Get the best out of your trip to Austin with a trip to any of these local bars. Every mention on today’s list has the sort of charm that only locally operated venues and bars can give when you visit our favorite city.

The Wheel Logo Austin Texas

The Wheel

4.6 ★
Beginning today’s list is the “worst bike shop in ATX” but one of our favorite local bars. The Wheel is a friendly bar in East Austin that locals can’t seem to get enough of. Choosing only staff that takes pride in making every patron who walks in feel like best friends is what The Wheel’s hiring manager is all about so you know they will take good care of you. Order something off the tap or try out cocktails like The Ashley or The Madison and see how much effort they put into every second of your visit with the folks at The Wheel. Pick out a sandwich after you’ve had a couple of drinks and just relax when you visit this legendary little bar. Find The Wheel on east Martin Luther King Jr Blvd and visit from 4 pm – 2 am any day that you’re wanting to hang out without any worries.

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Workhorse Bar Logo Austin Texas

Workhorse Bar

4.6 ★
When someone is described as a “workhorse” you know that they put in as many hours as they could possibly squeeze into a 24 hour day. Workhouse Bar on North Loop Blvd has a similar approach with the way they run their bar, not even taking a day off for the most major of holidays. From 11 am – 12 am every single day, Workhouse Bar is open and happy to serve beers, cocktails, and a full menu of food options. Try the Jalapeno Cream Corn for a spicy twist on the vegetables you said no to as a child. Check out their oldschool jukebox, featuring artists like Loretta Lynn and Elvis Presley, and get yourself in the mood to chill out. Even the most stubborn of working class folks can’t resist taking a load off at Workhouse Bar. Heck, you could even plan to have Christmas dinner at Workhouse Bar and they will be happy to have the whole family come by.

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Full Circle Bar Austin Texas

Full Circle Bar

4.5 ★
Have you ever heard of Brewskee-Ball before? If not, get ready to learn something that is bound to benefit you if you ever take a trip to Full Circle Bar on east 12th St. Now you may have played a round of skee ball or two, but Full Circle Bar takes the game seriously with their very own league. All around the country, grown ups have been taking over the Brewskee-Ball game, shining a light on times of arcades past. Now, you don’t have to spend a pocketful of quarters to go out with some friends and play the classic games. This time though, there is plenty of alcohol involved and Full Circle Bar takes care of the party, you just have to come ready to play. From 6 pm – 12 am every day (2 am on Friday and Saturday) you can take a trip down memory lane with the most competitive (and friendly) game of skee ball you will find in the Austin area.

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Dive Bar Austin Bar Hopping Austin Texas

Dive Bar Austin

4.5 ★
Remember back when people would use the term “dive” in a not so nice way when describing the little bars that virtually no one but locals knows about? Well we are thrilled that dive bars have become the go-to for those who want to party without the wall-to-wall club scene. Dive Bar Austin is exactly that, the dive bar that you go to when you want some good vibes and good whiskey. Every day, Dive Bar waits for you on Guadalupe St with varying hours depending on the day. Come in sometime and order any of their reasonably priced drinks and make a new friend. New friends seem to be made regularly when sitting at the Dive Bar bar. Drop your business card into their big raffle bowl for a chance to win a gift card towards your next happy hour with them, drawings happen at Dive Bar every Monday.

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DrinkWell Logo Austin Texas

DrinkWell

4.5 ★
Unique daiquiri’s, house cocktails, and a menu with just enough bar food to leave you with plenty of options, DrinkWell is one of those gastropub type bars located on 53rd St. Start out with cocktails like the Gimlet (also available without alcohol) or the Paperback Romance and grab Antonelli’s Cheese Board for the appetizer. You won’t want to fill up too much on cheese, leave some room for Toasted Gnocchi and Peperonata. Drinkwell takes bar food and truly elevates the concept. Check out their calendar to find out what events are going on, DrinkWell likes to host groups from all over Austin and surrounding areas and raise money to help the community. Come in every Martini Money to try out their special supply of gin and to take advantage of happy hour deals. Closed on Sundays, DrinkWell invites you to come in from 4 pm – 11 pm during the week and from 3 pm – 12 am on Friday and Saturday.

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Golden Goose Logo Austin Texas

Golden Goose

4.5 ★
“Get Loose at the Goose” on one of Lamar Blvd’s favorite watering holes. Serving up cocktails to the residents and visitors of South Austin is what Golden Goose has in mind from 4 pm – 2 am every day. Sit down at the bar or patio and make some new friends with the bartenders and patrons. Everyone who hangs out at Golden Goose seems to be donning a smile as they sip their frozen cocktails and signature drinks. They are always ready to serve at Golden Goose, open from 4 pm – 2 am every day of the week. With a rotating wine and draft selection, this establishment always has something new on their drink menu so come back often.

