Austin’s cocktail scene exists all over the city, from cozy neighborhood bars, to some of the most exclusive lounges in town. Downtown, there’s an exciting cocktail bar everywhere you look — and sometimes you have to look closely, as Austin has a number of private and semi-private speakeasies in places you’d never expect. The downtown scene is a little more high-end than you’d find over on the cool and edgy east side, but that’s part of the fun! These are the most luxurious cocktail bars for lounging downtown.
612 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701
One of the most innovative — and exclusive — bars in all of Austin, Here Nor There was once open solely to invitation-only members. Now you can download their app and make a reservation as a “house guest,” upon your reservation being accepted, you’ll receive a door code, and you’ll be all set to enjoy an evening of mind-blowing cocktails.
208 W 4th St, Austin, TX 78701
Péché takes it back to the pre-Prohibition area, meaning more than a few unusual drink creations — including a huge variety of the previously illegal absinthe. This is Austin’s first absinthe bar, but they also have impressive selections of whiskey and gin.
301 West Ave, Suite 110, Austin, TX 78701
Codependent is a gorgeous space inspired by Italian luxury, from the coffee in the day and the cocktails at night, to the incredible furnishings and design. At one of the best cocktail bars downtown, the drinks are spectacular and you can tell they’re very carefully thought out.
720 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Higher Ground is one of Austin’s newest cocktail bars, with quite an interesting theme — church. The cocktail menu has a drink named for each of the seven deadly sins, and plenty of playful puns. Plus, a 19th century organ turned colorful DJ booth, and gorgeous stained glass.
605 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701
Hidden behind a bookshelf, Firehouse Lounge is located in Austin’s oldest firehouse turned hostel. The atmosphere is super cozy and the cocktails are fantastic — focused on some of the world’s best classics and a fair share of originals.
108 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701
Small Victory is a tiny bar Downtown that is dedicated to classic cocktails — so much so that their menu has a chart detailing how martinis are made and what the different styles are. The secret to their incredible cocktails is making everything from their juices to their syrups, and even their ice, from scratch.
313 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
At Midnight Cowboy, it’s about more than just the cocktails — their goal is to give each customer an amazing, intimate bar experience. To do that, they have an extremely limited capacity and you must make a reservation ahead of time. But, being one of Austin’s most beloved bars, it’s worth taking the time to get in.
Featured Image Credit: Codependent via Instagram