For those who don’t have an integrated home bar space, finding a home for one’s liquor or wine collection can be a challenge. The bar cart, a piece of mobile furniture evolved from the Victorian-era tea cart, is one smart solution.
These carts are large enough to hold a modest collection of bottles and glassware while remaining small enough to fit against a wall or in a corner. In addition to functioning as a minibar, bar carts are also ideal for dinner parties, allowing the host to wheel them in for serving after-dinner drinks. Bar carts come in a variety of styles, ranging from modern to rustic.
If your wine or liquor collection is in need of a new home, then read on to learn more about the best bar carts, and find out why the models below are some of the top carts on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Haotian FKW56-N, Bar Serving Cart
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Homecho Bar Cart
- BEST UPGRADE: WGX Design For You Wood and Metal Wine Rack
- BEST MODERN: Nathan James Carter Rolling Bar
- BEST VINTAGE: Coaster CO- Serving Cart
- BEST RUSTIC: Homecho Simple Modern Beverage Cart
- BEST INDUSTRIAL: DOFURNILIM Industrial Bar Cart
- BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: Nathan James Sage Retro Bar Serving Cart
- BEST METAL: Silverwood FS1133B-COM Sinclair Serving Cart
- BEST LARGE: Christopher Knight Home Gerard Industrial Bar Cart
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bar Cart
A bar cart should be large and strong enough to capably hold multiple bottles of liquor and wine as well as the necessary stemware and bar glasses for entertaining. It should also blend well with the aesthetics of a room. Ahead, learn about all the characteristics that are crucial to consider when shopping for a bar cart.
Bar carts offer a storage area for a liquor or wine collection as well as for one’s set of barware. They typically have two or three shelves with the lower shelves serving as a storage place for bottles of liquor or wine and barware and the upper shelf serving as a countertop for preparing drinks.
These carts feature casters that make it easy to roll them over hard surfaces or rugs and handles that make them easy to push. Raised guards or lips around the edges of each shelf help to keep bottles and glasses from sliding off the cart while it is in motion.
Many bar carts have built-in racks that hold bottles either upright or horizontally (for storing wine). Some also include racks for storing stemware. These structures provide stable storage to help keep bottles and barware secure during transit. Some even have removable trays that allow for easy serving. Larger models can store an entire collection of liquor, while smaller models are ideal for transporting drinks and spirits for a narrower offering.
Bar carts must be large enough to store one’s wine or liquor collection and, at the same time, small enough to be mobile and out of the way when not in use. A bar cart should also be easy to move through the room without bumping into other furniture.
With this in mind, most bar carts are about 24 inches long and 16 inches deep with a height of 32 inches, which is a little higher than standard table height and a little lower than a standard kitchen counter height.
Larger bar carts can be up to 40 inches long, while smaller carts may measure just 20 inches long.
Bar carts are made from various types of materials, including wood, glass, and metal. Bar cart frames consist of either metal or wood with shelves made from either wood or glass. Carts with metal frames range from those constructed of welded steel or aluminum to models with frames made from wrought-iron pipes.
Carts with solid wood shelves are typically among the most expensive varieties and the heaviest. A bar cart with wood shelves may weigh upwards of 40 pounds. Some carts have tempered glass shelves, which are lighter than solid wood, making them a little easier to push.
While wood, glass, and steel all offer the strength and stability needed for a functioning bar cart, they each suit different styles.
When not in use, bar carts live against a wall or in some other out-of-the-way niche in a room. When in use, they become the focal point of a dinner or cocktail party. Either way, they are a piece of furniture that adds to a room’s decor. Bar carts come in many different shapes, colors, and sizes to suit diverse styles. Some have the streamlined look and clean lines of contemporary and midcentury modern styles, while others have the distressed wood and metal look of rustic farmhouse decor. Bar carts achieve different styles through the use of various types of materials. Sleek chrome or shiny gold metal with glass trays create an elegant look, while metal pipes and solid wood create an industrial or rustic look.
