Texas Bars & Nightlife
Public Services Wine & Whiskey
202 Travis St., Downtown
Don't come to Public Services expecting the frills and invention of modern experimentation—this is a classic whiskey and wine bar.
The Pastry War
310 Main St., Downtown
The neon sign upon entry warns you straight-up: no pastries. But tamales—and tequila and mezcal—are fair game.
The Original OKRA Charity Saloon
924 Congress St., Downtown
Here's how this works: Every drink purchased at OKRA's Charity Saloon qualifies as a vote toward one of four charities at the polling station against the wall.
The Hay Merchant
1100 Westheimer Rd., Montrose
Midwest native Chris Shepherd embraces his adopted home, Houston, with deep love, so expect some Southern comfort with your order: deep-fried pickle slices, peanut-butter-and-jelly wings (we weren't sure either, until we tried them, then we were damn sure), and a really solid burger.
1517 Alabama St., Midtown
Grab a beer and sip it swinging in the comfort of one of the outdoor hammocks strung across Axelrad's backyard.
Anvil Bar & Refuge
1424 Westheimer Rd., Montrose
Anvil's cocktail menu can be intimidating to the uninitiated. Or for that matter, to the initiated.
Mutts Canine Cantina
2889 CityPlace W. Blvd., Uptown
The city’s first dog-park/restaurant mashup is absolutely packed on beautiful days—dogs can run off-leash in the one-acre park while owners hang out in the outdoor beer garden. The laid-back restaurant is popular in its own right: The menu focuses on burgers and hotdogs, and adorably, there are options for the canines, too.
High & Tight Barbershop
2701 Main St., #180/190, Deep Ellum
It’s hard to tell that behind this Deep Ellum three-chair barbershop business there’s a really fantastic bar. During the day, cuts and shaves come with a free beer. At night, down a winding hall, a large, dimly lit back-room bar offers Prohibition-era-inspired cocktails and a stage where local musicians play everything from country rock to rap. The off-menu special—a vaporized shot of vodka—is potent and, oh yes, worth trying.
The Grapevine Bar
3902 Maple Ave., Oak Lawn
There are many reasons to visit the Grapevine: potent Tangaritas (frozen margaritas mixed with Tang), pickup games on the basketball half court, and the rooftop with amazing views of the downtown skyline. The laid-back dive bar straddles a few neighborhoods, so it’s almost always busy with an interesting crowd—perfect for people watching.
1807 Gould St., Cedars
Exactly what you want in a dive bar: nice bartenders mixing strong drinks, a jukebox, and a huge dog-friendly yard. There’s live music in the vein of Mumford and Sons on the weekends. And sitting by the fire pit in the fall is absolute heaven.
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