Food & Drink

51 Houston Bars That Are Open on Christmas Day

Published On 12/18/2015 Published On 12/18/2015
Little Woodrow's Bellaire
Reserve 101
Alex Gregg/Moving Sidewalk
Flickr/frederikvanroest
Flickr/gpeters
Flickr/mfajardo
Flickr/chelsea_nj
Pub Fiction
Flickr/sowasundays
Becca Wright   
Flickr/Chandler Collins
Flickr/Zen Lao
Flickr/uberculture
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1. Little Woodrow's 4235 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77025

The OG branch of the popular Texas chain. Enough said.

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2. Reserve 101 1201 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77002 (Downtown)

Home to the city’s most expensive pour (a cool $750 for a couple glorious ounces of 1978 Glenmorangie Pride), the owners of Downtown’s Reserve 101 have assembled a modest list featuring over 300 varieties. Their list represents 14 countries, including rare selections and local Texas whiskeys. Their draft beers are listed with a suggested whiskey pairing, their wine list rotates monthly, and their cocktail program covers the classics. Take a minute, or several, to get acquainted with the whiskey list, taste a few new bottles, and maybe even splurge on one of those highly sought after varieties that runs for hundreds of dollars an ounce -- it’s an experience.

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3. Warren's Inn 307 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002

Google Warren's Inn and the reviews are unanimous: divey with stiff drinks. Prepare for chipper locals and friendly bartenders in a brick-walled bar with good tunes.

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4. Dirt Bar 1209 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77002

Known for its love of hard rock and roll, it comes as no surprise that Dirt Bar is often visited by famous rockers and not for the faint of heart.

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5. Charbar 305 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002 (Downtown)

Say cheers in a tux at Downtown Houston’s Char Bar, a hybrid drinkery and tailor shop. The bar inside 70-year-old Duke of Hollywood Tailors was initially conceived to redeem owner Michael Shapiro’s failing garment alteration business, and it now draws both locals and visitors to indulge in a strong martini while their shoes are shined or their dresses are hemmed. On display in the narrow hall are fabrics sourced from decades and decades of people in once-ill-fitting outfits.

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7. notsuoH 314 Main St, Houston, TX 77002 (Downtown)

This dive bar enforces a slight time-warp aesthetic from the moment you step inside. Separated from the bar next door with a thin wall and red curtain, the decor stays quirky and oddball while the stage hosts everything from poetry slams to live music.

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8. Moving Sidewalk 306 Main St, Houston, TX 77002 (Downtown)

The late Goro & Gun was transformed into this sexy cocktailery that flaunts liquid-nitrogen-chilled glassware and an "emotional beverage guide" for the indecisive. Are you happy and perhaps overly optimistic about your new lady friend? A French 75 should do the trick. Something on your mind? Looks like you’re taking a beer and a shot to get you out of your funk!

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9. Little Woodrow's 2019 Walker St, Houston, TX 77003 (Downtown)

Beer, beer, beer -- from light to dark and floral to bitter, you'll find 'em at the EaDo branch of this beloved Texas chain of bars. Rotating 35 taps of craft beers from Texas breweries and a lucky sampling of other states (and dozens of cans and bottles if you still can't find something up your alley), Little Woodrow's is the ultimate spot for a pint -- or two, or three, who's counting -- on game night with big flatscreen TVs, games like cornhole and (no joke) turtle races and a menu of quick bar bites.

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10. Neil's Bahr 2006 Walker St, Houston, TX 77003 (Downtown)

This tweet from owner Neil Fernandez (@neilsbahr) describes it best: "this ain't ya grandpa's bar. that's because it's called Neil's Bahr. if your grandpa's name is Neil, we will have to destroy him". The Darth Vader on the liquor shelf and abundance of comic books/sci-fi novels only further prove that this is THE spot for all things fantastically nerdy. And that's before even mentioning that the bar’s name is a pun on Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr.

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11. The Richmond Arms Pub 5920 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77057 (Uptown)

Big screen TVs to watch the game, a sweet patio, and an international beer selection that definitely won't disappoint, all serve to make The Richmond Arms Pub a great place to hang out. A menu full of reasonably priced, classic pub fare doesn't hurt, either.

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13. Ron's Pub and White Horse Inn 1828 Fountain View Dr., Houston, TX 77057

A British pub with a Texas Tuesday special, because the Lone Star State can't stray too far from its homegrown roots.

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14. Sassafras 5022 Pinemont Dr, Houston, TX 77092

Housed in the old Crazy J’s spot, this neighborhood haunt is as cool and laid-back as it gets. The sprawling patio is the best place to take down "fancy and cheap beer, above-average wine, and tasty liquor" (their words, but their words are correct).

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15. Johnny's Gold Brick 2518 Yale St, Houston, TX 77008

Johnny’s Gold Brick is the golden mean between dive bar and sophisticated cocktail lounge, trading luxe décor for ivory booths, chartreuse walls, and wooden accents. What Johnny’s Gold Brick lacks in pretension it makes up for with a stellar beverage program that combines stripped-down, classic cocktails with eccentric libations found on a rotating monthly specials list. Perennial beverages include Moscow Mules, Gimlets, and a frozen margarita that comes with a float of Big Red, the gold standard of bubblegum-flavored sodas.

