New & Hot Places

Hottest Bars in Austin

From brand-new breweries to a subterranean cocktail lair to a mahogany bar physically transplanted from an old New York venue, Austin certainly has no shortage of noteworthy watering holes. Here are our picks for the 12 hottest spots in town right now.

Lazarus Brewing Co.

NewEast Austin
This funky East Austin brewery has a well-curated cozy living room vibe with comfortable couches, antique rugs and warm woods throughout. The craft beers are strictly on-premise (not sold in stores), and they also offer housemade root beer, kombucha, espresso and street tacos.

What to drink: With 16 taps of exquisitely crafted brew constantly flowing, it's hard to choose. Luckily, you don't have to if you opt for a flight of favorites like the Amandus (Belgian strong golden ale) and seasonals like the Naked Sapphire (single hop German pils).

Insider tip: For $1,000, you can become a Patron Saint of Lazarus by adopting one of just 300 hand-blown, gold leaf chalices. The perk? Lazarus beer for life.

Tillery Kitchen and Bar

NewMediterraneanEast Austin
Boasting a view of the Colorado River, this modern Mediterranean-influenced eatery on East Cesar Chavez melds into its natural surrounds with floor-to-ceiling windows and wood detailing. Grilled meats, pasta, vegetables and seasonal specialties grace the menu, along with draft wine, beer, coffee and cocktails.

What to drink: Go for an outdoor-worthy sipper like the Tillery Tea Thyme (Bulleit bourbon, black tea, honey, thyme and lemon) or the sage margarita (Casamigos silver tequila, dry Curacao, honey, lime).

Insider tip: Arrive well before sunset to snag one of the choice patio seats facing the Colorado River. You won't be disappointed.

The Local Post Pub

NewCrestview
This cavernous yet comfortable sports bar on Burnet Road boasts plenty of seating, community tables, a game room and TVs on every wall. In addition to a full bar, there's a comprehensive menu serving starters, salads, burgers, wings and standard pub food along with desserts from La Patisserie.

What to drink: Choose one of the many local craft beers on tap or a strong, cold margarita — only $5 weekdays from 3–7 PM.

Insider tip: Be sure to arrive hungry — and with friends — so you have an excuse to order the 10-pound can of nachos, topped with pulled pork, chili or beans.

Sellers

NewWarehouse District
A retro-modern design, cocktails named after 1970s films and a roomy dance floor set the tone in this Warehouse District basement lounge. The beverage menu has classics along with more modern concoctions – and bitters, tinctures and infusions are made in-house.

What to drink: Try the herbal and refreshing The First Whisper, made with St. George gin, green Chartreuse, lime and sarsaparilla bitters.

Insider tip: Monday brings happy hour all day, which means $3 domestic beers and wells plus $4 imported beers, select wines and Deep Eddy vodka cocktails.

Eberly

NewAmericanBouldin Creek
Named after a rebellious Austin icon, this luxe collection of plushly outfitted eating and drinking spaces includes a rooftop bar, a study and dining rooms featuring contemporary American fare with an emphasis on seasonality and local availability. The ground-floor Cedar Tavern is a New York transplant with the original's mahogany bar.

What to drink: At Cedar Tavern, try the potent Bijou, made with Ford's Gin, Dolin sweet vermouth, green Chartreuse, Aperol and orange bitters.

Insider tip: The bar mirror is actually double-sided; inquire about renting the hidden back bar for private events.

June's

SoCo (South Congress)
Dream team Larry McGuire (Lamberts, Perla’s) and master sommelier June Rodil helm this all-day hangout serving clever interpretations of New American favorites, including breakfast chalupas, seasonal salads and bone marrow bolognaise, plus cocktails, craft beer and more than 60 international wines by the bottle or glass. The bright space has a French bistro vibe, with black-and-white checkered floors, a mirrored wall behind Rodil’s rotating featured wines, a vintage jukebox and a dog-friendly patio.

