Top: Express | Skirt: Express | Shoes: Nordstrom | Purse: Express | Earrings: Bauble Bar | Sunglasses: Nordstrom
Photography by: Banavenue
In honor of Cindo de Drinko (I mean Mayo), I thought it would be fun to share my favorite places in Houston to grab a drink. Whether you are a dollar mimosa fan, margarita loving, or champagne poppin’ person, I’ve got the answer to all of your happy hour needs. From Sunday brunch to after 5 cocktails, I like to believe I’ve got a good grasp on the best places to go.
Since all of you are hounding for all things Mexican and margaritas today, let’s start there and then we will break it down into a few more categories so that you have endless options!
El Tiempo – The most happening place on Washington. While there is almost always a wait, the authentic Mexican food and margaritas are well worth it! People who don’t have an El Tiempo come from far and wide to eat/drink here!
Ninfas – The original Ninfas is located in Houston and if you have ever been to a Ninfas then you pretty much know the menu. The only difference is that the look and feel of this place is unlike the chains. It is much smaller and was created by “Mama” Ninfa Laurenzo herself in 1973. A must see for you Ninfa fans! O and the margs are strong here (because I know that is important!).
Cyclone Anayas – With multiple locations all over Houston, Cyclone’s is a popular spot. From jumbo margaritas to penny (yes, 1 cent) mimosas on Sundays, this spot does not disappoint. If you go during happy hour, you can find great specials on food and drinks!
El Patio – Holy goodness. These margs are KILLER. They are known for their blue margaritas and they will take you down. This spot is a little smaller than your typical chain restaurant but what they lack in size, they make up for in tequila!
El Big Bad – Located in Downtown among other bars, El Big Bad is known for their infused tequila. Some venture to say that it is the best Margarita in town! They also have a second story patio that has a great view of downtown!
Julep – An absolute must if you have not been. It has an old timey, hipster feel to it with a little bit of class. The perfect place to grab a couple of drinks before dinner or a night out with the girls. There is a full bar that serves cocktails, spirits, and wine! As assumed, you have to try the mint julep!
Anvil – In the Montrose area and actually the original cocktail bar in Houston. A small bar with little parking so you might want to grab a ride here but it is definitely worth checking out! There are a few restaurants and other bars near by so I would highly suggest this place before a date or night out.
Bad News Bar – Want a cool view of Downtown Houston while sipping on a fancy cocktail? This little bar is a little tricky to find as you have to spot the name outside (Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge), go through a door, and then up a flight of stairs to get there, but the view is worth it! It is also along a string of Downtown bars so you have lots of options to hop around.
Mongoose vs. Cobra – It is located in Midtown and has a fun vibe. Not one of the go-to Midtown bars so the crowds aren’t usually as crazy. They have a large selection of small-batch beers and cocktails served in industrial looking glasses.
Wooster’s Garden– Also located in Midtown, this swanky bar has such a fun atmosphere and is the perfect spot for your next date night or Sunday Funday. The cocktails are a little pricey but if you get there before 6 pm (Happy Hour), they prices aren’t too shabby.
13 Celsius – Located in Midtown, this is such a cool spot for any winos. There is seating at the bar or lounge areas, as well as a little outdoor patio. On top of a great wine selection, the menu offers charcuterie boards and my personal fav, make-your-own smores!
Sonoma – With two locations in Houston, this is a spot that I always come back to. My personal favorite location is the one in the Heights because of their upstairs patio that not many know about. If you are looking for a good glass of wine and pizza, look no further! I did a post on Sonoma here that shows more of the patio and their menu selections.
Bar Boheme – This hipster spot might be one of my favorite bars ever. It offers a large patio scene with cute outdoor lighting. I love that it is never too crowded and feels almost homey. They offer an extensive menu of wine, cocktails and bar food (that is delicious!).
Benjy’s – While a chain restaurant, it is still my favorite to hit up during their happy hour time because of their amazing food. You can score a bottle of wine on happy hour for $20 and their famous brussel sprouts or pizza for only $6-$8.
La Grange – Off of Westheimer and Montrose. Half indoors, half outdoors. They have a great menu and drink selection. It is also along a strip of bars so you are walking distance to several other fun bars.
Eight Row Flint – A new bar in the Heights. They offer a great patio with a large selection of rare bourbons, craft beer, margaritas, and an amazing taco food truck.
The “Creeks” – There are 3 bars that are all owned by the same family that are spread out around the Houston Heights area. You have Cedar creek at 18th St. and Beal (my personal favorite and the largest of the 3). There is Canyon Creek at Wescott inbetween I10 and Washington (love their frozen mimosas, sweet tea or Jack Daniels drinks). Lastly, there is Onion Creek at off of White Oak close to Studewood (the smallest of the 3 and a more rustic feel).
Cottonwood – Just north of 610, this bar is a tried and true favorite. Always a good crowd with lots of dogs running around. Sometimes you will find live music and there are a couple of cornhole game boards. Good bar food including paninis, burgers and brunch!
Axelrad– This beer garden is famous for it’s hammock seating, outdoor patio and live music. They offer beer, wine, drinks, and pizza.
Kirby’s Ice House – Want to know where the party is? You will most certainly always find it here and not just on Sundays. Usually a very young crowd with a HUGE patio, cornhole and several food trucks. They are also dog friendly!
Wakefield Crowbar – With 3 sand volleyball courts and a huge outdoor patio scene, this place is always poppin! They are kid and pet friendly.
Down the Street – A cute and quaint neighborhood bar. My personal favorite! Depending on the day of the week it is usually moderately busy, unless it’s Bingo night in which they are packed! This is on the first Wednesday of every month and I highly suggest going. They have the best Sunday brunch around and the cutest atmosphere. Boys, they have a ping pong table that always has a game going on!
Lei Low – Looking for a funny and cool bar experience? Lei Low has some of the coolest, Hawaiian inspired cocktails that you will ever find! Don’t be fooled though, they are quite strong!
Karbach Brewery – Houston has a few breweries to choose from but Karbach has the best overall experience if you had to pick just one. With a huge outdoor space consisting of bar games, food trucks and picnic tables, this spot is one you could spend all day at!
If I left any off that you think are Houston staples, please let me know. But seriously, it would pain me to know if I somehow don’t know about the best place to grab a $4 glass of wine or see an amazing view of downtown while I throw back my 3rd cocktail! There are very few words that bring me instant happiness, but “happy hour” will do just that.
Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Party hard and stay safe!
*This post is in partnership with Express. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*