June 27, 2022

a7office.co.uk

WEBSITE NEWS UPDATE

16 excellent bars in downtown Houston to visit now

9 min read

Houston’s hot bar scene is getting hotter with people returning downtown after the area spent months nearly empty at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, it’s easy to find a downtown Houston bar that hits the spot, since each has its own distinctive vibe and menu.

Whether you’re thirsty for a lunch break, want to enjoy happy hour with coworkers or friends, or are looking for a place to hang after a game or show, check out these 16 bars in downtown Houston that have something for everyone. 

A beer flight sits on the counter at Flying Saucer Draught Emporium.

A beer flight sits on the counter at Flying Saucer Draught Emporium.

Joshua Justice/Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium’s downtown location is once again bustling with beer connoisseurs looking for quality craft beer. “We have seen huge increases in foot traffic as people rediscover downtown,” said Asa Hanrahan, Flying Saucer’s beer director. Flying Saucer’s happy hour crowd spans from tailored-suited professionals to law students and visitors. Stop in and get ready to be blown away by the bar’s wide variety of imported and domestic quality craft beers and its robust Houston draft beer menu.

Sips: 60-plus drafts and 100-plus bottles, including lambics and rare barrel-aged. Psst: Duvel on draft.

Nibbles: Huge soft pretzels baked locally by Slow Dough Bread Company

Tip: Trivia night happens on Tuesdays starting at 7:30 p.m. with big cash prizes.

Find it: 705 Main St., Houston, TX 77002; 713-228-9472

Swallow's Nest, located inside inside Finn Hall, serves cocktails, wine on tap, draft beers and more. 

Swallow’s Nest, located inside inside Finn Hall, serves cocktails, wine on tap, draft beers and more. 

Jesus Alvarez, Courtesy Finn Hall

Swallow’s Nest at Finn Hall


This vibrant social hub serves cocktails made with clever techniques and fresh ingredients, plus 20 Texas craft beers on tap and in bottles and cans. Imbibe at the elevated indoor bar or the food hall’s new outdoor patio.

Sips: Jungle Flor made with Papalo Taqueria’s freshly bottled Guava Jamaica Agua Fresca, fresh-squeezed lime juice, tequila and tiki ingredients.

Nibbles: Fetch your tongue’s desire at neighboring eateries—Nashville hot chicken, pho, pizza, bowls.

Tip: Gather after work for discounted house cocktails.

Find it: 712 Main St., Houston, TX 77002; 713-357-5115

In April 2022, Chris Shepherd switched things up at his Georgia James Tavern. The downtown restaurant has a new name, GJ Tavern, and a new chef, Caracol and Ixim veteran Tim Reading.

In April 2022, Chris Shepherd switched things up at his Georgia James Tavern. The downtown restaurant has a new name, GJ Tavern, and a new chef, Caracol and Ixim veteran Tim Reading.

Claudia Casbarian/GJ Tavern

GJ Tavern

Seeing the same friendly faces over and over confirms that this modern tavern, formerly Georgia James Tavern, is a neighborhood favorite. Draws include simple, elegant dishes orchestrated by executive chef Tim Reading from the wood-burning grill, and downtown views from Market Square Tower’s first floor. GJ Tavern is currently the only downtown spot from James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd’s Underbelly Hospitality.

Sips: The Rattler, a paloma made with blanco tequila, sotol, lime, Fresno chile and grapefruit soda. Allocated whiskeys (bourbon and scotch). Wines from small producers.

Nibbles: Tavern Trifecta (oysters on the half shell, caviar and Champagne), Brick Chicken and the Tavern Burger.

Tip: It’s a convenient pre- and post-theater rendezvous.

Find it: 737 Preston St., Houston, TX 77002; 281-846-6938

Return To Sender at POST Houston. 

Return To Sender at POST Houston. 

FAM Hospitality/POST Houston

Return to Sender – POST Market

The POST food hall has two cocktail bars that each take their postal-themed nicknames from a classic Elvis song. Near the center of POST Houston’s huge atrium is where you’ll find Return To Sender. Here, enjoy draft beers and cocktails made in-house from scratch using fresh ingredients. Grab a drink and make new friends around the bar, or simply relax alone and enjoy good people-watching.

Sips: Purple Rain made with Empress 1908 Gin, elderflower, maraschino, lemon and lavender syrup. New Fashion made with Iwai Japanese Whisky, elderflower and ginger liqueur.

Nibbles: Hit the surrounding food counters.

Tip: Happy hour savings on call liquors and draft beers.

Find it: 401 Franklin St., Houston, TX 77210; 281-803-8175

Sip on cocktails or a local beer while you play pinball at Little Dipper in downtown Houston. 

Sip on cocktails or a local beer while you play pinball at Little Dipper in downtown Houston. 