What to drink: Namesake sommelier June Rodil's wine list rules here, but don't miss cocktails like June's Punch, a combination of several rums, brandy, absinthe, clarified milk, green tea, spices and pandan.

Insider tip: The new happy hour is a dream. Monday through Friday, all food and sparkling wine are 50% off — and drinks are $2 off — between 4 and 6 PM.

Floppy Disk Repair Co.

Downtown
The website for this buzzy speakeasy reads Floppy Disk Repair, an allusion to the sign above its otherwise unmarked entrance, accessible via private code and located next door to the owners’ neighborhood watering hole, HandleBar. Inside, a hip crowd sips cocktails spanning classic Vieux Carres as well as house creations (including young-at-heart Jell-O shots) in quirky, industrial digs punctuated by a fluorescent light installation reading, 'Mmm… Your hair smells pretty.'

What to drink: Feeling classic? Order a Boulevardier. Feeling sassy? Try the Fire Crotch margarita.

Insider tip: After you find the Floppy Disk Repair sign, you'll also need to figure out the latest password to gain access to this "peekaboo bar."

St. Elmo Brewing Company

NewSouth Austin
Located in the The Yard, a mixed-use development in South Austin, this brewpub in a former warehouse space offers rotating craft beers on tap, coffee pour-overs and housemade sodas. Soursop, an on-site Asian snack food trailer, is open for lunch and dinner in the dog- and kid-friendly beer garden.

What to drink: St. Elmo's six different brews bring something for everyone, from a floral kölsch to a toasty dry stout.

Insider tip: Dine outside at Soursop, which features flavorful dishes like sambal wings, pho-tine and a green curry chicken sandwich.

The Little Darlin

South Austin
Beer by the tap, bottle and can is the focus at this neighborhood spot, also pouring cocktails and frozen drinks from a full bar. The kitchen serves up a diverse, vegetarian-friendly menu featuring small plates such as chicken croquettes and street corn plus entrees (think rotisserie chicken and étouffée), while a spacious backyard offers washers, horseshoes and other games.

What to drink: Choose from a dozen local draft beers or rotating frozen drink specials.

Insider tip: Come hungry because the bar food here (parsley popcorn, pimiento cheese croquettes, duck fat eggplant dip) is not to be missed.

EastSide Tavern

NewAmericanEast Austin
With a rooftop deck, plenty of patio seating and a rustic interior, this tavern on Cesar Chavez is a comfortable spot for meaty fare, local beer and barrel-aged and draft cocktails. The former pitmaster from Lambert's turns out barbecue brisket, ribs, pulled pork and smoked poultry by the pound alongside comfort classics like Frito pie, tater tots, cobbler and banana pudding.

What to drink: Try a cocktail on tap, like the Smoke & Mirrors (smoked Larceny bourbon, Luxardo maraschino, Solerno, Angostura bitters and Jerry Thomas bitters).

Insider tip: Can't choose from the lengthy list of barrel-aged and draft cocktails? Then opt for a flight, which comes with two selections. 

MOLOKO bar

NewEast Austin
Named after the drug den in A Clockwork Orange, this self-proclaimed cocktail dive bar in East Austin is a funky nod towards the punk rock scene of the early 2000s. The bar offers hard-to-find bottled beers, an extensive wine collection and craft cocktails along with weekly special events and a Sunday tiki night.

What to drink: Veterans behind the bar mean you can confidently order everything from classics to custom requests.

Insider tip: Happy hour, which runs from 5–10 PM daily (and all-day Sunday through Tuesday) includes deals like $2 wells, $4 shot-and-beer combos and $6 classic cocktails.

Live Oak Brewing Company

Del Valle
This European-style brewery near the airport has plenty of room for events, and offers tours of its sunny interior and tree-shaded backyard. Food trucks arrive each weekend, and guests are welcome to picnic on the grounds.

What to drink: This time of year is perfect for the seasonal Primus, a banana- and clove-rich weizenbock.

Insider tip: Check the taproom's website for updates on cask nights, events and appearances from food trucks like Melted, Art of Tacos and Belly Up.

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