With the abundance of outdoor space and gas station 40s, you can pretty much build your own happy hour anywhere in Houston. But if you want something a little nicer and a little less illegal, consult this list of the best spots to drink on the cheap, ‘hood by ‘hood.
OKRA Charity Saloon (address and info)
When it is: Weekdays, 4-6:30pm
This airy saloon -- which just so happens to donate 100% of its proceeds to a local non-profit each month -- manages to be rowdy and classy all at once. Play washers and hit the photo booth while you take down $3 drafts, $4 wells, and half-price wine for a good cause. And some $3 fernet shots. Get those, too.
Lucky’s Pub (address and info)
When it is: Weekdays, 4-7pm
Within walking distance of Minute Maid, Toyota Center, and BVA Stadium lies a big-ass sports bar where you'll definitely want to imbibe. You'll find cheap-as-hell drafts, house wines, wells, bar pies, and specials like Steak and Pint Nights.
Moon Tower Inn (address and info)
When it is: Daily specials
Wild game weenies and 60+ taps of craft brew make this offbeat dive a local favorite. Hit the yard to partake in Mug Mondays, BOGO burger nights, growler giveaways, or whatever other zany hijinks are going on that day.
Caracol (address and info)
When it is: Mon-Fri, 3-7pm; Sat ‘til 5pm
Put this coastal Mexican eatery’s classy happy hour on your radar if you like good things in life. That’s because you can suck down $4 Mexican beers and drinks like the $7 michelada de chicharron along with buttery wood-roasted oysters at half-price.
Garden Oaks/Oak Forest
Petrol Station (address and info)
When it is: Weekdays, 5-7pm
Houston’s oldest craft beer bar knows what makes patron happy. And that’s serving a selection awesome brews for $3 during happy hour. Hit the converted gas station to geek out over hard-to-score suds as you pig out on some crazy-good bar food. Don’t miss Monday Steak Nights, when you can get the $3 pint special to-go with your juicy beef all night long.
D&T Drive Inn (address and info)
When it is: Monday all day; Tues-Fri, 3-6pm
A rotation of $4 pints and $7 jugs makes this laid-back beer house a popular happy hour hangout -- especially during those hot summer days when nothing hits the spot like one of its house-made shandies. Follow D&T Drive Inn on Facebook to see what madcap specials may be happening that day.
Hughie’s Tavern and Vietnamese Grille (address and info)
When it is: Daily specials
Hughie’s Tavern is kind of like Cheers if Cheers were a craft beer bar with Vietnamese grub and a way cooler crowd. Stop in the neighborhood hangout for a different special -- think half-priced beer and wine, $3 Texas beers, or $2 fire sales -- every day of the week (except Sunday, because they are closed then and we think that’d be considered trespassing).
Grub Burger Bar (address and info)
When it is: Daily, 3-6pm and 9-11pm
Houstonians and A&M fans find common ground at this College Station import thanks to a solid selection of $3, $4, and $5 booze and bar bites. You’ll bond with the crowd over craft pints, spiked shakes, crawfish pistolettes, and Luau Fries... even if you do hate Johnny Football.
Wooster’s Garden (address and info)
When it is: Mon-Sat, 4-6pm
Midtown’s newest craft cocktail & beer garden offers a chill indoor/outdoor atmosphere to go along with $3 select taps, half-off wines-by-the-glass, and house cocktails. Chase bitters, grapefruit, and tequila-loaded Chupacabras and $5 shots of house-made Fireball with Cajun shrimp bites and pretzels with a magic thing called BEER QUESO.
Uchi (address and info)
When it is: Daily, 5-6:30pm
When one of the city’s finest restaurants offers food and drink specials, you visit it every day at that time and then you nap. Uchi’s Sake Social Hour means you’re drinking $3 hot and cold sake and Japanese lagers while you fill up on happy-hour-priced bacon otoshi, walu walu, and spicy tuna.
Grand Prize Bar (address and info)
When it is: Daily, 4-8pm
$2 PBRs, $4 Jäger & Bulleit shots, and $5 good-as-hell frozen cocktails are just are just a few of the reasons to frequent this grungy two-story bar. The chill crowd, pool table, juke box, and rotating pop-up menu are just a few more.
Rice Village/West U
Benjy’s (address and info)
When it is: Daily, 4-7pm
Feeling posh but not posh enough to spend a lot of money? Head to this trendy Rice Village eatery’s lounge to booze and eat without burning a hole in your wallet. $3 craft brews, $5 wines, and $6 cocktails & appetizers -- like lychee fizzes, blood orange margs, smoked salmon sashimi, and Korean crispy chicken -- help keep things cheap.
