Find your wine-soaked bliss paired with delicious food at these classy Austin wine locales. All these places will satisfy your cravings for delicious wine and food, and won’t break the bank if you plan ahead.
1/ Lenoir Wine Garden
Lenoir’s best kept secret is its wine garden. This is where the storied wine parties occur, presenting wine and foods of various regions and hues to Austin. The summer bean chaat, grilled quail and deviled eggs with kochikaru are examples of the delights found on the menu on any given evening.
The wine garden serves dishes prepared in both the food truck and inside kitchen. Select items from the normally prix fixe menu are now available outside, where recent improvements have made the environment more comfortable than ever. If you’ve ever wanted to check out Lenoir’s celebrated food, now is the time!
1807 S. 1st St. – Website
2/ Patika Wine and Coffee
Like a favorite little black dress that carries you from day into night, Patika transforms from a coffee shop into a wine bar as the shadows fall. By day, the handful of tables are home to diligent workers drinking the outstanding coffee, eating house-made pastries and tapping away on their digital devices. By early afternoon, a few people start filling the small but charming patio space to indulge in glasses of wine.
“You know good wine when you taste it,” co-owner Andy Wigginton explained. “We don’t have a lot of space, but we love wine. We keep a curated collection of lovely wines that we feel are good representations of that type of wine.” Patika has a few house favorites, such as their go-to pinot noir and sauvignon blanc that do not rotate. Otherwise, they change out the selection based on what they have newly discovered or are crushing on wine-wise at the moment. Each wine Patika carries is available by the glass or bottle. Happy hour is from 5-7 p.m. and different bands play each Wednesday and Thursday.
2159 S. Lamar Blvd. – Website
3/ Bar Lamar
Austinites know that at the flagship Whole Foods Market, the magic of organic, local and delicious come together for a lofty shopping experience. Bar Lamar, at the back of the store, supplies a meeting place for savvy shoppers. Wash down a meal or dessert from one of the restaurants/counters in the store with some fine wine. Or grab a glass of wine to smooth over your shopping experience.
Bar Lamar allows customers to choose a bottle of wine from off the shelves, open it and drink it right there with no corkage fee. This means the bar is—gasp!—a real bargain. If you don’t have friends to share with, you still have options. The friendly bartenders are happy to sell you one of several selected flights or wines by the glass. Perhaps because it feels a wee bit naughty to drink in the middle of a grocery store, Bar Lamar has become a favorite among Austinites, a somewhat under-the-radar wine thrill.
525 N. Lamar Blvd. – Website
4/ Aviary Wine + Kitchen
Aviary Wine + Kitchen radiates comfort, the kind of warmth you feel visiting a cherished friend’s home. Maybe that’s because Aviary began as an upscale home decor store in 2006. In 2009, founding owners Marco Fiorilo and Shanna Eldridge added a wine bar that quickly became the focal point of the store. The wine bar has continued to grow and the signature groovy decor has remained.
Fiorilo enjoys challenging staid notions of wine, encouraging patrons to explore the ever-changing wine menu. The regular crowd tends to be international and super friendly. Walk in and belly up to the bar. Odds are that within minutes you will be drawn into a conversation, or a game of Shut the Box or even Cards Against Humanity. Aviary turns many first-time visitors into regulars. One recent newcomer quickly assessed and described the scene as a “total good vibe tribe.”
Fiorilo and co-owner John Coronado also added a changing menu of house-made dishes: seasonal soups, tuna poke with microgreens, gourmet sandwiches, and cheese and meat plates. They are now planning to expand the kitchen and menu. Aviary runs wine specials Tuesday through Saturday.
2110 S. Lamar Blvd. – Website
5/ House Wine
House Wine is an intimate spot. Meet friends for wine and nibbles on the patio or in a cozy nook inside this transformed house. They have recently added wine classes inspired by regions, seasons and the whims of visiting sommeliers and industry experts who lead the classes. The weekly wine classes for beginners are theme-based and an easygoing introduction to wine.
For the more intermediate wine palate, the monthly Wine Geeks Club specializes in small batch, hard-to-find wines. Regulars get to learn about and taste three new wines, taking home a bottle of each. House Wine has specials every night including daily sangrias and a $5 glass of red and white each day.
408 Josephine St. – Website
Winebelly has fast become a neighborhood fixture, with a seasonal menu and fine wine selection. This place is perfect for a relaxed evening with a friend or date. The menu changes based on what’s in season, though perennial favorites such as the Wagyu beef sliders with blue cheese and bacon jam, the chicken liver mousse, and the shishito peppers stay on the menu year-round. The staff is knowledgeable and personable. Sundays and Mondays offer a killer deal of half-priced bottles on a select wine menu.
519 W. Oltorf St. – Website
Remember, you don’t have to wait until Wednesday to wine down in this town. Each of these six Austin wine venues draw a fun, wine-loving crowd on a regular basis. Cheers!
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