Austin's Best Bars of 2010

We can always count on the bar scene in Austin. Here's our list of the top bars in the city for 2010. Go ahead: toast to the hour that is happy--or any time, for that matter.

Updated: December 29, 2010

Austin's Best Bars of 2010


Shangri'la

1016 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702

Situated on the East side of 6th Street where the hipsters flock, this bar's big moment came this year during SXSW, when Bill Murray spontaneously played celebrity bartender while in town. Chill on the patio, play some pool and come by for the Second Sunday Sock Hop! Seriously, this place is swinging.


Clive Bar

609 Davis St, Austin, TX 78701

Sister location to the Rainey Street original, Lustre Pearl. This really should be described as Pearl's brother--a grown-up, handsome, older brother. Rich, dark, masculine woods are softened by white leather studded barstools in an indoor/outdoor space illuminated with sexy candlelight. Service is friendly and efficient, the scene sophisticated while still come-as-you-are Austin. No fancy cocktail menu here, but the juice used for mixers is freshly squeezed.


Black Sheep Lodge

2108 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

Black Sheep Lodge is South Austin's newest neighborhood addition, with a menu of more than 20 beers on tap. Enjoy the sprawling patio in a chill setting, drink specials, plus burgers and sweet potato fries.


Kung Fu Saloon

510 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78701

Old-school video games, a giant Connect Four game and skee ball are just a few reasons to visit this fun, downtown bar. (If hunger calls, adjacent Wahoo's Fish Taco will deliver your grub.)


J Blacks Feel Good Lounge

710 W 6th St Ste B, Austin, TX 78701

A West 6th Street staple for when you want something a little more sophisticated. Here the service is fast and friendly, the wine list superb, cocktails are creative and the menu offers much better than average pub grub.


Lustre Pearl

97 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701

The trendsetter in an old historic house that pioneered the entire Rainey Street District scene is still going strong with a 30-something crowd. The jukebox is jamming and the hula hoops are swinging both inside and out back. Drinks are served strong.


The Dogwood

715 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

The Womack Brothers are at it again. From the folks that brought us the Chugging Monkey and the Dizzy Rooster, the Dogwood is named after the brothers? Southern grandmother's favorite tree. No frat boys or velvet ropes; instead, it's a chill scene where shorts and flip-flops are welcomed at the indoor/outdoor space. A center island bar anchors the 4,000 square foot space occupied by natural woods and limestone native to Texas. No fancy drink concoctions, but they have Deep Eddy Vodka on tap, served ice cold.


Bess Bistro

500 W Sixth St, Austin, TX 78701

An old converted garage shop is now one of West 6th Street's most famous outdoor patio bars. Good beer, a full liquor bar and good grub with a rotating food trailer of tasty treats on site.