Houston's Best for Bloody Marys

Spice up brunch
July 18, 2016
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by Zagat Staff

The Bloody Mary is one of the more complex cocktails out there, which can make it hard to get right. These Houston spots not only pass the test with flying colors, they each have their own special take.

Benjy's
New American · Rice Village · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

“Innovative, modern” New American fare plus a “really fun” cocktail list and a “comfortable” yet “chic” setting combine at these popular standbys; the “young and hip” arrive for “first-date drinks, brunch with the family and dinner with friends” , and it’s a “favorite happy-hour spot” too.
Danton's Gulf Coast Seafood and Steaks
Seafood · Museum District · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.2

Some of the “freshest, best tasting seafood in Houston” is served at this Museum District outpost renowned for its “real-deal Gulf Coast cuisine” including “excellent soups” and “terrific oysters” plucked from nearby beds; the serviceable “decor is alright but nothing to write home about” , though on the bright side, the “noise level is low enough to have an actual conversation” ; P.S. they host a blues brunch each Sunday.
Beaver's
American · Washington Corridor · $$
Food 4.2 · Decor 3.8 · Service 4.0

Offering a “good variety” of “fancy publike” fare, these American kitchens impress with a “fantastic mac ’n’ cheese” selection, barbecue, burgers and even an “amazing cocktail menu” ; the Washington Corridor original has a "funky" vibe while its much larger Westheimer spin-off features a fire pit and an outdoor bar housed in a repurposed trailer.
Down House
American · Heights · $$
Food 4.2 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

Praised for its offerings at breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as weekend brunch, this “laid-back” American in the Heights uses ingredients that are “as local as possible” and also pours “delicious” cocktails and coffee drinks; some “wish the waits weren’t so long at peak times” , but with a “hip” , “eclectic” feel throughout, it’s "hard not to like this place."
Brooklyn Athletic Club
American · Montrose · $$
Food 4.2 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.9

Fashionably casual with “an expansive outdoor area” that includes a croquet field and bocce courts, this Montrose spot “shines in the fall and spring when the weather is nice enough” to dine in the open air; the “fairly limited menu” – supposedly inspired by pre-hipster Brooklyn favorites like hefty Reuben sandwiches and pasta and meatballs – offers “twists on traditional” American fare complemented by a fairly “strong wine and beer selection.”
Under the Volcano
Bar · West U · $$
Food - · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.1

"A cocktail list that spans from frozen screwdrivers to pisco sours" is the calling card of this "unique" West U bar that also draws "good crowds" with steak-night specials and a covered outdoor patio; a jukebox with tunes by local artists and "Mexican- and Southwest-influenced" folk art complete the colorful scene, where the "drinks can get expensive, but they're well worth" the price.