Blue Bar at Brenner’s on the Bayou (address and info)
When it is: Mon-Thu, 5-7pm
Proving that the Bayou can, in fact, be pretty freaking beautiful, the picturesque Blue Bar boasts a swanky happy hour complete with $4 craft beers, $6 cocktails & martinis, $7 wines, and $6 small plates -- including hand-cut truffle fries and tender veal & ricotta meatballs that are absolute musts.
Red Lion British Pub (address and info)
When it is: Weekdays, 11:30-7pm; Weekends, 11:30am-2pm
This friendly neighborhood pub keeps a steady happy hour crowd. Daily specials like Burger Mondays, Curry & Pint Night (Wed) and Fish & Chip Fridays go perfectly well with cheap pints, pours, and bottles. They also help keep you drinking well into the night.
Cedar Creek (address and info)
When it is: Mon-Fri, 3-7pm
Hit up Houston’s chillest creekside patio bar to transport yourself to Hill Country without having to encounter ironic beards. Select frozens, wines, and brews are on discount; daily specials include Texas Tuesdays, Whiskey Wednesdays, and Fried Chicken Fridays.
Kata Robata (address and info)
When it is: Mon-Sat, 5-6:30pm; Sunday, noon-5pm
Happy hour means you’re getting a buzz on with daily specials like half-priced Asahi, sake flights, and wines as you fill up on Chef Manabu Horiuchi’s sensational eats -- think duck gyoza, pork belly buns, and a whole lot more -- on the cheap.
Beaver’s (address and info)
When it is: Tues-Fri, 4-7pm; Sat, 11am-7pm; Sun, 4pm-7pm
It’s pretty easy to get a buzz going at this indoor/outdoor ice house’s happy hour. Expertly crafted house cocktails are all two bucks off; all drafts are one dollar off, and beer buckets of Lone Star and PBR are flowing for 10 and 12 bucks. Oh, and the four-five person punch bowl for $24. You’ll need that to wash down the smoky queso and fried pickles.
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1. OKRA Charity Saloon924 Congress St, Houston
2. Lucky's Pub801 St Emanuel St, Houston
3. Moon Tower Inn3004 Canal St, Houston
4. Caracol2200 Post Oak Blvd Ste 160, Houston
5. Petrol Station985 Wakefield Dr, Houston
6. D&T Drive Inn1307 Enid St, Houston
7. Hughie’s Tavern and Vietnamese Grille1802 W 18th St, Houston
8. Grub Burger Bar799 Town and Country Blvd Ste 200, Houston
9. Wooster's Garden3315 Milam St, Houston
10. Uchi904 Westheimer Rd, Houston
11. Grand Prize Bar1010 Banks St, Houston
12. Benjy's2424 Dunstan Rd, Houston
13. Blue Bar at Brenner's on the Bayou1 Birdsall St, Houston
14. Red Lion Pub2316 S Shepherd Dr, Houston
15. Cedar Creek1034 W 20th St, Houston
16. Kata Robata3600 Kirby Dr, Houston
17. Beaver's2310 Decatur St, Houston
Named not for the beloved Southern side dish, but an acronym for "Organized Kollaboration on Restaurant Affairs," OKRA uses its simple American fare for the forces of good and not profit. When you order a classic cocktail and round of waffles fries or avocado fritters, you're gifted a a ticket (like the ones you get at the carnival) that grant you a vote. Every customer's vote deems which charity get all -- all -- of the restaurant's profits for the month.
Lucky's Pub is one of the largest, most popular sports bars in Houston, and will supply you with craft beer, delicious wings, and a lively atmosphere while you watch the game.
Awesome events like horror movie nights and growler giveaways, tons of craft brews from their wall of taps, and exotic hot dogs like a wild game sausage make Moon Tower Inn a unique and enjoyable hangout. Oh, and they have a backyard, too.
This glassy, sleek eatery in Midtown serves up seafood-centered Mexican fare including starters like salsa-topped oysters and headlining shrimp tacos and pan seared daily catches. Frequent happy hours, only at the bar, get you plenty of liquored up treats with salted rims and leafy garnishes like the Cuba Moderna with rum aged over 12 years.
Petrol Station used to be exactly that: a gas station. Now, this refurbished counter-service spot is dishing up of the tastiest burgers in Houston. You'll also find a fantastic craft beer list that's divided into beginner, intermediate, and expert levels. Once you've made your burger and beer picks (a favorite is The Rancor, a 10-napkin burger topped with cheddar, smoked bacon, and a fried egg), you can enjoy your meal out on the patio.
D&T Drive Inn has a unique menu of shared plates and sandwiches (like stuffed cherry peppers and a beef stew po' boy), plus a fantastic beer selection and a spacious beer garden-esque patio.
