Houston may be known as a foodie paradise, but the bar scene here is just as noteworthy. From cozy bars throwing mean concoctions to staple dives, Houston has no shortage of impressive options to grab a beverage. Whether you’re looking to chat away on a bar stool, or casually sip an innovative cocktail in an equally chic environment, there’s a scene to fit your vibe.
Start planning your night with this list of Houston’s coolest cocktail bars.
Anvil / Montrose
The original cocktail bar to put the Houston drinking scene on the map was Anvil Bar & Refuge, a watering hole dedicated to creating high quality drinks with the best spirits and ingredients. Order one of their eight original cocktails or make a selection from The 100 List, a catalog of classic cocktails that started out as a training guide and soon became an iconic part of the Anvil menu.
1424 Westheimer / anvilhouston.com
Better Luck Tomorrow / Heights
Brought to you by the f+b dream team made up of cocktail king, Bobby Heugel, and award-winning chef, Justin Yu, Better Luck Tomorrow cooks up fresh and playful bar food with inventive cocktails. Pop by for post-work happy hour, after dinner drinks or boozy brunch.
544 Yale / betterlucktomorrowhou.com
Julep / Washington
With a laid-back vibe and lineup of cocktails from the South, Alba Huerta’s Julep has long been considered one of Houston’s coolest cocktail bars. Named after the legendary Mint Julep, this chic bar specializes in unique twists on the classic cocktail, with other essential and creative drinks rounding out the menu.
1919 Washington / julephouston.com
La Carafe / Downtown
Located in one of the oldest buildings in Downtown Houston, this haunted wine bar has been loved by locals for over 30 years. The little gem serves only wine and beer, and makes it impossible to forget to close your tab by only accepting cash. Kicking up the character of the dimly lit space are dried candle drippings, framed black and white photos, stained glass windows and the legend of a former manager haunting the halls.
813 Congress / facebook.com/lacarafe
Miss Carousel / EaDo
Walking into this cool, comfortable cocktail bar feels like entering someone’s living room. Rather than offering traditional bar seating, Miss Carousel fills its space with leather couches, intimate seating areas and a pool table; all perfect spots to sip on quintessential highballs and quirky concoctions like Dead Man’s Handle and Birds and the Bees.
1201 St Emanuel / agricolehospitality.com
The Pastry War / Downtown
From the brilliant minds of Bobby Heugel and Alba Huerta came, The Pastry War — a mezcaleria serving agave spirits from family-owned distilleries in Mexico. Named after the conflict that occured between Mexico and France in 1838, this funky space highlights the unique flavors of tequila and mezcal with some of the best margaritas you’ll find in Houston.
310 Main / thepastrywar.com
Poison Girl / Montrose
The hot-pink brick exterior makes this iconic Montrose dive bar hard to miss! An eclectic bar serving up cocktails in an equally eccentric space [pinball machines and “female-centric” photos fill the room], Poison Girl fits right into its distinctive neighborhood. Sidle up to the full bar complete with Texas brews, liquor and top shelf whiskey and scotch, then head to the back patio to snap a pic with the giant Astros-themed Kool-Aid Man.
1641 Westheimer / poisongirlbar.com