Happy holidays! Time to drink? It’s that time of year when Houstonians huddle around fire pits and heaters to hang out with friends — visiting town for the holidays or otherwise — drinking a hot beverage or a cold beer, and we’d like to recommend some places to do that — new or old!
Riel for Happy Hour
Riel is Riel-ly good. Sorry, had to — it was too easy. But TBH, let’s be
real Riel RN…. only way I’m eating there is on a super special occasion. OR… happy hour.
Riel’s happy hour includes $4 beet chips (so good, kind of like sweet potato chips. They’re served with a creamy cheese dip), $8 plates (like two meet sliders and wings, both yum), $8 classic cocktails (think: Palomas, Manhattans, Martinis, etc.), $7 wines (house only; you don’t pick) and $4 beers. Bonus: Monday is dollar oyster night.
The restaurant is pretty cute — nestled in a neighborhood in Montrose down the street from Roost. It’s pretty new — maybe opened within the past year or so.
Moxie’s Grill & Bar for Dinner and Drinks
Moxie’s is a brand-new restaurant and bar that popped up in a two-story space in uptown off Post Oak right across from the Galleria. It’s swankily decorated and even has an Instagram-able sign area under the stairs, “I will if you will”… take another shot, order another appetizer, etc.
I went to
Spring Street Beer and Wine Garden for Post-Dinner Beers
Spring Street Beer and Wine Garden sprung up overnight, right? It’s right off Houston Ave, close to Washington. It’s mostly a patio bar, with a small but cute interior — honestly reminded me of other newbie bar, Wicklow Heights. I love, love, love the patio though. As I was there, with approx. 5 other people on a Tuesday night, I thought of all the occasions I wanted to come back for:
- Happy hour, from 3-7 pm with $5 wines and $1 off drafts.
- Brunch, for the $15 carafes and $9 champagne cocktail and $10 bloody mary. (BTW, no kitchen at this bar)
- A game watch (there are TVs!) for beers and food truck food
- On a post-dinner date for fancy cocktails (The chocolate old fashion? Watermelon Basil Cooler—with in-house pineapple infused vodka? The vodka-based pepper rita? YES, yes and YES!)
- Wine night with the gals, enjoying a bottle or two by the patio heaters.
Armadillo Palace for Live Music and Cold Drinks
Ask any lifelong Houstonian about Armadillo Palace — a recently renovated bar, dancehall and event space — and they’ll probably have a story or two. I’m a little young to have any good stories, but that armadillo out on Kirby Drive is iconic and I definitely have a pic in front of it from high school. Nowadays, the Goode Co.BBQ-adjacent eatery is home to a whole lotta corporate events, so don’t be surprised to see one there if you go. But with the reno came a new cocktail and food menu. Here’s what I got to try:
- The frozen margarita: Iconic, delicious, don’t overthink it or get waylaid by other things. Just do it.
- The signature Luckenbach mule: Not like any mule I’ve ever had. TBH, but my favorite but it was a solid drink to sip with Tex-Mex.
- The Kirby Drizzle Swizzle: This came highly recommended. It was pretty sour, but, with its orange bitters floater and mint leaves, it was gorgeous.
- The pork and green pepper empanadas: Tiny little things served with an avocado sauce. Must get them! Caution: They are hot and oozing.
- The taquitos dorados: Chicken in a crispy tortilla — nothing super original but definitely indulging.
- Goode’s Campechana Extra: Like a ceviche south of the border. It’s very good — and very large. I think it’s a whole meal if you’re not sharing!
- The pecan pie, a la mode: Literally you have to order this at any Goode Co. place that has it. Best pecan pie in the world — I said it.
Piggy’s for Brunch and Weekend Day Drinking
Ever since J Blacks closed almost a full year ago (RIP!), I have been on the HUNT for a patio bar with yum food and cheap mimosa pitchers that is close to my apartment. We have a winner! (Note: Spring Street has cheap pitchers too! Just no food.) Piggy’s has it all (except good parking, although I’ll deal/walk.)
Mimosa pitchers are $16. Also would recommend their iced coffee — almond milk and honey! Some stand-out entrees were the chicken and waffles (so crispy!), egg in the hole (the yummiest cheese and bread combo and the side potato hash was great), Chillequiles rancheros verde (hope you’re hungry), and more.
PSA: I haven’t been yet, but their happy hour is allegedly killer. It’s Tues-Fri from 3-7 p.m.
Holler Brewing for Beers with a View
It has taken me WAY too long to make it to Holler Brewing Co., and I’m a little disappointed in myself for a few reasons: A. I freaking love beer, B. It’s approximately 5 minutes from my home, and C. It’s literally next door to my spin studio, CycleBar, and they regularly collab.
Holler regularly has food trucks set up and themed nights, like game night, etc. Warning: Only open Wed-Sunday.
Now that I’ve made it, I’m sure I’ll be back — it’s got that neighborhood vibe to it! Most of the beers are heavy stouts or tasty IPAs. We got a flight to split for around $15. Here’s what we tried:
- Dollar Pils Y’all: If craft beer isn’t really your thing, you’ll probably love this. It’s a river beer — you can drink a lot of it and not feel too buzzed.
- Boisterous Bobcat: Another easy to drink one, though this one is a bit more IPA-y (it is an IPA). This was in my top 2 favorites!
- Thin Mint Stout: Not my cup of
teabeer, but I really appreciated how much it actually tasted like a thin mint!!!
- Amber: Solid beer, albeit would not recommend ordering a full glass of this one. It’s just not as exciting as the other beers Holler has to offer!
- Belgian Tripel: Favorite by far! Such great flavor in this beer. It won my heart, and I got a full glass of it post taste tester!
- Pacific Hazebro IPA: This was another one I really liked! Tasted like California — is that weird?