Playboy's Top Bars

Downtown Austin's hottest new bars catch Playboy's eye

Downtown Austin's hottest new bars catch Playboy's eye

The Townsend
The Townsend and Small Victory impress Playboy. Photo by SJ Reid Photography

Two of Austin's most prominent new bars are in the running for a major award.

Playboy has named downtown destinations Small Victory and The Townsend to its roster of 50 finalists for the best new bars in America for 2016. A combination of readers, bartenders, writers, and industry insiders selected the finalists. 

"Every year we search the U.S. for the top new places to get a good drink: the best spots where they take making a good drink seriously, but don’t take themselves too seriously," the magazine writes. Two bars in Houston, Canard and Eight Row Flint, and Dallas' Rapscallion also made the top 50.

"Small Victory isn’t doing anything new; it’s doing everything better," Playboy writes of the downtown haunt where you can order a custom martini with the help of a flow chart. "It’s a non-judgmental and fun way of customizing a cocktail — and while we know drink customization isn’t new, at Small Victory, we just feel like it’s … better."

As for The Townsend, Playboy says it's the opposite of all the "trash bars" (their words, not ours) in Austin. "It has a serious cocktail program, a heck of a lot of chandeliers, its own live-music venue, and a hamburger that will melt your face off," writes the magazine.

Readers are invited to vote for their favorite bar through August 31. Playboy will announce its prestigious top 10 list in the November issue.