Austin is buzzing with fabulous new watering holes. We've rounded up 10 hot new bars for summer 2016, from rooftop patios to adorable dives.
77 Degrees and The Rose Room
If you want to party, this is the place to be. 77 degrees is a three-story bar with a rooftop patio located above St. Genevieve on Rock Rose in the Domain Northside development. The drinks are tropical in nature, featuring rum and fruity flavors like the Key Lime Colada (Bacardi, coconut, lemon, served in a frozen pineapple). You can also enjoy tapas such as ceviche, fish tacos, and skewers. The Rose Room is a weekend-only nightclub next door with three bars, a private VIP room, and a house DJ.
Boiler Nine Bar + Grill
This massive four-story bar and restaurant at the Seaholm development features three unique concepts and a beverage program helmed by expert barman Jason Stevens. Expect boozy, old-school mixers in underground tavern The Boiler Room and pick-your-booze cocktails on Deck Nine, the rooftop patio. Acclaimed sommelier Paula Rester has curated an approachable, well-priced wine list too.
This quaint cafe in downtown Austin has received a lot of attention for its lunch and brunch, but we're here to talk happy hour. You'll find a thoughtful wine list, craft brews, and classic cocktails with a slight twist. Forthright's take on the French 75 is refreshing (muddled raspberries add a nice touch), while the martinis and margaritas satisfy. For summer, we suggest the Hemingway Daiquiri (rum, grapefruit and lime juice, Maraschino liqueur). Get $1 off drinks between 4-7 pm on weekdays.
Green Light Social
West Sixth has new drinking destination, that may feel a little familiar. The upstairs portion of recently shuttered Benji's Cantina has become Green Light Social. The rooftop view is the reason to check it out, but the cocktails will coax you to stay awhile. A full bar offers mixed drink specials like frozen cherry limeade and alcohol-infused Capri Sun pouches.
The midcentury modern restaurant and bar on the ground floor of Hotel Eleven is open to guests, visitors, and locals alike. Locally brewed beers are served alongside an expansive wine list. The bar does not serve liquor, but wine cocktails can be enjoyed inside the cafe, on the front patio, or on the private back patio. Try the signature Eleven: Eleven (cava and blood orange) or the King Louie (Austin Eastciders, blueberry, and citrus).
Elm Restaurant Group — the team behind 24 Diner, Easy Tiger, and others — debuted Irene's on Memorial Day. Craig Collins, Elm's acclaimed beverage director, has crafted a drink lineup of local drafts, house-made punch, and straight-forward cocktails. Standouts include the Goodnight Irene (vodka, cranberry, and lime) and the Jean Genie (gin, sugar, Topo Chico, and lemon). All of these offerings are best enjoyed on the lively outdoor patio, which is open until 2 am daily. Happy hour is Monday through Saturday 3:30-6:30 pm, and all day Sunday.
This sexy little number on Webberville Road broke the east side dive-bar mold when it opened this summer with refreshing cocktails, funky 1970s vibes, and a gorgeous patio and pool. In addition to beer, wine, and sake, the beverage program includes sweet concoctions designed to be sipped throughout the day. Standouts are the citrusy gin-based Key Party and the Roman Holiday wine spritzer. Look for weekend brunch and chef-driven pop-ups coming soon.
The Little Darlin'
The Little Darlin' could become your new favorite South Austin dive. The bar has a small but solid selection of local craft beers on tap, and the frozen margaritas are a big hit among regulars. You'll find a large lawn with picnic bench seating, yard games, and laid-back vibes. Comfort dishes like Cordon Bleu mac and cheese are on the menu.
A drink and dessert destination, Prohibition Creamery on East Seventh Street serves cocktails, wine, beer, and alcoholic ice cream. Boozy desserts are available in sorbet, shake, and float form, with plenty of alternatives for those who prefer dairy- or alcohol-free sweets. Flavors include whiskey chocolate, pineapple tequila sorbet, signature bourbon, and bananas Foster milkshake.
The East 11th Street grocery and hangout has opened a second location on East Cesar Chavez Street. Pair tasty snacks with an impressive lineup on brews, which can be enjoyed in the community-centered backyard.