Houston has the best nightlife — bar none. Pun intended. Yes, I know this was a v subjective statement, but it’s my blog, I can write what I want to. Write what I want to. Wriiiiiiiite what I want to.
Anyways, yes. Tons of bars to go to, all with different vibes. All fantastic in their own little ways. Which is why I came up with this series that will basically be your guide to drinking in Houston this summer. Basically, I’m turning my favorite spots into a guide, so prepare to see me at these places. Say hi!
For quality craft cocktail… Anvil Bar & Refuge
Order: Gin something. Literally no one likes gin but me. But that’s why you should order it here. If you think you don’t like gin, try a cocktail with it at Anvil, bc basically every drink they make (a. takes 5-10 minutes to craft) and b. is delish. The menu has 100 cocktails to choose from, so there’s something for everyone.
Avoid: Food. There’s no kitchen here, and I think they have cheeses, but pass.
Bring: A friend in town. Anvil is known NATIONALLY as being a really hot spot to check out with all the best alcohols. It is a place that puts us on the map.
Pro tip: Uber there. There’s no lot, and I think there is valet, but it’s a waste of money. You can find parking in the neighborhood behind, but it’s hit or miss. And by hit I mean your car might get hit. Uber >
Warning: This place gets POPPING. On a Friday or Saturday night, it’s a sardine can. Make it your first Montrose bar crawl stop, enjoy one (somewhat pricey) cocktail, and then move on.
For a beer or five… Kirby Ice House
Not really Upper Kirby (Greenway Plaza, more accurately)
Order: One of their 50+ beers. My recommendations include, Lagunitas IPA, Southern Star Blonde Bombshell, Karbach Staycation and Shiner Bock, because classic.
Avoid: The cocktails. They ain’t nothin special.
Bring: Your dog (or your friend with a dog). The patio is AWESOME and equal parts human to K-9, so respect the ratio and bring Fido.
Pro tip: There’s a deal every day. Here’s what day is what. They really aren’t THAT good of deals, but it’s a thing. Also fun fact: there is literally always enough parking. Praise.
Warning: 21- and 22-year-olds are forbidden by the establishment, so be 23 pls. No matter the time of day, there is a bouncer out front.
For an upper AND a downer… Double Trouble
Where: Midtown (the cool Midtown, not the drunk mess)
Order: The Betty Wizzle. It’s coffee-infused rum, plus espresso and cream. I’ll take 5.
Avoid: The patio. Inside is just cuter, and the patio is right on the metro rail, so there will be lots of hustle and bustle.
Bring: A book, or a friend to people watch.
Pro tip: Go on a date here!
Warning: 0 percent parking. You can MAYBE park on the street, but with the metro right there, it’s hard to circle to find a spot.
For a one-stop shop… La Grange
Order: Would LOVE to recommend one of the best coffee cocktails I’ve had (sorry, Double Trouble), but La Grange has taken off the menu (hence Double Trouble). It’s now been my personal mission to ask all the bartenders for it, in hopes that they consider bringing it back. Until then, order the Catalina Wine Mixer, a. for the name, and b. for the fact that it’s delicious and easy to drink.
Avoid: Driving there if you can, same as Anvil, parking sucks. The valet ain’t too bad, and there’s a $5 lot across the street on busy nights. I do think it’s better than Anvil though.
Bring: All your friends. It’s a HUGE place, with multiple bars. It’s great for birthday meet ups (I did this for my 24th) because it’s huge and accommodating, and you don’t get board and want to pub crawl, which is great for a B-Day so that your late friends aren’t lost like, “Wait what bar are you at now? OK, and will you be staying there long or no?” There are games and plenty of tables and seating. It’s 10/10 great for people watching. I once watched a man dance on a table and take his shirt off and swing it rodeo style above his head. He did NOT get thrown out, and then proceeded to hit on every girl who was breathing.
Pro tip: The best bar (usually) is all the way in the back, on the second floor of the patio. If there’s only one bar tender, it’s no faster, but if there’s two I can usually get a drink faster than the other more central bars.
Warning: It’s 75% outside, so dress accordingly.
For a bite with a side of alcohol… Harold’s
Where: The Heights
Order: An infused cocktail, possibly the Southern Roots because it comes with a twizzler. Harold’s is also one of the few places in Houston that has wine on tap (!!!), so you should try that just to try that.
Avoid: Over ordering. The portions are generous, so maybe split plates!
Bring: Your appetite (see above).
Pro tip: Go for brunch! Or happy hour.
Warning: There is a difference in the tap room (downstairs) and the restaurant bar (upstairs). There’s also a dining room and a patio, so make a decision, but all spots are ca-ute.