Courtesy Little Dipper

Little Dipper

This beloved bar pairs fun drinks with DJ beats in a comfy setting. “We keep prices cheap, we have pinball and we play good music,” said Little Dipper Owner Miriam Carrillo. “Our regulars live and work in the neighborhood. And we are a bar that bartenders love.” From the patio, enjoy a Texas beer or a craft cocktail as you watch the trains go by and the sun set between downtown skyscrapers.

Sips: Lone Star and a shot of Jägermeister, hard-to-find bourbons, great Texas beers and a shelf of mezcals. No food served.

Tip: Happy hour draws a lively mix of neighbors, commuters and bartenders. Play Happy Hour Dice: what you roll is what you drink, no haggling.

Find it: 304 Main St., Houston, TX 77002; 713-505-1020

notsuoH is a quirky bar in downtown Houston known for its poetry readings, live music and performing artists.

notsuoH is a quirky bar in downtown Houston known for its poetry readings, live music and performing artists.

Courtesy of notsuoH

notsuoH

This downtown Houston art bar has fostered creativity and good vibes since the mid-1990s. In the big 1890s building, amid an overload of cool works by local artists, catch art shows, concerts, poetry readings and other happenings.

Sips: Craft beer and weekend craft cocktails such as the hibiscus mule.

Nibbles: No food.

Tip: Hang out on the backyard rooftop patio.

Find it: 314 Main St., Houston, TX 77002; 713-321-0824

McIntyre's Downtown is steps from Houston's Market Square and the Central Business District. 

McIntyre’s Downtown is steps from Houston’s Market Square and the Central Business District. 

Courtesy of McIntrye’s Downtown

McIntyre’s Downtown

At this sports bar in historic Market Square, enjoy a drink and mingle in the beautifully transformed, century-old building. Got Fido in tow? Head to the big dog-friendly covered pavilion where seating includes swings and views range from 60 HDTVs to Buffalo Bayou.

Sips: 50 beers, Always Sunny watermelon white sangria, Frozen Irish Coffee made with locally brewed Katz Coffee and Lagunitas non-alcoholic beer.

Nibbles: Rotating food trucks.

Tip: Swing on the swings, play backyard and arcade games, and on Fridays, enjoy bands on the stage.

Find it: 901 Commerce St., Houston TX 77002; 713-255-5581

Three cocktails sit on the long bar at Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge.

Three cocktails sit on the long bar at Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge.

Haley S. via Yelp

Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge

Craving raicilla, an intriguing mezcal, or chamomile-infused blended scotch? How about a pour of a rare bourbon? At Captain Foxheart’s Band News Bar & Spirit Lodge, expert bartenders offer it all in a classy second-floor setting where there’s immense respect and love for spirits. And there’s always plenty of room at the long bar.

Sips: Listen to the bartender. You can thank us later. 

Nibbles: Not their thing.

Tip: Bask in the evening lights on the urban patio.

Find it: 308 Main St., Houston, TX 77002; no phone

The Lobby Bar at Hilton Americas-Houston is a great spot to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine while watching a sporting event. 

The Lobby Bar at Hilton Americas-Houston is a great spot to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine while watching a sporting event. 

Courtesy Hilton Americas-Houston

Lobby Bar, Hilton Americas-Houston

Close to downtown Houston attractions, this wood-paneled cosmopolitan bar draws couples and business colleagues. Check the stunning globe mural displaying Houston at its center.

Sips: Texas Peach Berry Smash, a Texas Whiskey Showdown award-winner made with TX Whiskey white peach syrup, lemon juice, ginger ale, blackberries and mint leaves; Pecan Old Fashioned made with Maker’s Mark 46, toasted pecan bitters, simple syrup and orange peel; and Texas beers. 

Nibbles: Spicy grilled gulf shrimp street tacos, the Beyond Burger served with cauliflower gratin and warm skillet brownies.

Tip: Dress up and play high-roller.

Find it: 1600 Lamar St., Houston, TX 77010; 713-577-6115

MKT Bar in downtown Houston offers classic comfort fare, craft beer and cocktails, plus live music.

MKT Bar in downtown Houston offers classic comfort fare, craft beer and cocktails, plus live music.

Julie Soefer/Phoenicia Foods

MKT Bar 

Inside Phoenicia Specialty Foods near downtown attractions, locals and travelers mingle over wines, great beers, unique gourmet food, live music and art at MKT Bar.

Sips: Hibiscus Berry Tea made with agave wine and house-made peach syrup or the Raspberry MKT Mojito made with brut, muddled raspberry and house simple syrup.

Nibbles: Za’atar Fries, shoestring fries dusted with spices and lemon zest and served with Moroccan dipping sauces; and Curried Vegetable Pot Pie made with seasonal veggies in a rich curry with a flaky crust.

Tip: Low drink and food prices, especially during happy hour. Come to play: ping pong, Twister, Cards Against Humanity and retro board games.

Find it: 1001 Austin St., Houston, TX 77010; 832-360-2222

Reserve 101 is housed in an early 1900s building and caters to whiskey lovers. 

Reserve 101 is housed in an early 1900s building and caters to whiskey lovers. 

