Enable JavaScript to run this app.
Skip to main content
OpenTable logo
  1. Home
  2. The Best Bars on OpenTable
  3. Austin’s 8 favorite bars

Austin’s 8 favorite bars

A photo of Red logo
by Claudia Alarcón
Updated 15 December 2023

Austinites are all about supporting their local watering holes and have a go-to for every occasion, whether it's a special date night or a casual hangout with friends. Luckily, this eclectic and creative city has a bar scene that aims to please.

A James Beard Award winner serves Oaxacan snacks and mezcal at a marble-top bar in South Austin. A funky homage to all things Texan—and the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Ranch Water cocktail—holds court downtown. In East Austin, a divey pub that embodies the city’s signature unfussiness is also home to one of the most dog-friendly patios around.

There’s a drinking place for revelers of all stripes in this quirky Texan town. Read on for a guide to Austin’s best bars to book right now.

A photo of The Roosevelt Room restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1227)
$31 to $50
Cocktail Bar
Downtown
About the restaurant

When you’re seeking an extraordinary bar experience, look no further than this low-lit sexy lounge. The Roosevelt Room has an award-winning program that includes drinks from essential periods in cocktail history alongside innovative signature drinks—bonus points for an innovative alcohol-free selection which includes The Castaway, made with mint, cucumber, cream of coconut, and more. Happy hour happens daily from 4 pm until 7 pm and features discounts on classic cocktails, beer, wine, and bites such as rosemary parmesan popcorn and chicken liver mousse crostini. The luxe atmosphere and attentive service appeal to both large parties and couples on date night, so reservations are highly encouraged.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Fantastic cocktails and light food, the charcuterie board was delicious.
A photo of El Naranjo - South Lamar restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1098)
$31 to $50
Traditional Mexican
South Austin
About the restaurant

At this modern South Austin spot, chef Iliana de la Vega—winner of the 2022 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Texas—serves her widely acclaimed Oaxacan food. Dig into fresh ceviches, empanadas, and not-to-be-missed mole, which takes three days to prepare. The horseshoe-shaped marble-top bar offers a comfortable and casual space for sipping a good selection of mezcals, tequilas, and cocktails (locals love the pineapple mezcaliña, brightened with muddled serranos and basil) in a classy yet convivial atmosphere.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on 15 May 2024
We loved everything. Excellent ceviche. The taco special of the day was amazing! The Mole main course was such a unique flavor profile… we really enjoyed it. The home made rolls with the special butter and pepper reduction “dip”/“spread” was addictive. My cocktail, a Mezcal with fresh lime, basil, pineapple and a little heat from… maybe a jalopeno? Excellent!
A photo of Bar Peached restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1432)
$30 and under
Asian
Downtown
About the restaurant

Those craving a serene drinking experience come to this Austin favorite, housed in a historic Clarksville bungalow. Bar Peached serves Asian-inspired snacks—banh mi tacos, wasabi salt-dusted edamame, and crispy potatoes with miso chile crema—paired with a fine selection of beer, wine, and signature cocktails, with excellent specials during its daily evening social hour. The covered dog-friendly patio under a heritage oak is a lovely spot to while away an afternoon or evening. Pro tip: go on Wednesday for bulgogi-marinated steak and frites night.


Top review
Gregvip
Dined 2 days ago
We really like the fried fish and macha bingsu. The duck rap was okay. We were less excited by the pork dish and thought the scallion pancakes lacked flavor.
A photo of Aviary Wine & Kitchen restaurant
4.6
4.6 (255)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
South Austin
About the restaurant

Don’t let the simple façade fool you—this casual South Austin spot boasts one of the most unique and adventurous wine selections in the city, plus craft beer and cider with an emphasis on local offerings. Curated by beverage director Alex Wheatley Bell, the wine list is divided into categories named after famous actors and musicians, including David Bowie (sparkly and bubbly) and Etta James (sultry and smooth). The staff’s knowledge borders on nerdy without being pretentious. The ever-changing farm-to-table menu, which could include fried beets with kimchi mayo and stuffed cabbage with ‘nduja sausage, is as exciting as the wine list.


