Best Nightlife in Austin 2022

Everybody who visits Austin falls in love with the place. It’s a huge city that highlights all of the best things in life: incredible food, a diverse crowd, tons of fun bars, and live music at every corner. What’s not to love? Known as the Music Capital of the World, Austin boasts copious live music venues-turned-bars that are ideal for long, wild nights of singing, dancing, and partying with friends and strangers alike. 

Austin’s nightlife scene is made up of chill outdoor beer patios, old-west era underground speakeasies, a handful of nightclubs, and plenty of soulful dive bars that will make you feel right at home. If you’re looking for things to do in Austin at night, here are some favorites.

Continental l Club

Best bar for live music

Self-proclaimed as “the granddaddy of all local music venues,” the Continental Club is the spot to see local and nationally recognized artists, whether they’re in the rock, blues, jazz, or country genres. The Continental Club is a well-known Austin staple that features live music almost every night of the week, complete with red upholstered swivel bar stools, vintage murals, neon signs, and no-frills drinks. Having opened in 1955 as an upscale supper lounge (and the first-ever burlesque club in Austin), it’s got the semi run-down, swanky feel of an old-timey country music lounge that makes it an authentic Austin experience.

Roosevelt Room

Best high-end club

If you’re looking for less college-party and more Gatsby-soiree, head over to the Roosevelt Room. For some of the most impressive cocktails in Austin, this is your spot. The Roosevelt Room cocktail menu is organized by decade, so you can drink your way through history while seated in sleek leather couches under a soothing dimly lit ambiance. The bartenders-slash-mixologists at the Roosevelt Room are experts at what they do, so keep your expectations high even when your drink comes served in a giant skull. While reservations are not required, they are highly recommended, especially for large groups as the waitlist can actually fill up months in advance. Don’t miss out on a unique Saturday evening happy hour!

Garage Bar

Best speakeasy

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Garage (@garagetx)

Every great city has a great speakeasy bar. Garage Bar is Austin’s best speakeasy, located underneath an actual car garage right in the nightlife hub of East 6th Street, Austin, with a single neon sign as its indicator. Its clandestine entryway isn’t its only selling point, however. This spot is hip, high-end, and known for having sophisticated cocktails and libations. Join a chic crowd and sip top-shelf whiskeys and other delicately perfected mixologist creations under the dim, candlelit atmosphere for an upscale night. Reservations aren’t required unless your party is more than seven people, but they are recommended. Garage Bar does not accept cash payments.

Lit Lounge

Best club for VIP bottle service

The Lit Lounge website proclaims it is the “hottest club on Sixth Street,” and patrons seem to agree. This thumping nightclub is an uber-popular spot for celebrating big birthdays, weddings, and after-parties. With two floors and multiple DJs, this spot attracts a hip, younger crowd who loves to dance and party. VIP bottle service is common here, with prices ranging from $150 to $600 per table depending on whether you choose a high-top table or booth, and reservations are usually required. At Lit Lounge, expect lots of neon lights, loud music, an electrified crowd, and occasional live music.

Elephant Room

Best jazz lounge

 

Elephant Room is another one of those bars in Austin that feels more like a sleek music lounge. While it’s not necessarily a speakeasy, the Elephant Room is located underground, which gives it an intimate, cozy feel. Both local artists and nationally recognized talent put on live jazz performances every night of the week at the Elephant Room. This 21+ only lounge features a long list of no-frills cocktails including wine and beer. With an opportune location on Congress Ave., this is the perfect date-night spot for pre or post-dinner cocktails and good music for a comforting, mellow vibe.

Stubb's

Best bar for groups

You can’t visit Texas without eating authentic Texas BBQ. What’s better than good old-fashioned Texas BBQ? Texas BBQ accompanied by vivacious live music and some good drinks. At Stubb’s, you can find all of this and more. Stubb’s is the ideal spot in downtown Austin to take advantage of a warm, sunny Saturday. The Stubb’s amphitheater features some of the biggest music headliners in the country, including the likes of Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. Likewise, its drool-worthy menu, fun drinks, and sprawling outdoor patio typically attract large, rowdy crowds with plans to dance the day (and night) away. Don’t forget to buy a bottle of world-famous Stubb’s barbecue sauce.

Parlor Room

Best bar for day drinking

The Parlor Room is one of the most Instagram-worthy bars in Austin and a favorite for day drinking. Located on the historical Rainey Street, the Parlor Room makes for a fun stop on your bar-hopping ventures, but it can also be the ideal spot to stay all day. With an indoor bar and a large outdoor patio with another huge bar, the Parlor Room is great for big, energetic groups. While the crowd is usually young and laid-back, the bartenders at the Parlor Room serve up high-end, innovative cocktails. Grab a quality beverage and get outside to enjoy some fun bar games and good music. The massive, lit-up “Drink Up” sign is certainly a good motivator.

Cheer Up Charlies

Best LGBTQ club

Don’t think that this bar sports the name Cheer Up Charlies ironically — there may not be a more cheerful nightlife option in all of Austin. Cheer Up Charlies is a joyous haven where fun-lovers head to, well, cheer up. Inside, Cheer Up Charlie’s glows with vibrant pink and fuchsia lights which showcase various funky murals and paintings. There’s a neon-lit colorful bar, a dance floor, and a stage for live music. The outdoor patio is of course sunnier and features fake grass, colorful patio seats, picnic benches, a disco ball, more murals, and another large stage for live music. Live music at Cheer Up Charlies can be from any genre, including country, pop, disco, and more, but either way, you’re probably going to be dancing. The cocktails are appropriately vibrant, colorful, hip, and delicious, including the crowd-favorite kale-infused margarita.

Topgolf Austin

Best bar for games

If you are looking for fun things to do in Austin at night, Topgolf is always a foolproof option. At Topgolf, you can have it all in one: fun games, incredible food, and plenty of drinks. It’s a great spot for date nights or for big groups to bond and hang together rather than dispersing all over the dance floor. Topgolf is also ideal for virtually any weather; enjoy a stunning sunset view or shelter from a rainstorm all the same. To enjoy Topgolf, you don’t have to be a golf lover or expert. You can still have fun here even if you’ve never picked up a club in your life, as there are plenty of game options that don’t revolve around hitting a golf ball into a specific hole. This is an ideal spot for celebrations, corporate outings, or a way to switch up your weekend routine. 

Casino El Camino

Best dive bar

This dive bar is so perfectly dive-y that it earned itself a feature on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Casino El Camino is a local favorite and an East 6th Street institution. Of course, it’s got the domesticated, cozy feel of a true dive bar: a cluttered bar area, lots of campy neon lights and decorations, greasy burgers, and unpretentious drinks  aside from their famous overstuffed bloody Mary, topped with bacon, pickles, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Casino El Camino is an all-around good time: good drinks, friendly service, and crowd-pleasing music.