Becca Wright/Reserve 101

Reserve 101

On the cozy patio of Reserve 101, enjoy views of downtown Houston and favorites from the impressive whiskey list. The wood furniture resembles vintage whiskey barrels, and the building, across from House of Blues, dates to the early 1900s.

Sips: The Reserve 101 Old Fashioned and the Clarified New York Sour.

Tip: Bargain happy hour prices for signature cocktails. No food served.

Find it: 1201 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77002; 713-480-1579

Angel Share HTX in downtown Houston is dedicated to donating its proceeds to local non-profit organizations.

Angel Share HTX in downtown Houston is dedicated to donating its proceeds to local non-profit organizations.

Taylor Hall/Angel Share

Angel Share HTX

Meet friends and new people in an architecturally dramatic setting by Market Square Park. Angel Share HTX riffs on classic cocktails and donates to a rotating list of charities every month.

Sips: Nitro Espresso Martini made with espresso vodka, local cold brew and whiskey garnished with three espresso beans for health, wealth and happiness and zero-proof cocktails such as the Painless Killer and Spicy Daisy.

Nibbles: Tempura okra with green curry ranch and the Monte Cristo wrap with raspberry jalapeño jam.

Tip: Daily happy hour specials. Persephone hosts drag bingo every other Thursday evening.

Find it: 924 Congress St., Houston, TX 77002; 713-237-8828

CharBar in downtown Houston shares places with an in-house tailor and is known for serving martinis that pack a punch.

CharBar in downtown Houston shares places with an in-house tailor and is known for serving martinis that pack a punch.

Courtesy of CharBar

Char Bar

This venerable family-owned business is co-run with Duke of Hollywood Tailors, serving locals since 1936. Patrons of Char Bar consider it a home away from home.

Sips: Tuxedo Martini, the Char Bar’s longtime twist on a chocolate martini or classic martinis.

Nibbles: No food.

Tip: Get your shoes shined for just a few bucks at the entrance.

Find it: 305 Travis St., Houston, TX 77002; 713-222-8177

Biggio's Sports Bar offers elevated takes on signature sports bar dishes. 

Biggio’s Sports Bar offers elevated takes on signature sports bar dishes. 

Courtesy Marriott Marquis Houston

Biggio’s Sports Bar – Marriott Marquis Houston

Within walking distance of Minute Maid Park and inside the Marriott Marquis Houston, this Major League Baseball-owned Houston sports bar is a hit for game day. Named after the Astros legend, Biggio’s offers 20 beers on tap, cool cocktails and elevated takes on nachos, wings and other faves. Thirty screens also fill the two-level bar.

Sips: Opening Day made with peach vodka, pama, lemon juice, simple syrup and lemon lime soda or The Heater made with Effen cucumber vodka, jalapeño brine, lime and ginger beer.

Nibbles: Chicken & Waffles with honey-maple sriracha and the Street Brisket Taco.

Tip: Bargain happy hour bites and drinks.

Find it: 1777 Walker St., Houston, TX 77010; 346-229-2577

Shay McElroy’s Irish Pub in downtown Houston.

Shay McElroy’s Irish Pub in downtown Houston.

Amanda S. via Yelp

Shay McElroy’s Irish Pub

In the Rice Lofts building beckons an authentic, intimate 19th-century bar that the owner, Dublin native John McElroy, had shipped to Houston from Ireland. Merrymakers range from young professionals to seasoned bar enthusiasts who are known to have lively debates over pints.

Sips: Pints, Irish whiskey and scotch.

Nibbles: Stuffed sandwiches and salads.

Tip: Check out the etched glass and furnishings which were acquired from historic Rice Hotel’s Old Capitol Club.

Find it: 909 Texas Ave. (at Main), Suite A, Houston, TX 77002; 713-223-2444

806 Lounge is the bar for Main Kitchen at the JW Marriott Houston. 

806 Lounge is the bar for Main Kitchen at the JW Marriott Houston. 

Courtesy 806 Lounge

806 Lounge

Watch the downtown action through the floor-to-ceiling windows and listen to cool tunes while savoring cocktails at 806 Lounge. Located at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown, this bar is home to a host of skilled chefs and mixologists who are known for creating great cocktails and locally sourced food.

Sips: The Game Changer made with Grey Goose Vodka and muddled with cucumbers, oranges and lemons topped with a float of Butterfly Pea Flower Tea and The Provost made with Glenmorangie X, Misunderstood Ginger Whiskey and a cherry.

Nibbles: Crispy Brussels sprouts with house-brewed spicy ponzu sauce and stone oven pizzas with house-made dough and sauces.

Tip: Good setting to relax after work and people-watch.

Find it: 806 Main St., Houston, TX 77002; 713-237-1111

Looking for downtown parking tips? Most downtown meters are free after 6 p.m. and all day on Sunday. For the best places to park in the Downtown District, visit this map. 



See also  12 of the greatest rooftop bars in Houston
Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.