Friday night dates are something my husband and I try to stick with on a weekly basis. We plan for them by lining up regular childcare and booking reservations in advance. If it’s on the calendar, we are less likely to blow it off. Because we’re prone to #netflixandchill, it’s nice that we get out into different corners of the city, get dressed up for each other, and experience something new. In narrowing down favorite wine bars to recommend, I tried to stay away from the obvious and cover places that you might not have been to yet…perhaps it’s relatively new or maybe it’s tucked in a neighborhood that’s off the beaten path.
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Perfect for dates with the hubs, after-work drinks, girls night, and more — here is a line up of some of Austin’s best wine bars.
- Cru (Domain): Serving shoppers, passer-by, tourists and local residents alike, Cru has been in the Domain since the very beginning, 11 years now. Other wine bars have come & gone in the area, but they are the original & only wine bar in the Domain. Yes, they are a wine bar with full food (menu changes seasonally), and there are beer selections too. My favorite thing is their large patio with 25-30 seats for people-watching when the weather turns nice. Their Happy Hour food is legit, serving smaller portions of regular menu offerings. –Don’t miss the Goat Cheese Beignets! Thursdays are popular for Girls’ Night groups, popping bottles for half-price from 4 p.m. to close.
- Rosie’s Wine Bar: Rosie’s is an intimate, lively wine bar located off Blanco Street. The rotating wine list features bottles from around the world with an emphasis on natural winemaking from unique terroirs and small producers.
- LoLo Natural Wine Bar : Happy Hour 4pm – 6pm. Monday through Friday. $2 off glass pours and $1 off package beer.
- Sloan & Parker (Steiner Ranch): Playfully referring to themselves as the “Burb Bar,” Sloan & Parker opened in Nov. 2018 and checks all the boxes for Steiner Ranch-area parents who enjoy a glass of wine. They hold girlfriend gatherings & mom meet-up nights called “Sip in Sweats.” –Done once a quarter, simply come as you are because it is known as mom’s night to relax. Family Fun Day is on Sunday afternoons, when kids are welcome & there’s a movie playing for them on the TV. They are a retail wine store, too, with 30-40 wines by the glass and 200-300 bottles available for sale at retail.
- Aviary Wine and Kitchen : Aviary saw its genesis in 2006 when lovebirds and world-traveling wine enthusiasts, Marco Fiorilo and Shanna Eldridge, opened Aviary Shop & Lounge – a décor shop selling unique treasures and furniture pieces acquired from their travels abroad.
- Birdie’s : Their wine list is a thoughtful mix of classic and new producers with an emphasis on mindful farming and minimal intervention in the cellar.
- The Austin Winery (South Austin): Continue down on SoCo past Ben White and you come to a unique development called The Yard. A local business ‘row’ made up of a winery, coffee shop, cocktails, sake, whiskey, and brewery. –A place to try all different types of drinks without having to walk too far. The Austin Winery is The Yard’s wine destination and they’ve been making it for 6 years now. Three years ago, they went 100% Texas fruit. They specialize in the wine-making process and it’s all made in-house…everything arrives from various regions of the state on-stem as whole berries & clusters. All of their wines are Vegan, and they do not add sulfites.
- Salt and Time Wine Shop : Specializing in Low Intervention Wine open Thursday-Sunday 12-8pm
- Lenoir | 1807 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
- APT 115 (Eastside): What sets APT 115 apart is the knowledge base of their staff. They are able to curate an experience and walk you through their menu. You’ll likely need the guidance, too: wine selections are small-batch, uncommon, and perhaps even a little weird. However, they have a rich history & great stories to tell behind each producer. Yes, expect to arrive & hear the story behind your glass and leave having learned something new about wine. Paper menu of wines by the class changes daily. Happy Hour: 5 – 6 p.m. everyday for $5 off anything on the printed list.