Hottest Bars in Houston

From laid-back to luxe, here are the best places to drink right now
December 8, 2017
by Zagat Staff

From beer halls to intimate cocktail bars and sleek hotel lounges, Houston has a diverse selection of watering holes this season. Here's a snapshot of where — and what — to drink right now.

Better Luck Tomorrow
Gastropub · Heights · $$

From Justin Yu (of now-closed Oxheart) and Bobby Heugel (Anvil and others), this cozy Heights bar serves cleverly named craft cocktails alongside a seasonal menu of upscale bar bites (a burger on crispy cheese bread, chile vinegar–marinated oysters). Simple and modern, the space features a colorfully backlit bar area and a covered patio.
Star Fish Houston
Seafood · Washington Corridor · $$$

A 300-gallon freshwater aquarium greets guests at this stylish Heights coastal kitchen where raw and cooked seafood, grilled meats and sandwiches are accompanied by nine signature martinis, assorted petite cordials and sparkling wines. A crisp palette of black leather and white wood is offset by pops of turquoise, sea-inspired artwork and expansive windows beneath a soaring open-beam ceiling.
French · River Oaks · $$$

Champagne informs many aspects of this stylish River Oaks bistro serving French-infused American fare alongside 1,000 wine labels focused on sparkling wines. The homey space blends brick walls, dark woods and a curving bar with a playful, bubble-inspired light installation, plus a private wine room and an expansive patio.
Spring Street Beer and Wine Garden
Bar · Washington Corridor · $

A large selection of beer, wine and cocktails are the main draw at this laid-back First Ward bar, which also hosts a rotating roster of food trucks. The intimate, modern tasting room has an airy, modern vibe, while a dog-friendly covered patio extends the seating outdoors.
Bar · Downtown · $$$

Located inside Downtown's Hotel Alessandra, this stylish lounge serves dual purposes: barista-prepared coffees and house-baked pastries by day, cocktails and small bites by afternoon and night. Cushioned cream-colored chairs and intimate tables pepper the space, while expansive floor-to-ceiling windows bring in natural light.
King's BierHaus
German · Heights · $$

Guests order from a large wooden barrel counter at this massive Heights-area tavern serving modern takes on such European classics as housemade sausages, schnitzel and Viennese goulash, plus American dishes like burgers and fried chicken. The sprawling, old-country setup features two bars pouring German beers (including two exclusive brews), craft cocktails and wine, and a dog-friendly biergarten offers a waterfall and yard games.
Heights Bier Garten
Bar · Heights · $

Select from 96 beers on tap, ciders and wines plus sandwiches, housemade sausage, shared platters and weekend boozy brunch at this laid-back Heights hangout. The dog-friendly patio, connected to sibling Worcester's Annex, features hammocks, picnic tables and swinging chairs, while indoors are TVs for watching the game.
Field & Tides
American · Heights · $$$

Creative Southern, Gulf Coast and American fare like pimento cheese fritters, she crab soup and roasted venison anchor this intimate Heights eatery that also pours craft cocktails, wine and local brews. Wood and steel fixtures accent the relaxed space, while custom art and a large antler chandelier add charm.
Mexican · Downtown · $$$

Modern twists on traditional Oaxacan cuisine anchor this luxe restaurant and bar from Hugo Ortega (Hugo's, Backstreet, Caracol) that serves tlayudas (large tortillas covered in toppings) plus elevated enchiladas, seafood, barbacoa and tamales alongside creative cocktails. Subdued tones of gray, black, cream and light wood are offset by colorful Mexican folk art, and an intimate patio offers views of nearby Discovery Park.
Brasserie Du Parc
French · Downtown · $$$

Escargot, quiche and coq au vin headline this Downtown concept from Philippe Verpiand of Etoile Cuisine et Bar in Uptown that also offers wine and craft cocktails. Caramel browns, industrial steel, glass and marble accent the Parisian-inspired space, while an extensive patio with retractable glass walls offers views of Discovery Green, and a walk-up crêpe counter offers quick bites.
Bar · Downtown · $$

Named for partner and former Houston Astros player Craig Biggio, this bustling hangout inside Downtown's Marriott Marquis hotel puts out stadium staples such as hot dogs and nachos, plus steak, seafood and chicken dishes, to go with local beer and cocktails. The bi-level setting has a polished look, with rich woods, leather furniture and creatively placed baseball memorabilia, and naturally it comes equipped with plenty of flat-screens for watching the game.
Rose Gold Cocktail Den
Bar · Midtown · $$

Imaginative cocktails are the focal point at this stylish lounge in Midtown where DJs spin eclectic beats including funk, indie and nu-disco tracks. Leather, wood and glass define the chic low-lit space, which has a bar and couch seating.
Hops Meet Barley
Bar · Upper Kirby · $$

A tap lineup of 40 rotating beers plus bombers, hard cider, wine and cocktails set the tone at this casual Upper Kirby hideaway that also serves elevated pub grub such as panko-crusted cheese curds and burgers with creative toppings. Flat-screen TVs, a projection screen and foosball offer entertainment in the mellow interior while an enclosed dog-friendly patio welcomes four-legged friends.