Trying to masterfully entertain in a size-limited area? We’ve got you covered, with this guide to the 5 best bar carts for small apartments.
As anyone who lives in a small apartment knows, working within the limitations of a small space will put your organizing skills to the ultimate test. If your furniture and storage space is even a few inches off, it can throw your entire floor plan into disarray.
That’s why we love including a small, multi-tiered, rolling bar cart in our urban dwellings: It maximizes both your available storage space and your layout flexibility. Plus, they just make you look so cool when you roll one out tableside at a dinner party!
We’ve done the research on bar carts for small apartments for you. In this guide, you’ll discover:
- Our top pick for the best bar cart for a small apartment
- What to look for when choosing a rolling bar cart
- The best places to buy cool bar carts online
Ready to get started? Let’s jump right in with the Cliff’s notes.
Quick Take: The Best Small Bar Carts for Each Budget
If you were supposed to order a bar cart, like, yesterday — then sneak a quick peek at our favorites in each category:
- Best Overall: FirsTime & Co. Industrial Joliet Round Bar Cart
- Also Great: South Shore Maliza Bar Cart
- Budget Pick: Mind Reader Mobile Kitchen Cart with Wine Rack
- The Upgrade: Walker Edison Furniture Company Industrial Wood and Metal Bar Cabinet
Each of these bar carts has something special to offer, and we’ll get into the fine details of each in the reviews that follow.
Before that, let’s answer the most common question for this product: Do you really need a bar cart in your small apartment?
A Brief Overview of Bar Carts (For Small Apartments)
Bar carts have been a popular piece of transition furniture from the kitchen to the dining room since the Mad Men era, where their trundle and the chime of glasses would announce cocktail hour in the suburban American home.
Prior to this, kitchen carts were the forerunners of bar carts in Victorian era England, where they operated as a mobile ingredient and prep station in wealthy homes.
Today, bar carts come in all shapes and sizes — from dedicated liquor carts, to small bar carts with wine racks, to massive cabinets on wheels that can store an entire bar’s worth of liquor.
For the space-cramped apartment dweller, a small vertical bar cart can be an absolute life saver. Doubling as both storage space and serving area, a great bar cart can help you to maximize your furniture utility without giving up the ability to entertain guests or mix cocktails for yourself after a hard day at work.
What to Look for When Buying A Bar Cart for Your Apartment
Not all bar carts are created equally — least of all when shopping for a cart that will fit in the space you have available. That’s why we recommend keeping these three things in mind while shopping around for the right bar cart for your apartment:
Consideration #1: Size
Maybe it goes without saying, but you should definitely measure the spaces in your apartment where you’ll be storing and rolling your bar cart. Then, compare those measurements to the dimensions of any bar cart that you’re thinking about buying. That way, you won’t end up with any nasty surprises when you go to put your new bar together.
Consideration #2: Construction
If the bar cart you’re looking at isn’t well built, you’ll never be completely happy with it. We prefer solid metal framed carts, as they’re most able to stand up to regular use; pay special attention to the casters (wheels), as they’ll take the most wear and tear.
Consideration #3: Aesthetics
Of course, what good is a sturdy bar cart of the proper size if you can’t stand to look at the thing? This last consideration comes down to matters of personal taste — which is why we’ve included bar carts in this review in every style, for your viewing pleasure.
Top 5 Best Bar Carts for Small Apartments Right Now
Each of the bar carts listed below is almost certain to fit a particular niche and style of apartment. Take a look through each of them, and think about how it might look and move in your own apartment space.
1. FirsTime & Co. Industrial Joliet Round Bar Cart
In our opinion, the Joliet bar cart from FirsTime & Co. does everything right. First and foremost, it’s small enough to fit any apartment — and sports a neutral design that’s easy to match to your aesthetic.
But beyond that, the devil is in the design details: The thick aluminum frame holds up well even under fully loaded shelves, and the locking metal casters make it versatile enough to use as semi-permanent storage. Add raised shelving sides to that, and you’ve got one exceptionally versatile and well-designed bar cart.
Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 33.5 inches
Is FirsTime & Co.’s Joliet bar cart right for you? Here’s our take on the pros and cons:
- Perfectly sized to fit in any apartment
- Thick and durable aluminum frame
- Neutral aesthetic is easy to match with
- Three foot height can be awkward for tall people
- Slightly on the pricey side
Here’s the bottom line: FirsTime & Co.’s Joliet bar cart features a design that is equal parts form and function, and is small enough to fit in any apartment. Highly recommended.
