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Kelly DeWitt

The 10 Hottest New Cocktail Destinations in Austin Right Now

Where to drink right now this February 2024

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Daydreamer.
| Kelly DeWitt

Welcome to the latest installment of Eater Austin’s cocktail heatmap, a map of the hottest, buzziest boozing destinations around town. This means the latest bars in town, hot new restaurants offering serious cocktail games, or even older spots mixing it up with a new bar program, all under a year old.

Local bars and restaurants have really stepped up their games to create the best cocktails right now. This February 2024 update includes downtown restaurant the Statesman and South Austin diner the Toasty Badger.

For the city’s must-hit essential cocktail bars, Eater has it covered elsewhere, along with the best all-around bars and restaurant bars. And then there are guides to other specific drinks, like refreshing frozen drinks, those other Austin cocktail staples margaritas and Mexican martinis, craft beer, wine, happy hours, bloody marys, and mimosas.

Did Eater miss a recent spot or restaurant with an amazing cocktail program? Show it some love via email.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Getting in to Trona, which opened in October 2023, requires a bit of luck and a secret phone number (but also there are walk-in days). Once inside, the menu focuses on tequilas, mezcals, natural wines, and rare Japanese whiskys, and there’s indoor and outdoor drinking areas with design elements from Japan and Oaxaca.

A bar seating area with tables.
Bar seating at Trona
Trona

The Statesman

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The newest downtown Austin restaurant opened in January 2024 with American and Texan food approaches applies the same principal to its cocktail offerings. There’s the spicy S.S. Margarita, the Star of Texas made with Texan bourbon, peaches, and ginger beer; and a bartender’s nonalcoholic choice. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

The Central East Austin Italian hotel restaurant from the Intero, which opened in December 2023, serves up a nice cocktail menu with many egg white-based options such as the Johnny Utah with gin, a pimento liquor, and apples; and the Cure with rye whiskey and amaro. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Gina’s on Congress

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The new downtown French Italian bistro, which opened in December 2023, offers a nice wide-range of cocktails including a strong Negroni section with many variations. There are indoor dine-in services. 

Uchiba [Austin]

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Austin legacy restaurant Uchi opened the first city location of one of its spin-offs in October 2023. Drinks-wise, the more-casual Japanese restaurant offers draft cocktails like a gin and tonic with quince; classics like martinis with umami bitters, and its own creations like the Paper Crane with whisky and lychee. There’s also the special A5 Cold Rock, where the whisky is washed in A5 wagyu, alongside low-ABV and nonalcoholic drinks. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Murray’s Tavern

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In December 2023, one of Austin’s best bar experts behind Nickel City opened this very classic New York City-styled tavern in East Austin that feels timeless. The menu’s all about classic cocktails centered on Rob Roy, plus house creations like the dirty Negroni and a frozen Brandy Alexander. There are indoor dine-in services.

Daydreamer

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Austin industry vets behind Kitty Cohen’s, High Noon, Frazier’s, and the White Horse opened this new fun bar in East Austin in October 2023. The vibes are casual with an easy yet somewhat fancy drinks menu. Expect loads of martinis with caviar bumps, Ramos gin fizzes, nonalcoholic cocktails, and champagne. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Zoé Tong

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The modern Chinese restaurant that opened on Barton Springs Road in November 2023 serves cocktails with pan-Asian flavors, like a margarita with shishito pepper ice or a nonalcoholic strawberry lemonade with Thai basil. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Nomade Cocina y Raw Bar

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This new Yucatán restaurant from the team behind Lucky Robot opened in October 2023 with tropical flavors and agave spirits. That means mezcal and tequila flights along with the Tepache Junglebird with a pineapple sotol, Campari, tepache, and lime; and the Oaxaca Old Fashioned with a bourbon-aged tequila, an anejo mezcal, both mole and angostura bitters, and a maguey syrup. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Toasty Badger

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The new Bouldin Creek diner, which opened in January 2024, has a selection of breakfast-brunch-ish cocktails on deck. Think spicy bloody marys and micheladas, the Wired Woodpecker with cold brew, vodka, and Bailey’s; and the Salty Wolf with gin and grapefruit soda. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Trona

Getting in to Trona, which opened in October 2023, requires a bit of luck and a secret phone number (but also there are walk-in days). Once inside, the menu focuses on tequilas, mezcals, natural wines, and rare Japanese whiskys, and there’s indoor and outdoor drinking areas with design elements from Japan and Oaxaca.

A bar seating area with tables.
Bar seating at Trona
Trona

The Statesman

The newest downtown Austin restaurant opened in January 2024 with American and Texan food approaches applies the same principal to its cocktail offerings. There’s the spicy S.S. Margarita, the Star of Texas made with Texan bourbon, peaches, and ginger beer; and a bartender’s nonalcoholic choice. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Poeta

The Central East Austin Italian hotel restaurant from the Intero, which opened in December 2023, serves up a nice cocktail menu with many egg white-based options such as the Johnny Utah with gin, a pimento liquor, and apples; and the Cure with rye whiskey and amaro. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Gina’s on Congress

The new downtown French Italian bistro, which opened in December 2023, offers a nice wide-range of cocktails including a strong Negroni section with many variations. There are indoor dine-in services. 

Uchiba [Austin]

Austin legacy restaurant Uchi opened the first city location of one of its spin-offs in October 2023. Drinks-wise, the more-casual Japanese restaurant offers draft cocktails like a gin and tonic with quince; classics like martinis with umami bitters, and its own creations like the Paper Crane with whisky and lychee. There’s also the special A5 Cold Rock, where the whisky is washed in A5 wagyu, alongside low-ABV and nonalcoholic drinks. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Murray’s Tavern

In December 2023, one of Austin’s best bar experts behind Nickel City opened this very classic New York City-styled tavern in East Austin that feels timeless. The menu’s all about classic cocktails centered on Rob Roy, plus house creations like the dirty Negroni and a frozen Brandy Alexander. There are indoor dine-in services.

Daydreamer

Austin industry vets behind Kitty Cohen’s, High Noon, Frazier’s, and the White Horse opened this new fun bar in East Austin in October 2023. The vibes are casual with an easy yet somewhat fancy drinks menu. Expect loads of martinis with caviar bumps, Ramos gin fizzes, nonalcoholic cocktails, and champagne. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Zoé Tong

The modern Chinese restaurant that opened on Barton Springs Road in November 2023 serves cocktails with pan-Asian flavors, like a margarita with shishito pepper ice or a nonalcoholic strawberry lemonade with Thai basil. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Nomade Cocina y Raw Bar

This new Yucatán restaurant from the team behind Lucky Robot opened in October 2023 with tropical flavors and agave spirits. That means mezcal and tequila flights along with the Tepache Junglebird with a pineapple sotol, Campari, tepache, and lime; and the Oaxaca Old Fashioned with a bourbon-aged tequila, an anejo mezcal, both mole and angostura bitters, and a maguey syrup. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Toasty Badger

The new Bouldin Creek diner, which opened in January 2024, has a selection of breakfast-brunch-ish cocktails on deck. Think spicy bloody marys and micheladas, the Wired Woodpecker with cold brew, vodka, and Bailey’s; and the Salty Wolf with gin and grapefruit soda. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

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