From top: Rio Rita and Nomad   John Anderson

Best Bar Staff

TIE: Rio Rita; Nomad

A dance floor filled with sharks (of either the piscine or mammalian variety) won't keep Austinites coming back; it's the hosts, the standout bartenders who remember your previous order, who channel their creativity and expertise into experimenting with infusions that make your night more interesting (habanero garlic vodka makes a mean Bloody Mary). With this in mind, both Rio Rita on the Eastside and Nomad, a cozy North Central haunt, provide respite from the Downtown bustle and a place to get to know your friends and neighbors.

Rio Rita
1203 Chicon, 512/524-0384
www.riorita.net

Nomad
1213 Corona, 512/628-4288
www.nomadbar.com