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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 (and a portable one at that!).
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—which you'll notice in our top pick the Holly & Martin Zhori Mid-Century Modern Bar Cart. 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: Tribesigns Gold Bar Cart
The mere fact that a space is small doesn’t mean that it can’t be chic. Dress up your cramped office or studio apartment with this compact-but-classy bar cart from Tribesigns. At a mere 29.5 inches in length, this handsome cart clocks in at a smaller overall size than many carts with similar design elements. The stemware holder creates more space-saving utility, and the railing around the lower level ensures your bottles won’t slip off when navigating tight corners.
Best of all, the cart’s wheels are locking swivel casters which rotate a full 360 degrees—meaning you’ll be able to parallel-park this cart with ease in whatever tight space your bedroom or kitchenette has to offer.
Best Splurge: Sika Design 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 is 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 Modern Rolling Glass Bar 2-Tier 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: Frederic Bar Cart
Are we thinking wine and cocktails, or is it breakfast-in-bed that's on the menu? With this ingenious bar cart, either indulgence is a breeze: it's got built-in storage racks for bottles and glasses, plus a lift-off 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 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.
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.
Even though the 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 Old Fashioneds or tableside Martinis. Also make sure to have bar tools (mixing glass, jigger, etc), 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. The bar cart is ideal 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 the living room, den, or entryway. In these spaces, 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 and functional.
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.
This roundup was also updated by Jesse Porter, who loves vintage glassware almost as much as he loves the vintage whiskey that pairs so well with it.
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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