East Austin’s nightlife scene has a very different vibe to its downtown counterpart, but with equally superb cocktails. The cocktail bars here are a little more divey and full of that eclectic “Keep Austin Weird” energy. You’ll also find a lot more themed bars, so you can set the mood of your evening just right. Here’s where to find the best cocktail bars in East Austin.
1816 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
Whisler’s can only be described as Gaston’s pub from Beauty and the Beast meets medieval castle. It’s located in a 100-year-old building filled to the brim with old portraits and photos, taxidermied animals, and beautiful furnishings. They have great cocktails, a huge patio with a claw-foot bathtub you can sit in, and an upstairs Mezcal bar. It’s odd, but cannot be missed.
1016 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
Another Austin o.g. Shangri-La is a dive bar, cocktail lounge, and beer garden all rolled into one awesome spot. Their cocktails are solid, the patio space is very nice, and they even have pool tables! Their Cajun food truck isn’t something to skip either.
1910 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Yes, Stay Gold is indeed named after that iconic line from The Outsiders. The bar has a sort of old-school, effortlessly cool feel, with cute drink names like Beauty School Dropout, and the Greaser. Their live music shows are great too.
1133 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702
Nickel City is like someone took a retro diner and turned it into a badass dive bar. They’re known for both fantastic craft cocktails and great beer, but the food really makes this place one of the best cocktail bars in East Austin — it’s like bar food heaven!
1100 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
Ah Sing Den is one of the more upscale bars in East Austin — named after a famous Victorian-era opium den frequented by the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens. Their cocktails are spectacular, many created with Asian spirits, nicely complementing their selection of Asian-inspired dishes.
1630 E 6th St #100, Austin, TX 78702
Drop Kick opened back in 2020, and brought with it a delightful array of fresh cocktails and a global take on bar food. From brunch to dinner, and into the night, this bar is a wonderful place for bright flavors and good vibes.
2211 Webberville Rd #3548, Austin, TX 78702
Kitty Cohen’s takes you to Palm Springs circa the 1970s, and it’s fantastic. There are palm trees everywhere, tropical cocktails that’ll make you feel like hitting the beach, and even a pool that’s just deep enough to comfortably dip your feet in to cool off during those hot summer months.