All bar carts have casters to allow the user to roll them in and out of service. These casters should be made of metal with rubberized wheels that allow the cart to roll smoothly so glassware and bottles don’t topple over. Bar carts have large handles on one or two sides for pushing the cart.
Weight varies from cart to cart. Some may weigh as little as 15 pounds, not including the alcohol, while models with solid wood and wrought-iron construction may tip the scales at near 40 pounds. Lighter-weight models are easier to push; however, heavier models provide a sturdier base that can help prevent the cart from tipping while in transit.
Our Top Picks
To trim the field to some of the best on the market, the serving carts listed below take into account the above considerations. These carts cover a diverse range of styles and include large carts that can handle an entire collection of liquor and barware as well as more compact models for entertaining in smaller spaces.
A bar should accomplish two things: It should capably carry spirits and glasses without sending them crashing to the floor, and it should look good while doing so. This model does both well. While some bar carts double as kitchen serving carts, this one clearly has adult beverages in mind, with a built-in wine rack that cradles four bottles and a separate rack that can hold six wine glasses. High sides on its top and bottom shelves keep cocktail glasses, liquor bottles, and jars of snacks from sliding over the edge while in transit. Fitted with convenient handles, the top shelf is removable, doubling as a serving tray. Lockable wheels keep the cart firmly in place while serving.
This model also has style in mind; the black metal frame and dark stained wood suits rooms with rustic farmhouse decor.
This bar cart from Homecho is affordable enough that there’ll still be money left over to stock it with wine, liquor, and glassware. Despite its budget price, it has features that make it a worthy pick, including a rack for five bottles of wine and additional storage hooks designed for cocktail and wine glasses. High sides on the bottom shield keep liquor bottles secure when rolling, while two lockable casters prevent the cart from moving as you pour drinks.
A dark wood and black metal design gives this cart a simple modern look suitable for a wide variety of room decor. This cart is also compact, at about 25 inches long, 16 inches deep, and 32 inches high, making it ideal for smaller homes.
When it comes to furniture, it’s tough to beat the look of real wood, and bar carts are no exception. This cart consists of three pieces of beautiful New Zealand pine, each more than an inch thick. A clear coat allows the beauty of the pine’s knots and grains to create a piece that will undoubtedly impress the guests when it’s rolled into the living room.
Cast-iron pipes support the shelves and create the handles, which adds a rustic industrial look. Large casters provide a smooth ride for the liquor and glassware. The weight of the wood and iron gives this cart, which weighs 37.5 pounds, a sturdy feel. And, at 27.5 inches long, 16 inches deep, and 31.5 inches high, this cart provides ample space for bottles, glasses, and drink preparation.
Clean lines and a steel gray color paired with a sleek, rounded push bar and tempered glass top make this bar cart mesh with rooms that have a more contemporary look. Though it’s not quite as functional as carts with racks for barware and wine, this cart’s two shelves do provide ample space for glasses as well as bottles of wine and spirits.
At 24 inches long and 16.5 inches, this cart is compact enough to fit nicely in smaller living rooms and can easily navigate in and around spaces with tighter pathways between furniture. Its metal frame gives this cart a sturdy feel, while lockable rubber-coated casters glide easily on hardwood or carpeted floors.
With its dark cappuccino stain, brass accents, and lathe-turned supports, this serving cart is ideal for entertaining in a club room or den. The solid hardwood frame has an upper and lower shelf, each of which has an attractive wood and brass guard for keeping bottles and glasses from going overboard. Each shelf has a weight capacity of 25 pounds, which is enough to handle multiple bottles of wine or liquor as well as the accompanying stemware.
The cart’s metal and wood handle along with a rounded front make it easy to navigate around the room. A convenient rack on the lower shelf fits three wine bottles. Its smaller plastic casters are suitable for smooth surfaces but may be sluggish in carpeted rooms. With a length of about 25 inches and a depth of about 16 inches, this cart is similar in size to other bar carts.