Hughie’s Tavern is a Vietnamese cuisine slinging craft beer bar that is as cool as it is casual with its 20 craft taps. The neighborhood hangout features varying daily specials — think half-priced beer and wine, $3 Texas beers, or $2 fire sales — and hearty, yet surprisingly refreshing, Viet-Tex options like Bánh Mì (your choice of protein served on toasted baguette with pickled vegetables, sliced jalapeños, and Vietnamese mayo), vermicelli (rice noodle) bowls with juicy meat options and traditional fish sauce, fried rice platters, and good ol’ burgers. You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you pair a local Houston brew (like Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.) with the Bánh Mì Burger: a grilled beef patty topped with pickled veggies, jalapeños, Vietnamese ham, and spicy aioli.
Houstonians and A&M fans find common ground at this College Station import at its daily 3-6pm & 9-11pm happy hour, thanks to a solid selection of $3, $4, and $5 booze and bar bites. You’ll bond with the crowd over craft pints, spiked shakes, crawfish pistolettes, and Luau Fries... even if you do hate Johnny Football.
This totally chill craft cocktail and beer garden is rocking 49 brews on tap. It also comes fully loaded with an incredible lineup of fancified cocktails featuring touches like fresh-squeezed juices, infusions of fruit smoked with wood chips from repurposed whiskey barrels. The barkeeps pull out all the stops here, with showy concoctions that range from the bittersweet and robust to the tropical and Tiki.
Located in Montrose, from acclaimed Austin Chef Tyson Cole, Uchi is Houston’s outpost of the Austin-based Japanese hot spot. The intimate, upscale restaurant is constantly bustling with sushi- and sake-craving diners, and because reservations are hard to come by, be prepared to wait for a taste of the inventive Japanese cuisine. Or, beat the crowd and arrive early for their daily Sake Social, where for an hour and a half, you can sample the highlights of the menu, accompanied by copious amounts of sake (or beer, or wine), at a fraction of the cost.
This grungy two-story bar where Montrose meets the Museum District features rooftop access, a pool table, jukebox tunes and a full bar manned by award-winning mixologists on each floor. Cocktail lists are ever-changing and the kitchen is fully operational, meaning you’ll snack on a pimento grilled cheese with blackened green tomatoes or a chorizo meatball sub between sips of an imaginative beverage like the Five Finger Death Punch with rum, apricot brandy, vanilla, and lavender. Illuminated by glittery rainbow string lights, the space is alternately sophisticated and whimsical.
This trendy Rice Village eatery offers top-notch American fare, an outdoor patio, and one of Houston's best happy hours. We recommend chowing down on some of their delicious burgers, which hold a special place in the hearts of Houston locals.
Proving that the Bayou can, in fact, be pretty freaking beautiful, the picturesque Blue Bar at Brenner's boasts a swanky happy hour complete with $4 craft beers, $6 cocktails & martinis, $7 wines, and $6 small plates -- including hand-cut truffle fries and tender veal & ricotta meatballs that are absolute musts.
This friendly, British neighborhood pub in River Oaks keeps a steady crowd due to daily specials like $5 Burger Mondays and Fish & Chip Fridays, all of which are complemented by cheap pints, pours, and bottles. There's surprisingly great Indian food on the menu as well, and you can often snag a beer and curry combo deal. Belly up to the bar for a may even find a few real life Brits to faff around with.
Hit up Houston’s chillest creekside patio bar to transport yourself to Hill Country without having to encounter ironic beards.
Kata Robata is Houston’s preeminent sushi and Japanese tapas restaurant, featuring a signature menu from Executive Chef Manabu “Hori” Horiuchu. On offer is a creative array of Japanese fare inflected with French flavors, evident in dishes like foie gras and duck chawanmushi -- a Japanese-style egg custard -- and miso lobster mac and cheese. The menu’s crown jewel is its 72-hour slow-cooked Texas Kobe beef skewer, which is impeccably succulent and tender. Finally, you’ll want to take advantage of Kata Robata’s sushi offerings; create endless permutations of seafood like spicy chopped scallop, New Zealand king salmon, fatty tuna, and others.
Although this Sixth Ward BBQ spot offers top notch ribs and brisket, it has two main attractions: the first is a smoky queso (made with smoked asadero cheese, green chillis, and pico de gallo), while the second is a bacon omelette biscuit: an expertly crafted cheese omelette stacked with copious amounts of bacon and sausage with a chipotle honey and cream gravy blanket. Other menu items include Southern-style fare like fried pickles, barbacoa empanadas, and creative mac 'n' cheese.