Downtown Houston Bars

We don't get much credit for having a lively nightlife scene in Downtown Houston thanks to the mass exodus that occurs each day when the clock strikes 5pm. But each year, more bars and restaurants colonize the area to the point where practically any kind of drinking experience (barring the illegal) can be found there. From the sports digs to the aging martini bars, here's our guide to bars in downtown Houston.

Updated: July 12, 2010

Downtown Houston Bars


La Carafe

813 Congress St, Houston, TX 77002

The creaky, historic bar on Market Square, where the candle wax once dripped gray from all the cigarette smoke is as effortlessly cool as it is romantic.


Warren's Inn

307 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002

Also on Market Square, Warren's is like a catch-all bar for every type of person who enjoys a stiff drink in an unpretentious setting. It's a local Cheers for Houston thanks to friendly bartenders and loyal regulars.


Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

705 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

A seemingly endless selection of craft beers and the surprisingly good pub grub at this bar persuade people to drive into downtown Houston specifically to visit, which, given the parking situation, means something.


Dean's Credit Clothing

316 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

The former clothing store turned hipster hangout deserves good karma for supporting the local arts scene with regular live music and film screenings. It's loud, dark and known for serving frozen cosmos.


Lucky's Pub

801 St Emanuel St, Houston, TX 77003

Stationed right next to Warehouse Live, this east-of-downtown sports bar is rowdy and packed to the hilt on Houston Astros game nights. Six pool tables, a huge projection screen and big crowds means there's a lot to do on a good night.


1820 Bar

1820 Franklin St, Houston, TX 77002

It seems like everyone at this low-key bar near Houston's Minute Maid Park has a Long Island iced tea in hand. Come by on the Fridays when neighboring Joystix arcade opens its doors for $15 unlimited play.


Cork Wine Bar

1201 San Jacinto St, Houston, TX 77002

Housed in the shiny, new Houston Pavilions development, this sleek wine bar is a classy option following concerts at the House of Blues. A solid selection of craft beer is available as well for the vinophobes in the group (there always is one).


Charbar

305 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002

This two-in-one tailor and bar on Market Square is both eclectic and nostalgic, if a bit tight on space. With both flat screen TVs and a shoe shine booth, the mood is a bit hard to define, although the gents in attendance seem to like it that way.


The Cotton Exchange Bar & Lounge

202 Travis St Ste 100, Houston, TX 77002

Housed in one of the oldest buildings downtown (though not as old as La Carafe), this stately Houston bar maintains much of its historic decor from original wood floors to painted ceilings. Slide up to the bar and order gin.


Pete's Dueling Piano Bar

1201 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77002

The patrons at this boisterous Downtown Houston piano bar are the people who love to sing at the top of their lungs in the car where no one is looking--only here it's public and fueled by cheap drinks. The talented musicians can play pretty much any song, from Elton John to Sublime, in exchange for the $7 cover.