2. South Shore Maliza Bar Cart
If our top pick was just a bit too laid-back for your style, then you’ll almost certainly appreciate the Maliza bar cart from South Shore. Between its gold finish, gracefully rounded edges, and tempered glass shelves, it’s a much more glamorous statement piece that can easily become the center of a room’s attention.
You should note, however, that the Maliza is nearly twice as wide as our top pick, the Joliet. If gold plating and glass matches the aesthetic you’re looking for, be sure to measure twice before deciding on the South Shore Maliza bar cart.
Dimensions: 27 x 13.75 x 29 inches
Is South Shore’s Maliza bar cart the right fit for your apartment? Here are the pros and cons:
- Gold plated metal frame is as eye-catching as it is durable
- Tempered glass shelves are easy to clean and look great
- 1 year limited warranty protects your investment
- Wide and low design can be an awkward fit in some apartments
- Low shelf height may be uncomfortable for tall people
Here’s the bottom line: South Shore’s Maliza bar cart is a glamorous alternative to our top pick’s staid looks, and a well-designed storage and serving solution in its own right.
3. Mind Reader Mobile Kitchen Cart with Wine Rack
Featuring the most storage space for the lowest price of any bar cart in our review, Mind Reader’s mobile kitchen cart (with wine rack) is an excellent all-purpose solution to your kitchen and bar storage needs. Three shelves and a countertop give ample space for wine bottles and glasses, making this bar cart our top pick for oenophiles.
The lack of a retainer railing, though, makes the Mind Reader better suited towards wine and beer rather than cocktail service. If you’re looking for a multi-purpose storage solution that fits in the smallest space possible — while also giving you quick access to wine service — it’s almost definitely the right choice for you.
Dimensions: 11.75 x 18 x 39.25 inches
Will the Mind Reader kitchen cart with wine storage be a great fit for your apartment? Here are the pros and cons:
- Affordable solution for kitchen and beverage storage
- Super sturdy steel and wood construction
- Dedicated storage for wine bottles and glasses
- Not much to look at; prioritizes function over form
- Not great for cocktail service
Here’s the bottom line: Mind Reader’s combo kitchen/bar cart is best suited for wine service and light storage, and is the most affordable bar cart on our list.
4. Walker Edison Furniture Company Industrial Wood and Metal Bar Cabinet
If your apartment is small, but not that small, we may have the perfect bar cart for you: Walker Edison’s rolling bar cabinet. Built with industrial style in mind, its hardwood and matte finish metal construction takes it from the realm of kitchen storage into full-blown living room furniture status.
Make no mistake: The Walker Edison rolling bar cabinet is the largest of the bunch that we’ve reviewed, and a fair bit more expensive as well. But if you’re looking for an affordable bar storage and serving station that can become the centerpiece of your living or dining room, we think it’s a perfect match.
Dimensions: 17 x 33 x 38 inches
Is the Walker Edison Furniture Company Bar Cabinet the best choice for your space? Here are the pros and cons:
- Largest storage and serving area of any bar cart in our review
- Extra durable, but with awesome industrial style
- Comfortable for people of all heights to use
- Quite pricey in comparison to other small bar carts
- May not fit in all small apartments
Here’s the bottom line: Walker Edison Furniture Company’s industrial-style bar cabinet is a step up in size, price, and quality from smaller bar carts — but still an affordable and compact option for storing and serving all of your alcoholic beverages.
5. RiteSune Gold Bar Cart With Mirrored Shelves
Last but not least, the most chic bar cart pick of all: RiteSune’s gold bar cart features mirrored shelves and an extra tall height, giving it a decidedly regal look and feel. If you’ve always wanted to feel like royalty — or make your friends feel that way when you serve them cocktails — this bar cart might be the right fit for your place.
The only downside? Assembling RiteSune’s bar cart is a total pain. Yes, it’s doable without extra help — but you may want to enlist a friend to assist in positioning pieces while putting it together. If you’re willing to take a little extra time here, the payoff in storage space and style is well worth the work.
Dimensions: 22 x 18 x 33 inches
- Tall and elegant design
- Dedicated bottle storage space
- Railings are perfectly space to prevent spills
- Difficult to assemble
- Cup holder hooks are fairly small
Here’s the bottom line: RiteSune Gold Bar Cart With Mirrored Shelves is an affordable item with a luxury feel that will take a little bit of extra effort to assemble.
Parting Thoughts: Choosing the Right Bar Cart for Your Small Apartment
That concludes our guide to the best bar carts for small apartments! We hope you’ve been able to find the perfect solution to all of your serving and storage needs, be they small or large. Take your measurements twice, and you’ll be well on your way to choosing the ideal bar cart for your space.