Few pursuits tap into the pleasures of nightlife more than dancing. Giving yourself over to the rhythms, the lights, and the energy is a total release. When you want that feeling, we'll introduce you to the best dance clubs in Austin. Top DJs get things moving, and other patrons ensure that there's plenty to see along the way. To follow the crowds, head to Rain and see what lies in store; for a more subdued experience, give Oilcan Harry's a try. Either way, 10Best will make sure you know the best places to dance in Austin.
A stylish club with Moorish accents, Red Fez delivers upscale ambience to a relaxed clientele who come to meet up, drink and dance. DJs spin a mix of tunes from night to night, gracing patrons with everything from hip-hop to indie rock to world music. As the night wears on, people give in to their dancing urges and heat up the floor, and you can occasionally catch sight of a Hollywood celeb or two. Although drinks have a reputation for being a little pricy, they also have enough alcohol to be worthy of such fees. Hookahs, available for rent, give you a choice of ten flavors of tobacco. (512-478-5120)
Although it can be difficult to locate, Barcelona is definitely worth your sleuthing efforts. The hip, underground (literally) club is a stylish boîte whose pale shell is enlivened with bold, colored lighting. Bars anchor the ends of the narrow space, and private areas are peppered about. Thanks to the preferences of individual DJs, the music changes each night, although variations of house are prominent. Patrons take their dancing seriously, so if you can hang, Barcelona's a great place to show off your moves. (512-236-0900)
Friendly patrons, well-priced drinks, daily specials, a lengthy martini list, and an active dance floor — they're all reasons that Spill ranks as one of Sixth Street's most popular destinations. Its interior washed in warm woods and burnished hues, the club invites folks to show off their best moves to Top 40 and hip-hop songs, or it lets them camp out at a table, nursing a Johnny Mactini or kicking back with a Long Island iced tea. Either way, there's a discernible lack of pretense and a tangible aura of fun. (512-477-7455)
Graham Central Station
North of Austin, this mega-club definitely lives up to its purpose. A jack of all nightlife trades, it clusters a variety of venues under one roof and lets patrons have their pick of the litter for a set cover charge. Denim & Diamonds features C&W songs, Club Z offers pop hits, and Choppers is a biker-themed bar with tunes from the '70s, '80s and '90s. If you're ready for audience interaction, consider Alley Cats, the karaoke bar, or Wild Cats, where comely servers mingle with club-goers. Finally, the Live Room presents local bands, and a diner offers expected fare to help folks with sustenance for the night. (512-252-0664)
The Can, as it's called, has cultivated a reputation for attracting a bevy of fit, clean-cut gay men, and its appeal is longstanding. Themed activities nightly promise something new throughout the week, whether it's karaoke, male dancers or dating games. The dance floor stays busy too, although it's not as hectic a place as it can be at some clubs. Three bars, including one on the outdoor patio, handle drink requests, and a pool table allows for a little competitive wagering. Straight folks are welcome to attend. (512-320-8823)
Popular with the gay community, Rain welcomes club-goers into a warehouse-like space complete with raw brick and exposed ductwork. The main bar joins a small stage, elevated seating area and outdoor patio — complete with its own bar — to offer patrons a variety of pastimes. DJs spin mostly pop tunes to keep crowds moving, and theme nights are held regularly. Daily drink specials are kind to wallets, and weekly events include college and karaoke nights. The crowd is invariably mixed. (512-494-1150)