Unless you've been living under a rock, you might have noticed that bar carts are having a bit of a moment right now. In fact, they have been for quite some time. Both parts eccentric and timeless, they remain an essential part of our entertainment arsenal — alongside our cocktail shaker and our incredible air fryer, that is. Whether you're entertaining a whole party or enjoying intimate drinks with close friends, they are a quick and easy way to serve up the fun.
However you take your drink — I'm more of a shaken, not stirred type as it goes — a bar cart should provide enough space to store and transport all the go-to liquors and mixers alike. Indeed, wheels are obligatory. As far as shelving goes, this depends on the size of the soirée, not to mention the length of the evening. Jokes aside, though, a great choice will combine convenience and aesthetic appeal seamlessly. For some, this might mean a lightweight number in gold, while for others, a wooden and metal design. Fortunately, we've whipped up the finest caliber of carts, saving you time and money. Meet your new host for the night.
Once you've made your choice, see our bar cart ideas for new ways to dress up your bar cart. And we list everything we you can realistically store on its shelves.
Start the party with a top-tier bar cart
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Size: H34.2" x W27.5" x DL18.9"
Complete with tempered-glass shelving and a lightly curved handle, this is a no-nonsense, elegant classic. As functional as it is iconic, the endearingly named "Sally" trolley is a dinky but handy piece of kit for smaller affairs. Personally, the simple, industrial style is catching my attention, if not just for its modernist allure. Plus, thinking ahead here, the fact it's suitable for warmer climes is equally appealing. Dinner party at mine, anyone?
For small spaces
Size: H29.9” x W16.8” x D11.4”
Looking for a little glitz and glam without spending an arm and a leg? Consider it done. Novogratz's three-shelf wonder is just what we needed for dinner dos on a budget, offering plenty of space to store your drink, despite the relatively small size. Plus, we think this would work just as well for storing other goodies — whether that means tea-party staples or your desserts.
Budget-friendly bar cart
Size: H32" x W15.75" x D12.6"
Wine, liquor, whiskey, or ice buckets... whatever's fuelling your evening, this indoor-to-outdoor all-rounder should see you through till the morn. Thanks to its sturdy alloy steel and wooden design, it's also one you can trust to last. Add to this rounded corners and an easy, wipe-clean surface, and you have the ultimate party wagon.
Size: H37.25" x W40" x D16"
The best parties start with a bar cart like this. Ideal for larger groups, Holly & Martin's design offers serious size, measuring an impressive 40 inches wide. Plus, with a wine rack and four glassware racks, the contemporary design is sure to keep the party going well into the wee hours. I, for one, will be raising a glass when this trolley gets wheeled out at the next event.
For wine lovers
Size: H51.6" x W41" x D15.7"
Primed with three shelves — each offering a loading capacity of 100 pounds — this design brings strength and size in abundance. Making the ultimate cocktail maker's companion, it also comes with hooks on its side, designed especially to hang bottle openers. Oh, and wine connoisseurs will be glad to hear that the rack has room for up to 10 bottles. Cheers to that!
Our favorite stylish option
Size: H33" x W27.5" x D14"
One for the interior designers among you, this circular design is both parts understated and stylish, rendered here in a gold hue with mirrored shelving. As I see it, this is one major way to make a statement during the party season, if not just for its off-beat, antique design. Oh, and in terms of room, it does the job with plenty of shelf space, but make sure you've got somewhere for it to live as it's quite big.
A wooden bar cart
Size: H33.07" x W19.2" x L30.7"
Low on price and high on style, this retro two-shelver is ideal for pared-back homes. With detachable wooden trays that can be moved from shelf to your table, it's designed using a simple but classy metal frame. In fact, I'm particularly drawn to this one, just because of its sheer versatility. Matching seamlessly with a farmhouse aesthetic, it marries neutral shades with an ultra-simple set-up. Consider me sold.
Chrome bar cart
Size: H31.1" x W29.1" x D14.9"
Some things never go out of fashion. Take this 1920s-inspired delight, specced with a chrome finish and mirrored shelving ideal for a little bit of luxe in your humble abode. I'm especially taken aback by the handsome curves and shimmering opulence. A real conversation starter, it's designed with ingenious spots for your wine along the spine, doing more with less.
A bar cabinet
Size: H38.3'' x W30.2'' x D14.7''
If you're seasoned entertainers, then this cabinet-cum-bar-cart is one trusty investment piece. Keeping everything you need in one place, it boasts eight individual cubby spots for wine bottles, plus closeted, two-tier shelving, perfect for homes that like their cart to blend in with the surroundings. If you ask me, this is the height of subtle but well-prepped hosting.
What can I use instead of a bar cart?
Well, it all depends on how you intend to keep and store your drinks. For some of us, the booze only comes out now and then, but for the hardened entertainers among us, it might be once a week. If you fall under the first category, any spot in your kitchen cabinet does the trick, whereas the latter group might be better off investing in a wine cooler for their choice cuvées and a glass drinks cabinet for the stronger stuff. After something a little more portable? Say hello to the mini-fridge.
What should go in a bar cart?
In short: spirits, wine, the glassware you might need, and, of course, your cocktail-making essentials. Yep, that means the cocktail shaker, too. That said, it's totally your call. Some people keep only their liquors on it, while others kit it out like a fully-fledged bar — ice buckets, mixers, the lot! All I'll say is that fizzy wines and soft drinks are probably best kept in your refrigerator, especially if yours is a smaller cart.