Bars in the Heights

Legally dry in some patches, there aren't as many bars in the Heights as the neighborhood's effortlessly cool rep might make you think. (Washington Avenue is the exception and its dozens of bars belong in their own category.) But simply by being so few and far between, these bars almost automatically earn hidden gem status and are held close to the hearts of the locals. Take a tour of these generally laid-back and welcoming watering holes. (Photo: Cedar Creek)

Updated: June 18, 2010

Bars in the Heights

Cedar Creek Cafe

1034 W 20th St, Houston, TX 77008

This oasis of Hill Country charm is a triple threat of food, coffee and a full bar and so well-loved that its epic deck is often at full capacity.

Alice's Tall Texan Drive Inn

4904 N Main St, Houston, TX 77009

One of the few authentically Texan bars left in Houston, Alice's has somehow remained largely unnoticed by the masses. Join the friendly old-timers at the bar for a goblet of Lone Star and, if one of them asks, a few steps to the Dolly song coming from the jukebox.

Big Star Bar

1005 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008

Big Star is a paradigm of balance--a balance between neighborhood hangout and hipster dive and a balance between bearably smelly and terribly smelly. The fire pit out back is a nice touch in cooler weather.

Dan Electro's Guitar Bar

1031 E 24 St, Houston, TX 77009

Dan Electro's is a true underground music venue, immune to trends along with its patrons who are there out of genuine love for the blues, bluegrass and funk bands on stage.

Dirt Bar

1209 caroline, Houston, TX 77002

A crouched building with a pink "222" as the only signage, Dirt Bar looks pretty scary on the outside. Well, it's also pretty scary on the inside. The walls are painted black, and the lighting is pretty much nonexistent, but then you talk to a surprisingly nice bartender and it's all okay.

Beer Island

2631 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77009

With quarters for the jukebox and a penchant for light beer, you'll fit in perfectly with the patrons here. Of all the bars in the Heights, this just may be the one to get away with a popped collar.

Jimmie's Place

2803 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007

This little shed across from Fitzgerald's is a little rough around the edges, but in a good way. Save money at the bar by ordering Pearl and kick back with the regulars.

Boom Boom Room

2518 Yale St, Houston, TX 77008

The Boom Boom Room is nowhere near as racy as the name makes it sound. Instead, friendly neighbors gather at this bar in the Heights for a relaxing, unpretentious glass of vino and accompanying panini.

Shiloh Club

1321 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77008

Despite its exclusive-sounding name, this hole-in-the-wall is really just that. Like most bars in the Heights, Shiloh club is rife with sociable regulars.

Sixth Street Bar & Grill Llc

2701 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007

The place to be at this Heights bar is on the porch, shaded by trees and privy to a wide view of the busy intersection. Inside, the game is usually on a dozen beers are available on tap.