When it comes to Austin’s expansive drinking scene, bars are about a dime a dozen. From breweries to beer gardens, there’s definitely no shortage of dive bars and watering holes in the capital city. But for those looking for a more sophisticated drink that doesn’t come in a can, there’s also a bevy of fantastic wine bars where you can slow down and take in the taste of the city one sip at a time. So for all the wine bellies, chardonnay chasers and rosé lovers, here’s a list of some of the best wine bars in Austin.
Red Room – south Austin Created and run by a group of seasoned sommeliers, the Red Room lounge is an intimate hidden gem in south Austin. Lined with plushy leather upholstery, collector guitars and bordello red walls, this cozy, dimly lit wine bar is a romantic escape away from the city. The Red Room’s carefully curated menu includes 250 specialty bottles from around the world as well as featured flights and wine by the bottle or glass. The amazingly decadent food options at Red Room include cheese plates, lobster rolls and “The Perfect 10” ribeye. They even have great Happy hour offerings weekdays and Saturdays with a handful of select wines and 25% off all other wines by the glass!
update: Red Room is permanently closed
Vino Vino – central Austin
Located in the heart of Austin, Vino Vino is a casual yet classy wine hangout that includes great DJ’s, fresh seasonal menus, an award winning wine selection and dessert all day. With accolades from Thrillist and Austin 360 including “Top Wine Bars in the U.S”, the experts at Vino Vino are passionate about what they do and are truly masters of their craft. Their rotating menu includes finger-licking “shareables” like DuckConfit and ChickenSliders, specialty cheese plates and a selection of over the top elevated comfort food plates including PastaPrimavera, PorkTenderloin and Gumbo. They also have a great happy hour menu that runs all day Sunday and Monday, nightly Tuesday-Saturday and even late night from 10PM-12AM for the midnight munchies.
Tip: Try their heavenly Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee.
Aviary – south Austin
Originally conceived as a design store, Aviary Lounge is a one-of-a-kind wine concept in Austin that offers specialty curated wines and foods along with local artisanal furniture, specialty gifts and art for sale. Wine masterminds Marco and Shanna definitely knew what they were doing when they created this place and decided to mix two of our favorite things: drinking and shopping! The art is beautiful, the furniture is pricey, yes, but made with quality and the menu is delectable, with Italian-style coursed dishes including antipasti, cheese plates, capellini and carpaccio.
Tip: Check out The Aviary’s half price bottle Wednesdays with live music every week.
Wine Belly – south Austin
Located in downtown Austin, Wine Belly is an adorable, eclectic wine bar with antiques, art and an undeniably Austin vibe. Named one of the top wine bars in the U.S by Food & Wine, this artsy wine bar specializes in global wines and Mediterranean/Spanish style tapas. The delicious menu at Wine Belly includes cocktails and beer, bar foods like ParmesanFries and Salmon Bruschetta, cheese plates, and all the tapas and wine you could ask for! Some of their more popular tapas dishes include the fresh HalibutVeracruz, juicy WayguBeefSliders and rich FriedQuail.
Tip: Be cool and buy the kitchen a beer for $2 (on the menu)
House Wine – south Austin
Tucked in south Austin, House Wine is a charming, unpretentious wine bar that offers 100 wines by the glass from vineyards around the world, tasting classes, daily happy hour specials and nightly live music on their charming outdoor patio so you can take in a show while you taste some of the globe’s finest wines. The eclectic menu at House Wine includes Mediterranean style foods like “Mmmpanadillas” and hummus, a selection of Belgian-style beers and cidars as well as pizzas, artisan cheese plates and fun desserts like S’Mores, Chocolate Fondue and PortBrownie Sundaes.
Tip: Visit House Wine on Wednesday for all day happy hour and enjoy $6 off bottles and $2 off glasses and beer.
Wink Restaurant – central Austin
Serving simultaneously as an award winning restaurant and eclectic wine bar with a selection of globally influenced wines, Wink restaurant is an beloved Austin institution that offers a cozy ambience and locally-sourced upscale cuisine. Their daily rotating menu features thoughtfully created seasonal dishes like Seared Fois Gras, Grilled Veal Sweetbreads and Beef Tartare as well as a slightly less intimidating bar menu with burgers and apps. Wink also offers a must-try daily Chef’s Tasting menu in 5 or 7 courses with a totally vegetarian option for the non-meat eaters.
The Grove Kitchen & Wine Bar – south Austin/north Austin
Recently grown to three locations around Austin, The Grove Kitchen & Wine Bar is a super successful wine spot that offers organic, farm-to-table foods, thousands of wines, cocktails and beers, spacious outdoor seating and tasty coffee from their neighbors at Lola Savannah Coffee. The Grove’s staggering wine list includes flights for wine tasting and a nearly endless selection of red, white and sparkling wines. The extensive food menus at The Grove include lunch, dinner, brunch and happy hours, with pizzas, pastas, bruschettas, entrees, salads, lunch combos and more! They even have gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian offerings for those with special diets. Some popular menu items include the Grove Sliders, Crab Cakes and Avocado BLT.
Tip: Visit during Social Hour every day from 4PM-6:30PM (and sundays starting at 10:30AM) for $2 off cocktails, tap beers, bar bites, frozens and well drinks.
Gino’s Vino Osteria – east Austin
Located in the heart of east Austin, the charming Gino’s Vino is a friendly little wine bar that also offers fantastic lunch, dinner and live music in a warm, neighborly atmosphere. Although walk-ins are welcome Monday through Thursday, they recommend reservations only for Fridays and Saturdays. Gino’s boasts a great selection of worldly wines and a delicious home style Italian menu loaded with carbs and love. Some popular dishes include the Veal Marsala, Chef’s Risotta Surf n Turf and classic Lasagna di Casi.
Tip: Visit Gino’s Wednesday-Saturday night for awesome live music from special guest performers.