacting with such a pleasant server further enhanced my overall experience.

As if the exceptional cocktails, delicious food, and fantastic service weren't enough, The Driskill Bar's location within the beautiful Driskill Hotel adds a touch of glamour and sophistication to the atmosphere. Spending an evening here feels like stepping back in time to a more refined era, a luxurious oasis in the heart of Austin.

In conclusion, The Driskill Bar is a must-visit for anyone searching for a refined cocktail experience in Austin. With its unique flavors, delicious food, amazing service, and a beautiful hotel setting, it truly excels in providing an unforgettable evening of elegance and delights. Cheers to The Driskill Bar for being an outstanding addition to Austin's best cocktail bars!

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Half Step

Half Step
🗺️ 75 1/2 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701
☎️ 512-710-5247
🌐 Website
Sunday: 2 PM–2 AM
Monday: 4 PM–2 AM
Tuesday: 4 PM–2 AM
Wednesday: 4 PM–2 AM
Thursday: 4 PM–2 AM
Friday: 2 PM–2 AM
Saturday: 2 PM–2 AM
Highlights
Live music
Good selection
Outdoor seating
Knowledgeable bartenders
Charming and cozy vibe

Walking into Half Step, I was immediately captivated by its charming and cozy vibe. The dimly lit space exuded an inviting atmosphere, perfect for a night of indulging in well-crafted cocktails.

The first highlight that caught my attention was the live music. As I sipped on my expertly mixed Old Fashioned, I was serenaded by a talented local artist playing in the background. The combination of great music and exceptional drinks made for an unforgettable evening.

Half Step boasts a good selection of cocktails, ranging from classics to innovative creations. Their menu is carefully curated, showcasing a variety of flavors and liquors to please any palate. The bartenders here are more than just mixologists; they are knowledgeable and enthusiastic individuals who are passionate about their craft. They are more than happy to share their expertise and recommend the perfect libation based on your preferences.

One of the highlights I particularly enjoyed about Half Step was its outdoor seating. Nestled within a charming courtyard, it provided a delightful ambience to enjoy a refreshing cocktail under the stars. The Austin weather couldn't have been more perfect, and it added an element of relaxation to the entire experience.

Overall, Half Step is a gem among Austin's cocktail bars. With its live music, good selection of drinks, friendly and skilled bartenders, and inviting outdoor seating, it's a must-visit for cocktail enthusiasts looking for a cozy ambiance in the heart of the city. I highly recommend stopping by for a memorable night out. Cheers!

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Higher Ground

Higher Ground
🗺️ 720 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701
☎️ 512-291-2060
🌐 Website
Sunday: 2 PM–12 AM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 4 PM–12 AM
Wednesday: 4 PM–12 AM
Thursday: 4 PM–2 AM
Friday: 4 PM–2 AM
Saturday: 2 PM–2 AM
Highlights
Stylish cocktail bar
Friendly bartenders
Unique architectural features
Good Sunday Funday vibe
$10 champagne bottle deal

Walking into Higher Ground, I was immediately struck by the stylish atmosphere that exuded sophistication. The sleek bar and comfortable seating areas created the perfect setting for a night out with friends or a romantic rendezvous. The friendly bartenders only added to the welcoming ambiance, greeting me with genuine smiles and offering recommendations from their impressive cocktail menu.

Higher Ground's architectural design is truly something to behold. I couldn't help but admire the unique features, like the mesmerizing light fixtures that added a touch of whimsy to the space. The attention to detail was evident in every corner, making this cocktail bar stand out from the rest.

One thing that truly stood out about Higher Ground was their Sunday Funday vibe. It was the perfect spot to wind down the weekend with friends. The lively atmosphere and upbeat music created an energetic buzz that was contagious. Plus, their $10 champagne bottle deal on Sundays was a steal and added an extra layer of fun to the experience.

Overall, Higher Ground proved to be a gem in Austin's cocktail bar scene. With its stylish ambiance, friendly staff, unique architectural features, and Sunday Funday vibe, it's a must-visit for cocktail connoisseurs and those looking for a memorable night out. So, the next time you find yourself in Austin, make sure to elevate your cocktail experience at Higher Ground. Cheers!

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Goldie's Sunken Bar

Goldie's Sunken Bar
🗺️ 600 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701
☎️ 512-628-1500
🌐 Website
Sunday: 12 PM–12 AM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 4 PM–12 AM
Thursday: 4 PM–12 AM
Friday: 4 PM–12 AM
Saturday: 12 PM–12 AM
Highlights
Lovely Sunday High Tea
Exceptional service and hospitality
Extraordinary cocktails

Let me start by saying that Goldie's Sunken Bar truly lives up to its reputation as a hidden gem in the heart of Austin. From the moment you step foot inside, you are transported to a world of elegance and sophistication.

One of the highlights of my visit was the Lovely Sunday High Tea. It was the perfect combination of tradition and innovation, with an array of delicate finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries paired with carefully crafted cocktails. Sipping on a cucumber-infused gin and tonic while indulging in bite-sized treats made for a truly delightful afternoon.

The service at Goldie's Sunken Bar was exceptional, with the staff going above and beyond to ensure that every need was met. From the moment I walked in, I was greeted with a warm smile and a genuine desire to make my visit memorable. The hospitality was top-notch, with attentive waitstaff guiding me through the extensive cocktail menu and offering their knowledgeable recommendations.

Now, let's talk about the cocktails themselves. Goldie's Sunken Bar is truly a haven for cocktail enthusiasts. The bartenders are true artists, crafting extraordinary concoctions that push the boundaries of flavor and presentation. Each sip was a sensory explosion, with flavors that danced on the palate and left me craving more.

In conclusion, Goldie's Sunken Bar is an absolute must-visit for anyone looking for a memorable cocktail experience in Austin. From the Lovely Sunday High Tea to the exceptional service and extraordinary cocktails, it is a place that will leave you enchanted and eager to return. So, raise your glass and prepare to be dazzled at Goldie's Sunken Bar. Cheers!

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Susan Wright

Susan has a passion for helping small, locally-owned restaurants and businesses to tell their stories and showcase their unique offerings to the public. With a loyalty to her hometown of Austin, TX, Susan is committed to making sure these establishments get the recognition they deserve. Outside of work, Susan enjoys exploring Austin's food and music scene with friends, hiking in the nearby hill country, spending time in nature, and savoring every bite of barbeque she can find.