Top review
lauragluvip
Dined on 13 May 2024
Justin was amazing! He took great care of us on a Monday.
A photo of Ranch 616 restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1463)
$31 to $50
Southwest
Downtown
About the restaurant

Ranch 616 is a funky homage to all things Texan and has claimed local favorite status for decades. It also happens to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Ranch Water cocktail, a refreshing tequila-lime highball. Other signature drinks include the Fire in the Hole, a hollowed-out fresh jalapeño filled with a potent tequila and fresh lime mix, and some of the best margs in the city—a credential that carries extra weight in Austin. Claim a perch under the giant steel pistol sculpture on the patio and pair the drinks with South Texas-inspired dishes such as quail knots, fried frog legs, and wood-fired steaks.


Top review
Ramsey
Dined 2 days ago
Great food, very flavorful and quantity for the price. We sat outside and it was a little loud but preferred outside because inside was rather small.
A photo of Il Brutto restaurant
4.5
4.5 (1466)
$31 to $50
Italian
East Austin
About the restaurant

An exclusively Italian wine list and one of the city’s best amari and vermouth programs await at this modern Italian joint. If you’re not sure of where to start, enlist the assistance of general manager Charity Sadoy, who curated the vino selection. Pull up a stool at the bar and let her guide you through a flight, or create a bespoke pre-meal drink. Then dive into a thoughtful food menu that balances local and imported ingredients featuring housemade pastas (including gluten-free options) such as agnolotti with ricotta, Parmesan, and pistachios and pappardelle with lamb ragu.


Top review
RERMD82vip
Dined 5 days ago
Family and friend get together. Great experience. Food incredible and didn’t know wine is 1/2 price for bottle on Wednesday. Our server Sarah was awesome.
A photo of Geraldine’s restaurant
4.6
4.6 (2257)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Downtown
About the restaurant

Celebs are known to descend on this Hotel Van Zandt venue during SXSW. Geraldine’s has a sprawling space for watching some of the city’s most talented musicians seven days a week. It also draws crowds for thoughtful craft cocktails, local beers, and zero-proof drinks such as Octopus’s Garden, a botanical blend with lime, basil-honey syrup, and cucumber. If you’re feeling peckish, graze from a modern Southern menu that includes buttermilk biscuits with maple-honey butter and grilled Gulf shrimp (also available on the adjacent poolside terrace) and you’ll quickly see why this is one of Austin’s hippest hangouts.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Great atmosphere, brunch and drink options with live music for entertainment. The food was great and the jazz music was a nice add. The service lacked a bit of luster though, even though she shared we were her only table at that time. I requested a refill of cream for our coffees and she brought back the little pitcher that was still empty, weird. Also had to ask for syrup twice before getting it. Other than that, we enjoyed our time.
A photo of Nido restaurant
4.6
4.6 (919)
$50 and over
Contemporary French / American
Bouldin Creek
About the restaurant

Nido is a glamorous urban oasis in The Loren at Lady Bird Lake, a luxe Bouldin Creek hotel that opened in 2022. Begin at the restaurant’s elegant lobby bar, though you’re likely here for the large covered terrace with unmatched river and skyline views. The modern American menu from executive chef Brad McDonald (who hails from MICHELIN-starred spots including Per Se and Noma) is equally impressive, featuring octopus carpaccio, stuffed chicken wings, fresh oysters, and more. Pair the seasonal dishes with one of the many by-the-glass wine options or a craft cocktail such as the Austin ‘04, made with earthy amaro and locally distilled light whiskey, best accompanied by a fiery Bat City sunset.


Top review
Blaydowvip
Dined 1 day ago
Great food, great service, and the view is the best in Austin!
Explore other cities and regions
  • Privacy policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Impressum
  • Cookies and Interest-Based Ads
  • Cookie Preferences
Copyright © 2024 OpenTable, Inc. 1 Montgomery St Ste 500, San Francisco CA 94104 - All rights reserved.
OpenTable is part of Booking Holdings, the world leader in online travel and related services.
Booking Logo
Priceline Logo
KAYAK Logo
Agoda Logo
OpenTable Logo