When it comes to finding the best drinks in Houston, there is no shortage of bars, restaurants, pubs, crawls, haunts, or what-have-yous from which to choose. However, when it comes to finding the best drinks in Houston — scratch that, the best cheap drinks in Houston — you may have to do a bit more digging. While a night of research sounds fun, it could leave you with a headache — and a hole in your wallet — the next day. For your convenience and safety, use this guide to advise your next night out in H-Town.
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Best Dive Bars for Cheap Drinks Houston
There’s just something about dive bars that, regardless of their seedy reputations, give them staying power in a world that continually evolves around them. While all aspects of trendy bars — from the drinks they serve to the people who frequent them — seem to change constantly, dive bars are happy to remain dimly lit, simple in their offerings, and unpretentious in their décor. Whether you’re looking for a place to drown your sorrows in a potent cocktail or to have an intimate reunion with an old friend, you’re sure to find a dive in Houston that provides just the environment you seek. Below are some of Houston’s favorite dives with the best cheap drinks in Houston.
The Shiloh Club
When most people think of dive bars, they think of dimly lit, no-frills environments frequented by territorial patrons who would just as soon try something new as they would say “hi” to a new face. The Shiloh Club in Houston does not disappoint. Since 1971, Shiloh has remained unchanged even as the Heights grow around it. Though not known for its fancy cocktails, you can always count on it to serve ice-cold domestics and Jägermeister.
Rose Garden was once a cozy abode turned dive bar named after its founder and proprietress. An Elvis-loving woman, Rose adorned nearly every inch of wall space with pictures of the singer. The jukebox regularly croons old country classics, and, on a good night, you will find a couple or two swaying along to the music.
When your friends drag you downtown, and all you want to do is drink a cold domestic and watch the game, sneak away to Sunny’s, a hole in the wall amidst a hoard of fancier cocktail bars. Though you will be hard-pressed to get much more than a beer or a strong, two-ingredient drink here, the joint does offer booze-soaked pineapple and $5 frozen drinks.
Best Cocktail Bars for Drinks Houston
If you’re on the hunt for the best drinks in Houston, consider refining your search from “the best dive bars in Texas” to “the most popular Houston cocktail bars.” Though the query will return several results, you’ll be remiss if you miss out on cocktails from any of the following establishments.
Lei Low is a Polynesian-themed establishment dubbed one of the finest tiki bars in the nation. This is partly because of its dedication to carrying the theme throughout every aspect of the restaurant and partly because of its tasty yet potent cocktails. Regulars and first-timers alike enjoy delicious drinks served up in fun glassware shaped like everything from shark heads to parrots and topped with artistic garnishes crafted from fruits, florals, and herbs.
Eight Row Flint
Eight Row Flint is simple in its offerings — it specializes in beer, whiskey, and tacos — but it is considered one of Houston’s most elite cocktail bars, perhaps because of its simplicity. The cocktails always taste as sophisticated as they look, and patrons have access to the sleek, well-equipped patio year-round.
Though not necessarily known for its cheap drinks in Houston, Julep routinely tops lists featuring go-to hot spots in the Bayou City. Its main attraction is legendary bartender Alba Huerta, famous in the area for whipping up inventive and delectable drinks that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Though averaging about $20 per drink, each concoction features fanciful ingredients, such as honeysuckle and yellow chartreuse, and are shaken to perfection.
Best Bars for Day Drinking Houston
Most drinking establishments are indeed open during the day. However, there’s a vast difference between drinking during the day at a dim, dark watering hole and socializing with friends on an airy patio. If you plan today to drink, do so responsibly — and at one of these top bars for day drinking in Space City.
Axelrad Beer Garden
Part eatery, part art gallery, part garden, and part bar, Axelrad is a great place to gather with friends and family on a beautiful sunny weekend day. While sipping on a craft beer or a carefully curated cocktail, sway along to live music, take in a film screening, or enjoy the sounds and scents of nature. Though a “bar” in the loose sense of the word, there is nothing irreverent about this Houston hot spot.
All you wine connoisseurs out there, don’t be dismayed — there is a spot for you in which you can sip, dine, and dish with like minds: A’Bouzy. A’Bouzy boasts a collection of more than 250 wines and a delectable menu of prime meats, fresh seafood, crisp greens, and more. The large bar — which also serves up cocktails for your non-wine drinking friends — offers both international and domestic options and “vinos” across all price points.
The self-proclaimed “adult playground,” the Truck Yard is truly a place where adult friend groups and families with young children alike can go to have fun. The on-site Ferris wheel lends a fantastical air to the establishment that awes both adults and children alike. The live music, food truck, and, of course, beer encourage visitors to gather and play all day. Are you worried about Fido? Bring him along, as the Truck Yard is a dog-friendly drinking establishment.
As one of Texas’s largest and most established cities, Houston has much to offer its visitors and residents, including fine drinking establishments, cheap drinks, and everything in between. However, if your idea of the best drinks in Houston is that you make it in the comfort of your own home, head to your local drinks wholesale and nearest liquor store. Shop for the ingredients you need to invent your own concoctions now.