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16. Onion Creek 3106 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007

Offering up standard American cafe breakfast and brunch options, Onion Creek also has a great dirnk menu, AND you can bring your dog!

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17. Big Star Bar 1005 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008 (The Greater Heights)

Big Star Bar is a modest hangout with low ceilings and a black-and-white linoleum floor whose loyal base of regulars comes for the cheap drinks, the jukebox, and the dance floor. Big Star also has an outdoor patio with picnic tables that are warmed by fire pits on chilly Houston nights, so bring the mutt and enjoy a frosty Lone Star all year round.

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18. Jimmie's Ice House 2803 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007

This ramshackle ice house opened its doors 1950, and it hasn't changed much since. Just unapologetic bartenders, beat-up picnic tables, and cheap, ice-cold brews.

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19. Public House Heights 2802 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007

If you're looking for something low-key and friendly, Public House Heights will do the trick. Enjoy local craft beers and a weekly steak night.

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20. Little Woodrow's in the Heights 2631 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77009

With over 100 beers, the Heights location of this Texas chain, is the perfect happy hour, or late hour spot.

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21. Coaches Pub 2204 Louisiana St, Houston, TX 77002

With 21 hi-def TVs, trivia, darts and a jukebox you will have your pick of activities at Coaches Pub, not to mention their extensive beer and wine menu.

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22. The Maple Leaf Pub 514 Elgin St, Houston, TX 77006

So you're from Canada, eh? Then this Canadian-themed pub is definitely right up your alley.

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23. Celtic Gardens 2300 Louisiana St, Houston, TX 77006

Stiff drinks, solid happy hour specials, and a huge outdoor lounge mean this Midtown oasis will draw a big crowd pretty much any day its nice out. Enjoy an afternoon of beers, bags, and Irish nachos (you should always get the Irish nachos).

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24. Little Woodrow's Midtown 2306 Brazos St, Houston, TX 77006 (Midtown)

Little Woodrow's beer list isn't very little with 100 beers, a full bar, and daily specials. It's the perfect place to watch the big game.

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25. Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill 2820 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007

Christian’s Tailgate is a Midtown sports bar that serves great burgers and beer. The flavor-packed patties come in three sizes: small (1/3lb), large (1/2lb), and giant (1lb), and are stacked with your choice of toppings, like green chili, crispy bacon, onion rings, and jalapeños. The menu has a whole section dedicated to shots that range in price from the $3 vodka peach Silk Panties to a $9 Jameson and Guinness combo.

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26. Pub Fiction 2303 Smith St, Houston, TX 77006 (Midtown)

Whether you're looking to catch some live music or dance to a DJ, enjoy something from a menu full of savory, satisfying choices (fried pickles, tacos and quesadillas, half-pound burgers), or catch the game and drink $6.50 domestic pitchers at happy hour, Pub Fiction will gladly meet your needs.

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27. Shot Bar 2315 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77006

Appealing to a somewhat younger crowd, Shot Bar specializes in, you guessed it, shots. Do yourself a favor and set out some water and Advil before you head out here for the night.

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28. Wooster's Garden 3315 Milam St, Houston, TX 77006

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.

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29. The Dogwood 2403 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77006 (Midtown)

Not only do they have a rooftop bar, but patios wrap around the entirety of this open-air building design at The Dogwood meaning MAXIMUM outdoor time on a warm summer's night. With a southern-influenced menu perfect for bar snacking and Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka on top, what more could you need?

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30. Front Porch Pub 217 Gray St, Houston, TX 77002

Front Porch is a laidback patio bar, offering up steak and trivia nights, crawfish boils, and cornhole tournaments. A perfect place to bring your dog along for a drink.

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31. Midtown Drinkery Bar & Grill 2416 Brazos St, Houston, TX 77006

A multi-level bar complete with a DJ will satisfy all of your drinking needs with their extensive beer and liquor selection.

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32. West Alabama Ice House 1919 W Alabama St, Houston, TX 77098 (Montrose)

To a non-native Houstonian, West Alabama Ice House doesn't look like all that much, given that it's just a covered bar and patio in West Montrose. But this iconic bar has seen Houston through history since 1928, when it operated as a literal ice house, just shilling the cold stuff to neighborhood homes. Now, of course, it's a regular haunt for Houston's most in-the-know, who come, humidity be damned, for a frosty Lone Star Beer, a taco from whatever truck is parked across the street, and some love from the regular influx of dogs that appear with their owners.

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33. JR's Bar & Grill 808 Pacific St, Houston, TX 77006

Houston's famous gay bar boasts a New Orleans style patio complete with cabanas and couches so you can sip on your drink while comfortable watching a drag show.

