10 of Austin’s Best Bars: Looking for a new place to drink, dance or eat? We have you. – Food

Whether you’re in the mood to dance the night away, catch up with friends over chili fries, or sip wine in the fresh air of an outdoor patio, here are some award-winning Best of Austin bars for your vibe. research.

Best booze blast in the past: Nickel City

Nickel City proves that some pleasures are best kept simple. Voted best dive bar by Austin Chronicle readers in 2022, this retro East Austin bar offers a relaxed drinking experience compared to the wildness of Sixth Street. Consider Nickel City for its American-style food truck offerings, ranging from Chili Cheese Fries to Coney Dogs, and an extensive drinks menu including local drafts, mixed drinks, Boilermakers and playful limited-run specialty cocktails like the All My Exes Live in Texas, made with Longbranch bourbon, Dr Pepper reduction, and Bittercube Cherry Bark vanilla bitters. Reader Tyler Lofgren sums it up: “Good vibes and good drinks.”

More dive bars worth your penny: Back Lot, Barfly’s, The Grackle, Lala’s Little Nugget

Photo by John Anderson

Best Tropical Oasis: Tiki Tatsu-ya

Austin Chronicle readers voted Tatsu Aikawa’s upscale Tiki Bar as Austin’s Best Cocktail Bar in 2022. Opening Fall 2021, this two-story island-themed paradise pays homage to Tiki culture with a retro menu inspired by Trader Vic’s and Don the Surfing Wave. Says reader Danny Riha, “[Tiki Tatsu-ya] feels like a fully immersive adult Disneyland where you’ve abandoned ship Boredom and been stranded on a fantasy mystery island. It’s crazy how detail-oriented and interactive it is.

More cocktail bars we like: Drink.Well, Here nor There, Roosevelt Room, Whisler’s

Best New Beer Bar: Burnet Go To

Beer bars – do you remember them? They were like mainstream media aggregators of the craft beer industry of the early 2010s, keeping only the most interesting foggy beers and sweet stouts all under one roof! Now everyone mostly flocks to the source of the action, the Brewery Tavern, out of sheer convenience. But Burnet Go To changes the narrative from exploratory booze back to the well-constructed beer wall, bringing lagers and hard-to-reach ales by brands like Southern Heights, ABGB and Family Business to North Austin. They’re also keen to show frequent football games (with sound!), and they have great interior lighting and an all-day cafe to boot.

More beer bars to tap into: Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches, Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery, Craft Pride, Crown & Anchor Pub, Draft House Pub & Brewery

Best neighborhood bar that never gets too crowded: The Aristocrat

Photo by Zeke Barbaro

Looking for a bar to take your mom to? A discreet first date? Cheap drinks without sacrificing ambiance? A place where you’re unlikely to see anyone you know on the weekends? Rare is the bar that encompasses all of these moods and more, but the Aristocrat delivers on its promise. Off the beaten path in a huge lot on Burnet that has housed the iconic Poodle Dog Lounge for nearly 50 years, the Aristocrat offers spotless mood lighting, comfortable cabins, two generally accessible pool tables, plenty of seating outside and a food truck parked outside. Devoid of everything that makes bars less noisy – pretentiousness, crowds, no parking – the Aristocrat offers the ineffable atmosphere that one seeks, no doubt, in every dive bar: comfort, fun, escape.

More bars with a story: Driskill Bar, Dumont’s Down Low, Little Longhorn Saloon, Scholz Garten

Best Baby Sister Bar: Little Drinks Lounge

Photo by Jana Birchum

It takes a bit of moxie to open a business in the middle of a global pandemic, but the co-owners of hangout zone Eastside Drinks Lounge have teamed up with longtime bar maven Sabrina Brochu to do just that in 2021. The team’s combined decades of experience and determination has spawned a winning formula in what they call “Drinks’ little sister,” tucked away beneath the Davis SoCo apartments. Baby sis echoes her brother’s laid-back vibe but with a dash of girl gang energy, serving up creative cocktails, affordable beers and tasty pizzas to a laid-back Southern crowd who call it a home away from home. at their home.

More neighborhood bars: Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden, G&S Lounge, Kinda Tropical, Skylark Lounge

Best place to watch the game: Haymaker

Photo by John Anderson

For a neighborhood pub with a relaxed atmosphere and live sports coverage, look no further than Haymaker, voted Austin’s best sports bar by Austin Chronicle readers in 2018, 2019 and 2022. Grab a cold one from their wide range of local beers and sample one of their regionally inspired sandwiches. Reader Rebecca Row keeps her Haymaker recommendation short and sweet: “Putin.”

More sports bars to dive into: Black Sheep Lodge, Lavaca Street Bar, Little Woodrow’s, The Tavern

Best bar if you’re feeling frisky: Cheer Up Charlies

Photo by Jana Birchum

Austin’s unofficial queer community hub, Cheer Up Charlies is the place the Chronicle readers go there when they’re feeling in love, having continually voted the laid-back Red River club the best singles bar since 2018 and the best LGBTQIA club since 2016. From vegan mixed drinks to kombucha on tap, there’s something for everyone the likes at Cheer Up Charlies. Reader Lani Oglewood says, “No one is ever made comfortable here…unless they make someone else feel uncomfortable.”

More gay community hangouts: Highland Lounge, Iron Bear, Neon Grotto, Oilcan Harry’s, Rain on 4th

Best excuse for a drink: Loro

Photo by John Anderson

What do you get when the minds behind Uchi and Franklin Barbecue join forces? Loro, an Asian smokehouse and bar on par with its famous parent restaurants. Voted Best Happy Hour by readers in 2021 and 2022, Loro invites you to treat yourself to guilty pleasures like sake and brisket tostadas at a not-so-guilty price on weekdays from 2-5 p.m. Reader Sarah Pendley says, “You can’t go wrong with Aaron Franklin and Tyson Cole’s love child.”

More bars with the best happy hours: Honey Moon Spirit Lounge, Sin, Salty Sow, Uchi, Uchiko

Photo by John Anderson

Best bops, burgers and bops: Casino el Camino

Voted Best Jukebox in Austin 25 times by the Chronicle readers, Casino el Camino is a Sixth Street staple, not just for its killer music selection, but also for its burgers. Indeed, no less than Guy Fieri christened the dive bar as having “the best burger in town”. Unpretentious and enduring, Casino is a rare thing: a bar on Dirty Sixth where the locals actually go. Reader Heather White said it all: “All hail jukebox king CASINO EL CAMINO!

More bars with Jukebox Bangers: Barfly’s, Buddy’s Place, Deep Eddy Cabaret, The Golden Goose

Best meeting place around natural wine: LoLo

Tucked away in the former Gypsy Lounge building nestled next to the Vegas Hotel, this Eastside hangout — Austin’s first-ever natural wine bar and bottle shop — has provided ideal informal cool since opening in early 2020. Choose between a huge outdoor patio and a cozy indoor space, warmed by light wood and luminous globes. Along with natural, long-lasting pours, the menu includes beers, spritzes, and hearty snacks like a crispy baguette or canned fish. Find food pop-ups and frequent DJs, including Survive’s Kyle Dixon, spinning in the take-out bottle corner. Parking and occasional celebrity sightings don’t hurt either.

More wine bars: Aviary Wine & Kitchen, House Wine, June’s All Day, Wanderlust Wine Co.

About James Almanza

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