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Any good bottle collection, whether in your kitchen or at the office (or anywhere else you might indulge in the occasional nip), needs a designated place to call home. A great bar cart offers a solution to your bottle storing woes—not only does it offer storage space, but it creates a sense of display, all while adding an element of design.
An evolution of the Victorian-era tea trolley, bar carts come in plenty of different sizes and style options. Choosing the right one is a challenge, but it all comes down to personal taste and functional needs. If mid-century modern is your vibe, look for metal finishes, a defined pushcart handle, and rounded angles. For a contemporary look, opt for something more angular in a neutral or industrial color palette. With many style variations, there are endless bar cart options to accentuate or completely change the design scheme of your space. Here are some of our favorites on the market for every aesthetic.
Best Overall: Holly & Martin Zhori Mid-Century Modern Bar Cart
With its rich wood finish and brass accents, Holly & Martin’s mid-century modern Zhori cart gives off a retro, "Mad Men"-inspired aesthetic. Also available in black and white, this three-tier cart offers a guardrail for protecting bottles, two locking casters, and easy assembly.
Note that this is a heavy-duty bar cart, weighing 41 pounds and measuring 18 inches deep, 33 inches wide, and 37 inches high. The wood-finished Zhori cart is a great way to bring some warmth and architectural design to any space.
Best for Small Spaces: 17 Stories Behrens Bar Cart
Small spaces require a bit of ingenuity. That’s where a foldable bar cart comes in—the industrial-chic Behrens cart by 17 Stories proves that functionality and design don't have to be mutually exclusive. With its metal frame and two, slightly distressed dark wood shelves, this bar cart arrives fully assembled and features locking wheels as well as a 30-day warranty.
When unfolded, the Behrens cart measures 16 inches deep, 31.5 inches wide, and 31.5 inches high.
Best Splurge: Sika Design Originals Carlo Rattan Mini Bar Cart
There’s something special about this handmade rattan bar cart by Sika Design––perhaps it’s that the material comes from the forests of Indonesia (which regenerates every five to seven years), or that the design itself is an homage to the artisan’s grandfather.
The Carlo bar cart ships fully assembled, measuring 35.1 inches deep and 32.3 inches tall with two, 17.7-inch-wide shelves and wheels for easy transport. Use this cart for indoor or outdoor entertaining, or just for display.
Most Functional: Walker Edison Furniture Company Industrial Bar Cabinet
Walker Edison Furniture Company’s hybrid bar cart and cabinet are both spacious and stylish. Mesh metal doors, two interior wood shelves, and a glassware rack allow for safekeeping of bottles, wine glasses, and other barware while still keeping everything on display. The wood laminate display top is also durable and can hold additional bottles, bar supplies, or decorative items, depending on your needs and design objectives.
This bar cart measures 17 inches wide, 33 inches deep, and 38 inches high, and its locking casters can be removed if needed.
Related: The Best Bar Cabinets
Best Minimalist: Nathan James Carter Rolling Bar and Serving Cart
Keep things simple with this sleek, minimalist Nathan James cart in matte black. Measuring 24 inches deep, 17 inches wide, 35 inches high and with two tiers––one tempered glass and one wood, which can hold up to 10 bottles––the Carter model comes with a lifetime guarantee from the manufacturer, so you can rest easy when purchasing.
You’ll have to put it together when it arrives, but it’s easy enough for one person to execute and can be done in around 25 minutes. This cart’s wheels are fully functioning and can be locked in place.
Most Versatile: Safavieh Elle Bar Cart
A clear, acrylic bar cart is perfect if you're looking for a versatile cart that'll go with most rooms or if you’ve got a busy space and want to add a neutral, functional piece into the mix. Safavieh’s two-tier Elle bar cart is easy to assemble and moves effortlessly on its stainless steel-accented wheels.
This cart weighs just 12 pounds (and holds up to 20 pounds) and measures 25.6 inches wide, 18 inches deep, and 31 inches high.
Best for Outdoors: West Elm Halden Outdoor Bar Cart
Take your alfresco dining space to the next level with West Elm’s Halden Outdoor Bar Cart—this beautiful cart is vintage-looking yet modern, with clean lines made up of solid mahogany wood and a water-based lacquer finish.
This model measures 18.1 inches wide, 33.5 inches deep, and 28.5 inches high and requires assembly. You can also purchase a cover to keep this cart safe from the elements.
Best Budget: Ameriwood Home Marshall 3-Shelf Metal Rolling Utility Cart
Just because it's a budget utility cart doesn't mean it's boring. This slim industrial-style metal cart comes in teal after all, in addition to white and black. The three shelves can hold up to 20 pounds each and are protected on three sides by wraparound bars to help secure your bottles when you're on the move. The four casters make it possible to wheel it around with ease or lock two of them to prevent a runaway cart situation.
At 29 inches high, 16 inches wide, and 11 inches deep, this bar cart is perfect for compact spaces.
Most Versatile: Frederic Bar Cart
With this bar cart, you can serve breakfast in bed and/or serve wine thanks to its built-in storage racks for bottles and glasses and lift-off, a removable serving tray with handles.
Measuring 35 inches high, 16 inches wide, and 24.4 inches deep with two wood shelves that can support up to 20 pounds each, this bar cart can stand up to any serving task you set for it.
Best for Home Tiki Bar: Hause Bar Cart
Don't settle for rattan when you can go gold bamboo to complement your home tiki bar. After all, this whimsical aesthetic with tropical touches is meant to inspire daydreams of paradise. The gold leaf finish with two shelves (one mirrored and one glass) is fabulous without being gaudy, reminiscent of the golden age of Hollywood.
At 30 inches high, 18 inches wide, and 18 inches deep, it can slot nicely into a corner, but you'll want to put it on display.
Related: Best Wine Racks
Even though the Urban Outfitters Frederic bar cart (view at Urban Outfitters) has versatility on its side with that nifty removable tray and storage racks, we really like the Holly & Martin Zhori Mid-Century bar cart (view at Zola). Its very existence in any space will have you asking, "Can I fix you a drink, Don?" And that tobacco wood finish, modern style, and unique look with that cute mid-tier shelf make it the perfect conversation piece to wheel into any soiree.
What do you stock on a bar cart?
Since you're limited on space with a bar cart, you'll want to stock it with just the essentials for one or two cocktails, such as for making tableside martinis. Also make sure to have bar tools (mixing glass and jigger), glassware, and a bucket of ice with tongs. The key is to not overload your cart to the point where it would be difficult to push it from room to room.
How do you style a bar cart?
Keep it simple and clean. You'll want to avoid the clutter and stick to the essentials. Place a tray up to contain your bottles or use as a spill-containment area for preparing drinks. The bar cart is excellent for showing off your best-looking bottles and/or premium stock that you don't mind sharing. If your cart is more of a stationary side table than a mobile bar, you can style it with a table lamp or a vase filled with flowers.
Where should you place a bar cart?
You'll want to park your bar cart someplace in your home where people gather or where you'll most likely fix yourself a drink such as in the living room, den, or even entryway. In those rooms, it can be tucked under a staircase, dress up a corner, or add some personality to a small wall. Since it's not just decoration, it should be accessible.
Why Trust Liquor.com?
This roundup was updated by Caroline Pardilla, a cocktail writer and Instagrammer who has that condition where she can't drink a cocktail until after she takes a picture of it first.
Wine and spirits writer Céline Bossart has bought a few bar carts and other storage solutions over time. Having binge-watched every season of "Mad Men," this only adds to her authority on stylish bottle displays.
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