Dark stained wood and a metal frame with a wire metal fence give this beverage cart a rustic style that suits the popular farmhouse look. The cart top and lower shelf feature faux wood with a distressed look, while the steel frame mimics black wrought iron.
This cart also offers a great deal of function to go with its form. A wire fence wraps around the lower shelf to prevent bottles of liquor or wine from sliding off while rolling. The wine rack that splits the two shelves provides enough space to hold five bottles horizontally, and the glass rack on the underside of the upper shelf holds wine or martini glasses. Metal casters with rubber tires provide a smooth ride and lock to secure the cart during serving. At about 24 inches long and 16 inches deep, this cart provides plenty of capacity for drinks and glassware while still being small enough to easily roll into a living room.
Wrought-iron metal pipes dominate the look of this bar cart, giving it a distinctive industrial look and a solid feel. The vintage plumbing serves as the push handle, guards around the shelves, and four supports for the top shelf. Solid wood pine boards, more than an inch thick, provide sturdy shelving, giving this cart a staggering weight capacity of 400 pounds per shelf.
The iron pipes and solid wood also give this bar cart a high total weight of 40 pounds and provide a robust base that won’t allow the cart to tip while taking tight corners in smaller rooms. This cart is also one of the larger options at 28 inches long and 16 inches deep.
With its small footprint, this diminutive bar cart is a great option for smaller living spaces. It has a distinctive look with two round walnut shelves supported by a black metal frame that crosses at the cart’s midpoint. The cart measures 23 inches long and 20 inches deep, allowing it to fit in corners or nooks and crannies. Each tray has a lipped edge that prevents glasses, wine bottles, or liquor bottles from sliding off while the cart is in transit. Lockable wheels keep the table firmly rooted while serving.
Despite its small size, this sturdy cart has a weight capacity of 66 pounds. This cart is available in three combinations of wood finish and frame color.
With an elegant and detailed gold metal frame, this bar cart makes a statement when rolled out for guests. The metal supports flare into two handles at the top, allowing the user to push the cart from either side.
Three circular racks securely hold three bottles on the bottom shelf while high sides surround each glass shelf, keeping glasses and bottles on board while the cart is in motion. Round metal casters turn easily, allowing the user to move the cart around furniture and through arrow walkways. At 26.5 inches long and 17 inches deep, this cart provides ample space for liquor and glassware. This cart is also available in antique gold and hammered bronze.
This extra-long bar cart has plenty of room for storing and carrying wine, liquor, and barware. Its two shelves measure a whopping 38 inches long, making it one of the largest models on the market—that’s enough space to hold about 20 bottles on each level. And while its length makes it a bit more difficult to maneuver through a room, with a depth of 16 inches, it maintains a narrow profile.
A lip on the edge of both trays ensures bottles won’t slide off during transit, while two racks at either end of the cart hold bottles securely. A streamlined look, achieved with black iron and dark wood, gives this cart a clean aesthetic and makes it suitable for various room styles. Metal and rubber casters roll easily and include locks to keep the cart stable for serving.
FAQs About Bar Carts
If you’re wondering about what your new bar cart can endure, read on for commonly asked questions about using this mobile piece of furniture.
Q. What should every bar cart have?
Every bar cart should have at least two shelves: a lower shelf for storing the liquor and glassware and an upper shelf for preparing drinks.
Q. How much weight can a bar cart hold?
This depends on the type of cart. Smaller carts may have a weight capacity of 40 pounds per shelf, while heavy, solid wood bar carts may be able to hold as much as 400 pounds per shelf.
Q. Can I use an indoor bar cart outdoors as well?
While it’s OK to use an indoor bar cart outdoors, it should not live outdoors. Indoor bar carts are not designed to endure the elements, which can cause their metal parts to rust and their wooden parts to rot. If you do use an indoor cart outdoors for an afternoon soiree, keep in mind that the casters may not be designed for off-road use.