Where to drink now

Where to drink in Austin right now: 6 brand-new bars to raise a glass

Where to drink in Austin right now: 6 brand-new bars to raise a glass

The Upside East Austin Hotel
The Upside features an eclectic atmosphere and globally inspired drinks. Photo by Ryann Ford
Lefty's Brick Bar
Lefty's Brick Bar's frozen drinks help fight the summer heat. Photo by Jody Horton
Ellis Austin outdoor window
Ellis feels like a modern treehouse. Photo by Jenna Kahn
Cat's Pajamas Austin
Cat's Pajamas mixers in elements of tiki and kitsch. Photo courtesy of Cat's Pajamas
The Upside East Austin Hotel
Lefty's Brick Bar
Ellis Austin outdoor window
Cat's Pajamas Austin

At this point in the summer, mosquitos are turning exposed skin into minefields, and no one can spend two seconds outside without looking like a drowned rat. But that doesn’t mean you should stay at home. From rooftop lounges with a resort feel to a downtown tavern giving yeehaw vibes, Austin's hottest new hangouts will take the edge off the brutally hot days. After all, the only thing that misery loves more than company is a good, strong drink.

Cat’s Pajamas
Technically, this rooftop watering hole opened back in April in the former home of Rattle Inn, but it wasn’t until summer that Austinites started discovering its charms. (Perhaps the cat had our tongue.) The vibe is tiki, complete with a sunset color scheme and a thatched roof over the bar, while the drinks scream vacay everyday. Try one of the frozen drinks like A.C. Slater Mojito or the Bodhi Pina Colada — and be prepared to hear a few ‘90s pop culture quotes.

Ellis
After a few false starts and a name change, this street level bar at downtown’s Fareground food hall debuted in June. Turns out it was worth the wait. Not only is the aerodynamic architecture gorgeous, but the bar program is equally high flying with an assortment of beloved local beers, curated wines, and cocktails from top Austin bartender Sarah Rahl. Plus, guests can order snacks from all of the vendors downstairs.

The Git Out
This unpretentious gastropub arrived on South Congress Avenue in July with an easygoing menu of burgers, empanadas, and tacos. The drinks follow suit by sticking to classic cocktails like Old Fashioneds, Negronis, and Mai Tais. Those who prefer something with a little less hooch can peruse a robust beer list filled with domestic favorites, local craft drafts, and even uber-trendy White Claw.

Lefty’s Brick Bar
August’s string of 100 degree days isn’t keeping Austinites from flocking to the Arrive East Austin’s mostly outdoor bar. The giant fans help keep things from getting too steamy, as does the refreshing assortment of cocktails. Beat the dog days with a strawberry swirl frozen daiquiri or a boozy sno-ball. A Viet-Cajun “banh boy” sandwich and a side of green papaya coleslaw provides a suitably crisp pairing.

Texas Tavern
After hosting two island-themed concepts and an ambitious, if ill-advised, Ivy League lounge, this Warehouse District space went back to basics in July with a Texas makeover. Now guests can order Lone Star spirits and Southern comfort food in a warm and homey atmosphere. Try it out during the grand opening weekend Friday, August 23, through Sunday, August 25, to take advantage of killer drink specials.

The Upside
Get some boho inspo at this eclectic rooftop bar located at the East Austin Hotel. The stylish deck is made for Pinterest, with its assortment of Moroccan poufs, French rattan cafe chairs, and kilim pillows. Suitably, the cocktail menu takes its cues from all corners of the world. Laze in the tropics with a classic rum-based Jungle Bird or visit South America with a Peruvian National made with that country’s signature chuncho bitters.