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San Jac Saloon Logo Austin Texas

San Jac Saloon

4.6 ★
There’s plenty of room to bring all of your friends (or make some new ones) at San Jac Saloon on 6th St. Live music happens daily in this historic building turned watering hole and only the fanciest of whiskey is allowed on their menu. From 7 pm until doors close at 2 am, you will hear country music blastic from their stage. San Jac Saloon has made great use of this building that was initially built in 1875. Head downstairs before 8 pm and ask about cocktail specials to save before heading back up to the music. One extra noteworthy feature to consider is the top floor’s fully retractable roof. That’s right, you might start the visit out sitting on a leather couch inside and end up looking at the stars without having to move from your cozy seat. San Jac Saloon is known for feeling comfortable and easygoing, with a staff that is fully attentive and quick to move. Dancing is always encouraged at San Jac Saloon so don’t forget to wear the right shoes!

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The 13th Floor Logo Austin Texas

The 13th Floor

4.7 ★
Named after inspiration from Austin’s psychedelic music scene and the influential part it played in local history, The 13th Floor pays homage to “13th Floor Elevators” a band from the 1960s that are still discussed among music heads to this day. Focusing on local legends is what this particular bar and venue has a passion for. If you are ever in the mood to find out more of what Austin’s music scene has to offer, you won’t have to look past The 13th Floor on Red River St. Doors open at 7 pm and remain open until 2 am every day so get your party on with a bunch of groovy folks at The 13th Floor sometime. There’s a chance you will get to meet some musicians before they hit their big break, this venue has a reputation for booking the future greats.

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King Bee Logo Austin Texas

King Bee

4.6 ★
Blues vibes are in full swing at King Bee, a bar that intends to preserve the best parts of East Austin with their live music and fresh cocktails. Ask your bartender about the Smoking Jacket or Grapefruit Collins and sit down to some tunes and great conversations. King Bee is one of those locations where it seems like everyone in the bar is having one big conversation, even if nobody actually came in together. Stop by and see them on 12th St sometime from 4 pm – 2 am. They are always looking for new acts to come on their stage and are known to be THE spot for Jazz on Sundays. Come in on a Monday for some free pool and see why King Bee is one spot that seems to attract forever patrons after just one visit.

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The Long Play Lounge Logo Austin Texas

The Long Play Lounge

4.7 ★
If you love classic music and hole-in-the-wall bars, The Long Play Lounge on St John’s Ave is the place to be at. If you want to bring your pups and sit outside, they have plenty of dog friendly seating outdoors. Step inside to take a look at their 400+ collection of vinyl records. In The Long Play Lounge, classic music discussions are an absolute must so strike something up with the guest next to you. At this particular location, music from before this era is held in high regard because Vinyl is life. From 4 pm – 12 am (open at 2 pm on the weekends) you can enjoy drinks and great tunes at The Long Play Lounge. Be sure to check out their new second location in downtown East Austin. The Long Play Lounge is one bar that will have you jamming out even without live music regardless of which location you stumble into.

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The Roosevelt Room Austin Texas Logo

The Roosevelt Room

4.6 ★
Whether you’ve never heard of industrial-chic or already have an idea in your mind, The Roosevelt Room on 5th St is one sight to behold. Upon entrance you will notice that while everything is up to date with a nod to the building’s original state. Built back in the 1920’s, The Roosevelt Room was once another warehouse in the district. Hang out downstairs or up top in the mezzanine, regardless of where you sit the cocktails and drinks will have the same high quality. Check out the RR Classics menu for your drink and see what The Roosevelt Room likes to show off in the realm of alcohol based specialties. From 3 pm until at least 12 am every day, The Roosevelt Room is ready to take you back in time for a while.

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Midnight Cowboy Logo Austin Texas

Midnight Cowboy

4.5 ★
There’s something about a bar that is only accessible by reservation that makes you want to get in that much more. Elegant and classic in the way only an old speakeasy can be, Midnight Cowboy is an excuse to dress up and learn a little bit about the edgy side of Austin’s history. Midnight Cowboy is decked out in Prohibition style decor and still keeps the old sign from back when a massage parlor was covering up an alternative business, one of the world’s oldest kinds. Rather than shying away from this less than honorable part of 6th Street’s past, Midnight Cowboy wants to encourage diverse conversation over classic cocktails. Call ahead and make a reservation for any day except Monday from 5 – 11:45 pm. This experience is intimate, unique, and sure to keep you talking for many days after.

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CONCLUSION

No matter which choice you make from this list, Austin’s finest local bars are sure to take care of you and your party. Here in Austin, we want everyone to have a fun time and you will feel that from the moment you set foot inside the doors of these mentioned establishments. Don’t forget to take a look at past articles we’ve published if you’re ever unsure of where to go for food, drinks, or activities in Austin. At The Austin Insider, we take pride in only mentioning top rated venues and we can’t wait to help you plan your trip!