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34. Poison Girl 1641 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006 (Montrose)

Poison Girl is a Houston dive bar as infamous for its oddball decorations as for its whiskey selection. Pose for photos with a giant Cabbage Patch Kid and a life-size Kool-Aid man who has (sadly) seen better days as you sip on whiskey that, lucky for you, tastes far more expensive than it actually is. Try your hand at pinball before browsing Poison Girl’s collection of 1970s portraits of nude women that seem to surround you. However you choose to spend your time here, you can be sure it’ll be a memorable evening.

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35. Rudyard's 2010 Waugh Dr, Houston, TX 77006 (Montrose)

Any true beer geek has been to at least one of this classic watering hole’s beer tasting dinners -- where pours from a different brewery are thoughtfully paired with chef Joe Apa’s badass food each month. $50 will get you a spot at the table -- but if that’s too steep, stop by almost any night of the week for live local acts, a seriously good pub burger, and a cheap pint from their constantly rotating tap and bottle list.

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36. Griff's 3416 Roseland St, Houston, TX 77006 (Montrose)

Griff's is Houston's oldest sports bar, opened in 1965, but its party scene is hot as ever. There is always something to celebrate or a game to watch at Griff's, so if you are looking for a quiet night out, this is not the place for you. Regardless, this is still one of the best bars in Houston.

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37. Stone's Throw 1417 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006 (Montrose)

This moody speakeasy stirs up vintage libations and brews their own ginger beer, but there’s no need to put on your fancy pants -- it's as laidback as any other bar in Montrose. Hit it up for progressive happy hour, where the price of drinks match the time. That's $4 drinks at 4. $5 drinks at 5. Now keep doing math until you get to 7.

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38. Boondocks 1417 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006 (Montrose)

This grungy bar that pumps out live music almost every night of the week is a Montrose standby. Come here to slam PBR, smoke way too many cigarettes, and invariably miss your 8am meeting for the third week in a row.

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39. Royal Oak Bar & Grill 1318 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006 (Montrose)

Royal Oak Bar & Grill has cheap drinks, a great rotating happy hour including $3 Texas drafts or half off top-shelf whiskeys, and a sweet brunch with $7 boozy pitchers and $4 stiff-as-hell Bloody Marys.

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40. The Harp 1625 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77006

With such a huge patio, it's a good thing Houston is warm all year round. With a local, neighborhood feel, this Irish pub is no-nonsense and even offers bi-weekly grill nights. We think that The Harp is one of the best Irish bars in Houston, and we highly recommend that you stop by.

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41. The Ginger Man 5607 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005 (Rice Village)

This quaint-house-turned-pub has an excellent mix of local and European brews by the draught and bottle, not to mention one of the coziest backyard beer gardens in the city.

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42. Kelvin Arms 2424 Dunstan Rd, Houston, TX 77005

Known for their wide selection of Scotch, this Scottish pub is located, no joke, in an old bank vault. Don't worry though, you probably won't get trapped inside.

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43. The Marquis II 2631 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005

This neighborhood bar draws a steady crowd of Rice University students thanks to a laundry list of cheap beers and stiff-as-hell Texas teas.

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44. Under the Volcano 2349 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005 (Rice Village)

Under the Volcano in Rice Village is named for a macabre 1947 Malcolm Lowry novel. The cozy bar is much less menacing than its namesake, though (apart from the arguably ominous masks that line the walls), and it offers some of the best value for bar food and drink in the city. Weekly steak deals include hand-cut certified Angus rib-eye served with authentic Argentinian chimichurri sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and house sesame raspberry vinaigrette-tossed salad, while the daily menu offers snacks like pulled slow-braised beef tacos and Italian charcuterie. All cocktails are made from scratch to have robust flavors, and highlights include the Bloody Mary, strawberry-basil margarita, and the mojito.

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45. Kenneally's Irish Pub 2111 S Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77019

A Houston establishment for over 30 years, Irish Pub Kenneally's is actually known for their thin-crust pizza. But don't worry if you come here for a drink; they have plenty of beer, wine and liquor options as well. No bar in Houston celebrate St. Patrick's day quite like Keanneally's.

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46. Red Lion Pub 2316 S Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77019 (River Oaks)

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.

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48. Luke's Icehouse 903 Durham Dr, Houston, TX 77007

Trivia nights, happy hour, football Sundays, hangover brunch, what more could you want in a bar? A huge drinks list? Luke's Icehouse has that too.

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49. Little Woodrow's Shepherd 720 Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77007

This Shepherd Drive location of the popular Texas chain offers a wide selection of beer on tap plus a ton of daily specials.

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50. Beer Market Co. 920 Studemont St, Houston, TX 77007 (The Greater Heights)

The cozy drinkery in Washington houses the largest selection of brews in the city – 365 to be exact – which it rotates regularly so that "you won’t get bored." It also has TVs flanking every inch of wall space, plenty of covered outdoor seating, and seriously good pub grub, from burgers to wings. There's even a stage set up for live music when there are no big games on.

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51. Liberty Station 2101 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007

This gas station turned neighborhood bar features a huge patio area with an even bigger beer menu. They'll even occasionally bring in food trucks, so yeah this one is an all around winner.

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